Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Fall 10-19-2022


Graham, M. A. (2022) Safety in Policy: An Assessment of the Utilization and Perceived Efficacy of Sex Offender Legislation. Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska - Lincoln.


Copyright Morgan Graham 2022.


Current sex offender legislation in the United States is the result of a number of laws passed during the 1980-1990s. This study evaluates the efficacy and perception of these laws in Nebraska, including registration, community notification, and housing restriction policies. Using data from the Nebraska Annual Social Indicators Survey (NASIS), 1,814 people from 2008 and 1,232 people from 2017 were examined to determine the efficacy and popularity of sex offender legislation and how the data has changed over time. Results showed that only a minority of Nebraskans have accessed the registry. Of those who checked, women and individuals with children in the home were more likely to check compared to men and individuals without children in the home. In addition, only a minority of Nebraskans expressed support for community notification and housing restriction laws. Finally, the percentage of people accessing the registry has increased from 2008-2017. Implications of these results are discussed.