DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCES FINAL NATIONAL GUIDELINES FOR SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION AND NOTIFICATION
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced the final guidelines for Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). The Guidelines provide necessary tools for states, the District of Columbia, territories and certain federally recognized Indian tribes to incorporate SORNA minimum requirements into their sex offender registration and notification programs.
“The Department is pleased to provide guidance to states and other covered jurisdictions in complying with the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Sedgwick of the Office of Justice Programs. “These Guidelines will provide valuable implementation strategies to enhance their abilities to respond to crimes against children and adults and prevent sex offenders who have been released back into the community from victimizing others.”
Today's final guidelines provide direction and assistance to all jurisdictions in their efforts to meet the minimum standards of the Adam Walsh Act. Since the enactment of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act in 1994, all states, the District of Columbia and two territories currently have some form of a sex offender registration and notification program. On July 27, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which dramatically enhanced the effectiveness of current programs by establishing a new comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification throughout the United States.
The Department of Justice published proposed guidelines for the SORNA provisions of the Adam Walsh Act in the Federal Register on May 30, 2007, and were available for public comment until August 1, 2007. More than 275 comments were received from criminal justice professionals, sex offender registration officials, state and local governments, tribal communities, Congress and the general public. Based on the comments received, the final guidelines provide general principles for jurisdictions working to implement SORNA and further clarification on several topics including the treatment of juveniles, retroactivity, tribal issues, information subject to Web site posting and duration of registration.
On July 30—August 1, 2008 the Office of Justice Programs’ (OJP) Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) will host its second annual National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability in Baltimore. The symposium will bring together state and federal lawmakers, top state, local and tribal government officials, policy advisors, law enforcement, parole and probation officers, prosecutors, and frontline professionals who monitor, register, track and manage sex offenders. The meeting will include special tracks that focus on policy, enforcement, emerging issues, and topics related specifically to sex offender management in Indian Country and tribal governments.
The final guidelines and additional information on significant changes can be found at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/smart.
The Office of Justice Programs, headed by Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey L. Sedgwick, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has five component bureaus: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime. Additionally, OJP has two program offices: the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.