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Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act (SORNA)

Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)

          Title 1 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 established a comprehensive, national sex offender registration system called the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  SORNA aims to close potential gaps and loopholes that existed under prior laws, and to strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registrations.

Purposes of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)

          Sex offender registration and notification programs are important for public safety purposes.  Sex offender registration is a system for monitoring and tracking sex offenders following their release into the community.  The registration provides important information about convicted sex offenders to local and federal authorities and the public, such as offender's name, current location and past offenses.  Currently, the means of public notification includes sex offender websites in all states, the District of Columbia, and some territories.  Some states involve other forms of notice. (For the list of State by State Sex Offender Registries, click here).
          Within a specified timeframe, each jurisdiction is required to comply with the federal standards outlined in the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  Jurisdictions include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the principal U.S. territories, and federally recognized Indian tribes.

Failure to Register           

           It is a federal crime for an individual to knowingly fail to register or update his or her registration as required pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  For example, a sex offender is required to update their registration in each jurisdiction they reside, are employed, or attend school.  Offenders convicted of this crime face statutory penalties (For more information, see Citizen's Guide to Federal Law on Sex Offender Registration).

CEOS’s Role

         CEOS works with the High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and United States Attorney's Offices around the country to investigate and prosecute sex offenders who fail to register pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).
          In addition, CEOS attorneys conduct trainings to educate law enforcement officials, investigators, prosecutors, and others about the national sex offender registration system.  Moreover, CEOS designs, implements, and supports strategies, legislative proposals, and policy initiatives relating to the enforcement of SORNA.



Updated March 6, 2018

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