The U.S. Justice Department recently announced that Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands are the latest jurisdictions to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
Since the passage of SORNA, which establishes a comprehensive national system for the registration of sex offenders, a total of 16 states, three territories and 36 tribes have met the requirements for implementation. The Act is named in memory of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old boy, who was abducted from a mall in Hollywood, Fla. on July 27, 1981.
In addition to Pennsylvania and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the states of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wyoming, and the United States territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, have also substantially implemented SORNA.
States and territories had until July 27, 2011, to substantially implement SORNA. Beginning in 2012, 34 states not in compliance were subject to a 10-percent reduction in their Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Byrne (JAG) award. The penalty will continue to be applied on an annual basis until a state or territory substantially implements SORNA.