Hindrances to successful sex offender re-entry

Compiled by Reform Sex Offender Laws, Inc.



Facilitating successful reentry is always a challenging endeavor, but with sex offenders specifically, several unique dynamics and barriers make the transition even more difficult. For example, myths about sex offenders and victims, inflated recidivism rates, claims that sex offender treatment is ineffective, and highly publicized cases involving predatory offenders fuel negative public sentiment and exacerbate concerns by policymakers and the public alike about the return of sex offenders to local communities. Furthermore, the proliferation of legislation that specifically targets the sex offender population – including longer minimum mandatory sentences for certain sex crimes, expanded registration and community notification policies, and the creation of “sex offender free” zones that restrict residency, employment, or travel within prescribed areas in many communities – can inadvertently but significantly hamper reintegration efforts.

(“Managing the Challenges of Sex Offender Reentry.” Center for Sex Offender Management, U.S. Dept. of Justice, p.1. February, 2007.)




Sex offender policies have been developed and implemented with little discussion about the research by which they should be informed, or the potential unintended consequences for offenders, their families, and communities. These policies enjoy widespread support despite the absence of evidence indicating that they achieve their stated goals (Levenson et al., 2007). As Tewksbury (2004) observed, sex offenders often experience ‘‘collateral consequences that have serious deleterious effects on their social, economic, and physical well-being’’ (p.33). Others have concurred that the social and economic marginalization of criminals, especially sex offenders, contradicts the principles empirically associated with successful community reintegration (Tewksbury, 2004; Uggen et al., 2004, 2006).


Broad notification policies are more likely to undermine the stability of sex offenders than to provide the sweeping protection they intend to achieve. Defiance theory postulates that criminal sanctions produce desistance from crime only when offenders perceive sanctions as fair and when they have strong bonds to their communities (Sherman, 1993). Our sample indicated that Megan’s Law is experienced by sex offenders as unfair and that it disrupts ties to community. As well, they indicated that the law has little deterrence effect. The potential for Megan’s Law to sabotage offender reintegration should therefore be stalwartly considered, as it might render these laws counterproductive and ultimately not in the best interest of public safety.

(Levenson, Jill, et al. “Megan’s Law and its Impact on Community Re-Entry for Sex Offenders.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law, p.599. 2007.)



Community notification, known as “Megan’s Law,” provides the public with information about known sex offenders in an effort to assist parents and potential victims to protect themselves from dangerous predators. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of community notification on the lives of registered sex offenders. Two hundred and thirty-nine sex offenders in Connecticut and Indiana were surveyed. The negative consequences that occurred with the greatest frequency included job loss, threats and harassment, property damage, and suffering of household members. A minority of sex offenders reported housing disruption or physical violence following community notification. The majority experienced psychosocial distress such as depression, shame, and hopelessness. Recommendations are made for community notification policies that rely on empirically derived risk assessment classification systems in order to better inform the public about sex offenders’ danger while minimizing the obstacles that interfere with successful community reintegration.

(Ibid. Abstract. Behav Sci Law. 2007;25(4):587-602.)





someone outside of NARSOL

Written by 

Occasionally we will share articles that have been published elsewhere. This is a common practice as long as only a portion of the piece is shared; a full piece is very occasionally shared with permission. In either case, the author's name and the place of original publication are displayed prominently and with links.

13 Thoughts to “Hindrances to successful sex offender re-entry”

  1. AvatarSusan

    We need to allow judges to rule on a per case bases as they do in other crime situations. Have we really decided that the whole truth doesnt matter and that a life can be tossed aside as trash! My son is a devoted Christian, a musician, a loving person who has been delt a very unfair hand! He is taking it well but had aspirations of writing ,producing music, which he does but feels he will need to , his words, “give it away” because who would want Christian music written by a sexual offender! It was if I had been stabbed in my heart! I, of course, told him YOU ARE NOT, AND NEVER HAVE BEEN A SEXUAL OFFENDER! He was, like most, a normal teen with desires that he had kept in check. ONE WEAKENED MOMENT WITH A YOUNG GIRL, sad story but more mature than my son, who seduced Him. But, “shes the victim.” I know people have lied and things bad things happen but this girl continues, sadly without the love and support she needs. She has even recently seduced an autistic child.!i do not consider her a criminal, she is a victim but NOT OF MY SON!

    1. AvatarJames Thomas

      I am an individual who’s life has been destroyed because of the “amended law” to change one’s tier level on the Department of Public Safety’s sex offender website, based only on one’s past. I disagree with their decision to change me from tier 1, which is where I’ve been for the last 25 years, and move me to tier 2; disclosing all personal information, place of residence and photos. I did have a family before this happened, but after having my life (fiance’ and child) threatened by people I don’t know in the community, I chose to leave my home of 13 years and 10 year old daughter, whom I had full custody of, so she could pursue her singing and acting career, without my past affecting her future. “I am not the person the state assumes I am and never will be!”
      When laws are changed to deliberately continue ruining someone’s life, or the assumption is made that I have become a threat to society, based only on my past, with the assistance of amended laws, it is not only constitutionally offensive, but also highly prejudicial and defamation of my character, ruining the little bit of good reputation I did have left.
      The Fifth Amendment to the U.S.C. states that “no person shall be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
      The Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits state and federal governments from prosecuting individuals for the same crime on more than one occasion, or imposing more than one punishment for a single offense.
      It is clearly stated in the second sentence of our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
      Unalienable rights are fixed rights given to us by our Creator rather than by government. Unalienable rights are absolute rights – showing that they are absolute because they came from him who is absolute, and they were, are, and always will be, because the Giver of those rights – “Creator” – was, is, and always will be.
      Because we are “endowed” with them, the rights are inseparable from us: they are part of our humanity. In other words, the government did not give them and therefore cannot take them away, but the government still strains at ways to suppress them.
      To protect fundamental, individual rights, James Madison helped include the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. The intent was to remove them from government’s reach.
      Unalienable rights, explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights, include “the right to be secure in one’s own property and protection from cruel and unusual punishment.”
      Furthermore, law is a respecter of persons if it treats persons differently because of their immutable status or belief. The law is not a respecter of persons if it treats persons differently on the basis of their acts or conduct. The law looks to what a person does, not who they are. Those who deny the rule of equality or its origins in the law of God, or who argue that equality is subject to changing cultural or social conditions, or who twist the meaning of equality to require government mandated quotas, do so in contravention of the principle of equality.
      Title 18, Section 242 of the U.S.C. makes it a crime [a felony] for “whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to willfully subject any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution of the United States.”
      Referring to the Declaration of Independence, President Abraham Lincoln affirmed that the United States was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ‘all men are created equal’.” Lincoln realized that the rule of equality applied to all men and nations, without regard to the age in which they lived, their location on the globe, or the circumstances of history which surrounded them. Therefore, infringement of my Individual rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are precluded.
      I have paid my debt to society and for the state to enforce this sudden life changing affliction upon me, ruining all chances of ever being employed again or finding suitable residency, it has impaired me completely disabled.

    2. Dear Susan:

      Do not worry there is comfort in the Lord. I myself would not care if the Christian music was written by a sex offender or a murderer. So fear not with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible.

      I to am on the sex registry. Each offense if different but its all lumped up into one category and when no’s about you being on the registry they think the worst., you might as well say you murdered someone, its just a sin.
      Governments are using sex as a weapon with all the law’s they write and than vote on them. They want to keep the sex offender in bondage as he will never be rehabilitated were the , thief or the murderer will be.
      It would appear to me after 5 years or so or after the sentence is over that they would expunge the offense, but our state governments don’t want to give the person that wants to help themselves a second chance.
      Wo to any Government like that when they are just as bad with all there puffed up strong holds on the Children of God or its people.
      The bible says we will have trails and tribulations. We are all accountable and the Governments will be accountable also.
      Susan, it is not only your Son we fight for but all that are under the curse of this Government hijinks. The people in Government don’t know how to forgive they have lost touch with the creator and are worshiping the creature..

    3. AvatarSusan

      J Townsend,
      Thank you so much for your encouraging and Truth filled words! I have many hours looking into laws, writing to gov’t officials, even the President himself! While writing these letters Ikeep feeling that it is on deaf ears. IInterestingly, while the thought is coming in, I find myself adding, BUT GOD! It is apparent to me that no matter what powers in this world try to push us down …He (Our Creator, Our Heavenly Father, WILL HAVE the last word on this subject and all things! Through this entire storm, as difficult as it may be, BUT GOD, he has given my son His Favor! He has made a way where there wasn’t one. He has kept him fed, and sheltered, even when he was told that every home that opened their doors, knowing who my son is, they (govt) said No! The option to stay at home was taken away because he has a younger brother. (This has hurt his brother, (age 8 at the time),as well, they r very close) told he can live on the highway,BUT GOD! The evil in this world coming against Gods children, scoff as they may, WILL KNOW, WILL BOW DOWN, TO HIM,Who will punish those who oppress His creation. My son will be okay regardless of what they say and do! There is a special place for those who throw stones, especially against the children of God! We have ALL sinned and until we recognize how He looks at sin (no distinction)and realize that, He is the judge, the One Who forgives, may He have mercy your souls!

  2. AvatarSusan P.

    My 21-year-old son is currently on probation and on the dreaded SO registry. His offense? As an emotionally immature and lonely 18-year-old, he discovered porn while on a music file sharing site and was seeking out images of women his age when a privately-run sting operation found under age images (11 out of 100’s of legal age women that computer forensics proved he had opened/closed immediately as they were not what he was not interested in); had made their way in the mass download. These were very dated images that law enforcement uses as bait. So while they claim they are ‘protecting’ these girls, they are exploiting them as bait instead. It’s heartbreaking to watch this exceptionally thoughtful, hardworking, and intelligent young man sink into further isolation, despair, fear and financial devastation because we can’t figure out a tiered treatment/punishment for these crimes vs. cast them all in the same net.

    1. AvatarAnna

      Hi Susan,

      I too have a son who had a music sharing file and has been convicted of 3 felonies for attempted sexual exploitation of a minor. He was 22 when charged, was on pretrial for three years, has been sentenced to 1 year county jail and will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. I am appalled how the laws can rob a young man with great opportunities and scar him for life. I have tried to pitch a program to legislators of alternative programs , but they want nothing to do with it. I strongly believe there should be a title of ** sexual misconduct rather than sex offender.
      I share your frustrations and heartaches.

  3. AvatarAntonio

    My wife and I share in your pain. The law must be changed. Please, we would like to know if you can provide the names of the best lawyers in our country who handle cases similar to yours.

  4. AvatarRon

    It has been a long and winding road for me. True as it may stand I did commit a crime with an older women than me. I paid my dues in prison. Never, not once, did I get in trouble in the 8 years I was there. If I had a choice, I’d rather be back there. I’ve been out 27 years. Never in trouble, not once. I have done all they’ve asked me to do, but it seems every year a new law is added and more restrictions are added. Now, here in San Antonio, a law just took effect 3-1-2014. It says I am not allowed in any city park. WOW!!! It’s crazy. I held a job for 15 years by lying, saying I did not have one. But once they found out and contacted my employer, I was fired the next day . I hurt every day for what I have done. There is not a night that I don’t pay for here and the wrong that I did. I am haunted by it. People don’t understand. We do have feelings and are humans. Let him who has not sin throw the first stone!

    1. AvatarCalvin J S

      Hey man I know your pain, I never did the crime. I bet you herd this many times being in. I have proof that I did’nt do it. But when it comes to this style of crime your world is over. You need to keep your head high and keep living. the courts, law inforcement, needs to be reformated. D.A. tell our judges what to do. Lawyers making deals for cases for other cases. What I was told here in Maine by the M.S.O.R.N. that no judge can change the laws. I spoke to a judge that retired, he stated that a judge is the law. he can change the law to fit any crime. Thats why he retired. D.A.s started telling him how it will be. Someone needs to step up to make it fair for everyone. If you make a list for one crime then do it for every crime. Sex crimes are a small % of crimes. You need to work with your State reps to make changes. Also you need to be up front with the employers.

  5. AvatarCalvin J S

    Yesterday at 10:50 PM
    Death of inmate at Maine State Prison ruled a homicide
    Micah Boland, 37, was stabbed to death, apparently by another inmate, state police say.

    An inmate found dead Friday afternoon at the Maine State Prison in Warren was stabbed to death by another inmate, according to a Maine State Police spokesman.

    Micah Boland, 37.

    A person familiar with the investigation told the Maine Sunday Telegram that Micah Boland, 37, was assaulted in his cell Friday afternoon by another inmate, knocked out, tied up and then stabbed dozens of times with two makeshift knives. The source declined to be identified because the person was not authorized to provide information about the investigation.
    Boland, who had served six years of a 22-year sentence for gross sexual assault of a 4-year-old girl in 2007, died about 4:40 p.m. Friday. State police spokesman Stephen McCausland said detectives believe that the inmate responsible for his death is Richard Stahursky, 35.
    McCausland said the state Medical Examiner’s Office, after an autopsy Saturday, “determined (that) Boland died from multiple stab wounds” and his death was ruled a homicide.
    McCausland said he didn’t have much information about Stahursky available Saturday night, but that the inmate was “serving multiple sentences for a number of convictions,” including some for violent crimes.
    McCausland said police aren’t releasing many of the details about the case, including where in the prison it took place. He said state police will consult with the Maine Attorney General’s Office and expect that Stahursky will be formally charged with murder this week.
    Stahursky was still being held at the state prison Saturday night, McCausland said.
    Boland’s killing was the second allegedly committed by another inmate at the Maine State Prison since June. Alan Powell Jr., who was serving a 22-year-sentence for murder, was allegedly beaten to death by Guy Hunnewell, another convicted murderer, in the prison’s exercise yard on June 25.
    Jody Breton, the associate commissioner of corrections, said Saturday night the department will review Boland’s killing to see if there was anything that could have been done to prevent it and whether any policies or procedures should be changed. She said the review is standard procedure in the case of a prison murder or other serious incident.
    Inmates were not required to be in their cells at the time the killing took place late Friday afternoon, she said. Inmates eat in staggered groups during that time and most were either on their way to, at, or returning from dinner, she said.
    She said inmates are in their cells with their doors locked by 9 p.m.
    Breton also said video surveillance inside the prison covers most common areas. However, only a few cells, primarily those of inmates considered to be at risk of hurting themselves, are monitored by cameras, she said.
    Breton also said that counselors were at the prison Saturday to talk to corrections officers or prisoners who might be upset by the killing.
    Jim Mackie, an official with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who represents state prison guards, said his members are worried about what he said was increasingly common violence in the state’s prisons.
    Mackie said corrections officers told him Stahursky “has a history” of being violent, including “a fairly recent history” of attacking other inmates.
    But he said state prison officials have ignored corrections officers’ requests to put the more violent prisoners in “special management units” where they are monitored more closely.
    “There seems to be an escalation in violence … (and) it’s a very, very short jump from inmate-on-inmate (violence) to inmate-on-CO (corrections officer)” violence, Mackie said.
    Staffing has been cut and vacancies caused by corrections officers quitting or being fired have not been filled, Mackie said. He said even corrections officers at the state’s juvenile facilities report that they are being assaulted more often.

    He was found on the MSNOR, But removed the same day as his death. This makes 10 men killed over the last 9 years.

  6. AvatarCalvin J S

    To whom it may concern I’m not really sure how this should affect everybody with the type of crime I have but all I see is Internet child porn, but I see nothing about the other style sex offenses that are out there. but it doesn’t matter if a person does the crime or not, it’s the factor of you could be maimed by somebody pointing a finger at you once that happens nothing you can do about it your life is gone.

    Like my case my ex-wife does fossil abuse against me,because she was convicted of spousal abuse against me she told a friend and that friend decided to tell her daughter to say that I molested her. In the paperwork I have shows that this victim stated that I raped a13-year-old girl, a 14-year-old girl, and a 15-year-old girl. She also states that her mother told her that her great-grandmother was molestedher, grandmother her mommy was molested and now the daughter was molested. So I had to find a lawyer, which I had to pay over five grand to Repicesent me in court. The point of me trying to go to trial like I wanted to go to trial, and if that would be the case, then he asked for more money which I did not have, his comments were I am not a bank if you do not have the money, you will half to plead to a Nolo guilty charge. I have done all of my time, probation over with from 2009 until today. I have not worked. No company or business will hire me due to the fact of being on the Maine sex offender registry as we call it sonar.

    On September 9 2003. I basically had to plead the no-lo plea, the judge gave me 10 years not life. There was an amendment done on October 2 2003 that put me to life. The A.D. changed it to life with out me knowing. The paperwork was the same as it was on September 9 2003. But they just used white out over the check box for 10 years. Then checked life time. In the court transcripts from that judge stated, he will be on the registry for 10 years not life. I have those transcripts I have the original court documents that states 10 years, I also have the amended paperwork that states life. I tried to reopen my case while I was on probation, probation fought me, the probation officers threatened me, by telling me that if I did not stop they would place me back in prison with more time. Now everything is over. I can not find work as I stated in this letter.

    The Adam Walsh law in Maine, is stopping people with sex crimes from work. 99% of big business or small business will not hire people with this crime. Jobs like construction jobs and so on. 99% of work would be in peoples homes or big business. Any business with insurance will not take the risk, even under a bond of insurance.

    They feel it is too high of a risk. I have filled out over 100 apps for jobs, and I get told this, as many others people may have. No business likes the idea of being on a list linked of workers who are on a website list linked to these crimes.

    I tryed to start a small wood shop business, by making wood bird houses, and other things to a local hardware store. The owner agreed to help me to sell them. A few weeks later I called him to see how they are being sold. He told me that a few of his employees felt uncomfortable with my things in their store, and knowing I was on the Maine sex offender registry. This is why he pulled them off. I had to go in and get the bird houses. By law I do not need to tell anyone I am a offender on the registry.

    If I had employment with the hardware, then he had to know! But business to business I do not have to inform anyone. So I try’ed to sell to other business in the Bath, Brunswick area, and was told that they could not take the risk. They also told me that they where informed by the employer, employees of the hardware store put the info out.

    It destroyed the start of my business. I tryed to go to fairs. But the laws stop me for going to them. No one with a sex crime can not go to parks, farmer markets, and so on. So what do I do. I could be like other men who just can not take it, give up and comment more crimes and go back to prison? But that is not me at all. Live off others? No it hurts to do that. So something needs to be done. I think when the Adam Walsh law was formed and passed in the U.S. Congress and house no one though about what the list would do. Everyone has a right to work, Even if they pay the time on crimes they may do or not.

    I know with my name, city, address, date of birth, then ask for more info of paper work gives my ssn. In 2010, 2011, 2012. 2013 I have not worked at all. Someone got my info from the MSORA. Applyed for Federal incometax. for the last 3 years. The IRS also told me that 2 other checks where a little more but they could not tell me how much.

    I spoke to someone on the MSORA and I was told that for my info the only one that can remove my ssn and other info is a judge. even put it back to 10 years.

    1. AvatarBOB

      I know what ur going thru. Samething in Pennsylvania. Filled out over 200 applications for jobs and no one will hire me cause of the sex offender registration. I too started a woodworking business. I was told by the parole that its not a job. Even if I had all the license for it. I had just got laid off from a job. I am on the search again for a job. Cause parole requirements is employment. I would fill out the application and wait awhile and call in for the status. They would position is filled or were not interested. The position isnt filled cause of the ad is still in the paper. We get discriminated so much. What makes our crime so much worse than someone who has murder charges or drug charges. IT DOESNT. We are all the same and the discrimation needs to stop. No one wants to help and we are alone with this matter. I am currently taking meds for my anxierty and depression. Which I didnt have before I went into jail. The stress is intense. I dont go any where and stay at the house most of the time cause of people talking.. Government doesnt look at the big picture only if includes money in there pocket. Only thing I can say is we need to stand together and let the government know. Get our voice out there to the public. Instead of tweeting it on here or posting on facebook. Public doesnt see that.

  7. AvatarIgnoranr of age law we cant help our youth nerds rrform

    sad to hear so much labeling SO and our youth or young offenders,update laws with internet,rntrapmwrnt,mistakes,whrwn is a person allowed to be set free for making a mistake they aren’t,and instead people run for office and to get noticed they use srx offenders as a reason to get votes saying nerd to tighten more Laws,bullcrap I say,let’s allow method dralrts out early Obama said its not serious offense,and I say b.s. they get released move anywhere get to live with family and let go early,?..What? Sad world we live in,unless we work to help changed laws because of internet problems and lies and bugs in the system,we havwr to pass laws reducing sentntences to counteract the ones they maker,anyonwr up for that,well we better start with ignorance of age law in fla. It should be amwrnded to say if theory admitting lie then its a misdemeanor not a felony for life.Hear ye hear ye speak up and write governor’s.

Comments are closed.