Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Dr. David N. DiBari


Federal and State law in a northeastern US state requires all adjudicated sex offenders to register on the state's sex offender registry (SOR) for the purpose of protecting the citizens of the state from predatory sex offenders and reducing sexual recidivism. This study tests the assumption, based on deterrence theory, that registration on the SOR is necessary as a deterrent to future sexual offending by sex offenders. Data from the Maryland Sex Offender Registry in two counties in a northeastern US state pertaining to a total of 1,985 registered sex offenders were analyzed to see geographic differences of offender, and state sexual crime data over a 24 year period from 1991-2016 was analyzed using multiple regression. Independent variables included completeness of information on the MSOR registry profile; recidivism, re-arrest rates, and violence against women were the dependent variables. The analysis revealed that offenders in Baltimore County the more rural part were more likely to provide not valid addresses or addresses that are out of compliance with state and federal regulations for the SOR. Analysis also revealed that there was statistical significance in the recidivism rates of sex offenders in Maryland after the implementation of the Sex Offender Registry. This supports previous published research findings that SOR registration has no deterrent effect on recidivism. Implications for positive social changes include reducing the number of false positives, improving the quality of life for sex offenders, better allocation of public resources, and increased safety for citizens through better assessment of risk factors.