DOJ Updates State Progress on SORNA Compliance, Penalties

Issue Brief 13-17
June 7, 2013

Summary 

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-248), established a new set of minimum national standards for sex offender registries and notification laws. States failing to meet these standards are subject to a 10% reduction in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding. States that failed to meet the July 27, 2011, compliance deadline are offered the option of having their 10% penalty reallocated to them for the sole purpose of implementing SORNA. 

To date, 37 of 56 jurisdictions have submitted complete implementation packages for review. The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) has determined that 16 states and three territories have implemented SORNA “substantially.” The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in February 2013 that detailed a number of challenges noncompliant states face including cost and inconsistent state-level legislation. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has attempted to alleviate some of the financial burden on states by providing funding and technical assistance.