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Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act: Implementation Challenges for States - Summary and Assessment of Research

NCJ Number
Marieke Brock; William N Noel
Date Published
October 2020
42 pages

This report is an assessment of research published in current periodicals and scholarly journals related to issues states have encountered in implementing the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).


The report analyzes the efforts of all 50 states to implement the standards and requirements of SORNA. It also analyzes seven peer-reviewed research studies and three essays on the legislative, fiscal, and operational challenges reportedly experienced in these efforts to implement SORNA. Analysis includes an assessment of the methodological rigor reported in the 10 publications. The report’s first section summarizes the findings of the reviews, followed by a section on the background of SORNA and states’ implementation challenges. The third section describes the research and evaluative methodology used in the report. The fourth section summarizes and analyzes publications that address states’ implementation challenges, with discussions organized by challenge type. The fifth section of the report reviews the report’s findings. Two appendices analyze the implementation review data, noting barriers behind states’ non-implementation status for SORNA and providing a more detailed view of the report’s approach to its evaluation of statistical integrity. Internal validity, construct validity, external validity, and statistical conclusion validity are explained, defined, and determined for each assessed study. 5 tables, 2 figures, 47 references, and a selected bibliography of 41 listings