Advantages of sex offender registration and notification
Obviously, the introduction of the sex offender registration and the public notification was determined by objective factors and it is the benefits of these measures that outweighed potential risks and threats of the community supervision of sex offenders. However, it is necessary to underline that fact that, while introducing the community supervision, registration and notification, legislators’ primary concern was the public security. It was logical that the interest of the community and each of this community were more important for legislators than interests and needs of sex offenders. This is probably why the contemporary legislation is more beneficial for the community rather than for sex offenders, though it would be a mistake to estimate that the latter are absolutely inferior in regard to the existing legislation.
On analyzing effects of registration and notification it should be said that many specialists (Lane, 1997) agree that they produce rather positive effects than negative because they increase the security of the community and assist to the integration of sex offenders into the normal life of the community. In this respect, it should be pointed out that among the major benefits of registration and notification, it is possible to single out the fact that they will promote greater interagency collaboration by law enforcement (Polizzi et al, 2003). To put it more precisely, the introduction of the community supervision and its control through the sex offender registration and notification stimulates the collaboration between different law enforcement agencies as well as other organization. In fact, the public notification, for instance, often leads to the involvement of victim advocates in the process of notification, while victim’s organization are often included into the supervision teams which receive the registration information of sex offenders. In addition, registration and notification also contributes consistently to the growing cooperation between law enforcement agencies, social and healthcare services. Basically, the registration and notification implies the necessity of such cooperation otherwise they will be ineffective as well as the community supervision at large. On the other hand, specialists (Polizzi et al, 2003) lay emphasis on the fact that the cooperation between law enforcement agencies, social and healthcare services, and the community is crucial for the successful integration and rehabilitation of sex offenders and prevention of recidivism.
As a result, it is possible to estimate that the registration and notification will develop stronger bonds between law enforcement and members of the general community with greater contact in educating the public about sex offenders (Freemon-Longo, 2004). The latter is particularly significant because educating the public is a very important factor that can decrease the risk of victimization and sex offenses and cases of recidivism. It should be pointed out that the more the public is informed about sex offenders the lesser is the threat sex offenders represent for the community. Moreover, the education of the public about sex offenders increases the security of members of the communities because they become more aware of the proper behavior, which could secure them and prevent from sexual offenses. This knowledge may protect the public not only from sex offenders they are notified about, but also from potential sex offenders that have never been convicted before.
As for sex offenders, it should be said that the registration and notification may be beneficial for them too, though such benefits are highly arguable. In fact, supporters of registration and notification argue that they are essential conditions of the effective community supervision, which leads to the integration of sex offenders into the community (Lundrigan, 2001). This means that due to notification and registration sex offenders may be accepted by the community and get a chance to find their own place in the normal social life, if their integration occurs effectively. The people awareness of their past and potential threat does not necessarily exclude them from the social life. Even though there life is limited, sex offenders still have a chance to change their behavior and lifestyle and prove their safety for the community. Ideally, the latter should lead to the their inclusion and further integration in the community that is the ultimate goal of supervision programs and this is the most effective way to prevent cases of recidivism among sex offenders.