Evaluation of Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Notification Policies: Analysis of State-Level Juvenile Justice Data (306494)*Reshmi Nair, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Keywords: policy evaluation, juvenile justice data, time series analysis, survival analysis
Laws are enacted by the state and federal legislatures with the aim to improve the health and safety of the public. Evaluation of these policies is vital to developing an understanding of the effectiveness and worthiness of such policies. The sex offender registration and notification policies are designed to improve community safety primarily by deterring sexual recidivism and/or by deterring first-time sexual offenses. Although the mandated registration under the original federal legislation did not require the inclusion of youth adjudicated as minors, states could choose to do so. However, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 specifically extended this requirement to include offenders as young as 14 years of age. We use state level juvenile justice data to evaluate the effects of these policies on 1) first-time sexual offense charges and adjudications, 2) case processing and plea bargain outcomes, and 3) recidivism risk. We will discuss the steps and challenges in data preparation, and the statistical methods used for analysis in this policy evaluation study. We will conclude by sharing results from our study.