Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geography (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Geosciences

Advisor

Thomas R. Paradise

Committee Member

Jason A. Tullis

Second Committee Member

Grant Drawve

Keywords

sex offender, spatial distribution, social disorganization, social control, residence restrictions, Pulaski County, Arkansas

Abstract

The objective of this case study was to analyze the spatial distribution patterns of the residences of registered sex offenders in Pulaski County, Arkansas to determine the impact of state enforced residence restrictions. Density and clustering factors were used to identify census tracts of the study area with high and low concentrations of offenders. These zones were then compared to identify which characteristics were similar and dissimilar between high and low concentration zones. The results indicate that there is a non-random distribution of registered sex offenders in the study area. The findings also indicate that the residence restrictions placed on high-level offenders do impact their spatial distribution causing clustering in areas of high social disorganization and low social control. The recommendations and implications indicate that current legislation regarding the registration, community notification and residence restrictions of sex offenders are not efficacious and are therefore not justified by this research.

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