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

The Adam Walsh Act: A False Sense of Security or an Effective Public Policy Initiative?

June 2009:

With the enactment of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA), states are required to standardize their registration and community notification practices by categorizing sex offenders into three-tier levels in the interest of increasing public safety. No empirical research, however, has investigated whether implementation of the AWA is likely to increase public safety. Using a sample of registered sex offenders in New York State, the current study examined the effectiveness of the Adam Walsh-tier system to classify offenders by likelihood of recidivism. Results indicated that the AWA falls short of increasing public safety. In fact, registered sex offenders classified by AWA as Tier 1 (lowest risk) were rearrested for both nonsexual and sexual offenses more than sex offenders in Tier 2 (moderate risk) or Tier 3 (highest risk). ..Source.. by Naomi J. Freeman, New York State Office of Mental Health, Albany -and- Jeffrey C. Sandler, University at Albany, New York

Worth noting from the Conclusion:
The idea behind the enactment of the AWA, to standardize registration and notification procedures nationwide, appeared to address limitations of the current system. In reality, however, the three-tiered system, as outlined in SORNA, fails to increase the effectiveness of current registration and community notification practices. In fact, as indicated by the results of the current study, the system proposed in SORNA actually decreases the ability of states to predict which sex offenders will sexually reoffend and which ones will not.

More specifically, the use of almost any empirically based risk factor would yield more accurate predictions than the SORNA tier level, which is based solely on crime of conviction. Although no risk prediction system can accurately predict sexual recidivism 100% of the time, the results of the current study indicate that SORNA is almost completely ineffective at categorizing sex offenders based on risk of sexual recidivism. As such, it appears enactment of the AWA (and, therefore, SORNA) would not only cost states more money than they would lose if they were not to enact it, but also that such enactment would unlikely increase public safety.

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