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Adam Walsh Act Overview


2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act Overview
  • Created a new baseline standard for jurisdictions to implement regarding sex offender registration and notification.
  • Expanded the definition of “jurisdiction” to include 212 Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, of whom 197 have elected to stand up their own sex offender registration and notification systems.
  • Expanded the number of sex offenses that must be captured by registration jurisdictions to include all State, Territory, Tribal, Federal, and UCMJ sex offense convictions, as well as certain foreign convictions.
  • Created the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office) within the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, to administer the standards for sex offender notification and registration, administer the grant programs authorized by the Adam Walsh Act, and coordinate related training and technical assistance.
  • Established a Sex Offender Management Assistance (SOMA) program within the Justice Department.
  • Amended SORNA to require registration jurisdictions to register Internet Identifiers.
  • Exempted Internet Identifiers from disclosure on any registration jurisdiction’s public sex offender registry website.
  • The following information is required to be placed in a jurisdiction’s sex offender registry:
    • Criminal History
    • Date of Birth
    • DNA Sample
    • Driver’s License or Identification Card
    • Employer Information
    • Fingerprints
    • Internet Identifiers
    • Name
    • Palm Prints
    • Passport and Immigration Documents
    • Phone Numbers
    • Photograph
    • Physical Description
    • Professional Licensing Information
    • Residence Information
    • School Information
    • Social Security Number
    • Temporary Lodging Information
    • Text of Registration Offense
    • Vehicle Information
  • Below is a list of the types of registration information that jurisdictions must include on their public sex offender websites to satisfy the requirements for SORNA implementation. The list of informational items that jurisdictions must include on their public sex offender websites is as follows:
    • Current Offense: The sex offense for which the offender is currently required to register and any other sex offense for which the sex offender has been convicted.
    • Employer address: The address of any place where the sex offender is an employee.
    • Name: The name of the sex offender, including any aliases.
    • Photograph: A current photograph of the offender.
    • Physical description: A physical description of the offender.
    • Resident Address: The address of the sex offender, including any information about where the offender "habitually lives".
    • School address: The address of any place where the sex offender attends school.
    • Vehicle(s) license plate number and description.
  • Jurisdictions must exempt five types of information from disclosure. These exemptions only constrain jurisdictions in relation to the information made available on their publicly accessible sex offender websites. It does not limit the discretion of jurisdictions to disclose these types of information in other contexts, such as to law enforcement. The mandatory exempted four types of information are:
    • The victim’s identity,
    • The Social Security number of the sex offender,
    • Any reference to arrests of the sex offender that did not result in conviction,
    • Passport and immigration document numbers, and
    • Internet Identifiers.
  • There are also four optional exemptions, which apply to information that jurisdictions have the discretion to exempt from their public websites. These are:
    • Any information about a tier I sex offender convicted of an offense other than a specified offense against a minor.
    • The name of an employer of the sex offender,
    • The name of an educational institution where the sex offender is a student,
    • Any other information which the Attorney General allows to be exempted.
**Content Last Updated 5/14/2012**

***"This website is for informational purposes only. Should you have a question regarding a specific statute, please seek the advice of counsel for your agency."***