Keyword: sexual offenders

Wakefield, Hollida, & Underwager Ralph; The Vilification of Sex Offenders: Do Laws Targeting Sex Offenders Increase Recidivism and Sexual Violence?; Journal of Sexual Offender Civil Commitment: Science and the Law; 1, 141-149
Sex offenders are universally hated and despised and seen as dangerous sexual predators unless locked up and kept under surveillance. Following a number of highly publicized violent crimes, all states passed registration and notification laws and many passed civil commitment laws. Although these laws were passed as a means to decrease recidivism and promote public safety, the resulting stigmatization of sex offenders is likely to result in disruption of their relationships, loss of or difficulties finding jobs, difficulties finding housing, and decreased psychological well-being, all factors that could increase their risk of recidivism.
The civil commitment programs amount to expensive preventive detention and incapacitation rather than treatment; very few have been released. The high costs of the civil commitment programs divert resources from other programs with a better chance of being effective in reducing sexual violence.