JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FINDS 24 JURISDICTIONS HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY
IMPLEMENTED SORNA REQUIREMENTS
WASHINGTON - Wednesday, July 27, was the deadline for jurisdictions to substantially implement Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which established a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders. The Adam Walsh Act was signed into law exactly 25 years after Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old boy, was abducted from a shopping mall in Hollywood, Fla. on July 27, 1981.
The Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) administers the Act's Title 1 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requirements.
"To date, 14 states, nine tribes and one territory have substantially implemented SORNA's requirements. We are reviewing as quickly as possible the materials submitted before the deadline by additional jurisdictions," said Linda Baldwin, Director of the SMART Office. "We are impressed by the amount of hard work undertaken by the many jurisdictions that are working to implement SORNA's requirements, including those that were not able to complete all of the necessary changes to their existing systems prior to July 27, 2011."
The States of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming; as well as the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, Pueblo of Isleta, Tohono O'odham Nation, Upper Skagit Indian Tribe; and the United States territory of Guam have been found by the SMART Office to have substantially implemented SORNA. Tribes that have not implemented SORNA by the deadline and can show that they will be able to do so "within a reasonable amount of time," as determined by the Attorney General, may submit a request to the SMART Office.
"Due to the number of recent submissions, we do not yet have a complete count of how many jurisdictions were able to implement SORNA by the deadline," said Linda Baldwin, Director of the SMART Office. "We are reviewing submissions as quickly as possible and will announce decisions about additional jurisdictions in the coming months as the reviews are completed."
The Adam Walsh Act specifies that states and territories that failed to substantially implement SORNA by the deadline are subject to a 10 percent reduction in amount awarded to the jurisdiction under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program. Jurisdictions often use these formula grants to improve state and local criminal justice programs with an emphasis on violent crime and serious offenders. The Act also permits states and territories to potentially recoup the 10 percent reduction in a future fiscal year if they demonstrate these funds will be used to implement SORNA programs.
More information about SORNA and the SMART Office, including current information about jurisdictions that have substantially implemented SORNA, is at www.smart.gov. Tribal officials may visit http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart/pdfs/SORNA_tribal_guidelines.pdf for more details about implementing SORNA.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.