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Public perceptions toward community management policies for individuals convicted of sexual offenses: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sánchez de Ribera, Olga, Christensen, Larissa S., Trajtenberg, Nicolás and Hudson, Kirsty ORCID: 2023. Public perceptions toward community management policies for individuals convicted of sexual offenses: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, and Abuse 25 (2) , pp. 1248-1264. 10.1177/15248380231174695

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Community management policies for individuals convicted of sexual offenses (ICSO) are controversial, mainly because the effectiveness of these policies in reducing recidivism is limited and appear to have some collateral effects. Despite this, the current meta-analysis found the public highly support these policies. Studies examining public perceptions regarding community management policies for ICSO to understand levels of support, misconceptions about the policies, and factors affecting the views of the public were reviewed. After searching 7 electronic databases, 43 studies, both quantitative and qualitative, were included in the systematic review and 31 in the meta-analysis. Studies could be longitudinal or cross-sectional, needed to include public attitudes, opinions, and perceptions about ICSO community management policies and could include standardized or non-standardized measures, indirect assessments of attitudes, along with interviews and focus groups. Results suggest that overall, policies were supported by 76% of the public, 61% believed in their effectiveness, and 63% felt safer because of the policies. However, only 36% accessed the registry, 38% took preventive actions, and 40% were aware/concerned about the collateral consequences. All analyses yielded high levels of heterogeneity. Misconceptions about policies and ICSO were moderate. Finally, 36 studies explored factors that affected the public’s attitudes and perceptions of policies with a variety of significant associations and predictors. The findings provide comprehensive evidence that while these policies are supported by the public, the public have less belief in the effectiveness of them in protecting children and reducing recidivism. Implications for public policy and future research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Start Date: 2023-05-18
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1524-8380
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 March 2024
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 10:45

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