Date Approved

12-4-2018

Embargo Period

12-5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Criminal Justice

Department

Law and Justice Studies

College

College of Humanities & Social Sciences

First Advisor

Schell-Busey, Natalie

Second Advisor

Foglia, Wanda

Third Advisor

Saum, Christine

Subject(s)

Sex offenders--New Jersey

Disciplines

Criminology and Criminal Justice

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify supports and whether supports perceived as helpful lessen negative experiences with job difficulty, housing difficulty, vigilantism, and isolation. Additionally, registrants' perceptions of hopelessness and sex offender registration and community notification laws (SORN) as a public safety measure were examined to determine whether more helpful supports positively impacted their attitudes. Another aspect of this study explored differences with males and females since females have rarely been examined. Narratives were compiled to further describe offender experiences and perceptions. This study used a survey to collect data on sex offenders, including offender demographics and victim characteristics. Regression analyses illustrated that registrants found that individual counseling and religious support (therapy support) lowered the likelihood of vigilantism and living alone while more helpful supports lessened feelings of isolation and hopelessness, but perceptions of SORN as a public safety measure were not significant. These findings indicated that negative experiences may leave sex offenders feeling ostracized and isolated, as a result creating additional barriers to reintegration.

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