This report discusses issues related to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act’s (SORNA’s) requirement that jurisdictions include in their registries certain juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent of a sex offense.
Specifically, SORNA requires the registration of juveniles who 1) were 14 or older at the time of the offense and 2) were adjudicated delinquent of an offense equivalent to or more severe than aggregated sexual abuse. The National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification (2008) specified that jurisdictions are only required to register juveniles adjudicated delinquent of offenses that are equivalent to 18 U.S.C. § 2241(a) or (b), which generally involve forcible penetration. In 2011, the Supplemental Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification granted jurisdictions discretion as to whether juveniles adjudicated delinquent of a sex offense should be posted on the jurisdiction’s public sex offender registry website. Per the Supplemental Guidelines, jurisdictions are not required to post such information publicly in order to substantially implement SORNA, but may do so if they so choose. In 2016 a third set of guidelines was issued, the Supplemental Guidelines for Juvenile Registration Under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (Juvenile Supplemental Guidelines), which allowed the SMART Office to consider a jurisdiction’s comprehensive approach to managing juvenile sex offenders when determining substantial implementation of SORNA.