Sex-Offender Tracking Law - Only One State Has Complied

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Sex-Offender Tracking Law - Only One State Has Complied

Post by Piper on Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:35 pm

February 24, 2010

Ohio Only State To Comply With Sex-Offender Law

One.

That's how many states in the U.S. have fully complied with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act of 2006.

The nationwide law is aimed at creating an across-the-board method of registering and tracking sex offenders throughout the country, where, a recent study found, a total of 704,777 sex offenders reside.

So far, only Ohio has complied.

Advocates say putting the law into effect should have happened faster.

"It's been a slow implementation and we are discouraged about that," said National Center for Missing and Exploited Children President Ernie Allen.

Previously, each individual state created and followed their own tracking and registration formats, which led to sex offenders being able to leave a state and start over in another because the law enforcement agencies did not communicate.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and federally recognized Native American tribes were supposed to be in "substantial implementation" of the law by July 2009.

But all jurisdictions received an extension last year, said Scott Matson, a senior policy advisor with Florida's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.

"And they have another year if they request it," he added.

That means the final deadline could be July 2011 -- five years after the measure became law.

When it does go fully into effect, the act will even out the playing field from state to state, said Lee County, Fla. Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Schall said. Previously, the lack of uniformity created legal loopholes exploited by sexual predators, he said.

"A lot of times what they'll do is plead ignorance," Schall said, adding that in Florida a sex offender is expected to register with law enforcement within five days of moving into the state. "Failing to register as a sex offender is a felony in our state, but in others it's a misdemeanor. This is trying to make it a uniform kind of deal. That will make things easier on everybody."

And that's key, said Collier County, Fla., Sheriff's Sgt. Ken Becker.

In the past, Becker said Collier Sheriff's Office deputies may have arrested someone and a background check would reveal that they were a sex offender in a different state, but that their original home state didn't register them.

"There was no record this person was sex offender in the system, Florida did not get notified they were here, and obviously they were in the community for a while," he said.

The registration act is aimed at toughening up the laws that were already there, said Matson, of the state's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.

But with Ohio being the only state that has "substantially" complied, along with two Native American tribes, where does Florida stand?

According to Matson, Florida is doing just fine since technically the final deadline for implementing the law has yet to arrive.

"It's a process and in a lot of ways it's not easy for a lot of states to fix their tracking and registration process," said Matson.

To do that, some states have to go through their state's lawmakers to craft a bill and change the necessary laws, and that takes time, he said.

The law's guidelines themselves were released in 2008, two years after the law was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush.


Legislation upgrades included implementing juvenile registration for those 14 and older who commit aggravated sexual assault, quarterly/biannual re-registration requirements for offenders, 25-years to lifetime registration requirements depending on the charge, E-mail and instant message ID registration for offenders, and mandatory reporting if an offender fails to register with the state.

In the meantime, Coffee said Florida did submit a compliance package at the end of last year and that she hopes to hear from the SMART Office within the next few weeks.

Allen, of the national missing and exploited children center, said the whole aim of the Adam Walsh Act was to create a post-release system that provided better registration and more consistent follow-ups of sex offenders.

"We know that there are offenders that will re-offend, so it only makes common sense that there needs to be a system in place for better follow up and better supervision," Allen said. "The last thing an offender needs is a situation where he can be anonymous, blend in and be around children."


Read the rest of the article here:


http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposhared/story/Ohio-Only-State-To-Comply-With-Sex-Offender-Law/tMh1bCzc1kevRlLwFCEj3w.cspx
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Re: Sex-Offender Tracking Law - Only One State Has Complied

Post by Julie on Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:40 pm

That's so terrible that it is taking so long for all the states to comply.

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Re: Sex-Offender Tracking Law - Only One State Has Complied

Post by eva on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:33 pm

Ohio Only State To Comply With Sex-Offender Law

One.

That's how many states in the U.S. have fully complied with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act of 2006.

***********

This may be a stupid question but is Adam Walsh's father John aware of this? Can we email him about this? He's in a position of power....


Last edited by eva on Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Sex-Offender Tracking Law - Only One State Has Complied

Post by Justice4all on Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:01 pm

We can try contacting John Walsh through this page. http://www.amw.com/contact/ I can't believe that more states haven't complied with this yet.
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