Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 175-192

First online:

Sex Offender Residency and Spatial Equity

  • Tony H. GrubesicAffiliated withDepartment of Geography, Indiana University Email author 
  • , Alan T. MurrayAffiliated withSchool of Geographical Sciences, Arizona State University

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Recent legislation at the local, state and federal levels has mandated spatial restriction zones around sensitive facilities, such as schools, daycares and public parks, to minimize the exposure children have to convicted sex offenders. A potential byproduct of this legislation is the clustering of offenders in certain areas outside restriction zones. Accordingly, efforts are now being directed toward ensuring an equitable spatial distribution of exposure to convicted sex offenders. In particular, laws are being enacted or resurrected to thwart such clusters. The question addressed in this paper is what approaches can be used to assist planners and public officials in the further development of policy for mitigating community impacts associated with the spatial distribution of sex offender residences. We review and develop methodologies for use in assessing and managing residential impacts. Application results suggest that these modeling approaches can provide insight for policy development useful to local and regional governments.


Sex offenders Dispersion Restriction GIS Spatial analysis