Community notification laws may make sense in the context of traditional sex offenses and sex offenders. But child pornography crimes and the individuals who commit them are different, and they differ from archetypal sex crimes and criminals in ways that may unintentionally cause community notification laws to facilitate—rather than inhibit—crime. Child porn offenses typically involve money or trade, and their commission hinges on successfully conspiring with others. As a result, announcing the identity of past offenders may perversely make child pornography and its associated harms more, not less, of a problem. Shrinking the child porn market and its associated abuse of minors may be easier if the law subjects fewer child porn offenders to community notification requirements. For the same reason, when sentencing child porn distributors and possessors, judges should not assume that community notification can provide an effective substitute for the incapacitation benefits typically associated with incarceration.

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