Author Information

Kallee Spooner


Increased public concerns of juvenile sex offenders fueled the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006. The media coverage of these adolescents and public perception were influential in the enactment of this policy. Public fear is aroused by isolated incidents of deviance or crime. Media accounts highlight extreme cases, instead of more common incidents of sexual assaults (Harris & Lurigio, 2010). The fear culminates in the forming of groups of experts and concerned citizens that demand reform. Legislators cite media and views of their constituents as their primary sources of information about sex offenses and offenders (Sample & Kadleck, 2008). The justifications for the enactment of the Adam Walsh Act were based on public perceptions, not facts.

Note on the Author

Kallee Spooner is a junior majoring in criminal justice and philosophy. This paper was written during the fall of 2010, in a directed study led by her mentor, Dr. Richard G. Wright

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