The Role of Social Disorganization Theory in Explaining Where Sex Offenders Reside: Do Some Neighborhoods Get More Than Their Fair Share?




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This study examines sex offender registration and residency in the city of Dallas, Texas. Exploration of where sex offenders live is interpreted within the framework of social disorganization theory. Traditional measures of social disorganization are utilized as well as alternative data. Three hypotheses are tested to examine sex offender residency across time and space between 2010 and 2014. The questions are whether sex offenders were more likely than not to live in areas of high social disorganization, whether they relocate to more socially disorganized areas if they move, and whether socially disorganized neighborhoods gain larger numbers of sex offenders over time. This study examines a single group of registrants over a four year period to determine whether neighborhoods high in social disorganization are being inundated with large numbers of sex offenders. The results of this study indicate the assumptions that sex offenders are forced into areas of social disorganization are not supported.



Sex offenders—Dallas (Tex.), City dwellers, Urban ecology (Sociology)—Dallas (Tex.), Criminal records—Dallas (Tex.)