The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 established a penalty for jurisdictions that failed to substantially implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) by July 27, 2011, and for any year thereafter. See 42 U.S.C. § 16925(a).The Attorney General has delegated the task of determining when a jurisdiction has substantially implemented SORNA's requirements to the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office).
While the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) will be administering the SORNA reallocation funds awarded to the eligible State Administering Agencies (SAA), the SMART Office will assist jurisdictions with developing and/or enhancing programs designed to implement the SORNA portion of the Adam Walsh Act (42 U.S.C. § 16901, et seq.). The Adam Walsh Act is designed to protect children and adults from sexual exploitation and violent crime, prevent child abuse and child pornography, promote Internet safety, and honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other crime victims. SORNA was enacted to protect the public from convicted sex offenders by establishing a comprehensive national system for the registration and notification of those offenders.
For those jurisdictions that did not substantially implement SORNA by July 27, 2011, the SORNA penalty was first applied in FY 2012 and will continue to be applied each subsequent year until the JAG funding recipient has substantially implemented SORNA.
Based on individual states' reallocation requests and the commitments outlined in the Office of Justice Program's (OJP) reallocation approval letters, states must pass through these reallocation funds to the designated SORNA contact agencies. OJP strongly encourages all jurisdictions that have not yet substantially implemented SORNA to continue to work expeditiously to implement SORNA's requirements in order to better protect their communities from sexual violence and exploitation. The SMART Office will continue to provide technical assistance and other resources to jurisdictions to support them in these efforts.