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The State of Sex Offender Laws And Research: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going  

Author:  Karen J.  Terry, PhD.

Source: Volume 05, Number 02, February/March 2004 , pp.5-7(3)

Sex Offender Law Report

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There are few individuals less understood or tolerated than sex offenders. In the past two decades, they have brought about a resurgence of intense public, political, and academic interest. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several highly publicized, emotionally charged cases of child sexual abuse and murder regenerated a feeling of disdain for sexual offenders. Despite the fact that empirical research universally shows that sex offenders constitute a heterogeneous population of individuals, legislators have adopted several one-size-fits-all policies such as Megan’s Law, Sexually Violent Predator Legislation and Community Supervision for Life. Since their inception, the courts have challenged the constitutionality of these laws, as well as fairness in their structure and application.


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