Here’s an interesting report from the National Institute of Justice. The writers find that SOR has little effect on the rate or recidivism of sex offenders in New Jersey. They reference, The New Jersey study report Megan’s Law: Assessing the Practical and Monetary Efficacy is available at: http://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/225370.pdf.
Sex offense rates in New Jersey have been on a consistent downward trend since 1985. During this period, rearrests for violent crime (whether sex crimes or not) also decreased. When the researchers examined the decline in each county and then examined the state as a whole, the resulting statistical analysis showed that the greatest rate of decline for sex offending occurred prior to 1994 and the least rate of decline occurred after 1995. Hence the data show that the greatest rate of decline in sex offending occurred prior to the passage and implementation of Megan’s Law.
Megan’s Law did not reduce the number of rearrests for sex offenses, nor did it have any demonstrable effect on the time between when sex offenders were released from prison and the time they were rearrested for any new offense, such as a drug, theft or sex offense.
It appears the money is not well spent?
Estimates of the cost show that New Jersey spent $555,565 to implement the law in 1995. In 2006, the estimated cost of implementing the law was approximately $3.9 million, based on data received from 15 of New Jersey’s 21 counties.