In which jurisdictions must sex offenders register?
SORNA requires sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in each jurisdiction in which they reside, are employed, or attend school. A sex offender must also initially register in the jurisdiction in which convicted if it is different from the jurisdiction of residence.
When must initial registration be carried out?
Jurisdictions must register incarcerated sex offenders before their release from imprisonment for the registration offense or, in case of a non-imprisonment sentence, within three business days of sentencing for the registration offense.
What are the requirements for keeping registry informaiton current?
A sex offender mus, not later that three business days after each change of name, residence, employment, or student status, appear in person in at least one jurisdiction in which the sex offender is required to register and inform that jurisdiction of all changes in the information required for that sex offender in the sex offender registry. This information must immediately be provided to all other jurisdictions in which the sex offender is required to register. Jurisdictions must also require a sex offender to provide notice if he or she is leaving the jurisdiction prior to the move; the sex offender must provide information about the jurisdiction to which he or she is going.
How often must a registered sex offender appear in person to update his or her registration information?
A sex offender must appear in person, allow the jurisdiction to take a current photograph, and verify the information in each registry in which that sex offender is required to be registered not less frequently than:
•Annually for a tier I sex offender,
•Every six months for a tier II sex offender, and
•Every three months for a tier III sex offender.
Sex offenders must carry out this schedule of personal appearances in all jurisdictions where they reside, are employed and attend school.
What changes of information require in-person appearances to update?
A sex offender must, not later than three business days after each change of name, residence, employment, or student status, appear in person in at least one jurisdiction in which the sex offender is required to register and inform that jurisdiction of all changes in the information required for that sex offender in the sex offender registry.
What is the minimum required duration of registration?
SORNA specifies the minimum required duration of sex offender registration for tier I sex offenders to be 15 years, for tier II sex offenders to be 25 years, and for tier III sex offenders to register for life. The registration period begins to run upon release from custody for a sex offender sentenced to incarceration for the registration offense, or in the case of non-incarcerated sex offenders, at the time of sentencing for the sex offense.
Are certain classes of sex offenders allowed to reduce the time of their registration requirement?
SORNA allows jurisdictions to reduce the registration period for a tier I sex offender by 5 years after the sex offender maintains a clean record for 10 years and to terminate registration for a sex offenders who is required to register under SORNA based on juvenile delinquency adjudication after the sex offender maintains a clean record for 25 years.
Achieving a clean record means the sex offender must fulfill the following requirements:
•Not be convicted of any offense for which imprisonment for more than one year may be imposed,
•Not be convicted of any sex offense regardless of the penalty,
•Successfully complete any periods of supervised release, probation, and parole, and
•Successfully complete an appropriate sex offender treatment program certified by a jurisdiction or by the Attorney General.
Are jurisdictions required to have a failure to register statute?
SORNA requires jurisdictions (other than Indian tribes) to provide a criminal penalty that includes a maximum term of imprisonment greater than one year for the failure of a sex offender to comply with the SORNA requirements. Hence, a jurisdiction’s implementation of SORNA includes having a failure-to-register offense for which the maximum authorized term of imprisonment exceeds a year. Indian Tribes are also required to have a failure to register statute, though the maximum term of imprisonment, by definition, will not exceed one year.
What is the federal penalty for failure to register?
Under 18 U.S.C. §2250, the federal failure-to-register offense, a federal criminal penalty of up to 10 years of imprisonment exists for sex offenders required to register under SORNA who knowingly fail to register or update a registration as required where circumstances supporting federal jurisdiction exist, such as interstate or international travel or travel on or off an Indian reservation by a sex offender, or conviction of a federal sex offense for which registration is required.
Can a non-federally convicted sex offender be prosecuted in the federal system for failure to register?
Yes. If a sex offender convicted or adjudicated delinquent in a jurisdiction’s court is required to register under SORNA, and knowingly fails to register or update a registration as required, and the sex offender engages in interstate or international travel or enter or leaves or resides in Indian country, then the offender can be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. §2250, the federal failure-to-register offense.
What information is required in jurisdictions’ sex offender registries?
The following information is required to be placed in a jurisdiction’s sex offender registry:
•Date of Birth
•Driver’s License or Identification Card
•Passport and Immigration Documents
•Professional Licensing Information
•Social Security Number
•Temporary Lodging Information
•Text of Registration Offense
What are jurisdictions required to do with the collected information about sex offenders?
SORNA requires the immediate sharing of information among jurisdictions and specified entities, and the posting of much of the information on public sex offender registries.
What information must be available to the public through public websites?
Below is a list of the types of registration information that jurisdictions must include on their public sex offender websites to satisfy the requirements for SORNA implementation. The list of informational items that jurisdictions must include on their public sex offender websites is as follows:
•Current Offense: The sex offense for which the offender is currently required to register and any other sex offense for which the sex offender has been convicted.
•Employer address: The address of any place where the sex offender is an employee.
•Name: The name of the sex offender, including any aliases.
•Photograph: A current photograph of the offender.
•Physical description: A physical description of the offender.
•Resident Address: The address of the sex offender, including any information about where the offender "habitually lives".
•School address: The address of any place where the sex offender attends school.
•Vehicle(s) license plate number and description.
The foregoing list remains subject to the discretionary authority of jurisdictions under section 118(c)(1) to exempt information about a tier I sex offender convicted of an offense other than a specified offense against a minor.
Which information is prohibited from being available on public websites?
Jurisdictions must exempt five types of information from disclosure. These exemptions only constrain jurisdictions in relation to the information made available on their publicly accessible sex offender websites. It does not limit the discretion of jurisdictions to disclose these types of information in other contexts, such as to law enforcement. The mandatory exempted four types of information are:
•The victim’s identity,
•The Social Security number of the sex offender,
•Any reference to arrests of the sex offender that did not result in conviction,
•Passport and immigration document numbers, and
There are also four optional exemptions, which apply to information that jurisdictions have the discretion to exempt from their public websites. These are:
•Any information about a tier I sex offender convicted of an offense other than a specified offense against a minor.
•The name of an employer of the sex offender,
•The name of an educational institution where the sex offender is a student,
•Any other information which the Attorney General allows to be exempted.
What entities must registry information be shared with and what information must be shared?
After a sex offender registers or updates a registration, the information in a registry (other than information exempted from disclosure by the Attorney General) must be provided to various specified entities and individuals. These include:
•Law enforcement and supervision agencies.
•Any jurisdiction where the sex offender resides, is an employee, or is a student, and each jurisdiction from or to which a change of residence, employment, or student status occurs.
•Any agency responsible for conducting employment-related background checks under section 3 of the National Child Protection Act of 1993.
•Each school and public housing agency in each area in which the sex offender resides, is an employee, or is a student.
•Social service entities responsible for protecting minors in the child welfare system.
•Volunteer organizations in which contact with minors or other vulnerable individuals might occur.
•Any organization, company, or individual who requests such notification pursuant to procedures established by the jurisdiction.
The requirements in the list above for sharing information among jurisdictions and with certain governmental entities (such as law enforcement agencies) are subject to special standards and procedures described in the Final Guidelines.
With respect to schools, public housing, social service, and volunteer organizations, as well as any request for notification, these information dissemination objectives can be achieved by incorporating appropriate notification functions into the sex offender websites that are similar to measures currently used by some jurisdictions. Specifically, a jurisdiction will be deemed to have satisfied the requirements of SORNA in this regard if it adopts an automated notification system which incorporates substantially the following features:
•The information required to be included on sex offender websites is posted on the jurisdiction’s sex offender website within three business days.
•The jurisdiction’s sex offender website includes a function under which members of the public and organizations can request notification when sex offenders commence residence, employment, or school attendance within zip code or geographic radius areas specified by the requester, where the requester provides an e-mail address to which the notice is to be sent.
•Upon posting on the jurisdiction’s sex offender website of new residence, employment, or school attendance information for a sex offender within an area specified by the requester, the system automatically sends an e-mail notice to the requester which identifies the sex offender sufficiently that the requester can then access the jurisdiction’s website and view the information about the sex offender on the website.
The Department of Justice has developed software resources to support an automated email notification system that is available to all registry jurisdictions.
Are the provisions of SORNA retroactive?
SORNA applies to all sex offenders, including those convicted of their registration offenses prior to the enactment of SORNA (July 27, 2006) or prior to particular jurisdictions’ incorporation of the SORNA requirements into their programs. Jurisdictions are specifically required to register such sex offenders if they remain in the system as prisoners, supervisees, or registrants, or if they later reenter the system because of conviction for some other crime (whether or not the new crime is a sex offense).
How are foreign convictions and tribal convictions treated under SORNA?
Foreign convictions require sex offenders to be registered under SORNA unless the foreign conviction "was not obtained with sufficient safeguards for fundamental fairness and due process for the accused." The Final Guidelines establish rules for determining if legal processes in foreign countries meet the standard required under SORNA.
Why do I have to enter an alphanumeric code before I can perform a search?
The program that generates and authorizes the alphanumeric code is called a CAPTCHA, which stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.” The CAPTCHA is used to protect the availability of the Website and to preserve the integrity of the information available through the site.
How do I sign up to receive e-mail notifications when a sex offender registers a new address that is near me?
To register for e-mail notifications, first go to the “Community Notifications” tab. Next, enter your e-mail address and the appropriate information about the address in the Register for Community Notifications section of the page. Next, select whether you would like to be notified about sex offender addresses within a 1-, 2-, or 3-mile radius of your address or within the same zip code. Next, check the “I Agree” box to agree to the terms and conditions of the community notification system. Next, click the “Register” button. You should then receive a validation e-mail message that requires you to click the link in the message to complete your registration.
How do I search for sex offenders who are registered by different registration jurisdictions?
The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) provides the ability to search for registered sex offenders nationwide. To access the Website, go to www.nsopw.gov.
How do I search for a particular registered sex offender if I do not know how to spell his or her name?
The Name Search feature of the Website uses “begins with” search logic that returns all registered sex offenders with a first and/or last name or an alias that begins with the criteria you are searching. For example, if you conduct a search for first name “Jo” and last name “Sm”, the search results will include registered sex offenders that have the first name John, Jordan, Joseph, etc. with a last name like Smith, Smalls, Smart, etc. To ensure that you get the most accurate results, conduct a name search with the first two or three letters in the first and/or last name and then narrow your search by adding more letters if the search results are too numerous.
How do I search for registered sex offenders who live, work, or attend school near an address of interest to me?
This Website provides you with a way to search for registered sex offenders by a geographic radius around a particular address, by city, by zip code, and by county. To perform one of these searches, go to the “Geographical Search” tab, enter the information that is appropriate for the type of search you want to perform, select the search type, and click the “Search” button.
How do I contact the registry if I have a question or if I have information that may be helpful?
The registry staff can be contacted two different ways. The first is to click the “Contact Us” tab, fill out the form, and click the “Submit” button. The second is to click the “Submit a Tip” link while viewing a registered sex offender’s details. When a tip is submitted, information about the offender will automatically be included in the message so the registry staff knows which offender corresponds with the tip.