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Information Sharing and the Role of Sex Offender Registration and Notification, Executive Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2020
15 pages
This is the Executive Summary of the Final Technical Report on the methodology and findings of an analysis of the progress that has been made in implementing the provisions of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) of 2006, with an emphasis on providing data and insights that inform the continued refinement of federal and state SORN policies.
Over the past three decades, SORN policies have emerged as fixtures in all U.S. states and territories, as well as just over 150 tribal jurisdictions, creating a web of independently operated systems for registering individuals with sex offense convictions, maintaining registration information, sharing data across criminal justice agencies, and disseminating designated information to the public. This study focused on the following five issues: 1) improvements in addressing key challenges identified at the time of SORNA's enactment; 2) the impacts of federal initiatives in advancing SORNA's goals; 3) the evolution of state SORN information-sharing practices since SORNA's enactment; 4) the connection between a state's implementation of SORNA standards and the effectiveness of its systems for exchange and sharing of SORN information; and 5) the factors that either promote or impede the exchange of SORN information within and across jurisdictions. These issues were examined through a mixed-method approach that included both "top down" and "bottom up" elements described in the report. Collectively, the study's findings document significant progress toward SORN's vision of a "comprehensive nationwide system" of sex offender registration and notification. This vision remains relevant and has received wide commitment among those involved in the management of SORN systems. The SORN systems are capturing a wider range of information on more registrants than when SORNA was enacted, and exchange of information across jurisdictions has increased. Recommendations for further improvements are outlined.

Date Published: February 1, 2020