Using a combination of techniques stemming from the spatial analysis approach of Geography, structural-functionalist theory in Sociology, and an ecological perspective of Criminology, this thesis addresses where sex offenders reside and why. Analyses were performed using the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota as a typical urban setting. The study fuses multiple disciplines work on the complex social problem of released risk level III sex offender management in a spatially-conscious, micro-scale analysis attempting to understand the distribution of released offenders and the relevance of social disorganization theory in explaining their distribution. Socio-economic status and family disruption are tested and found to be important components of a generalized or fuzzy correlation between calculated social disorganization and offender settlement. In concert with other recent research in the U.S., residential stability is a variable of limited determinate capability. In an attempt to understand the fuzzy correlation, this fused analysis develops urban design considerations for mitigation of offender concentrations as well as other insights for policy and management. Inclusive in this analysis is the revelation that offenders often settle in physically and socially disrupted `wedge,' or isolated neighborhoods. It suggests the merit of complimentary quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques in urban socio-spatial analysis.


Donald A. Friend

Committee Member

Cynthia Miller

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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