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New Study: Tier 1 More Dangerous than Tier 3

July 30, 2009

Freeman, Naomi J. and Sadler, Jeffrey C. (2009). The Adam Walsh Act:
A False Sense of Security or an Effective Public Policy?
Criminal Justice Policy Review, Online First. Sage (subscription required)
Publications, 10.1177/0887403409338565.

Excerpt:
“With the enactment of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA), states are required to standardize their registration and community notification practices by categorizing sex offenders into
three-tier levels in the interest of increasing public safety. No empirical research, however, has investigated whether implementation of the AWA is likely to increase public safety. Using a sample of registered sex offenders in New York State, the current study examined the effectiveness of the Adam Walsh-tier system to classify offenders by likelihood of recidivism. Results indicated that the AWA falls short of increasing public safety. In fact, registered sex offenders classified by AWA as Tier 1 (lowest risk) were rearrested for both nonsexual and sexual offenses more than sex offenders in Tier 2 (moderate risk) or Tier 3 (highest risk).”

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