The Supplemental Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification give jurisdictions full discretion over whether they will post information about juveniles adjudicated delinquent of sex offenses on their public registry website. Nearly all jurisdictions have made failure to register a criminal offense punishable by fines and imprisonment.
In Texas and most states, registered sex offenders may be prosecuted if they fail to register, fail to verify registration information, or fail to provide notice of change of address or place of employment.
Yet research on the effectiveness of residency restrictions imposed on adult sex offenders offers no indication that these laws achieve their intended goals of preventing abuse, protecting children, or reducing reoffending.
Sexual violence is a serious problem in the United States.
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Chaffin et al. These include the following examples:. The study examined the effects of a Kentucky law KRS Access registered sex offender information online.
International human rights law requires all governments to protect people within their jurisdiction from violence, including by deterring crimes such as sex offenses. Human Rights Watch was not able to find any studies on the relationship between failure to register and sex offense recidivism among youth sex offenders, but there is no reason to think one would find a stronger correlation in the youth offender population than in the overall offender population.
There is evidence, however, that victims today —including child victims—are more likely to disclose abuse, at least to loved ones, than they once were.