Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policy Increases Juvenile Plea Bargains.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that South Carolina's sex offender registration and notification policy influenced juvenile sex offense case plea bargains. Two types of plea bargains were examined: initial sex offense charges amended to nonsex offense charges and amended to lower severity charges. Comparison analyses were conducted with juvenile assault and robbery offense cases. Archival data on cases involving 19,215 male youth charged with sex, assault, and/or robbery offenses between 1990 and 2004 informed analyses. Of these youth, 2,991 were charged with one or more sex offense, 16,091 were charged with one or more assault offense, and 2,036 were charged with at one or more robbery offense. Generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to model changes in the probabilities of plea bargain outcomes across three time intervals: before policy implementation (1990 to 1994), after initial policy implementation (1995 to 1998), and after implementation of a revised policy that included online registration requirements (1999 to 2004). Results indicate significant increases in the probability of plea bargains for sex offense cases across subsequent time periods, supporting the hypothesis that South Carolina's initial and revised registration and notification policies were associated with significant increases the likelihood of plea bargains to different types of charges and to lower severity charges. Results were either nonsignificant or of much lower magnitude for the comparison assault and robbery analyses. Suggestions for revising South Carolina and national registration and notification policies are discussed.
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ABSTRACT: Serious scholarly inquiry into juvenile sex offending represents a relatively new field, dating from the mid 1940s. During the next 4 decades, a mere handful of articles exploring aspects of juvenile sex offending were added to the available literature. By the 1980s, however, the literature began to increase rapidly, a trend that continues today. The purpose of this article is a focused review of the juvenile sex offender literature cited in PubMed over the last 5 years (2009-2013). The authors have chosen studies that will bring readers up to date on research they believe impacts our current understanding of best practices in the management of juvenile sex offending. For convenience, our review is organized into topical categories including research into characteristics and typologies of juvenile sex offenders, risk assessment and recidivism, assessment and treatment, the ongoing debate about mandatory registration of sex offenders as it applies to juveniles, and other thought provoking studies that do not fit neatly into the aforementioned categories. The studies included contain findings that both reinforce and challenge currently held notions about best practices concerning treatment and public policy, suggesting that our knowledge of the field continues to evolve in important ways.Current Psychiatry Reports 04/2014; 16(4):440. · 3.05 Impact Factor