Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.


Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor,




This action-based research explored public opinion about sex offenses and how the criminal justice system should handle sex offenders, especially at the time of their release from prison and reintegration into the community. Sex offenses are crimes that people fear and they look to the criminal justice system for a solution to reduce fear and increase community safety. To date, previous work has largely neglected public opinion related to the treatment and release of sex offenders. Yet, public perceptions and beliefs can produce strong advocacy movements and attract considerable media attention. Qualitative methods were used to gather information from people throughout the Windsor/Essex region in order to probe their opinions and get beyond the "top of the head" types of responses characteristic of general public opinion polls. Six focus groups were conducted with twenty-nine people, ranging in age from twenty-five to sixty-seven years, including sixteen women and thirteen men. The research provides valuable insight into people's fears and concerns regarding the treatment and release of sex offenders by our criminal justice system. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .C64. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 42-03, page: 0829. Adviser: Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2003.