Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name


Department (Legacy)

Department of Justice Administration

Committee Chair

Tewksbury, Richard

Author's Keywords

Sex offenders; Sex offenses; Sex offender laws; Prison; Wardens; Criminal justice


Prison wardens--Attitudes; Sex offenders


There is relatively little known about how criminal justice system actors perceive sex offenders and the fairness, efficacy, and scope of policies aimed at sex offenders. Similarly, there is sparse research that specifically examines the attitudes, beliefs, and experiences of prison wardens. Following in the footsteps of earlier research (Tewksbury & Mustaine, 2011; Tewksbury, Mustaine, & Payne, 2011, in press), the present study addresses these gaps by considering the attitudes and beliefs toward sex offenders held by wardens. This examination includes perceptions about sex offenders as prison inmates, sex offender registration, community notification, and residency restrictions. Further, this research assesses the utility of the 18-item Community Attitudes Toward Sex Offenders (CATSO) scale (Church, Wakeman, Miller, Clements, & Sun, 2008), which was advocated for use with criminal justice system actors, to determine whether or not the instrument can be effectively utilized with wardens. Findings and policy implications are discussed.