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Knowledge as PowerCriminal Registration and Community Notification Laws in America$
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Wayne A. Logan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804757102

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804757102.001.0001

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Prospects for the Future

Prospects for the Future

(p.165) 7 Prospects for the Future
Knowledge as Power
Stanford University Press

This chapter considers the likely future evolution of registration and notification. Given the considerable resources required to operate the laws, and the increasing sense that they are either ineffective or even counterproductive, one would expect to soon witness either their sharp limitation or demise. For a variety of reasons, however, neither outcome is likely. Backing limitation or abolition of the laws would carry the political risk of appearing weak on crime or, worse yet, mounting a personal assault on the legacies of victims after whom laws have been named. Similarly, the critical research findings amassed to date, and any published in the future, can be expected to be rebuffed by the intuitive certitude that has always insulated the laws from question, or the common refrain that the laws are justified “if one child is saved.” The central role registration and notification have come to play in the modern corrections system also make retrenchment even less likely. Along with global positioning system (GPS) technology and similar strategies, they promise community and information-based public safety, at substantial cost savings relative to prison or jail.

Keywords:   registration laws, community notification laws, public safety, crime

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