This is 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 this report. Overall, the study's findings provide evidence of significant progress toward the achievement of many SORNA objectives, including greater interjurisdictional consistency, more efficient and reliable exchange of information among states, improved identification and tracking of absconders, and efficient access to information for use by law enforcement and the public. Challenges are noted and recommendations are offered. Extensive tables and charts, references, and state SORN profiles