Sex Offender Community Notification (Megan's Laws)

Sexual assault is a serious social problem of great concern. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 100,000 cases of child sexual abuse are substantiated each year. In addition, according to the 2005 National Crime Victimization survey, there were nearly 192,000 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. In an effort to prevent sex crimes, community notification laws (also known as Megan's Laws) allow information about convicted sex offenders to be disseminated to the public. Distribution of this information occurs through various means, including Internet registries, community meetings, media announcements, and distribution of flyers. The goal of community notification is to prevent sexual assault by warning potential victims that a convicted sex offender lives in the vicinity. Thus far, ...

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