Sex offender residency restrictions (SORRs) are a manifestation of the American public's retributivist attitudes and biased fears - attitudes and fears that ultimately result in ineffective policy choices. Over the last quarter century in the United States there has been a reemergence of "just deserts" as a generalized theory of policy. This retributivist policy is particularly salient in recent civil sanctions levied against sex offenders after their release from prison. Sex offenders, as a group, incite the public's fear and hatred, and politicians seeking to curry electorate favor often support increasingly harsh sanctions against these "political pariahs of our day." Most recently, in an attempt to keep communities safe, at least twentytwo states and hundreds of local municipalities have placed severe restrictions on where sex offenders may live after being released from prison. These restrictions typically exclude sex offenders from living within 1000 to 2500 feet of schools, parks, day care centers, and other areas where children congregate. However, research indicates that these fear-driven laws are ill-advised policy choices based on faulty reasoning. They aggravate recidivism risk factors, and hence may actually make communities less safe.