Douglas J. Boyle, JD, PhD Douglas.Boyle@Rutgers.edu
Laura M. Ragusa-Salerno, MA
Andrea Fleisch Marcus, MPH
Marian R. Passannante, PhD
Susan Furrer, PsyD
The present study examines public knowledge and use of a sexual offender Internet registry in New Jersey. A 20-item random digit dial telephone survey of 1,016 New Jersey residents was completed to determine public awareness and use of the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry (NJSOIR). Approximately 51% of respondents reported knowledge of the NJSOIR, while 17% had accessed the site. Of those who accessed the site, 68% took some preventive measure based on the information they obtained. Logistic regression analyses demonstrate that ethnicity, education, and Internet access were associated with residents’ knowledge of the NJSOIR, while sex, race, education, being the parent/caregiver of a child below 18 years of age, and access to the Internet were associated with respondents’ likelihood to visit the registry website. These results suggest that an intervention that will increase public awareness of sex offender registries and provide specific preventive measures the public can take is needed.