Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Feds: penalty coming for failure to comply with Walsh Act

Only 15 states are in "substantial" compliance with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) commonly known as the Adam Walsh law, reported The Crime Report.

The law required state to bring their sex offender registry into compliance with federal law or risk the loss of federal aid.  Many states believe that the federal requirements are too costly and burdensome, deciding that they will give up some U.S. anticrime aid rather than bring their sex offender registries in line with the federal law.

The Crime Report previously noted, for example, that Texas had estimated that it would have to spent nearly $39 million to comply with SORNA but would lose only $1.4 million in federal funds if it didn't act.

The only states in compliance with SORNA are Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Some other those states risk spending a great deal more money to comply with the law as opposed to incurring the federal penalty.

The U.S. Justice Department has begun to penalize many of the states that have failed to follow its provisions.  However, according to The Crime Report, if the Justice Department determines that a state is actively attempting to comply with SORNA, its federal aid may continue without interruption.

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