JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS $13 MILLION TO HELP JURISDICTIONS REGISTER AND TRACK SEX OFFENDERS
WASHINGTON – The Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) today announced awards of approximately $13 million to improve the registration and tracking of sex offenders. The grants are being awarded to states, U.S. territories and tribal communities.
“These grants give jurisdictions across the country the resources they need to build a viable sex offender registration and notification infrastructure, and protect their citizens from dangerous predators,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Matt M. Dummermuth. “In addition, sharing and using the more complete sex offender information between jurisdictions is critical to keeping our communities safe.”
The awards will be used to help jurisdictions meet the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Jurisdictions will develop and enhance their sex offender registration systems in order to better track and monitor sex offenders, reduce violent crime and improve public safety. The Adam Walsh Act, signed into law on July 27, 2006, is designed to protect children and adults from child exploitation and violent crime, prevent child abuse and child pornography and promote internet safety. The law is named in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh, who was abducted and murdered in 1981. To date, 154 jurisdictions (18 states, 132 tribes and four territories) have substantially implemented SORNA's requirements.
“The SMART Office has worked resolutely to help our state, tribal and territorial partners register and provide notification to the public of sex offenders under their jurisdiction,” said SMART Office Director Laura Rogers. “We will continue to provide assistance throughout the country as jurisdictions strengthen their systems for protecting citizens from predatory sexual behavior.”
In addition, $901,534 was awarded to support maintenance, operations and technological improvements for the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. The SMART Office manages this website, which allows the public to search for registered sex offenders on a national scale by linking state, territorial and tribal public registry websites.