Sex Offender Registration: Some Observations on ‘Megan’s Law’ and the Sex Offenders Act 1997

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Abstract

“Megan’s Law” in the United States and Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 in the United Kingdom, make provision for the creation of a register which will record the names and addresses of all persons convicted or cautioned for a sexual offence. Arguments expounded in favour of the legislation include the supposedly high recidivism among sex offenders, the inadequacy of supervision provisions, and the resulting need to ‘track’ the dangerous offender for public protection. In practice, however, there are a plethora of obstacles, such as cost and inadequate policing resources, which may impede its effectiveness in aiding law enforcement and reduce it to symbolic significance only. In addition, there are an array of ethical objections to the legislation, such as it breaches civil liberties and constitutes ‘double jeopardy’, which may prevent meaningful imposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalCrime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal
Volume1(1)
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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