Proposed SORNA Supplemental Guidelines

On May 14, 2010, the SMART Office published the proposed Supplemental Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification (75 Fed. Reg. 27632 (2010)) to put forward a number of changes in existing Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requirements and, in one case, to make SORNA conform with subsequently passed federal law. The proposed supplemental guidelines address the following areas:

  • Juveniles: The public posting of information about juveniles adjudicated delinquent of SORNA-eligible sex offenses would be discretionary at the option of the registration jurisdiction rather than mandatory.
  • Retroactive application: Currently, jurisdictions are required to "recapture" four classes of offenders into their registration systems: offenders who are currently incarcerated, on probation or parole, presently registering as sex offenders, or who come back into the criminal justice system based on a new criminal conviction of any kind. The proposed change would limit recapture in the last category—sex offenders who incur new convictions of any kind—to offenders who are convicted of a new felony offense.
  • Registration requirements: Sex offenders would be required to notify their resident jurisdiction of their intent to travel internationally 21 days prior to such travel, except in certain circumstances as spelled out in the guidelines. In addition, jurisdictions would be required to keep an electronic copy of any signed "notice" form of an offender's responsibilities to register and keep the registration current in a jurisdiction.
  • SORNA Exchange Portal: Pursuant to the requirements of SORNA, the SMART Office developed a software tool that enables immediate communication among all SORNA registration jurisdictions. The proposed guidelines would require jurisdictions to regularly check the SORNA Exchange Portal to ensure that they receive messages sent by any other jurisdiction.
  • Ongoing implementation: The proposed guidelines make it clear that the duty to implement SORNA is ongoing and, to ensure that continued implementation, the SMART Office is authorized to conduct annual reviews of jurisdictions' registration and notification systems in conjunction with their Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) applications.
  • Newly recognized tribes: From time to time, tribes become federally recognized and, in some cases, would be eligible to opt in as a SORNA registration jurisdiction. The proposed guidelines outline the process and timeline by which a newly recognized tribe might become a SORNA registration jurisdiction.
  • Internet identifiers: SORNA's Final Guidelines mandated the registration of Internet identifiers, and that mandate was made statutory by the KIDS Act in October 2008. However, the KIDS Act went a step further and specifically prohibited the posting of a sex offender's Internet identifiers on a jurisdiction's public sex offender registry website. The proposed guidelines bring SORNA into conformity with that statutory requirement.
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    In May, SMART published the proposed Supplemental Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification to put forward . . .  arrow More
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