The highest-level offenders generally must register for their entire lives; low-level offenders may only need to register for a period of time.
The level of recidivism in sexual offenders is lower than is commonly believed.
In the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries, a convicted sex offender is often required to register with the respective jurisdiction's sex offender registry. S., registry databases are often open to the public.
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In many jurisdictions, registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions (including housing).
Those on parole (or probation) may be subject to restrictions not applicable to other parolees or probationers.
Some of the crimes which usually result in a mandatory sex-offender classification are: a second prostitution conviction, sending or receiving obscene content in the form of SMS text messages (sexting), and relationship between young adults and teenagers resulting in corruption of a minor (if the age between them is greater than 1,060 days).
If any sexual contact was made by the adult to the minor, then child molestation has occurred.
Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison (5.3 percent of sex offenders, versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders).
An estimated 24 percent of those serving time for rape and 19 percent of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation (or parole) at the time of the offense for which they were in state prison in 1991. An estimated 3.3 percent of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.
The law is enacted and enforced on a state-by-state basis.
Most states also restrict where convicted sex offenders can live after their release, prohibiting residency within a designated distance of schools and daycare centers (usually 1,000–2,000 feet (300–610 m)).
The term sexual predator is often used to describe a sex offender or any of the "tier offenders"; however, only the category just below sexually-violent sexual predator is reserved for a severe or repeated sex offender: sexual predator.
In the United States, the Adam Walsh Act (AWA) proposed to provide funding to each jurisdiction which would agree to incorporate its Act into their law.
in New York state, the recidivism rate for sex offenders has been shown to be lower than any other crime except murder.