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Examining Sex Offender Residency Issues

Convicted sex offenders are a highly mobile population, according to NSF-funded research examining and evaluating patterns of residency changes among this group. For their study, the investigators developed methods to examine, evaluate and detect patterns of movement associated with residency changes made by convicted sex offenders.

Some 65 percent of registered offenders in Hamilton County, Ohio, changed residences over a four-year period. Further analysis suggests that the moves are not random, but rather exhibit distinct geographic patterns. One-third of all moves were to areas that federal, state and local laws deem to be inappropriate for convicted offenders. The findings indicate that existing regulations for managing community risk suffer from a combination of lax enforcement, poor structure and an incomplete understanding of a geographically dynamic population.

Public policies based on movement patterns will help limit the challenges corrections and law enforcement agencies face when managing convicted sex offenders and imposing residence restrictions to reduce the risk of repeat behavior.

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  • map shows movement of convicted sex offenders in cincinnati ohio
Map shows residency moves of convicted sex offenders in Cincinnati, Ohio and highlights moves into areas deemed off-limits to offenders.
Alan Murray, Arizona State University

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