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Department of Justice Publishes Proposed Regulations Articulating the Registration Requirements for Sex Offenders under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act

The Department of Justice has published proposed regulations that provide a clear and comprehensive statement of sex offenders’ registration requirements under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA).  SORNA requires convicted sex offenders to register in the states in which they live, work, or attend school, and it directs the Attorney General to issue regulations and guidelines to implement SORNA. 

“SORNA is a crucial public safety measure,” said Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy Beth A. Williams.  “The proposed regulations will further Congress’s and the Department’s shared goal of ensuring that convicted sex offenders are accounted for under the law.  These regulations will enhance the enforcement of registration and notification across the country and ensure that information about sex offenders in the community is available to law enforcement and the public.”  

Congress enacted SORNA as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 to strengthen the nation’s sex offender registration programs, which exist in every state, and to ensure that sex offenders are effectively tracked as they move among jurisdictions.  SORNA includes requirements regarding the sex offenses for which registration is required and the information sex offenders must provide to registration authorities; reporting of changes in, and periodic verification of, residence and other information; and the required duration of registration for sex offenders in different classes.  SORNA also requires sex offenders to report travel abroad, which addresses the global concern over international sex tourism and trafficking.

The proposed regulations’ clear and comprehensive statement of registration obligations under SORNA will promote the effective enforcement of SORNA’s requirements.  By these means, the proposed regulations will further SORNA’s objective of protecting the public from sex offenders by establishing a comprehensive national system for the registration of such offenders.

The proposed regulations are available here.