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Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act: Jurisdictions Face Challenges to Implementing the Act, and Stakeholders Report Positive and Negative Effects

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2013
56 pages
This report examines and measures jurisdictions' implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
This report analyzes the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office) implementation status reports from September 2009 through September 2012; findings indicate that 19 of the 37 jurisdictions that have submitted packages for review have substantially implemented SORNA. This report addresses two results: the extent that the SMART Office determined that jurisdictions have substantially implemented SORNA, and what challenges, if any, have jurisdictions faced; and for jurisdictions that have substantially implemented SORNA, what were the reported effects that the act has had on public safety, criminal justice stakeholders, and registered sex offenders. In 2006, Congress passed SORNA, which introduced new sex offender registration standards for all 50 States, 5 U.S. Territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), the District of Columbia, and certain Indian tribes. SORNA established the SMART Office to determine if these jurisdictions have "substantially implemented" the law, and to assist them in doing so. The deadline to implement SORNA was July 2009; given that none of the jurisdictions met this deadline, DOJ authorized two 1-year extensions. To identify any challenges, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) surveyed officials in the 50 States, 5 U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia; GAO received responses from 93 percent. Tables, figures, appendices