Montana RSOL

Empowering Communities By Providing Sex Offender Facts vs. Myths

NO More Victims; Get the Facts!


Montana Reform Sex Offender Laws: Advocating by Educating

Sexual Offender Facts


Studies and Reports

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Sex Offender Residence Restrictions

By Jill S. Levenson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Human Services

Lynn University

3601 N. Military Trail

Boca Raton, FL 33431



Sex offender residence restrictions. Sex Offender Law Report. Civil Research Institute. Residence restrictions Sexual violence is a serious social problem and policy-makers continue to wrestle with how to best address the publics concerns about sex offenders. Recent initiatives have included social policies that are designed to prevent sexual abuse by restricting where convicted sex offenders can live, often called “sex offender zoning laws,” or “exclusionary zones.” As these social policies become more popular, lawmakers and citizens should question whether such policies are evidence-based in their development and implementation, and whether such policies are cost-efficient and effective in reaching their stated goals.


Justice Policy Institute

Testimony by Nastassia Walsh

Justice Policy Institute,



To the Council of the District of Columbia, Judiciary Committee Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. John A. Wilson Building, Council Chamber 31350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004 On Bill 19-255, Sex Offender Registration Amendment Act


Sentences that Fit - Justice that Works

FAMM: An Introduction to Child Pornography Sentencing


Studies on Federal Child Porn Offenders – Debunking the Myths

Melissa Hamilton, JD; PhD University of Houston Law Center (2012-13)

National Seminar for Federal Defenders

Atlanta, Georgia

May 31, 2012


Registering Harm - How Sex Offense Registries Fail Youth and Community

Justice Policy Institute Report


Collateral Damage, Family Members of Registered Sex Offenders

Jill Levenson


National Juvenile Justice Network Policy Platform Sex Offender Registration and Notification Laws, July 2012



From Peer-To-Peer Networks To Cloud Computing: How Technology Is Redefining
Child Pornography Laws

Audrey Rogers



Child pornography circulating in cyberspace has ballooned into the millions. To punish this flood, the law must accurately delineate culpable conduct. Technology such as peer-to-peer networks has erased the divisions among traders of child pornography, and, therefore, the differentials in punishment have lost their underpinnings. The current sentencing controversy surrounding child pornographers is merely the tip of the iceberg of the larger need to revamp the offenses themselves.

This paper provides a framework for a normative critique of the offenses and their sentences. It suggests the law could better reflect technology by comporting with a refined harm rationale that rests on the fundamental injury to the victim’s dignity and privacy. Drawing on comparisons to diverse laws such as the Geneva Convention’s ban on photographs of prisoners of war, this paper states all traders in child pornography violate the rights of the children depicted and therefore inflict harm, albeit at different levels. Accordingly, the paper proposes three categories: producers, traders, and seekers of child pornography with base sentences varying accordingly. Starting at the same base level, the Sentencing Commission could then propose enhancements or departures to distinguish among the traders and their individual culpability.


Disentangling Child Pornography
From Child Sex Abuse

Carissa Byrne Hessick

88 WASH U. L. REV. (forthcoming 2010)



Recent years have seen a significant increase in the criminal penalties associated with possession of child pornography. The new severity appears to be premised on arguments that blur the distinction between those who possess images of child pornography and those who sexually abuse children. In particular, sentences have been increased based on arguments that possession of pornography is equivalent to or worse than child sex abuse, arguments that viewing child pornography increases the risk that an individual will sexually abuse a child, and arguments that those who possess child pornography are abusing children undetected. This Article identifies instances where possession of child pornography and child sex abuse have been conflated, critically evaluates the arguments that promote such conflation, and identifies independent concerns with conflation. Specifically, it argues that blurring the distinction between the two crimes allows us to continue to misperceive child sex abuse as a stranger-danger issue, and that when law enforcement statistics aggregate possession and child sex abuse, then the public may be misled into believing that law enforcement is successfully battling child sex abuse, when that is not the case. The Article concludes that the modern trend of increasing sentences for possession of child pornography ought to be reviewed, and it suggests several possible areas of reform.


Preventing Sex-Offender Recidivism Through Therapeutic Jurisprudence Approaches and Specialized Community Integration

Adjunct Prof. Heather Cucolo

New York Law School


Prof. Michael L. Perlin

Director, International Mental Disability Law Reform Project

Director, Online Mental Disability Law Program

New York Law School



The publics panic about the fear of recidivism if adjudicated sex offenders are ever to be released to the community has not subsided, despite the growing amount of information and statistically-reliable data signifying a generally low risk of re-offense. The established case law upholding sex offender civil commitment and containment statutes has rejected challenges of unconstitutionality, and continues to be dominated by punitive undertones. We have come to learn that the tools used to assess offenders for risk and civil commitment still have indeterminate accuracy, and that the availability of meaningful treatment for this population remains uncertain in its availability and debatable as to its effectiveness. Yet, society continues to clamor for legislation confining this cohort of offenders for “treatment,” and, ostensibly, protection of the community, and legislatures respond quickly to these calls. This “reform legislation” often includes strict and demeaning post-release restrictions that track offenders and curb their integration into society. These “reforms” continue to show no benefit either to the public or to the individual offender. The absence of meaningful and effective treatment during confinement, combined with inhumane conditions upon release, make it far less likely that this cohort of individuals will ever become productive members of society. Only through therapeutic jurisprudence, a focus on rehabilitation, and a dedication to authentically treating individuals who have committed sexual offenses with humanity, will it be possible to reduce recidivism and foster successful community reintegration.


A Method for Careful Study: A Proposal for Reforming the Child Pornography Guidelines

Author(s): Troy Stabenow

Reviewed work(s):

Source: Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 24, No. 2, Federal Child Pornography Sentencing(December 2011), pp. 108-136Published by: University of California Press on behalf of the Vera Institute of JusticeStable URL:

Accessed: 27/01/2012



The U.S. Sentencing Commission is reportedly nearing release of a much-anticipated report to Congress assessing the validity of § 2G2.2 as a sentencing tool. A consensus for considering reform exists. What remains uncertain is what sort of changes might be coming, and by what process they may occur. In order to merit deference and compliance, any changes to § 2G2.2 would need to reflect relevant and validated scientific data yet also account for common practical experiences. In this article, the author, an assistant federal public defender, proposes a specific framework for how the Sentencing Commission might reform § 2G2.2 to better reflect science and common experience. The proposal draws on the author's experiences prosecuting, defending, and consulting on these cases over the last twelve years, as well as analysis and discussion of available scientific studies and statistics.


Developing a Restorative Justice Framework for Sexual Offenses: Victim Empowerment, Community Protection & Offender Accountability

Author(s): Gabriel P. Green-Mitchell


No Easy Answers: Sex Offender Laws in the US

Human Rights Watch

This 146-page report is the first comprehensive study of US sex offender policies, their public safety impact, and the effect they have on former offenders and their families.


The Impact of Residency Restrictions on Sex Offenders and Correctional Management Practices

Marcus Nieto and Professor David Jung

California Research Bureau


The Adam Walsh Act: Un-Civil Commitment

Emily Barker

Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2009

Congress enacted the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 ("the Adam Walsh Act") with the aim of "protect[ing] children from sexual exploitation and violent crime." Among other measures, the Act creates a National Sex Offender Registry, establishes a post-conviction civil commitment scheme, increases punishments for a variety of federal crimes against children, and strengthens existing child pornography prohibitions. The scope of this note is limited to an analysis of the commitment portion of the Act ("Commitment Provision"). This provision authorizes the federal government to civilly commit, in a federal facility, any "sexually dangerous" person "in the custody" of the Bureau of Prisons - even after that person has completed his entire prison sentence.


The Adam Walsh Act: The Scarlet Letter of the Twenty-First Century

Lara Greer Farley

Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 47, 2008

Reforming sex offender laws will not be easy. At a time when national polls indicate that Americans fear sex offenders more than terrorists, legislators will have to show they have the intelligence and courage to create a society that is safe yet still protects the human rights of everyone.

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