Most jurisdictions compile their laws into sections, such as traffic, assault, and sexual.
The majority of convicted sex offenders have convictions for crimes of a sexual nature; however, some sex offenders have simply violated a law contained in a sexual category.
Sex offenders were about four times more likely than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another sex crime after their discharge from prison (5.3 percent of sex offenders, versus 1.3 percent of non-sex offenders).
An estimated 24 percent of those serving time for rape and 19 percent of those serving time for sexual assault had been on probation (or parole) at the time of the offense for which they were in state prison in 1991. An estimated 3.3 percent of these 4,300 were rearrested for another sex crime against a child within 3 years of release from prison.
Of released sex offenders who allegedly committed another sex crime, 40 percent perpetrated the new offense within a year or less from their prison discharge.
Within three years of release, 2.5 percent of released rapists were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2 percent of those who had served time for homicide were arrested for a new homicide.
However, particularly sex offender registration laws in the United States, may also classify less serious offenses as sexual offenses requiring sex offender registration.
The law is enacted and enforced on a state-by-state basis.
Most states also restrict where convicted sex offenders can live after their release, prohibiting residency within a designated distance of schools and daycare centers (usually 1,000–2,000 feet (300–610 m)).
Guided by the 2007 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, sex offenders must avoid of such areas as schools, bus stops, gyms, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, swimming pools, libraries, nursing homes, and places of worship by 500 to 2,500 feet (150 to 760 m).
However, residence stipulations vary from state to state.