Wayne A. Logan

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2008

Publication Title

New england Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement

Publication Title (Abbreviation)

New Eng. J. on Crim. & Civ. Confinement





First Page


Last Page



It’s a great honor to be with you here today and to provide the keynote address in this wonderful symposium examining issues relating to probation and parole. The panels have been remarkably rich and informative. That they should occur here in Massachusetts, where probation in particular originated in 1841, makes the proceedings today especially fitting.

Probation and parole, of course, are the epitome of state-indeed, community-based criminal justice. As recognized since the founding era, and repeatedly acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court, criminal justice in our federal union is mainly an undertaking of state and local governments, which process the lion’s share of criminal offenders and ultimately must accommodate such individuals upon their reentry into society.

This predominance by the states is surely no less evident with respect to persons convicted of sex offenses. However, with sex offenders, there is a wrinkle: registration and community notification laws require the continued monitoring of the hundreds of thousands of ex-offenders no longer subject to probation and parole. In New York State, for instance, of the 24,300 persons in the state registry, almost 19,000 fall into this category.

There’s also a unique federalism twist-in contrast to the broader population of ex-offenders reentering society from state and local penal facilities, as to whom the states and local governments unquestionably call the shots-registrants are also very much the concern of the federal government. It is this parallel involvement that I would first like to address. Later, in the time available, I will comment on what I see as the coming issues and challenges facing registration and community notification laws, now in effect nationwide.


© 2008 New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement


First published in New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement.

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