Saturday, January 22, 2011

Topic: Family Issues

Family Issues - Collateral Damage/Harm

Here we need to start with a solid list of problems families are having today, then seek to find ways to handle those problems. We are seeking the help of Advocates as well as former offenders and family members.

As a starting point we are using two studies, one by Dr. Jill Levenson and the other by Richard Tewksbury, which have already documented some family issues.

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  • Family Member Lost Employment: A family member lost their employment due to their relationahip to a registered sex offender. This caused further financial hardship. Possible Resolution and/or Thoughts: CLICK
  • Family Forced to Move from Rented Place: Entire family was forced to move (sometimes often) because one family member was registered; again causing additional financial hardship. Possible Resolution and/or Thoughts: CLICK
  • Family Forced to Move from Home Which Was Owned: Entire family was forced to move (sometimes often) because one family member was registered. Possible Resolution and/or Thoughts: It is very likely this forced move was illegal: CLICK

Studies Which Have Documented Harm

Collateral Damage: Family Members of Registered Sex Offenders

The purpose of this study was to better understand the impact of sex offender registration and notification laws on the family members of registered sex offenders (RSO). An online survey was utilized to collect data from 584 family members across the U.S. Employment problems experienced by the RSO, and subsequent financial hardships, emerged as the most pressing issue identified by family members. The likelihood of housing disruption was correlated with residential restriction laws; larger buffer distances led to increased frequencies of housing crisis. Family members living with an RSO were more likely to experience threats and harassment by neighbors. Children of RSOs reportedly experienced adverse consequences including stigmatization and differential treatment by teachers and classmates. More than half had experienced ridicule, teasing, depression, anxiety, fear, or anger. Unintended consequences can impact family members’ ability to support RSOs in their efforts to avoid recidivism and successfully reintegrate. Implications for criminal justice policy and practice are discussed. ..Source.. by Levenson, J. S., & Tewksbury, R. (2009). Collateral damage: Family members of registered sex
offenders. American Journal of Criminal Justice.

Collateral Consequences of Sex Offender Registration

Sex offender registration was widely implemented in the 1990s as a means of enhancing community awareness of sex offenders to promote community safety. This study is one of the first examinations of the collateral consequences of sex offender registration from the perspective of the offender. Drawing on data from 121 registered sex offenders in Kentucky, this research shows that social stigmatization, loss of relationships, employment, and housing, and both verbal and physical assaults are experienced by a significant minority of registered sex offenders. ..Source.. by Richard Tewksbury, University of Louisville

For now, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
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