SORNA: State and Tribal Information Sharing | Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART)
Office of Justice Programs

SORNA: State and Tribal Information Sharing

Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), requires that jurisdictions share information within their jurisdictions as well as with other registration jurisdictions (see 34 U.S.C. § 20913 (c) and 34 U.S.C. § 20923 (b) (3)). Because of the unique nature of criminal justice coordination between states and tribes, collaboration is encouraged in order to facilitate this information sharing.

To meet the requirements of SORNA, tribes may enter into memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and other forms of cooperative agreements with localities and states in order to input information into federal criminal history, fingerprint, palm print and/or DNA databases. Tribes may also apply for the Tribal Access Program (TAP) through the Department of Justice, which provides tribes access to certain national crime information systems for sex offender registration purposes. These MOUs, cooperative agreements and/or participation in TAP can assist with facilitating the exchange of other necessary information required by SORNA, such as sex offender registration data, registration updates, custody release notices and other offender notifications. For states that have federally recognized Indian tribes located within their boundaries, a detailed analysis of their efforts and collaboration with such tribes must be an integral part of the state’s substantial implementation submission. The SMART Office carefully considers tribe and state situations where the aforementioned solutions are not possible and/or are prohibited by legislation.

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