Monsters in Our Midst: Exploring Regulation and Control in Communities Notified About Sex Offender Release

Miss Jordan Anderson1
1Victoria University Of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Community notification policy and practice has expanded across the advanced liberal democracies, far beyond the initial bounds set out in Megan’s Law in the United States in 1994. In New Zealand, where notification is not legislated, communities are often informed about the presence of sex offenders in ad hoc and unpredictable ways, triggering a range of fear based responses. This paper explores the reactions of the Ōtāhuhu community to the 2018 media revelation of sixteen sex offenders residing on one street in the South Auckland suburb. Drawing from interviews with a range of community leaders, the paper considers whether the nuances of the community reaction, in particular the depth of insecurity and range of proposed ‘sensible’ solutions, are typical of lived experiences of risk control and regulation in neoliberal societies.


Jordan is currently undertaking her PhD in Criminology at the Institute of Criminology at Victoria University of Wellington. Her research focusses on risk and dangerousness in modern society, with particular attention to post-sentence regulation of sex offenders in New Zealand. Jordan’s research interests include punishment and offender regulation, sentencing, and youth justice.



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