Recently, an article that I wrote with Ryan Shields, PhD, my colleague at the Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, along with Andrew Harris, PhD, and Scott Walfield from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, was published in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.
The article, “Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Sex Offender Registration and Notification: Results from a Survey of Treatment Providers,” examines treatment providers’ perceptions of the consequences that result from including youth on sex offender registries. There were five key areas where we believed consequences might occur: mental health, harassment, school problems, living instability and risk of re-offending.
Three important themes emerged: 1) treatment providers overwhelmingly believe there are negative consequences associated with youth being registered, 2) the negative effects were associated more with notification than registration, which supports earlier studies that found public shaming increases the stigma of sexual offending and leads to depression, stress and isolation, and 3) providers’ negative perceptions were not influenced by their demographics, education level, etc., suggesting that concern about the potential harm of registering youth is prevalent.
To read the article in full, please visit the Sage Publications website.