Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology
This paper examined the perceptions of convicted sex offenders and their interactions with law enforcement over time. Specifically, we focused on how formal interactions influenced stigma management and self-identity transformation. For decades, scholars have proposed that identities and behaviors often result from interactions with others. Sex offender registration and notification laws force interactions between registrants and police agents for years, if not a lifetime. Given that desistance from sex offending is dependent on prosocial identity transformation, we analyzed interviews with 63 registrants to uncover how interactions with police promote or inhibit identity transformation over time. Our findings suggested interactions with police can influence the internalization of a “sex offender” label, can reaffirm non-offender role identities, but mostly have little to no effect on personal identity transformation over time.
Sample, Lisa L.; Cooley, Brooke; ten Bensel, Tusty; Hyter, Carin; and Hurley, Brett, "Forced Interactions with Sheriff Deputies Over Time and Their Influence on Stigma and Self Identities Among Individuals Convicted of Sex Crimes" (2021). Criminology and Criminal Justice Faculty Publications. 103.
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