This report presents an analysis of how state-level jurisdictions use risk assessments to inform sex offender registration and notification requirements
To avoid a reduction in federal funding, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires jurisdictions to classify offenders’ registration and notification requirements based on offense of conviction. However, some states use risk assessments—evaluations of an individual’s likelihood to reoffend—to determine aspects of offenders’ registration and notification requirements. Approaches taken by states using risk assessments to classify sex offenders vary significantly, as do the purposes of these assessments. Research shows that risk assessment policies and practices vary widely across states in both administration and application. Jurisdictions do not employ the same methodologies, risk factors, instruments, or classification processes.
This report was prepared by the Federal Research Division, Library of Congress under an interagency agreement with the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking, U.S. Department of Justice.