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Sex Offender Registration and Notification in the United States: Current Case Law and Issues, March 2019

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2019
32 pages
After presenting an overview of sex offender registration in the United States, this report presents chapters on current case law and issues regarding who is required to register, the registration of juvenile offenders, military registration, retroactive application and ex-post facto considerations, other constitutional issues, sex offender registration and notification in Indian Country, failure to register, residency restrictions, and miscellaneous issues.
The overview of sex offender registration in the United States indicates that the schemes known loosely as sex offender registries have existed in the United States for decades. Registration and the registries are conducted at the local level and generally require convicted sex offenders to register with law enforcement in each state, locality, territory, or tribe where they live, work, or attend school. Each system has its own sex offender registration and notification system. Each system has its own nuances and distinctive features. Each jurisdiction's system has its own determination about who is required to register, what information offenders must provide, which offenders are posted on the jurisdiction's public registry website, among other requirements. Although the federal government does not directly administer sex offender registries, it is involved in sex offender registration and notification in significant ways. Federal minimum standards for sex offender registries are outlined in this report. The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW), was created by the U.S. Justice Department in 2005 and is administered by the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office). NSOPW uses a web service or automated upload to enable NSOPW to query the jurisdictions' websites. Only information that is publicly listed on a jurisdiction's public sex offender registry website will display in NSOPW's search results. 195 notes