We now have added "Informational Posts" which are tidbits of information that may come in handy at some point.

The Adam Walsh Act and Wisconsin: One-Size-Fits-All Registration Does Not Fit Everyone

Summer 2009:

Title 1 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), known as the Adam Walsh Act, requires States to place juveniles as young as 14 on publicly accessible registries and subject them to broader notification protocol. Research has shown that registration and notification do not significantly reduce incidence of sexual crimes and may negatively impact public safety (Edwards and Hensley, 2001). Wisconsin should continue to allow only confidential registration of juvenile sex offenders, and only in those instances where a judge determines it necessary to protect the public. Because the likelihood of re offending sexually is low, juvenile sex offenders should be exempted from the Adam Walsh Act’s registration and notification provisions. Taking an approach that emphasizes individualized assessments followed by carefully crafted supervision and treatment plans is more likely to provide meaningful public safety than blanket registration.

Like many criminal justice statutes, SORNA bases sex offender registration on the crime committed, not the characteristics of the offender or the likelihood of re-offending. Similar to mandatory minimums, there is a grid of offenses requiring different levels of registration. Juveniles who are required to register under SORNA are considered “tier III” offenders, detailed below, does not support categorical classification of these youth as the most dangerous sex offenders. The research indicates that juvenile sex offenders are more responsive to treatment than adults, and are less likely to commit another sex offense.

All 50 states currently have sex offender registries for adults; no state is in compliance with SORNA. Thirty-three states are already registering juveniles, but only 17 have notification requirements for juveniles, which are often different from those than adults (Petteruti and Walsh, 2008). States must come into compliance with SORNA by July 2010 or risk losing a small amount of federal funding.

For the remainder of this paper: by Wisconsin Council on Children and Families

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