• Kasper Jørgensen
With a new law in the Danish Criminal Code in 2020, convicted sex offenders became the subject to unannounced home visits by the police offender managers. The purpose of this study is to expose this new law and explore the increased monitoring of sex offenders in Denmark.

While sex offender laws are a well-known phenomenon in countries like the U.S. and U.K., they are relatively new in Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia. A study of literature shows that these sex offender laws not only strip convicted sex offenders of their civil rights, but it’s also argued that these laws do not provide the community with the safety and security they are designed for. While these previous studies focus on the notification and registration of convicted sex offenders, this study will focus on the monitoring of sex offenders by the police, in the private setting of sex offenders’ homes.

This study uses a socio-legal perspective to expose the hidden consequence of this new law and ex
plores how the police offender managers enforce their new role in monitoring convicted sex offenders. Based on judicial decisions and interviews (n=20) with convicted sex offenders (5), police offender managers (5), psychologists and therapists, and probation managers (10), the study shows that this increased control and monitoring has a negative impact on the effectiveness of treatment among convicted sex offenders. Furthermore, the study shows that the police offender managers regular and unannounced home visits inhibit the reintegration of convicted sex offenders into society, and leave them isolated, with unstable housing conditions and increased concern about their own safety. As a result, convicted sex offenders are trapped in a powerless situation without the opportunity to make positive steps forward, which keeps them from investing in themselves and establishing new social relationships. In many ways, the increased monitoring of sex offenders has a negative influence on these citizens’ attachment to society and reduces them to ‘non-citizens’. The study also finds that the police’s new role in monitoring sex offenders is quite atypical in policing terms. The job appears to occupy an inter-space between ‘real’ policing and something much more akin to the job of a social worker, where the police offender managers are forced into close relationship with convicted sex offenders. In the end, the study shows that the task of gathering risk-related information among convicted sex offenders has now been given to the police - a job that previously had been reserved for other professions. Thus, the study contributes significant knowledge to the political agenda, and raises the question if the increased monitoring of convicted sex offenders does more harm than good.
Publication date9 Sept 2021
Number of pages98
ID: 433632163