Criminal Justice News

Monday, November 21, 2016

Law Enforcement Perspectives on Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Supplemental Report on Open-Ended Responses on Policy Recommendations

Authors: Andrew J. Harris, Christopher Lobanov-Rostovsky, Jill S. Levenson


The data presented in this report are drawn from a national survey administered online in 2015 as the second part of a two-phase national study to elicit law enforcement perspectives on the functions, utility, and operation of sex offender registration and notification (SORNA) systems in the United States.

The initial survey results report, issued in August of 2015, provided the tabulated statistics for the survey’s structured items regarding SORNA. This report presents the results of the survey’s unstructured (open-response) items, particularly those related to law enforcement recommendations for SORNA policies.

The open-ended prompts elicited thoughts about priorities for policymakers and fell into four broad categories:
           enforcement and compliance;
           operational improvements;
           offender management; and
           public-focused strategies.

Based on a review of the responses, nine broad thematic categories were identified within the data. These included recommendations related to the following categories:
           Registry Enforcement;
           Registry Requirements;
           Technical Administration and System Design;
           Agency Responsibility and Collaboration;
           Extent and Quality of Registry Information;
           Prosecution and Punishment of Sex Crimes;
           Public Education and Engagement; Restrictions Tied to Registration; and
           Use of Empirical Research.

Using these nine themes as a foundation, all open-ended responses were coded to identify sub-themes, reflecting more specific policy and practice recommendations.

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