Implementation of SORNA in Indian Country
The SMART Office continues to receive an impressive response from Indian Country regarding implementation under § 16925 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), 42 U.S.C. § 16901 (Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006). To date, 134 tribal jurisdictions have submitted SORNA implementation packages. Forty tribal jurisdictions were found to have substantially implemented SORNA, and 102 tribes have public sex offender websites linked to the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. The SMART Office continues to provide support and assistance to tribal jurisdictions that have gaps in registration and notification programs or that need assistance in setting up sex offender registration and notification programs.
To that end, and per Section 42 U.S.C. § 16927(a)(2)(C) of SORNA, the SMART Office has discretion to offer additional time to implement SORNA if a tribal jurisdiction is working toward implementation and it is determined by the SMART Office that substantial implementation can be reached "within a reasonable amount of time.” Tribes that were granted additional time in 2012 but have not yet substantially implemented have the ability, until July 26, 2013, to once again request additional time.
In order to grant this additional time, the tribal jurisdiction must provide the SMART Office with the following information and documentation, and must agree to provide monthly updates on progress and any obstacles, including
- An explanation of obstacles faced in implementing SORNA, including a summary of all efforts made by the tribe to implement SORNA.
- A detailed update on any proposed, pending, or enacted SORNA-related legislation.
- A description of the tribe’s sex offender registry/public sex offender registry website, including whether the tribe intends to use the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System or another system for achieving SORNA’s minimum sex offender registry/public website requirements. For example, if the tribe plans to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the State or locality, the tribe should describe the specific parties and the components of sex offender registration and notification that will be handled by each party.
- If one of the obstacles has been the taking and submitting of data to federal databases, please provide details as to (1) how the tribe will take and submit finger and palm prints to the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and the FBI, (2) how the tribe will take and submit DNA to the Combined DNA Index System, and (3) how the tribe will submit initial sex offender registration information and updates to the National Crime Information Center/National Sex Offender Registry. If the tribe is facing any obstacles with these submissions, it should provide details about the obstacles and the efforts taken to overcome them.
- A detailed timeline with specific dates that reflect the tribe’s plan to continue to work toward substantial implementation of SORNA. This plan should include all tasks to be completed, the agency or entity responsible for each task, and projected dates for completion of each task, at least referencing what efforts will be made each month of the extended deadline.
- An updated point-of-contact form (in the event of a change in tribal leadership and/or SORNA point of contact).
The SMART Office will review all materials submitted and, if necessary, reach out to tribal leadership to further discuss the tribe’s commitment to substantially implementing SORNA, and determine whether and how much additional time is needed for implementation under the circumstances.
Requests should be sent via regular mail to: Linda M. Baldwin, Director, SMART Office, 810 7th St. NW, Washington, DC 20531, via email to AskSMART@usdoj.gov (include your tribe’s name in the subject line), or via facsimile to 202–354–4200.
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