The GCUA College Colloquia Series presents a talk titled, "Policy Without Responsibility: Critical Accounts of Current Sex Offender Legislation" by Dr. Emily I. Troshynski, assistant professor, Department of Criminal Justice, UNLV
Dr. Troshynski's paper examines the current use of GPS surveillance technology by parole for the community management of sex offender parolees. Although changes in sex offender legislation have been well documented by a variety of scholars, the surveillance technologies and collateral consequences behind them have received less scrutiny. Based on primary research of policy documents, legislation, regulations, and interviews with sex offender paroles, parole officers, and parole administrators, this paper questions how new surveillance technologies have transformed the administration and everyday practices of parole. Dr. Troshynski argues that current sex offender legislation justifies increased surveillance, regulation, and control of a range of individuals convicted of sex crimes. Yet, the rationales behind the implementation of GPS surveillance have made the community, parole officers, and parolees more vulnerable. This paper therefore endeavors to explore the implications of GPS surveillance and the expanding ways that the state has created a new category of deviants with consequences both for the everyday lives of these parolees and the work practices of their parole officers. In creating and enforcing counterproductive mass surveillance via sex offender legislation, we should be asking ourselves whether or not this is responsible policy.