SMART (Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking) commissioned a research brief based on fallacies, doing its best to dismiss the research that casts doubt on various aspects of the sex offense registries.

This research brief has ignored some of the most compelling research that has come out in the past decade, with one being the 2021 meta-analysis of 25 years of findings in “The Effectiveness of Sex Offender Registration and Notification”, by Kristen M. Zgoba and Meghan M. Mitchell.

This 2021 study  looked at 25 years of Sex Offender Registration and Notification (SORN) evaluations and their effects on recidivism.  Results were looked at from 18 research articles which included 474,640 formerly incarcerated individuals.  This is the first study to ever use a meta-analysis of SORN’s effectiveness on recidivism, combining statistical results of numerous studies into one comprehensive study of SORN.

Some of the conclusions from this 2021 study:

  • SORN policies demonstrate NO effect on recidivism.
  • This finding holds important policy implications given the widespread adoption and growing list of penalties related to SORN.
  • SORN policies may prove to be more harmful than helpful.
  • Resources need to be allocated to focusing only on the high-risk individuals.
  • It is time to make empirically informed decisions, not ones based on emotions.

There are other possibly egregious statements made in the research brief commissioned by SMART.  Is our government deliberately lying to its citizens, or are these simply oversights?  You be the judge.

Thank you, Guy Hamilton-Smith, for keeping the public informed on what our government is doing.


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