To Breach or Not to Breach: Exploring Inconsistencies in the Interpretation, Enforcement, and Impact of Canada's Section 161 Order for Sexual Offending

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Knack, Natasha




Community management strategies for people convicted of sexual offences (PCSOs) can hinder reintegration, which plays an important role in reducing recidivism. Section 161 of the Criminal Code is a prohibition order given to people convicted of sexual offences against children (PCSOCs) upon their release into the community. This study was the first to evaluate the 161 Order and explored inconsistencies in the interpretation and enforcement of these conditions among people subject to a 161 Order, community members, and undergraduates. Attitudes toward the treatment of PCSOs were found to mediate the relationship between group membership and subjective legal decision-making. Support for the conditions did not appear to moderate this relationship. Conditions most likely to be inconsistently enforced were also most commonly reported as impacting reintegration. Results suggest the need for more concrete terminology, and a re-evaluation of using long-term management strategies in a population with one of the lowest recidivism rates.






Carleton University

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