sex offender registration,
Smallest Geographic Unit:
Date of Collection:
Unit of Observation:
Sex Offender Registry Data: registrants on the South Carolina sex offenders' registry between January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2005.
Adult Criminal History Data: adults with criminal history records in South Carolina between January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2005.
Juvenile Justice Data: juveniles with cases forwarded to the prosecutors in South Carolina between January 1, 1990 to December 31, 2005 and final disposition outcomes from January 1, 1990 through December 31, 2004.
administrative records data
Data Collection Notes:
Users should note that the Adult Criminal History Data was not archived at ICPSR and is not available as a part of this data collection.
The program of research sought to extend research on the effects of registration and notification to an offense-based sex offender registration and notification (SORN) policy enacted by South Carolina. South Carolina was selected to model the effects of registration and notification on sex crime deterrence, sexual recidivism risk, and to examine unintended effects on judicial decision making for two reasons.
First, South Carolina was one of the first states to respond to federal registration requirements, enacting an original registration policy in 1995 and expanding notification to require online notification in 1999. Thus, longer follow-up was achievable using South Carolina criminal justice databases than in states with more recent policies.
Second, South Carolina's registration policies were of interest because they exceeded, in nearly every respect, the original federal registration and community notification requirements established by the Jacob Wetterling, Megan Kanka, and Pam Lychner Acts in the 1990's and continue to exceed many of the expanded requirements more recently established by the Adam Walsh Act.
The specific aims of the program of research was:
- Prevention (General Deterrence) of Sexual Violence. This included an examination of whether South Carolina's SORN policy was associated with a general deterrent effect for adults. Specifically, it addressed the question of whether registration and notification deterred first time sex crimes.
- Specific Deterrence of Sexual Recidivism. This included an examination of whether South Carolina's SORN policy associated with specific deterrent effect on sexual and nonsexual violent recidivism rates for adults. Specifically, it addressed the question of whether registration and notification reduced sexual and nonsexual recidivism rates.
- Unintended Effects on Judicial Decision Making for Sex Crime Cases. This included an examination of whether South Carolina's SORN policy was associated with unintended effects on judicial decision making specific to adult sex crime cases. Specifically, it addressed the question of whether registration and notification influenced the likelihood that a sex crime charge would result in a formal judicial processing (versus being dismissed) and whether a sex crime charge would result in a guilty finding (vs. acquittal).
- Association Between Registration Violations and Sexual Recidivism. This included an examination of whether failure to register is associated with increased risk for sexual recidivism.
Sex Offender Registry Records
South Carolina sex offender registry data were obtained from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) in collaboration with the South Carolina Office of Justice Programs Statistical Analysis Center. The SLED data files included all offenders registered from the date of initial registration policy implementation (January 1st, 1995) through December 31st, 2005.
Adult Criminal History Records
Computerized criminal history records between January 1, 1990 and December 31, 2004 were obtained from SLED, in collaboration with South Carolina State Budget and Control Board, Office of Research and Statistics (ORS) for analysis.
Juvenile Justice Records
Juvenile justice data were obtained from the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice in collaboration with ORS. These data were used primarily to provide information about prior arrest histories.
South Carolina Population Records
South Carolina population estimates were obtained from South Carolina Community Assessment Network (SCAN) population data tables, available at the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control website.
Mode of Data Collection:
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
Description of Variables:
Sex Offender Registry Data
The Sex Offender Registry Data is comprised of the following dataset:
- Sex offender registry (Dataset 1; 9,236 records, 90 variables)
Variables include, literal descriptions of sex offense(s) requiring registration, initial date of registration, victim's age, victim's sex, statute, conviction date, and offenders' age at conviction.
Failure to Register Study Data
The Failure to Register Data is comprised of the following three datasets:
- Failure to register study - Failure to register (Dataset 2; 3,190 records, 28 variables)
- Failure to register study - General recidivism (Dataset 3; 3,103 records, 29 variables)
- Failure to register study - Sexual recidivism (Dataset 4; 3,186 records, 29 variables)
Variables include, dates and duration of follow up intervals, offenders' age at registration, offenders' race, initial date of registration, number of priors, dates of general or sexual recidivism, and registration violations.
Recidivism Study Data
The Recidivism Study Data is comprised of the following eight datasets:
- Recidivism study - Competing risk arrest (Dataset 5; 6,342 records, 20 variables)
- Recidivism study - Competing risk conviction (Dataset 6; 6,411 records, 20 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival nonperson arrest (Dataset 7; 6,406 records, 19 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival nonperson conviction (Dataset 8; 6,471 records, 19 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival nonsexual person arrest (Dataset 9; 6,599 records, 19 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival nonsexual person conviction (Dataset 10; 6,638 records, 19 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival sexual person arrest (Dataset 11; 6,688 records, 19 variables)
- Recidivism study - Survival sexual person conviction (Dataset 12; 6,709 records, 19 variables)
Variables include, dates and duration of follow up intervals, offenders' date of birth, offenders' race, initial date of registration, number of priors, indicator of recidivism and type of recidivism.
Juvenile Justice Data
The Juvenile Justice Data is comprised of one dataset:
- Juvenile justice data (Dataset 13; 835,249 records, 34 variables)
Variables include, charge descriptions and date of charge, description of disposition offense and date of disposition for all charges, start and end dates of incarceration periods.
Adult Deterrence Data
The Adult Deterrence Data is comprised of the following dataset:
- Adult deterrence (Dataset 14; 192 records, 11 variables)
Variables include, population estimates, counts of sex, assault, and robbery offenses, rate per 10,000 of sex, assault, and robbery offenses.
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of
disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major
statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to
these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
Performed consistency checks.
Created variable labels and/or value labels.
Standardized missing values.
Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.