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The Effect of Megan’s Law on Sex Offender Reintegration

The purpose of this study is to better understand the positive and negative, intended and unintended, consequences of community notification on sex offenders’ rehabilitation and reintegration. A sample of 183 convicted male sex offenders from Florida completed the survey. Overall, about one third of participants had experienced dire events, such as the loss of a job or home, threats or harassment, or property damage. Physical assaultwas a relatively rare occurrence. The majority identified negative effects, such as stress, isolation, loss of relationships, fear, shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness. Some participants noted positive effects of Megan’s Law, including motivation to prevent reoffense and increased honesty with friends and family. Few sex offenders believed that communities are safer because of Megan’s Law, and more than half reported that the information posted about them on Florida’s Internet registry was incorrect. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.

Key Words: sex offender • community notification • registration • Megan’s Law • offender reintegration • offender rehabilitation ..more.. by Jill S. Levenson, Lynn University and Leo P. Cotter, The S.H.A.R.E. Program

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