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Examining the Correlates of Sex Offender Residence Restriction Violation Rates

NCJ Number
Journal of Quantitative Criminology Volume: 33 Issue: 2 Dated: June 2017 Pages: 347-369
Jason Rydberg; Eric Grommon; Beth M. Huebner; Breanne Pleggenkuhle
Date Published
June 2017
23 pages
This study examined the contribution of social ecological factors to the variation in sex offender residence-restriction (SORR) violation rates, operationalized as a sex offender residing within a buffer zone around a school or a day care facility.
Using data from two Midwestern states, the study used a quasi-experimental cohort-control group design to examine the correlates of county-level SORR violation rates among a cohort of post-SORR sex offender parolees and three counterfactual cohorts (pre-SORR sex offenders and pre- and post-SORR non-sex offender parolees). The study modeled the violation rate using a series of fractional logit regressions, examining the contribution of housing market, environmental justice, and system resource variables. It determined that county-level variation in post-SORR sex offender violation rates was directly associated with concentrated disadvantage and the density of residence restrictions. The direct effect of concentrated disadvantage was unique to the post-SORR sex offender cohort. Model predictions suggest that the relationship between SORR density and concentrated disadvantage varied across the study states. The study findings suggest that factors associated with sex offender clustering (i.e., housing market characteristics) were not associated with SORR violation rates. Instead, this research suggests a model that allows for the simultaneous influence of environmental justice and system resource effects. Future research on the mechanisms underlying these effects is warranted. (Publisher abstract modified)