After a 1-year hiatus, we are thrilled to be able to publish this current issue of SMART Watch. The past 12 months have been a period of intense activity for the SMART Office, and this issue is intended to update our readers on the results of that activity and the progress that has been made on all fronts.
A year ago, there was great uncertainty regarding the effect of the July 27, 2011, Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) implementation deadline. We were constantly asked questions such as "How many jurisdictions will implement by the deadline?" and "How will tribes be able to marshal their resources to establish sex offender registration and notification systems for the very first time within the required timeframe?" Now, 12 months later, we have solid answers to these questions. Thanks to the dedicated efforts of jurisdictions across the country, 30 percent of the States and 40 percent of the territories were able to substantially implement SORNA by the deadline. On the tribal side, a flurry of activity in the months leading up to the deadline yielded more than 100 substantial implementation submissions and a considerable number of supportable requests, pursuant to SORNA, for additional time to implement.
Within the past year, jurisdictions have made significant strides in information sharing, one of the primary goals of SORNA. Regarding registered sex offenders who plan to travel or move, jurisdictions are increasingly using new tools, such as the SORNA Exchange Portal, that allow them to share this information quickly and effectively with each other and with federal agencies, such as the U.S. Marshals Service and INTERPOL Washington. In addition, increased use of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website among tribal jurisdictions and enhancements to the public registries of States and territories have enabled jurisdictions to share important information more easily with the public regarding sex offenders in their communities.
Also in the past year, the SMART Office launched its Sex Offender Management Assessment and Planning Initiative to ensure that we remain responsive to the needs of those working within the field of sex offender management as we work to focus our limited funding on identifying and supporting evidence-based practices in this area. We urge you to read more about this initiative, as well as our other efforts, in this issue of SMART Watch and hope to see many of you at our National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability in New Orleans, Louisiana, this August.
Linda M. Baldwin