SORNA Essay

SORNA refers to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which is Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248) - SORNA Essay introduction. SORNA provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States (US Department of Justice). It also has helped close the gap and loopholes on already existent laws to strengthen the nationwide network of sex offender registration and notification programs (US Department of Justice). SORNA was created on the 25th anniversary of the kidnapping and murder of Adam Walsh who was abducted in July of 1981 from a Sears in Florida.

The Adam Walsh Act sets a minimum national standard for state sex offender registries and notification laws and has the potential to overhaul sex offender laws across the nation. SORNA has jurisdiction in the 50 states, District of Columbia, the five principal territories, and any American Indian Tribes that elect to function as registration jurisdiction under SORNA (US Department of Justice). On September 23, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Ohio and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (located in Oregon) are the first two jurisdictions to substantially implement SORNA.

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What information is required in jurisdictions’ sex offender registries? The offenders full name, birth date, criminal history, fingerprints, palm prints, drivers licence number, passport, employer information, phone numbers, internet identifiers, residence information, social security number, photograph, physical description, professional licences, school information, vehicle registration information and text of the offense. The said jurisdiction shares the said information with other jurisdictions through the SORNA exchange portal.

I think SORNA is a very valuable program to have implemented within the said jurisdictions because it might help save someone’s life. With offenders having to register all the said identifiers helps keeps offenders out of schools, daycares, bus companies and any other public places most offenders might typically look for pray. I do have some mixed emotions over which offenders should or shouldn’t have to register for instance I do not totally agree with a juvenile who now have to register under SORNA for the rest of their lives for a crime they committed maybe not knowing it was wrong due to the way they were raised.

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