Where for Art Thou? Transient Sex Offenders and Residence Restrictions
The purpose of this study was to better understand transient (homeless) sex offenders in the context of residence restriction laws. Using the entire population of registered sex offenders (RSOs) living in the community in Florida (n = 23,523), transients were compared with other sex offenders on relevant demographics, risk factors, county characteristics, and residence restriction variables. Significantly higher proportions of transient sex offenders were found in counties with a larger number of local-level restrictions, vast territory covered by these laws, wide-distance buffer zones, higher population density, and expensive housing costs. Sex offenders were more likely than the general population to become homeless. Transients were more likely than non-transients to have a history of registry violation. Few transients absconded, but when they did, they were more likely to abscond from registration than probation. When implementing sex offender management policies, lawmakers should consider transience as an unintended negative consequence.
Criminal Justice Policy Review
Levenson, Jill; Ackerman, Alissa R.; Socia, Kelly M.; and Harris, Andrew J., "Where for Art Thou? Transient Sex Offenders and Residence Restrictions" (2015). Social Work Publications. 25.