Trojan horse policies: sexual predators, SORN laws and the American experience

In North America, over the past twenty years, sex offender registries and public notification have been implemented as crime prevention strategies against sexual violence and abuse. While the Canadian experience has been relatively slow, cautious and at times uneven, the American experience has been...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Psychology, crime & law
Main Author: Lussier, Patrick (Author)
Other Authors: Mathesius, Jeffrey (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:Psychology, crime & law
Year: 2019, Volume: 25, Issue: 2, Pages: 133-156
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:In North America, over the past twenty years, sex offender registries and public notification have been implemented as crime prevention strategies against sexual violence and abuse. While the Canadian experience has been relatively slow, cautious and at times uneven, the American experience has been more prompt, drastic, continuously expanding with the implementation of public registries, public notification and related laws. While public sex offender registries and notification remain controversial crime prevention policies, these measures are seen by the public as necessary and effective strategies against the threat of sexual predators. This article provides an overview of the American experience with what is commonly referred to as SORN laws and their various consequences as crime prevention policy. It is argued that public sex offender registries are not only based on false claims and myths about sexual violence and abuse, but they also serve, first and foremost, a symbolic purpose that promotes its acceptance among the general population. In fact, the American experience with public sex offender registries and public notification could be examples of Trojan horse policies that can make its way into public and governmental discourse in spite of its false claims and assumptions.
ISSN:1477-2744
DOI:10.1080/1068316X.2018.1503666