But the high recidivism rates I assumed to be true do not exist.
In addition, sex offender laws are predicated on the widespread assumption that most people convicted of sex offenses will continue to commit such crimes if given the opportunity.
Some politicians cite recidivism rates for sex offenders that are as high as 80-90 percent.
Given these faulty underpinnings, it is not surprising that there is little evidence that the laws have in fact reduced the threat of sexual abuse to children or others.
Sex offender laws are based on preventing the horrific crimes that inspired them-but the abduction, rape, and murder of a child by a stranger who is a previously convicted sex offender is a rare event.
Advocates for residency restrictions believe they will limit offenders' access to children and their temptation or ability to commit new crimes.