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The sex offender public disclosure pilots in England and Scotland : lessons for ‘marketing strategies’ and risk communication with the public

Kemshall, Hazel and Weaver, Beth (2012) The sex offender public disclosure pilots in England and Scotland : lessons for ‘marketing strategies’ and risk communication with the public. Criminology and Criminal Justice, 12 (5). pp. 549-565. ISSN 1748-8958

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Abstract

In 2009 a sex offender public disclosure scheme was piloted in England and Scotland based upon political and policy assumptions about the public’s likely take-up of such a scheme. However, the pilots found lower than anticipated public use of the scheme. By drawing on the notions of instrumental and symbolic efficacy this article explores the potential implications of the current rate of take-up. Is the instrumental efficacy of the scheme, that is, its role in providing advice and information to the public about sex offenders mitigated by low take-up? Does the scheme offer symbolic reassurance to the public about sex offender management and how might this be affected by current take-up rates? The public response to disclosure is also examined through the lens of recent risk communication research, in particular Health Promotion models that critique a simplistic ‘hypodermic’ approach to risk communication. Finally, the symbolic efficacy of public disclosure is examined with specific reference to Jackson and Gray’s (2010) ‘functional fear’.

Item type: Article
ID code: 37141
Keywords: functional fear, risk, symbolic efficacy, sex offenders, public disclosure, Social pathology. Social and public welfare, Law
Subjects: Social Sciences > Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Department: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) > School of Social Work and Social Policy > Social Work
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Pure Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2012 11:48
    Last modified: 09 May 2014 05:10
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/37141

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