Vote: Publish pending minor changes.
The paper was well written, well-researched, well-organized. It explores an interesting and important topic. The qualitative analyses were illuminating and offered a peek into the world of registrants and the turmoil they face as they reintegrate and try to support themselves and their families.
A few suggestions:
Add something to the title so that the topic of study is more apparent to those who search for it. Like: I’m not unemployed, I’m unemployable: Challenges finding and sustaining work for people required to register as sex offenders.
I think the implications section could be strengthened with a paragraph or two related to implications for clinical practice. You focused a lot on mental health and post-conviction traumatic stress… what should therapists know about the MH implications of unemployment or underemployment? How might therapists address these issues in therapy and treat the related symptoms (anxiety, depression, hopelessness)? The issues are also important from the point of view of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… not just survival needs ($$) but also self-esteem, belonging, and self-actualization.
How might all this fit with implications for prevention? It’s worth mentioning that often RSOs are excluded from re-entry policies like bonding programs and Second Chance Act. How might you sell the idea of employment to policymakers as a risk-reducing protective factor? How might employers (and lawmakers) balance their concern about jobs that might expose someone to risk for reoffense, vs the risk of not working? (not everyone will pose the same risk at a job near a school, for instance). And, what about the potential impact to employers when employment locations are listed on registries? Maybe this is an area for reform that would be a win-win for RSOs and other stakeholders?