Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Not your average internship

Kyle Heidtbrink has wrapped up the first part of his summer internship project: a study of where registered sex offenders living in Lincoln originated. He gathered data on over 1100 of the high-risk level 3 offenders, and produced a map depicting the State where the offenders' latest conviction of a sex crime occurred. Since the number of sex offenders is a moving target, his data reflects the situation on the date he took the snapshot.

The results show that 20% of the RSOs in Nebraska were convicted in another State. Of 1103 level 3 offenders, there are 228 whose most recent sex crime conviction was elsewhere. The largest single number was 65 from Iowa. Colorado was next, with 24. This may be a reflection of Iowa's tight residency restrictions on sex offenders. Iowa's law could be forcing sex offenders to relocate into adjacent States with fewer restrictions.
A more detailed look at the 253 level three offenders living in Lincoln showed that 29 originated from other states, and 55% originated from somewhere other than Lancaster County. Lincoln appears to be a net importer of RSOs, reflecting the presence of State institutions in the Capital City, such as the State Penitentiary and the Lincoln Regional Center.
There are no big surprises, but Kyle Heidtbrink has produced some interesting preliminary findings that might interest someone in further research. He has gained some good experience using our geographic information system software, ArcGIS, to analyze and display data. The excellent layouts he produced will make a nice addition to his portfolio, as will the article about the project published in the Lincoln Journal Star.

2 comments:

Mr. Wilson said...

"Lincoln appears to be a net importer of RSOs..."

I agree that is probably true for the reasons you stated -- I would be surprised if it weren't true -- but I don't think one can definitively make that claim without also stating how many RSOs Lincoln exports. I don't see that data here or in today's LJS article. Is it possible to track or count our RSO exports with the data available to Kyle?

Tom Casady said...

Quite true. That's a "knowable" statistic, but would require some further research into the sex offender registry data--beyond what is available to Kyle from the Internet. I can, however, tell you that Lincoln, with 13.6% of the State's population, is home to 22.8% of the high-risk level 3 RSOs, and that we appear to have more total RSOs (475) living in Lincoln than the number whose convictions were in Lancaster County (515).