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Sex Offender Policy

Our faculty are among the nation’s preeminent academic authorities on public policies and systems to prevent and respond to sexual violence and abuse. Here is some of their current work.

Prof. Andrew Harris and Ph.D. student Qurat Ann work at a laptop in front of a map of the U.S.
Prof. Andrew Harris and Ph.D. student Qurat Ann study sex offender registration and notification across the U.S.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Reasons for attrition in arrests and prosecutions of rape and sexual assault cases. 
Melissa Morabito, April Pattavina and others: $1.19 million, National Institute of Justice.

Nationwide analysis of sex offender registration and notification systems and policies.
Andrew Harris and others: $1 million, National Institute of Justice.

How sex traffickers are groomed or mentored to be traffickers, how they groom new traffickers and how they are socially networked.
Amber Horning-Ruf and others: $500,000, National Institute of Justice.

Improving identification, prevalence estimation, and earlier intervention for victims of labor and sex trafficking.
Ryan ShieldsSheldon Zhang, Kelly Socia and others: $500,000, National Institute of Justice.

Responding to sexual assault on college campuses.
April Pattavina and others: $556,000, National Institute of Justice.

Improving prisoner reentry data and tracking sex offender recidivism in Michigan.
Jason Rydberg and others: $224,000, U.S. Department of Justice.

Creation of an online public health intervention to prevent child sexual abuse by other children and teens.
Ryan Shields, Ainat Koren (nursing) and others: $100,000, RALIANCE, university seed grant and other sources.

April Pattivina is a Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at UMass Lowell.

Prof. April Pattavina focuses her research on the criminal justice system’s response to violence and on understanding how technology can facilitate correctional reform. Her recent work includes a $1.19 million National Institute of Justice study, along with colleagues Melissa Morabito and Linda Williams, that uses mixed methods to examine sexual assault case attrition. Pattavina also researches how domestic violence laws and policies affect police responses to intimate partner violence, and she has received funding from the National Science Foundation to explore how emerging technologies can support people on community supervision. Her most recent book is “Simulation Strategies to Reduce Recidivism,” co-edited with Faye Taxman.