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Objectives This research examines the contribution of social ecological factors to the variation in sex offender residence restriction (SORR) violation rates, operationalized as a sex offender residing within a buffer zone around a school or a day care. Methods Drawing on data from two Midwestern states, we utilize a quasi-experimental cohort-control group design to examine the correlates of county-level SORR violation rates among a cohort of post-SORR sex offender parolees, and three counterfactual cohorts (pre-SORR sex offenders, pre- and post-SORR non-sex offender parolees). We model the violation rate using a series of fractional logit regressions, examining the contribution of housing market, environmental justice, and system resource variables. Results We observe that county-level variation in post-SORR sex offender violation rates is directly associated with concentrated disadvantage and the density of residence restrictions. The direct effect of concentrated disadvantage was unique to the post-SORR sex offender cohort. Model predictions suggest that the relationship between SORR density and concentrated disadvantage varies across the study states. Conclusions The results suggest that factors found to be associated with sex offender clustering (i.e., housing market characteristics) are not associated with SORR violation rates. Instead, this research suggests a model which allows for the simultaneous influence of environmental justice and system resource effects. Future research on the mechanisms underlying these effects is warranted.

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Journal of Quantitative Criminology