This book seeks to track the origins of sex offender registers, their purpose and the law and policy that underpins them in various parts of the world.
Sex offender registers are not really registers at all but a set of ‘legal requirements’ that fall automatically on a person convicted or cautioned for a designated sexual offence; the term ‘register’ is a form of shorthand for these requirements, designed to be a contribution to greater public protection and community safety.
This book provides the first serious and detailed narrative of the conception and implementation of the sex offender registers. It seeks to do so in a clear and easy-to-follow text that will be both informed and critical and will also serve as a resource book for those wanting to make further study of the process of registration and monitoring.
It looks in detail at the practice of implementing registers and considers questions about their effectiveness in monitoring sex offenders and the implications of someone being on a sex offender register. The book examines the legal challenges to registers and monitoring and the position of registrants in the context of human rights and seeks to place registers and monitoring in the wider context of what is being called the surveillance society.
The Registration and Monitoring of Sex Offenders will be key reading for students of criminology and criminal justice, surveillance and human rights and practitioners in criminal justice fields of policing, probation, social work, children’s services, the judiciary, prison work and others.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Registers – a source of ‘Tyranny and Intimidation’? 3. Twentieth Century Registration of the Deviant, the Dangerous and the Offender 4. Sex offender registers in the United States of America 5. The UK sex offender register 6. Registers around the World 7. Sex Offender Registers in Progress and Cross Border Monitoring 8. Community Notification and Residence Restrictions 9. Making Sense of Sex Offender Registers 10. Conclusions
Terry Thomas is Professor of Criminal Justice Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University, and has been a long-term observer and commentator on matters relating to sex offender registration and monitoring.
'This is a timely and important book, written by a pre-eminent scholar in the field. Terry Thomas not only achieves the remarkable feat of placing sex offender registration within an historical context, but he also provides a significant global comparison of registration and its impact. This global ‘creep’ of registration and the plethora of protective measures applied to sexual offenders is analysed with a critical eye, supported with detailed evidence and an in-depth knowledge of the policy and practice context. The evidence for the efficacy of registration and protective measures is robustly tested, and the ethical and human rights perspective is an important antidote to the prevailing discourse of restriction and exclusion. The book is well written, accessible and provides an authoritative voice on the role of sexual offender registers and their contribution to public protection.' – Hazel Kemshall, Professor of Community and Criminal Justice, De Montfort University, Leicester, England
'The Registration and Monitoring of Sex Offenders provides an authoritative and comprehensive account of the management of sexual offenders on both sides of the Atlantic. As befits a text from Britain’s leading writer on the complex regulatory web now surrounding our obsession with these offenders, it is illuminating and scholarly.' – Bill Hebenton, Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Manchester