Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Criminal Justice

Content Description

1 online resource (xiii, 174 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Alan J Lizotte

Committee Members

Jill S Levenson, Steven F Messner, Greg Pogarsky, Janet P Stamatel


Counties, Legislation, New York, Public Policy, Registered Sex Offenders, Residence Restrictions, Sex offenders, Recidivism

Subject Categories

Criminology | Public Policy | Sociology


Residence restrictions are one of the most recent, and most controversial, public policies seeking to protect community members from registered sex offenders (RSOs) reentering society following incarceration. Residence restriction policies prohibit RSOs from living within a given distance of certain places where children might gather (e.g., schools, daycares, parks, and playgrounds). In doing so, the expectation is that RSOs will have a harder time finding and approaching young children whom they can sexually assault, thus driving sexual recidivism rates down. These policies, first passed in 1995 at the state level and in 2005 at the county and local level, have become extremely popular throughout the United States, but without proof that they are effective. To date, the research on these policies has been extremely limited, and has largely focused on the unintended consequences that these policies cause for RSOs, typically as a result of reduced housing options.