Sex Offenses and Offenders: Final Project Guidelines
The final project provides students with the opportunity to examine a range of dimensions of sex offender management and policy. While the project should draw from material covered throughout the semester, it is intended to emphasize the material from the second half of the course. Projects are due by Wednesday, August 25th .


This option is a relatively straightforward research paper, addressing issues that we will discuss during the final week of class. If selecting this option, you are to select TWO of the following issues noted below, and to complete a 4-5 page review of EACH issue (total paper length should be between 9-12 pages).

ISSUE #1 a RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS: The first issue pertains to the growing movement of states and localities to impose residency restrictions on previously convicted sex offenders, and the potential consequences (both intended and unintended) of these restrictions. For any of you who have been following the blogs that I recommended at the beginning of this semester, it should be clear that this has emerged as one of the most hotly debated topics in the field, with proponents saying that it is an effective means of getting tough on sex offenders and a growing chorus of opponents (including many in law enforcement) suggesting that the restrictions may in fact sacrifice public safety. Your analysis should carefully evaluate both sides of this issue and present your perspective based on available evidence.

ISSUE #2 a ELECTRONIC MONITORING: The second issue that you may choose to research involves the use of electronic monitoring for sex offenders. This emerging area of practice involves the use of GPS and related technologies to track previously convicted sex offenders in the community. Questions you should address include: What is the current state of the art with this technology? How is it used in the context of community supervision? What is the conceptual rationale for using it? What are some of the legal issues surrounding its use? From a law enforcement perspective, what are some of the practical issues and problems associated with its use? What is the evidence regarding its reliability and (more importantly) its effectiveness in reducing re-offense?
ISSUE #3 a CIVIL COMMITMENT OF SEXUAL PREDATORS: The third potential issue that you may examine involves the civil commitment of individuals designated as sexually violent predators (SVPs) or sexually dangerous persons (SDPs). Since the early 1990s, 20 states and the federal government have passed laws permitting civil commitment, which effectively utilize the mental health system as a means of keeping designated SVPs indefinitely confined beyond their prison sentence. Questions to be addressed include: What are the arguments for and against civil commitment as a sex offender management strategy? What are some of the challenges (legal, clinical, operational, financial) associated with implementing these laws? What types of system failures are these laws designed to address? Do you think there is a better way to address these issues? Why do you think that the majority of states have NOT adopted these laws?

II. Project Guidelines
Students should submit a brief summary of their proposed paper topic to me (e-mail is fine) no later than Friday, July 16th (although itas best not to wait until that date -the sooner you get it in, the sooner you will get the green light). If choosing Option #1, you should let me know which of the two topics you plan to address; if choosing Option #2, you should provide a brief description of the program you plan to review, as well as your plan for gathering program information.
Part of the purpose of this project is to provide students with a more comprehensive, diversified view of sex offender management and policies.

a? The project should be in Microsoft word.

a? 11 pages long, excluding the reference page (s)

a? Must list references.

Final papers are due, August 25th at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time.