With the implementation of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) in 2006 by the U.S. Congress, and the Title 1 component within that Act, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), came restrictions for all sex offenders. Some of the restrictions are mandatory registration, public notification, residency restrictions, employment restrictions, civil commitment and the use of GPS location devices (AWA, 2006). Research has demonstrated the personal collateral damage and rejection these measures bring to the offenders’ family members (Naser, 2006).
Family members go through many tribulations when the head of the household is arrested, which may ...view middle of the document...
2. Brannon et.al (2007) compared the differing attitudes and perceptions of sex offenders and individuals within the community as to the effects of registration and notification of the public.
3. Tewksbury and Copes (2013) identifies the lack of awareness sex offenders have prior to release of the restrictiveness and difficulties the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) may have on their future.
4. Socia (2011) analyzes at how residence restrictions limits opportunities for sex offenders which has a collateral effect on the family.
5. Willis, Malinen, and Johnston (2012) studies the differences in people’s attitudes towards the re-entry of sex offenders based on demographics which has an enormous impact on the family members.
This study looks through the theoretical lens of the Sense of Community Theory which McMillan and Chavis (1986) explains the more accepted an individual feels in the community, the greater conformity to society’s standards. If an individual does not feel a part of the community, there is a greater chance of them exhibiting unacceptable behavior, and in the case of a sex offender, reoffending or resorting to other criminal behavior.
1. What was your life like when your husband/wife/parent/partner was arrested for the sex offence?
2. What expectations did you have while your husband was incarcerated and you were waiting for their release?
3. What has your life been like since your husband/wife/parent/partner was released?
4. How have the restrictions and conditions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act affected you and your children?
5. How did your community react when they found out your significant other was a sex offender?
Nature of the Study
This qualitative study takes a phenomenological approach using long in depth interviews where the participants can describe experiences they have lived. The research questions will be used to dig deeper into the memory of the family members as they recount what they have...