On sex offender registries


California’s registry isn’t practical. Amanda Agan, a postdoctoral fellow in economics at Princeton studied sex offender registries at The University of Chicago. She explained her findings to NPR’s On the Media in 2011. She compared multiple studies, across multiple types of registries, including ones like California’s, and found that when the information is public, the pattern of recidivism (which means committing a crime again) was discouraging.

When they were in a public registry there was “a slight increase in how much they recidivated,” although “a slight deterrent effect for first-time offenders. But as the registry size grows, it seems like that recidivism effects swamps the first-time registrant effect. And so, we get kind of an overall increase in sex crimes.” Are you getting this? Sex crimes increased.

Again we find that if the government gets involved in preventive measures they make things worse.


4 thoughts on “On sex offender registries

  1. “The last of these leads to “hilarious” articles like this one featuring lists of babealicious babes who are sex offenders! “

    the 4th on the list is a woman who was arrested for drunk driving while #7 was in the news for being Miss Texas or something and getting arrested for shoplifting.

    “we get kind of an overall increase… Are you getting this? Sex crimes increased.”

    a conclusion of “kind of” based upon a study of other people’s studies doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. Further, the number and rate of forcible rapes has decreased dramatically since California’s registration laws. Note that the decrease started before registration. Maybe rape and sex crimes don’t track but after the link to the bogus list I’m extra skeptical.

  2. Pee in your own back yard in the dark and you’re a “sex offender”.

    A moral society needs few laws. An immoral society always has more laws, but it can’t be fixed by making more laws.

    The solution will not be found in politics. Society leads. Politics follows.

  3. It occurs to me there’s an analogy between these registries and “restraining orders”.

  4. Pingback: SayUncle » Registration leads to . . .

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