Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What will it cost states to comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)? (08/2008)

Original Article

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA)1, which mandates a national registry of people convicted of sex offenses and expands the type of offenses for which a person must register, applies to both adults and children. By July 2009, all states must comply with SORNA or risk losing 10 percent of the state’s allocated Byrne Grant money, which states generally use to enforce drug laws and support law enforcement. In the last two years, some states have extensively analyzed the financial costs of complying with SORNA. These states have found that implementing SORNA in their state is far more costly than the penalties for not being in compliance. JPI’s analysis finds that in all 50 states, the first-year costs of implementing SORNA outweigh the cost of losing 10 percent of the state’s Byrne Grant. Most of the resources available to states would be devoted to the administrative maintenance of the registry and notification, rather than targeting known serious offenders. Registries and notification have not been proven to protect communities from sexual offenses, and may even distract from more effective approaches.

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