Although extensive media attention is paid to child abductions, such cases rarely occur, and less than 1% of all sex crimes involve murder.
Despite myths of "stranger danger," according to the Justice Department, 93% of sexually abused children are molested by family members, close friends or acquaintances. Final report on the development of the Minnesota sex offender screening tool - revised (Mn SOST-R).
The notification process provides an opportunity to inform and educate the general public and those associated with the offender.
It can, when used effectively, allow the community to engage in prevention efforts that simultaneously include offender rehabilitation.
In 2006 registration and notification requirements were again modified by the Adam Walsh Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) which created a national system for classifying sex offenders based on the conviction offense (see ATSA’s comments on SORNA guidelines).
Unlike actuarial models which have been tested for predictive validity, offense based classification is unproven as a strategy for predicting future offending. The ability to predict sexual dangerousness has improved markedly over the past decade as a result of studies identifying risk factors for violent and sexual recidivism. Procedures and instruments for assessing risk have been developed and refined, and risk for sex offense recidivism can be estimated with moderate accuracy. ATSA strongly supports sex offenders being held responsible for their crimes. federal law requires states to inform the public of the whereabouts of sex offenders. The development of a brief actuarial scale for sexual offense recidivism. When sex offenders are living in the community, it is imperative they be monitored and reintegrated carefully through effective legal supervision and treatment. Therefore ATSA offers the following recommendations for implementation of registration and notification based on existing research about the assessment and management of sex offenders: Discussion Registration and notification laws have received widespread support, largely due to the perception that the vast majority of sex offenders will repeat their crimes. Ottawa: Department of the Solicitor General of Canada. Despite recent data suggesting that contemporary cognitive-behavioral offender treatments can in fact reduce recidivism, early studies indicating that treatment was not successful in helping adult sex offenders have also led to a heightened fear. Paper presented at the 17th annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, Vancouver, Canada. Public safety can be enhanced, and limited resources used more efficiently, when the most active notification practices are reserved for those offenders who are at highest risk to reoffend sexually and therefore require the most intensive interventions. Given the serious implications of decisions based on risk assessments, these assessment tools should always be administered by skilled, trained, and supervised professionals. Community notification laws for sex offenders: Possible mediators and moderators of citizen coping. The Adam Walsh Act requires states to move to an offense based classification system, whereby registered sex offenders are categorized according to the severity of their crime of conviction. By classifying offenders into risk groups based on the existence of known risk factors, communities may be able to more accurately identify those sex offenders who pose the greatest threat to public safety. At the same time, differential notification strategies can improve cost-effectiveness.