View the event recording.

The slide presentations are available at the bottom of this page.


Numerous states and hundreds of municipalities have laws restricting the location of a convicted sex offender's residence.  Little is known about the effectiveness of these restrictions. Do they keep children safer or give a false sense of safety?

Some people suggest these laws are driven by media attention to a few cases. Others believe they are not grounded in research. What do we know about the effectiveness and impact of these laws?  What are the practical aspects of implementing such laws?

This forum examined facts of residency restrictions, research about the types of offenders, lack of research about effectiveness, the use of crime mapping and the practical considerations required when implementing these restrictions.

This event was the first of four in the Series on Sexual Violence, sponsored by the Government Innovators Network and the National Institute of Justice.  Recordings and presenters' slides are now available for each event in the series:

  1. Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: Implementation and Impact
    June 19, 2008
  2. Sexual Violence and Evidence Collection
    August 13, 2008
  3. Sexual Violence: An International Perspective
    September 25, 2008
  4. Sexual Assault on College Campuses
    December 11, 2008



National Institute of Justice - Mapping and Analysis for Public Safety Program

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
     - main page on sex offenders
     - sex offender resources

California Attorney General's Office - Megan's Law


Paul Zandbergen & Timothy Hart. (2006). "Reducing housing options for convicted sex offenders: Investigating the impact of residency restriction laws using GIS." Justice Research and Policy, 8.

Iowa County Attorneys Association. (2006). "Statement on Sex Offender Registry Restrictions in Iowa." (PDF)

Sarah Agudo. (2008). "Irregular Passion: The Unconstitutionality and Inefficacy of Sex Offender Residency Laws." Northwestern University Law Review, 102. (PDF)

Corey Raburn Young. (2007). "Banishment by A Thousand Laws: Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders." Washington University Law Review, 85.

Jodi Schwartzberg &Annie Lo. (2006). "The Law and Policy of Sex Offender Residency Restrictions: An Analysis of Proposition 83." Public Law Research Institute. (Working paper). (PDF)

Caleb Durling. (2006). "Never Going Home: Does it Make Us Safet? Does it Make Sense? Sex Offenders, Residency Restrictions, and Reforming Risk Management Law." Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, 97.

New Mexico Sex Offender Management Board. (2007). "Distance Restrictions on Sex Offender Residential Housing." (PDF)

Jill Levenson. (in press). "Sex Offender Residence Restrictions." Sex Offender Law Report. (PDF)

Jill Levenson, Kristen Zgoba & Richard Tewksbury. (2007). "Sex Offender Residence Restrictions: Sensible Crime Policy or Flawed Logic?" Federal Probation, 71.

Grant Duwe, William Donnay, & Richard Tewksbury. (2008). "Does Residential Proximity Matter? A Geographic Analysis of Sex Offense Recidivism." Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35.
          * [Related study] Minnesota Dept. of Corrections. (2007). "Residential Proximity & Sex Offense Recidivism in Minnesota." (PDF)

Jeffrey Walker. (2007). "Eliminate Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders." Criminology & Public Policy, 6.

Marcus Nieto & David Jung. (2006). "The Impact of Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders and Correctional Management Practices: A Literature Review." California Research Bureau. (PDF)

Levenson, Jill, et al. (2007). "Public Perceptions about Sex Offenders and Community Protection Policies."  Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 7. (PDF)

Levenson, Jill and Andrea Hern. (2007). "Sex Offender Residence Restrictions: Unintended Consequences and Community Reentry." Justice Research and Policy, 9. (PDF)

Levenson, Jill. (2008). "Collateral consequences of sex offender residence restrictions." Criminal Justice Studies, 21.

Levenson, Jill and Leo Cotter. (2005). "The impact of sex offender residence restrictions: 1,000 feet from danger or one step from absurd?"  International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 49. (PDF)