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May 30, 2007

Part IV

Department of
The National Guidelines for Sex Offender
Registration and Notification; Notice
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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE offender registration and notification for C. International Travel

the protection of the public, and to XI. Verification/Appearance Requirements
[Docket No. OAG 121; A.G. Order No. 2880– eliminate potential gaps and loopholes XII. Duration of Registration
2007]. XIII. Enforcement of Registration
under the pre-existing standards by
RIN 1105–AB28 means of which sex offenders could
attempt to evade registration I. Introduction
Office of the Attorney General; The requirements or the consequences of The Sex Offender Registration and
National Guidelines for Sex Offender registration violations. Notification Act (‘‘SORNA’’ or ‘‘the
Registration and Notification These proposed guidelines carry out a Act’’), which is title I of the Adam
statutory directive to the Attorney Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act
AGENCY: Department of Justice. General in section 112(b) of SORNA (42
ACTION: Notice; Proposed guidelines. of 2006 (Pub. L. 109–248), provides a
U.S.C. 16912(b)) to issue guidelines to new comprehensive set of minimum
interpret and implement SORNA. They standards for sex offender registration
SUMMARY: The United States Department
provide guidance and assistance to the and notification in the United States.
of Justice is publishing Proposed
states and other jurisdictions in These guidelines are issued to provide
Guidelines to interpret and implement
incorporating the SORNA requirements guidance and assistance to covered
the Sex Offender Registration and
into their sex offender registration and jurisdictions—the 50 States, the District
Notification Act.
notification programs. Matters of Columbia, the principal U.S.
DATES: Comments must be received by addressed in the guidelines include
August 1, 2007. territories, and Indian tribal
general principles for SORNA governments—in implementing the
ADDRESSES: Comments may be mailed to implementation; the jurisdictions SORNA standards in their registration
Laura L. Rogers, Director, SMART responsible for implementing the and notification programs.
Office, Office of Justice Programs, SORNA standards in their programs; the The adoption of these guidelines
United States Department of Justice, 810 sex offenders required to register under carries out a statutory directive to the
7th Street NW., Washington, DC 20531. SORNA and the registration and Attorney General, appearing in SORNA
To ensure proper handling, please notification requirements they are section 112(b), to issue guidelines to
reference OAG Docket No. 121 on your subject to based on the nature of their interpret and implement SORNA. Other
correspondence. You may view an offenses and the extent of their provisions of SORNA establish the
electronic version of these proposed recidivism; the information to be Office of Sex Offender Sentencing,
guidelines at included in the sex offender registries Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering,
or You may and the disclosure and sharing of such and Tracking (the ‘‘SMART Office’’), a
also comment via the Internet to the information; the jurisdictions in which component of the Office of Justice
Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, sex offenders are required to register; Programs of the U.S. Department of
Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, the procedures for initially registering Justice. The SMART Office is authorized
and Tracking (SMART Office) of the sex offenders and for keeping the by law to administer the standards for
Justice Department’s Office of Justice registration current and the registration sex offender registration and
Programs at information up to date; the duration of notification that are set forth in SORNA
Electronically submitted comments registration; and the means of enforcing and interpreted and implemented in
must include Docket No. OAG 121 in registration requirements. these guidelines. It is further authorized
the subject box.
Proposed National Guidelines for Sex to cooperate with and provide
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: assistance to States, local governments,
Offender Registration and Notification
Laura L. Rogers, Director, SMART tribal governments, and other public
Office, Office of Justice Programs, Contents and private entities in relation to sex
United States Department of Justice, I. Introduction offender registration and notification
Washington, DC 202–514–4689. II. General Principles and other measures for the protection of
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Since the A. Terminology the public from sexual abuse or
enactment of the Jacob Wetterling B. Minimum National Standards exploitation. See SORNA section 146(c).
C. Retroactivity
Crimes Against Children and Sexually Accordingly, the SMART Office should
D. Automation—Electronic Databases and
Violent Offender Registration Act (42 Software be regarded by jurisdictions discharging
U.S.C. 14071) in 1994, there have been E. Implementation registration and notification functions as
national standards for sex offender III. Covered Jurisdictions their key partner and resource in the
registration and notification in the IV. Covered Sex Offenses and Sex Offenders federal government in further
United States. All states currently have A. Convictions Generally developing and strengthening their sex
sex offender registration and B. Foreign Convictions offender registration and notification
notification programs and have C. Sex Offenses Generally
programs, and the SMART Office will
D. Specified Offenses Against Minors
endeavored to implement the Wetterling E. Protected Witnesses provide all possible assistance for this
Act standards in their existing V. Classes of Sex Offenders purpose.
programs. VI. Required Registration Information The development of sex offender
Title I of the Adam Walsh Child VII. Disclosure and Sharing of Information registration and notification programs in
Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Pub. A. Sex Offender Web Sites the United States has proceeded rapidly
L. 109–248), the Sex Offender B. Community Notification and Targeted since the early 1990s, and at the present
Registration and Notification Act Disclosures time such programs exist in all of the
(SORNA), contains a comprehensive VIII. Where Registration Is Required States, the District of Columbia, and
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IX. Initial Registration

revision of the national standards for X. Keeping the Registration Current
some of the territories and tribes. These
sex offender registration and A. Changes of Name, Residence, programs serve a number of important
notification. The SORNA reforms are Employment, or School Attendance public safety purposes. In their most
generally designed to strengthen and B. Changes in Other Registration basic character, the registration aspects
increase the effectiveness of sex Information of these programs are systems for

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tracking sex offenders following their another, or if registration and In addition, SORNA strengthens the
release into the community. If a sexually notification requirements could be federal superstructure elements that
violent crime occurs or a child is evaded by moving from a jurisdiction leverage and support the sex offender
molested, information available to law with an effective program to a nearby registration and notification programs of
enforcement through the registration jurisdiction that required little or the registration jurisdictions. These
program about sex offenders who may nothing in terms of registration and strengthened elements are: (i) Stepped-
have been present in the area may help notification. up federal investigation and prosecution
to identify the perpetrator and solve the Hence, there have been national efforts to assist jurisdictions in
crime. If a particular released sex standards for sex offender registration in enforcing sex offender registration
offender is implicated in such a crime, the United States since the enactment of requirements; (ii) new statutory
knowledge of the sex offender’s the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against provisions for the national database and
whereabouts through the registration Children and Sexually Violent Offender national Web site (i.e., the National Sex
system may help law enforcement in Act (42 U.S.C. 14071) in 1994. The Offender Registry and the Dru Sjodin
making a prompt apprehension. The national standards from their inception National Sex Offender Public Web site)
registration program may also have have addressed such matters as the that effectively compile information
salutary effects in relation to the offenses for which registration should obtained under the registration
likelihood of registrants committing be required, updating and periodic programs of the States and other
more sex offenses. Registered sex verification of registration information, jurisdictions and make it readily
offenders will perceive that the the duration of registration, public available to law enforcement or the
authorities’ knowledge of their notification, and continued registration public on a nationwide basis; (iii)
identities, locations, and past offenses and tracking of sex offenders when they development by the federal government
reduces the chances that they can avoid relocate from one jurisdiction to of software tools, which the States and
detection and apprehension if they another. other registration jurisdictions will be
reoffend, and this perception may help Following the enactment of the able to use to facilitate the operation of
to discourage them from doing so. Wetterling Act in 1994, that Act was their registration and notification
Registration also provides the amended a number of times, in part programs in conformity with the
informational base for the other key reflecting and in part promoting trends SORNA standards; and (iv)
aspect of the programs—notification— in the development of the State establishment of the SMART Office to
which involves making information registration and notification programs. administer the national standards for
about released sex offenders more Ultimately, Congress concluded that the sex offender registration and
broadly available to the public. The patchwork of standards that had notification and to assist registration
means of public notification currently resulted from piecemeal amendments jurisdictions in their implementation.
include sex offender Web sites in all should be replaced with a Through the cooperative effort of the
States, the District of Columbia, and comprehensive new set of standards— 50 States, the District of Columbia, the
some territories, and may involve other the SORNA reforms, whose U.S. territories, and Indian tribal
forms of notice as well. The availability implementation these Guidelines governments with the responsible
of such information helps members of concern—that would close potential federal agencies, the SORNA goal of an
the public to take common sense gaps and loopholes under the old law, effective and comprehensive national
measures for the protection of and generally strengthen the nationwide system of registration and notification
themselves and their families, such as network of sex offender registration and programs can be realized, with great
declining the offer of a convicted child notification programs. Important areas benefit to the ultimate objective of
molester to watch their children or head of reform under the SORNA standards ‘‘protect[ing] the public from sex
a youth group, or reporting to the include: offenders and offenders against
authorities approaches to children or • Extending the jurisdictions in children.’’ SORNA section102. These
other suspicious activities by such a sex which registration is required beyond Guidelines provide the blueprint for
offender. Here as well, the effect is the 50 States, the District of Columbia, that effort.
salutary in relation to the sex offenders and the principal U.S. territories, to
themselves, since knowledge by those include Indian tribal jurisdictions. Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General
around them of their sex offense • Extending the classes of sex II. General Principles
histories reduces the likelihood that offenders and sex offenses for which
they will be presented with registration is required. Before turning to the specific SORNA
opportunities to reoffend. • Consistently requiring that sex standards and requirements discussed
While sex offender registration and offenders in the covered classes register in the remainder of these Guidelines,
notification in the United States are and keep the registration current in the certain general points should be noted
generally carried out through programs jurisdictions in which they reside, work, concerning the interpretation and
operated by the individual States and or go to school. application of the Act and these
other non-federal jurisdictions, their • Requiring more extensive Guidelines:
effectiveness depends on also having registration information. A. Terminology
effective arrangements for tracking of • Adding to the national standards
registrants as they move among periodic in-person appearances by These Guidelines use key terms with
jurisdictions and some national baseline registrants to verify and update the the meanings defined in SORNA. In
of registration and notification registration information. particular, the term ‘‘jurisdiction’’ is
standards. In a federal union like the • Broadening the availability of consistently used with the meaning set
United States with a mobile population, forth in SORNA section 111(10). As
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information concerning registered sex

sex offender registration could not be offenders to the public, through posting defined in that provision, it refers to the
effective if registered sex offenders on sex offender Web sites and by other 50 States, the District of Columbia, the
could simply disappear from the means. five principal U.S. territories—i.e., the
purview of the registration authorities • Adopting reforms affecting the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam,
by moving from one jurisdiction to required duration of registration. American Samoa, the Northern Mariana

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Islands, and the United States Virgin B. Minimum National Standards VII of these Guidelines. In most other
Islands—and Indian tribes that elect to SORNA establishes a national respects, jurisdictions’ discretion to go
function as registration jurisdictions baseline for sex offender registration further than the SORNA minimum is
under SORNA section 127. (For more and notification programs. In other not limited.
concerning covered jurisdictions, see words, the Act generally constitutes a C. Retroactivity
Part III of these Guidelines.) Thus, when set of minimum national standards and
these Guidelines refer to ‘‘jurisdictions’’ sets a floor, not a ceiling, for The applicability of the SORNA
implementing the SORNA registration jurisdictions’ programs. Hence, for requirements is not limited to sex
and notification requirements, the example, a jurisdiction may have a offenders whose predicate sex offense
reference is to implementation of these system that requires registration by convictions occur following a
requirements by the jurisdictions broader classes of convicted sex jurisdiction’s implementation of a
specified in SORNA section 111(10). offenders than those identified in conforming registration program.
Likewise, the term ‘‘sex offense’’ is not SORNA, or that requires, in addition, Rather, SORNA’s requirements apply to
used to refer to any and all crimes of a registration by certain classes of non- all sex offenders, including those whose
sexual nature, but rather to those convicts (such as persons acquitted on convictions predate the enactment of
covered by the definition of ‘‘sex the ground of insanity of sexually the Act. The Attorney General has so
offense’’ appearing in SORNA section violent crimes or child molestation provided in 28 CFR part 72, pursuant to
111(5), and the term ‘‘sex offender’’ has offenses, or persons released following the authority under SORNA section
the meaning stated in SORNA section civil commitment as sexually dangerous 113(d) to ‘‘specify the applicability of
111(1). (For more concerning covered persons). A jurisdiction may require the requirements of [SORNA] to sex
sex offenses and offenders, see Part IV verification of the registered address or offenders convicted before the
of these Guidelines.) other registration information by sex enactment of this Act or its
offenders with greater frequency than implementation in a particular
SORNA itself includes a number of jurisdiction.’’ As noted in the
references relating to implementation by SORNA requires, or by other means in
addition to those required by SORNA rulemaking document for the cited
jurisdictions of the requirements of regulations, the application of the
‘‘this title.’’ Section 125 provides a (e.g., through the use of mailed address
verification forms, in addition to in- SORNA standards to sex offenders
mandatory 10% reduction in certain whose convictions predate SORNA
federal justice assistance funding for person appearances). A jurisdiction may
require sex offenders to register for creates no ex post facto problem
jurisdictions that fail, as determined by ‘‘because the SORNA sex offender
the Attorney General, to substantially longer periods than those required by
the SORNA standards. A jurisdiction registration and notification
implement ‘‘this title’’ within the time requirements are intended to be non-
frame specified in section 124, and may require that changes in registration
information be reported by registrants punitive, regulatory measures adopted
section 126 authorizes a Sex Offender for public safety purposes, and hence
Management Assistance grant program on a more stringent basis than the
SORNA minimum standards—e.g., may validly be applied (and enforced by
to help offset the costs of implementing criminal sanctions) against sex offenders
‘‘this title.’’ In the context of these requiring that changes of residence be
reported before the sex offender moves, whose predicate convictions occurred
provisions, the references to ‘‘this title’’ prior to the creation of these
function as a shorthand for the SORNA rather than within three business days
following the move. A jurisdiction may requirements. See Smith v. Doe, 538
sex offender registration and U.S. 84 (2003).’’ 72 FR 8894, 8896 (Feb.
notification standards. They do not extend Web site posting to broader
classes of registrants than SORNA 28, 2007).
mean that funding under these As a practical matter, jurisdictions
provisions is affected by a jurisdiction’s requires and may post more information
concerning registrants than SORNA and may not be able to identify all sex
implementation or non-implementation offenders who fall within the SORNA
these Guidelines require.
of reforms unrelated to sex offender registration categories, where the
Such measures, which encompass the
registration and notification that appear SORNA baseline of sex offender predicate convictions predate the
in later portions of title I of the Adam registration and notification enactment of SORNA or the
Walsh Act Child Protection and Safety requirements but go beyond them, jurisdiction’s implementation of the
Act of 2006 (particularly, subtitle C of generally have no negative implication SORNA standards in its registration
that title). concerning jurisdictions’ program, particularly where such sex
Section 125(d) of SORNA states that implementation of or compliance with offenders have left the justice system
the provisions of SORNA ‘‘that are cast SORNA. This is so because the general and merged into the general population
as directions to jurisdictions or their purpose of SORNA is to protect the long ago. But many sex offenders with
officials constitute, in relation to States, public from sex offenders and offenders such convictions will remain in (or
only conditions required to avoid the against children through effective sex reenter) the system because:
reduction of Federal funding under this offender registration and notification, • They are incarcerated or under
section.’’ Statements in these Guidelines and it is not intended to preclude or supervision, either for the predicate sex
that SORNA requires jurisdictions to limit jurisdictions’ discretion to adopt offense or for some other crime;
adopt certain measures should be more extensive or additional registration • They are already registered or
understood accordingly in their and notification requirements to that subject to a pre-existing sex offender
application to the States. Since the end. There are exceptions to this general registration requirement under the
SORNA requirements relating to sex rule, however. For example, SORNA jurisdiction’s law; or
offender registration and notification section 118(b) requires that certain • They hereafter reenter the
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are, in relation to the States, only partial limited types of information, such as jurisdiction’s justice system because of
funding eligibility conditions, creation victim identity and registrants’ Social conviction for some other crime
of these requirements is within the Security numbers, be excluded from (whether or not a sex offense).
constitutional authority of the federal jurisdictions’ publicly accessible sex Sex offenders in these three classes are
government. offender Web sites, as discussed in Part within the cognizance of the

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jurisdiction, and the jurisdiction will electronic and cyber technology to track frame would result in a 10% reduction
often have independent reasons to seamlessly sex offenders who move of Federal justice assistance funding
review their criminal histories for penal, from one jurisdiction to another, ensure under 42 U.S.C. 3750 et seq. (‘‘Byrne
correctional, or registration/notification that information concerning registrants Justice Assistance Grant’’ funding). See
purposes. Accordingly, a jurisdiction is immediately made available to all SORNA section 125(a). Funding
will be deemed to have substantially interested jurisdictions, and make withheld from jurisdictions because of
implemented the SORNA standards information concerning sex offenders noncompliance would be reallocated to
with respect to sex offenders whose immediately available to the public as other jurisdictions that are in
predicate convictions predate the appropriate. These include provisions compliance, or could be reallocated to
enactment of SORNA or the for immediate information sharing the noncompliant jurisdiction to be
implementation of SORNA in the among jurisdictions under SORNA used solely for the purpose of SORNA
jurisdiction’s program if it registers section 113(c); a requirement in section implementation.
these sex offenders, when they fall 119(b) that the Attorney General ensure While SORNA sets minimum
within any of the three classes described ‘‘that updated information about a sex standards for jurisdictions’ registration
above, in conformity with the SORNA offender is immediately transmitted by and notification programs, it does not
standards. (For more about the electronic forwarding to all relevant require that its standards be
registration of sex offenders in these jurisdictions’’; and requirements in implemented by statute. Hence, in
classes, see the discussion under section 121(b) that sex offender assessing compliance with SORNA, the
‘‘retroactive classes’’ in Part IX of these registration information and updates totality of a jurisdiction’s rules
Guidelines.) thereto be provided immediately to governing the operation of its
The required retroactive application various public and private entities and registration and notification program
of the SORNA requirements will also be individuals. (For more about these will be considered, including
limited in some cases by the limits on information sharing requirements and administrative policies and procedures
the required duration of registration. As associated time frames, see Parts VII.B as well as statutes.
discussed in Part XII of these and X of these Guidelines.) The SMART Office will be
Guidelines, SORNA requires minimum Carrying out the SORNA information responsible for determining whether a
registration periods of varying length for sharing requirements accordingly will jurisdiction has substantially
sex offenders in different categories, entail maintenance by jurisdictions of implemented the SORNA requirements.
defined by criteria relating to the nature their registries in the form of electronic The affected jurisdictions are
of their sex offenses and their history of databases, whose included information encouraged to submit information to the
recidivism. This means that a sex can be electronically transmitted to SMART Office concerning existing and
offender with a pre-SORNA conviction other jurisdictions and entities. This proposed sex offender registration and
may have been in the community for a point is further discussed in connection notification provisions with as much
greater amount of time than the with the specific SORNA standards, lead time as possible, so the SMART
registration period required by SORNA. particularly in Parts VI, VII, and X of Office can assess the adequacy of
For example, SORNA section 115 these Guidelines. existing or proposed measures to
requires registration for 25 years for a Section 123 of SORNA directs the implement the SORNA requirements
sex offender whose offense satisfies the Attorney General, in consultation with and work with the submitting
‘‘tier II’’ criteria of section 111(3). A sex the jurisdictions, to develop and jurisdictions to overcome any shortfalls
offender who was released from support registry management and Web or problems. At the latest, submissions
imprisonment for such an offense in site software. The purposes of the establishing compliance with the
1980 is already more than 25 years out software include facilitating the SORNA requirements should be made to
from the time of release. In such cases, immediate exchange of sex offender the SMART Office at least three months
a jurisdiction may credit the sex information among jurisdictions, public before the deadline date of July 27,
offender with the time elapsed from his access through the Internet to sex 2009—i.e., by April 27, 2009—so that
or her release (or the time elapsed from offender information and other forms of the matter can be determined before the
sentencing, in case of a non- community notification, and Byrne Grant funding reduction required
incarcerative sentence), and does not compliance in other respects with the by SORNA section 125 for
have to require the sex offender to SORNA requirements. As required by noncompliant jurisdictions takes effect.
register on the basis of the conviction, section 123, the Department of Justice If it is anticipated that a submitting
even if the criteria for retroactive will develop and make available to the jurisdiction may need an extension of
application of the SORNA standards jurisdictions software tools for the time as described in SORNA section
under this Part are otherwise satisfied. operation of their sex offender 124(b), the submission to the SMART
As with other requirements under registration and notification programs, Office—which should be made by April
SORNA and these Guidelines, the which will, as far as possible, be 27, 2009, as noted—should include a
foregoing discussion identifies only the designed to automate these processes description of the jurisdiction’s
minimum required for SORNA and enable the jurisdictions to implementation efforts and an
compliance. Jurisdictions are free to implement SORNA’s requirements by explanation why an extension is
require registration for broader classes utilizing the software. needed.
of sex offenders with convictions that SORNA section 125 refers to
E. Implementation ‘‘substantial’’ implementation of
predate SORNA or the jurisdiction’s
implementation of the SORNA Section 124 of SORNA sets a general SORNA. The standard of ‘‘substantial
standards in its program. time frame of three years for implementation’’ is satisfied with
implementation, running from the date respect to an element of the SORNA
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D. Automation—Electronic Databases of enactment of SORNA, i.e., from July requirements if a jurisdiction carries out
and Software 27, 2006. The Attorney General is the requirements of SORNA as
Several features of SORNA authorized to provide up to two one- interpreted and explained in these
contemplate, or will require as a year extensions of this deadline. Failure Guidelines. Hence, the standard is
practical matter, the use of current to comply within the applicable time satisfied if a jurisdiction implements

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measures that these Guidelines identify highest court of a jurisdiction has held those appearing in sections 113(c)
as sufficient to implement (or that the jurisdiction’s constitution is in (second sentence), 113(e), 114(b), 117(a),
‘‘substantially’’ implement) the SORNA some respect in conflict with the 118, 121(b), and 122. To meet the
requirements. SORNA requirements. If a jurisdiction requirement under sections 112 and 124
The ‘‘substantial’’ compliance believes that it faces such a situation, it that covered jurisdictions must
standard also contemplates that there is should inform the SMART Office. The implement SORNA in their registration
some latitude to approve a jurisdiction’s SMART Office will then work with the and notification programs, each
implementation efforts, even if they do jurisdiction to see whether the problem jurisdiction must incorporate in the
not exactly follow in all respects the can be overcome, as the statute laws and rules governing its registration
specifications of SORNA or these provides. If it is not possible to and notification program the
Guidelines. For example, section 116 of overcome the problem, then the SMART requirements that SORNA imposes on
SORNA requires periodic in-person Office may approve the jurisdiction’s sex offenders, as well as those that are
appearances by sex offenders to verify adoption of reasonable alternative addressed directly to jurisdictions and
their registration information. In some measures that are consistent with the their officials.
cases this will be impossible, such as purposes of SORNA. While the ‘‘jurisdictions’’ assigned sex
the case of a sex offender who is Section 125 of SORNA, as discussed offender registration and notification
hospitalized and unconscious as a result above, provides for a funding reduction responsibilities by SORNA are the 50
of an injury at the time of a scheduled for jurisdictions that do not States, the District of Columbia, the
appearance. In other cases, the substantially implement SORNA within principal territories, and Indian tribes
appearance may not be literally the applicable time frame. Section 126 (to the extent provided in section 127),
impossible, but there may be reasons to of SORNA authorizes positive funding as described above, this does not limit
allow some relaxation of the assistance—the Sex Offender the ability of these jurisdictions to carry
requirement. For example, a sex Management Assistance (‘‘SOMA’’) out these functions through their
offender may unexpectedly need to deal grant program—to all registration political subdivisions. For example, a
with a family emergency at the time of jurisdictions to help offset the costs of jurisdiction may assign responsibility
a scheduled appearance, where failure SORNA implementation, with enhanced for initially registering sex offenders
to make the appearance will mean not payments authorized for jurisdictions upon their release from imprisonment to
verifying the registration information that effect such implementation within correctional personnel who are
within the exact time frame specified by one or two years of SORNA’s enactment. employees of the jurisdiction’s
SORNA section 116. A jurisdiction may Congress has not appropriated funding government, but the responsibility for
wish to authorize rescheduling of the for the SOMA program at the time of the continued tracking and registration of
appearance in such cases. Doing so issuance of these Guidelines. If funding sex offenders thereafter may be assigned
would not necessarily undermine for this program is forthcoming in the to personnel of local police
substantially the objectives of the future, additional guidance will be departments, sheriffs’ offices, or
SORNA verification requirements, so provided concerning application for supervision agencies who are municipal
long as the jurisdiction’s rules or grants under the program. employees. Moreover, in carrying out
procedures require that the sex offender their registration and notification
notify the official responsible for III. Covered Jurisdictions functions, jurisdictions are free to
monitoring the sex offender of the Section 112(a) of SORNA states that utilize (and to allow their agencies and
difficulty, and that the appearance ‘‘[e]ach jurisdiction shall maintain a political subdivisions to utilize) entities
promptly be carried out once the jurisdiction-wide sex offender registry and individuals who may not be
interfering circumstance is resolved. conforming to the requirements of this governmental agencies or employees in
In general, the SMART Office will title,’’ and section 124 provides specific a narrow sense, such as contractors,
consider on a case-by-case basis deadlines for ‘‘jurisdictions’’ to carry volunteers, and community-based
whether jurisdictions’ rules or out the SORNA implementation. organizations that are capable of
procedures that do not exactly follow Related definitions appear in section discharging these functions. SORNA
the provisions of SORNA or these does not limit jurisdictions’ discretion
111(9) and (10). Section 111(9) provides
Guidelines ‘‘substantially’’ implement concerning such matters. Rather, so long
that ‘‘sex offender registry’’ means a
SORNA, assessing whether the as a jurisdiction’s laws and rules
registry of sex offenders and a
departure from a SORNA requirement provide consistently for the discharge of
notification program.
will or will not substantially disserve the required registration and
Section 111(10) provides that
the objectives of the requirement. If a notification functions by some
‘‘jurisdiction’’ refers to:
jurisdiction is relying on the responsible individuals or entities, the
authorization to approve measures that • The 50 States; specifics concerning such assignments
‘‘substantially’’ implement SORNA as • The District of Columbia; of responsibility are matters within the
the basis for an element or elements in • The five principal U.S. territories— jurisdiction’s discretion. References in
its system that depart in some respect the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, these Guidelines should be understood
from the exact requirements of SORNA Guam, American Samoa, the Northern accordingly, so that (for example) a
or these Guidelines, the jurisdiction’s Mariana Islands, and the United States reference to an ‘‘official’’ carrying out a
submission to the SMART Office should Virgin Islands; and registration function does not mean that
identify these elements and explain why • Indian tribes to the extent provided the function must be carried out by a
the departure from the SORNA in section 127. government employee, but rather is
requirements should not be considered Some of the provisions in SORNA are simply a way of referring to whatever
formulated as directions to sex
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a failure to substantially implement individual is assigned responsibility for

SORNA. offenders, including those appearing in the function.
Beyond the general standard of sections 113(a)–(b), 113(c) (first With respect to Indian tribes, SORNA
substantial implementation, SORNA sentence), 114(a), 115(a), and 116. Other recognizes that tribes may vary in their
section 125(b) includes special SORNA provisions are cast as directions capacities and preferences regarding the
provisions for cases in which the to jurisdictions or their officials, such as discharge of sex offender registration

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and notification functions, and enactment must be adopted on or prior as a registration jurisdiction or
accordingly section 127 of SORNA has to July 27, 2007, and must state a delegating registration and notification
special provisions governing the decision by the tribal council (or functions to the State in the portion of
treatment of Indian tribes as registration comparable governmental body) to do its land that is not subject to 18 U.S.C.
jurisdictions or the delegation of one of the following: 1162.)
registration and notification functions to • Carry out the SORNA requirements • Under subparagraph (B) of
the States. Specifically, section 127(a)(1) relating to sex offender registration and subsection (a)(2), these functions are
generally affords federally recognized notification as a jurisdiction subject to delegated to the State or States if the
Indian tribes a choice between electing those requirements; or tribe does not make an affirmative
to carry out the sex offender registration • Delegate the tribe’s functions election to function as a registration
and notification functions specified in relating to sex offender registration and jurisdiction within one year of the
SORNA in relation to sex offenders notification under SORNA to the State enactment of SORNA—i.e., within one
subject to its jurisdiction, or delegating or States within which the territory of year of July 27, 2006—or rescinds a
those functions to a State or States the tribe is located and provide access previous election to function as a
within which the tribe is located. to its territory and such other registration jurisdiction.
(Delegation to the State or States is cooperation and assistance as may be • Under subparagraph (C) of
automatic for a tribe subject to state law needed to enable the State or States to subsection (a)(2), these functions are
enforcement jurisdiction under 18 carry out and enforce the SORNA delegated to the State or States if the
U.S.C. 1162, however—see the requirements. Attorney General determines that the
discussion of section 127(a)(2) below.) Additional suggested elements for tribe has not substantially implemented
The choice by a tribe whether to become inclusion in the tribal resolution (or the requirements of SORNA and is not
a SORNA registration jurisdiction or to other enactment) include the following: likely to become capable of doing so
delegate registration and notification within a reasonable amount of time.
• Authorization of an appropriate If a tribe does elect under section 127
functions to a State or States must be tribal official or officials to negotiate or
made within one year of SORNA’s to become a SORNA registration
enter into cooperative agreements with jurisdiction, section 127(b) specifies that
enactment on July 27, 2006. state or local governments, if the tribe
If a tribe elects to become a SORNA this does not mean that the tribe must
elects to become a SORNA registration duplicate registration and notification
registration jurisdiction, its functions
jurisdiction, and if it is expected that functions that are fully carried out by
and responsibilities regarding sex
offender registration and notification are the SORNA requirements will be carried the State or States within which the
the same as those of a State. Duplication out wholly or in part through such tribe is located, and subsection (b)
of registration and notification functions agreements. further authorizes the tribes and the
• A direction to tribal officials and States to make cooperative arrangements
by tribes and States is not required,
however, and such tribes may enter into agencies to provide such cooperation for the discharge of some or all of these
cooperative agreements with the States and assistance as the State or States may functions. For example, SORNA section
for the discharge of these functions, as need to carry out and enforce the 118 requires jurisdictions to make
discussed below in connection with SORNA requirements, if the tribe elects information concerning their sex
section 127(b). If a tribe elects to to delegate the SORNA functions to a offenders available to the public through
delegate to a State, then the State is fully State or States. the Internet. If a tribe did not want to
responsible for carrying out the SORNA • A date or timing notation that maintain a separate sex offender Web
registration and notification functions, shows the resolution was adopted on or site for this purpose, it would not need
and the delegation includes an prior to July 27, 2007. to do so, as long as a cooperative
undertaking by the tribe to ‘‘provide • A direction that the SMART Office agreement was made with the State to
access to its territory and such other of the U.S. Department of Justice be have information concerning the tribe’s
cooperation and assistance as may be notified of the tribe’s election and that registrants posted on the State’s sex
needed to enable [the State] to carry out the resolution or enactment be offender Web site. Likewise, a tribe that
and enforce the requirements of transmitted to the SMART Office. elects to be a SORNA registration
[SORNA].’’ SORNA section 127(a)(1)(B). Subsection (a)(2) of SORNA section jurisdiction remains free to make
The election to become a SORNA 127 specifies three circumstances in cooperative agreements under which the
registration jurisdiction, or to delegate which registration and notification State (or a political subdivision thereof)
to a State or States, must be made by functions are deemed to be delegated to will handle registration of the tribe’s sex
resolution or other enactment of the the State or States in which a tribe is offenders—such as initially registering
tribal council or comparable located, even if the tribe does not make these sex offenders, conducting periodic
governmental body. Hence, the decision an affirmative decision to delegate: appearances of the sex offenders to
must be made by a tribal governmental • Under subparagraph (A) of verify the registration information, and
entity—’’the tribal council or subsection (a)(2), these functions are receiving reports by the sex offenders
comparable governmental body’’—that always delegated to the State if the tribe concerning changes in the registration
has the legal authority to make binding is subject to the law enforcement information—to the extent and in a
legislative decisions for the tribe. The jurisdiction of the State under 18 U.S.C. manner mutually agreeable to the tribe
tribal government should promptly 1162. (If a tribe’s land is in part subject and the State. In general, the use of
notify the SMART Office of its decision to state law enforcement jurisdiction cooperative agreements affords tribes
and forward the text of the resolution or under 18 U.S.C. 1162 and in part flexibility in deciding which functions
other enactment to the SMART Office outside of the areas subject to 18 U.S.C. under SORNA they would seek to have
1162, then: (i) Sex offender registration state authorities perform, and which
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by a reliable means of transmission—

preferably by the decision deadline of and notification functions are they wish to control or discharge
July 27, 2007, or if that is not feasible, automatically delegated to the relevant directly. For example, the State could
as soon thereafter as possible. State in the portion of the tribal land carry out certain registration functions,
To satisfy the requirements of SORNA subject to 18 U.S.C. 1162, and (ii) the but the tribe could retain jurisdiction
section 127(a)(1), the resolution or tribe has a choice between functioning over the arrest within its territory of sex

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offenders who fail to register, update of innocence. This does not mean, 2241(c)). ‘‘Sexual act’’ for this purpose
registrations, or make required however, that nominal changes or should be understood to include any of
verification appearances, if a terminological variations that do not the following: (i) Oral-genital or oral-
cooperative agreement between the tribe relieve a conviction of substantive effect anal contact, (ii) any degree of genital or
and the State so provided. negate the SORNA requirements. For anal penetration, and (iii) direct genital
example, the need to require registration touching of a child under the age of 16.
IV. Covered Sex Offenses and Sex
would not be avoided by a jurisdiction’s This follows from the definition of
having a procedure under which the sexual act in 18 U.S.C. 2246(2), which
SORNA refers to the persons required convictions of sex offenders in certain applies to the 18 U.S.C. 2241
to register under its standards as ‘‘sex categories (e.g., young adult sex ‘‘aggravated sexual abuse’’ offense.
offenders,’’ and section 111(1) of offenders who satisfy certain criteria) As with other aspects of SORNA, the
SORNA defines ‘‘sex offender’’ in the are referred to as something other than foregoing defines minimum standards.
relevant sense to mean ‘‘an individual ‘‘convictions,’’ or under which the Hence, the inclusions and exclusions in
who was convicted of a sex offense.’’ convictions of such sex offenders may the definition of ‘‘conviction’’ for
‘‘Sex offense’’ is in turn defined in nominally be ‘‘vacated’’ or ‘‘set aside,’’ purposes of SORNA do not constrain
section 111(5) and related provisions. but the sex offender is nevertheless jurisdictions from requiring registration
The term encompasses a broad range of required to serve what amounts to a by additional individuals—e.g., more
offenses of a sexual nature under the criminal sentence for the offense. broadly defined categories of juveniles
law of any jurisdiction—including Rather, an adult sex offender is adjudicated delinquent for sex
offenses under federal, military, state, ‘‘convicted’’ for SORNA purposes if the offenses—if they are so inclined.
territorial, local, tribal, and foreign law, sex offender remains subject to penal
but with some qualification regarding consequences based on the conviction, B. Foreign Convictions
foreign convictions as discussed below. however it may be styled. Likewise, the Section 111(5)(B) of SORNA instructs
A. Convictions Generally sealing of a criminal record or other that registration need not be required on
action that limits the publicity or the basis of a foreign conviction if the
A ‘‘sex offender’’ defined in SORNA availability of a conviction, but does not conviction ‘‘was not obtained with
section 111(1) is a person who was deprive it of continuing legal validity, sufficient safeguards for fundamental
‘‘convicted’’ of a sex offense. Hence, does not change its status as a fairness and due process for the accused
whether an individual has a sex offense ‘‘conviction’’ for purposes of SORNA. under guidelines or regulations
‘‘conviction’’ determines whether he or ‘‘Convictions’’ for SORNA purposes established [by the Attorney General].’’
she is within the minimum categories include convictions of juveniles who are The following standards are adopted
for which the SORNA standards require prosecuted as adults. It does not include pursuant to section 111(5)(B):
registration. juvenile delinquency adjudications, • Sex offense convictions under the
The convictions for which SORNA except under the circumstances laws of Canada, Great Britain, Australia,
requires registration include convictions specified in SORNA section 111(8). and New Zealand are deemed to have
for sex offenses by any United States Section 111(8) provides that been obtained with sufficient safeguards
jurisdiction, including convictions for delinquency adjudications count as for fundamental fairness and due
sex offenses under federal, military, convictions ‘‘only if the offender is 14 process, and registration must be
state, territorial, or local law. Indian years of age or older at the time of the required for such convictions on the
tribal court convictions for sex offenses offense and the offense adjudicated was same footing as domestic convictions.
are generally to be given the same effect comparable to or more severe than • Sex offense convictions under the
as convictions by other United States aggravated sexual abuse (as described in laws of any foreign country are deemed
jurisdictions. It is recognized, however, section 2241 of title 18, United States to have been obtained with sufficient
that Indian tribal court proceedings may Code), or was an attempt or conspiracy safeguards for fundamental fairness and
differ from those in other United States to commit such an offense.’’ due process if the U.S. State
jurisdictions in that the former do not Hence, SORNA does not require Department, in its Country Reports on
uniformly guarantee the same rights to registration for juveniles adjudicated Human Rights Practices, has concluded
counsel that are guaranteed in the latter. delinquent for all sex offenses for which that an independent judiciary generally
Accordingly, a jurisdiction may choose an adult sex offender would be required (or vigorously) enforced the right to a
not to require registration based on a to register, but rather requires fair trial in that country during the year
tribal court conviction resulting from registration only for a defined class of in which the conviction occurred.
proceedings in which: (i) The defendant older juveniles who are adjudicated Registration must be required on the
was denied the right to the assistance of delinquent for committing particularly basis of such convictions on the same
counsel, and (ii) the defendant would serious sexually assaultive crimes or footing as domestic convictions.
have had a right to the assistance of child molestation offenses. Considering • With respect to sex offense
counsel under the United States the definition of the federal ‘‘aggravated convictions in foreign countries that do
Constitution in comparable state sexual abuse’’ offense referenced in not satisfy the criteria stated above, a
proceedings. A jurisdiction will not be section 111(8), offenses under a jurisdiction is not required to register
deemed to have failed to substantially jurisdiction’s laws ‘‘comparable to’’ that the convicted person if the jurisdiction
implement SORNA based on its offense are those that cover: determines—through whatever process
adoption of such an exception. • Engaging in a sexual act with or procedure it may choose to adopt—
Since the SORNA registration another by force or the threat of serious that the conviction does not constitute
requirements are predicated on violence (see 18 U.S.C. 2241(a)); a reliable indication of factual guilt
convictions, registration (or continued • Engaging in a sexual act with because of the lack of an impartial
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registration) is normally not required another by rendering unconscious or tribunal, because of denial of the right
under the SORNA standards if the involuntarily drugging the victim (see to respond to the evidence against the
predicate conviction is reversed, 18 U.S.C. 2241(b)); or person or to present exculpatory
vacated, or set aside, or if the person is • Engaging in a sexual act with a evidence, or because of denial of the
pardoned for the offense on the ground child under the age of 12 (see 18 U.S.C. right to the assistance of counsel.

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The foregoing standards do not mean offenses prosecuted under general (unless committed by a parent or
that jurisdictions must incorporate these attempt or conspiracy provisions, where guardian) involving kidnapping [of a
particular criteria or procedures into the object offense falls under the minor]’’ and ‘‘[a]n offense (unless
their registration systems, if they wish SORNA ‘‘sex offense’’ definition, and committed by a parent or guardian)
to register foreign sex offense convicts particular offenses that are defined as, involving false imprisonment [of a
with fewer qualifications or no or in substance amount to, attempts or minor].’’ The relevant offenses are those
qualifications. Rather, the stated criteria conspiracies to commit offenses that are whose gravamen is abduction or
define the minimum categories of otherwise covered. For example, in the unlawful restraint of a person, which go
foreign convicts for whom registration is latter category, a jurisdiction may define by different names in different
required for compliance with SORNA, an offense of ‘‘assault with intent to jurisdictions, such as ‘‘kidnapping,’’
and as is generally the case under commit rape.’’ Whether or not the word ‘‘criminal restraint,’’ or ‘‘false
SORNA, jurisdictions are free to require ‘‘attempt’’ is used in the definition of imprisonment.’’ Jurisdictions can
registration more broadly than the the offense, this is in substance an implement the offense coverage
SORNA minimum. offense that covers certain attempts to requirement of these clauses by
commit rapes and hence is covered requiring registration for persons
C. Sex Offenses Generally
under the final clause of the SORNA convicted of offenses of this type
The general definition of sex offenses definition. (however designated) whose victims
for which registration is required under were below the age of 18. It is left to
SORNA section 111(5)(C) qualifies the
the SORNA standards appears in section jurisdictions’ discretion under these
foregoing definition of ‘‘sex offense’’ to
111(5)(A). The clauses in the definition clauses whether registration should be
exclude ‘‘[a]n offense involving
cover the following categories of required for such offenses in cases
consensual sexual conduct * * * if the
offenses: where the offender is a parent or
victim was an adult, unless the adult
• Sexual Act And Sexual Contact was under the custodial authority of the guardian of the victim.
Offenses (section 111(5)(A)(i)): The first offender at the time of the offense, or if • Solicitation of a Minor to Engage in
clause in the definition covers ‘‘a the victim was at least 13 years old and Sexual Conduct (section 111(7)(C)): This
criminal offense that has an element the offender was not more than four clause covers ‘‘[s]olicitation [of a minor]
involving a sexual act or sexual contact years older than the victim.’’ The to engage in sexual conduct.’’
with another.’’ (‘‘Criminal offense’’ in general exclusion with respect to ‘‘Solicitation’’ under this clause and
the relevant sense refers to offenses consensual sexual offenses involving other SORNA provisions that use the
under any body of criminal law, adult victims means, for example, that term should be understood broadly to
including state, local, tribal, foreign, a jurisdiction does not have to require include any direction, request,
military, and other offenses, as provided registration based on prostitution enticement, persuasion, or
in section 111(6).) The offenses covered offenses that consist of the offender encouragement of a minor to engage in
by this clause should be understood to paying or receiving payment from an sexual conduct. ‘‘Sexual conduct’’
include all sexual offenses whose adult for a sexual act between them should be understood to refer to any
elements involve: (i) Any type or degree (unless the victim is under the custodial sexual activity involving physical
of genital, oral, or anal penetration, or authority of the offender). The exclusion contact. (See the discussion later in this
(ii) any sexual touching of or contact for certain cases involving child victims list of ‘‘criminal sexual conduct’’ under
with a person’s body, either directly or based on victim age and age difference section 111(7)(H).) Hence, jurisdictions
through the clothing. Cf. 18 U.S.C. means that a jurisdiction may not have can implement the offense coverage
2246(2)–(3) (federal law definitions of to require registration in some cases requirement under this clause by
sexual act and sexual contact). based on convictions under provisions requiring registration, in cases where
• Specified Offenses Against Minors that prohibit sexual acts or contact (even the victim was below the age of 18,
(section 111(5)(A)(ii)): The second if consensual) with underage persons. based on:
clause in the definition covers ‘‘a For example, under the laws of some Æ Any conviction for an offense
criminal offense that is a specified jurisdictions, an 18-year-old may be involving solicitation of the victim
offense against a minor.’’ The statute criminally liable for engaging in under a general attempt or solicitation
provides a detailed definition of consensual sex with a 15-year-old. The provision, where the elements of the
‘‘specified offense against a minor’’ in jurisdiction would not have to require object offense include sexual activity
section 111(7), which is discussed registration in such a case to comply involving physical contact, and
separately below. with the SORNA standards, since the Æ Any conviction for an offense
• Specified Federal Offenses (section victim was at least 13 and the offender involving solicitation of the victim
111(5)(A)(iii)): The third clause covers was not more than four years older. under any provision defining a
most sexual offenses under federal law. particular crime whose elements
The covered chapters and offense D. Specified Offenses Against Minors include soliciting or attempting to
provisions in the federal criminal code The offenses for which registration is engage in sexual activity involving
are explicitly identified by citation. required under the SORNA standards physical contact.
• Specified Military Offenses (section include any ‘‘specified offense against a • Use of a Minor in a Sexual
111(5)(A)(iv)): The fourth clause covers minor’’ as defined in section 111(7). The Performance (section 111(7)(D)): This
sex offenses under the Uniform Code of SORNA section 111(7) definition of clause covers offenses involving ‘‘[u]se
Military Justice, as specified by the specified offense against a minor covers [of a minor] in a sexual performance.’’
Secretary of Defense. any offense against a minor—i.e., a That includes both live performances
• Attempts And Conspiracies (section person under the age of 18, as provided and using minors in the production of
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111(5)(A)(v)): The final clause in the in section 111(14)—that involves any of pornography, and has some overlap
definition covers attempts and the following: with section 111(7)(G), which expressly
conspiracies to commit offenses that are • Kidnapping or False Imprisonment covers child pornography offenses.
otherwise covered by the definition of of a Minor (section 111(7)(A)–(B)): • Solicitation of a Minor to Practice
‘‘sex offenses.’’ This includes both These clauses cover ‘‘[a]n offense Prostitution (section 111(7)(E)): This

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clause covers offenses involving was below 18 at the time of the offense. satisfies the criteria for registration and
‘‘[s]olicitation [of a minor] to practice Coverage is not limited to cases where notification under SORNA.
prostitution.’’ Jurisdictions can the victim’s age is an element of the Alternatively, the jurisdiction may
implement the offense coverage offense, such as prosecution for choose not to waive registration but may
requirement under this clause by specially defined child molestation or identify the registrant in the registration
requiring registration, in cases where child prostitution offenses. Jurisdictions system records only by his or her new
the victim was below the age of 18, can implement the offense coverage identity or data, if such modifications
based on: requirement under the ‘‘criminal sexual can be so devised that they are not
Æ Any conviction for an offense conduct involving a minor’’ language of transparent and do not permit the
involving solicitation of the victim this clause by requiring registration for registrant’s original identity or
under a general attempt or solicitation ‘‘criminal sexual conduct’’ offenses as participation in a witness security
provision, where the object offense is a described above whenever the victim program to be inferred. Jurisdictions are
prostitution offense, and was in fact below the age of 18 at the permitted and encouraged to make
Æ Any conviction for an offense time of the offense. (Section 111(7)(C) provision in their laws and procedures
involving solicitation of the victim and (E) separately require coverage of to accommodate consideration of the
under any provision defining a offenses involving solicitation of a security of such individuals and to
particular crime whose elements minor to engage in sexual conduct or to honor requests from the United States
include soliciting or attempting to get a practice prostitution, but registration Marshals Service and other agencies
person to engage in prostitution. must be required for offenses involving responsible for witness protection in
• Video Voyeurism Involving a Minor sexual conduct with a minor or the use order to ensure that their original
(section 111(7)(F)): This clause covers of a minor in prostitution in light of identities are not compromised.
‘‘[v]ideo voyeurism as described in section 111(7)(H), whether or not the With respect to witnesses afforded
section 1801 of title 18, United States offense involves ‘‘solicitation’’ of the federal protection, 18 U.S.C.
Code [against a minor].’’ The cited victim.) 3521(b)(1)(H) specifically authorizes the
federal offense in essence covers Æ Jurisdictions can implement the Attorney General to ‘‘protect the
capturing the image of a private area of ‘‘use of the Internet to facilitate or confidentiality of the identity and
another person’s body, where the victim attempt such conduct’’ part of this location of persons subject to
has a reasonable expectation of privacy definition by requiring registration for registration requirements as convicted
against such conduct. Jurisdictions can offenses that involve use of the Internet offenders under Federal or State law,
implement the offense coverage in furtherance of criminal sexual including prescribing alternative
requirement under this clause by conduct involving a minor as defined procedures to those otherwise provided
requiring registration for offenses of this above, such as attempting to lure minors by Federal or State law for registration
type, in cases where the victim was through Internet communications for and tracking of such persons.’’ U.S.
below the age of 18. the purpose of sexual activity. Department of Justice Witness Security
• Possession, Production, or • Conduct By Its Nature A Sex Program officials accordingly determine
Distribution of Child Pornography Offense Against a Minor (section on a case-by-case basis whether such
(section 111(7)(G)): This clause covers 111(7)(I)): The final clause covers ‘‘[a]ny witnesses will be required to register,
‘‘possession, production, or distribution conduct that by its nature is a sex and if registration occurs, whether it
of child pornography.’’ Jurisdictions can offense against a minor.’’ It is intended will utilize new identities, modified
implement the offense coverage to ensure coverage of convictions under data, or other special conditions or
requirement under this clause by statutes defining sexual offenses in procedures that are warranted to avoid
requiring registration for offenses whose which the status of the victim as a jeopardizing the safety of the protected
gravamen is creating or participating in minor is an element of an offense, such witnesses.
the creation of sexually explicit visual as specially defined child molestation or
depictions of persons below the age of child prostitution offenses, and other V. Classes of Sex Offenders
18, making such depictions available to offenses prohibiting sexual activity with Section 111(2)–(4) of SORNA defines
others, or having or receiving such underage persons. Jurisdictions can three ‘‘tiers’’ of sex offenders. The tier
depictions. comply with the offense coverage classifications have implications in
• Criminal Sexual Conduct Involving requirement under this clause by three areas: (i) Under section 115, the
a Minor and Related Internet Activities including convictions for such offenses required duration of registration
(section 111(7)(H)): This clause covers in their registration requirements. depends primarily on the tier; (ii) under
‘‘[c]riminal sexual conduct involving a section 116, the required frequency of
minor, or the use of the Internet to E. Protected Witnesses in-person appearances by sex offenders
facilitate or attempt such conduct.’’ The The requirement that jurisdictions to verify registration information
definition has two parts: substantially implement SORNA does depends on the tier; (iii) under section
Æ The ‘‘criminal sexual conduct not preclude their taking measures 118(c)(1), information about tier I sex
involving a minor’’ language in this needed to protect the security of offenders convicted of offenses other
definition covers sexual offenses whose individuals who have been provided than specified offenses against a minor
elements involve physical contact with new identities and relocated under the may be exempted from Web site
the victim—such as provisions defining federal witness security program (see 18 disclosure.
crimes of ‘‘rape,’’ ‘‘sexual assault,’’ U.S.C. 3521 et seq.) or under other The use of the ‘‘tier’’ classifications in
‘‘sexual abuse,’’ or ‘‘incest’’—in cases comparable witness security programs SORNA relates to substance, not form or
where the victim was below 18 at the operated by non-federal jurisdictions. A terminology. Thus, to implement the
time of the offense. In addition, it covers jurisdiction may conclude that it is SORNA requirements, jurisdictions do
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offenses whose elements involve using necessary to exclude an individual not have to label their sex offenders as
other persons in prostitution—such as afforded protection in such a program ‘‘tier I,’’ ‘‘tier II,’’ and ‘‘tier III,’’ and do
provisions defining crimes of from its sex offender registry or from not have to adopt any other particular
‘‘pandering,’’ ‘‘procuring,’’ or public notification for security reasons, approach to labeling or categorization of
‘‘pimping’’—in cases where the victim though the individual otherwise sex offenders. Rather, the SORNA

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requirements are met so long as sex permit imprisonment for more than one i.e., offenses whose gravamen is creating
offenders who satisfy the SORNA year based on Indian tribal court or participating in the creation of
criteria for placement in a particular tier convictions, all tribal court convictions sexually explicit visual depictions of
are consistently subject to at least the are tier I offenses. Moreover, regardless minors or making such depictions
duration of registration, frequency of in- of which jurisdiction convicts the sex available to others.
person appearances for verification, and offender, the requirements with respect Hence, jurisdictions can implement
extent of Web site disclosure that to the potential length of imprisonment the relevant SORNA requirements by
SORNA requires for that tier. under the statute relate to individual according ‘‘tier II’’ treatment to sex
For example, suppose that a offenses rather than to aggregate offenders convicted of offenses of these
jurisdiction decides to subject all sex penalties. For example, suppose that a four types. The sex offenders who must
offenders to lifetime registration, sex offender is charged in three counts be so treated are not limited to those
quarterly verification appearances, and with the commission of sex offenses convicted of offenses of these types
full Web site posting as described in each of which is punishable by at most whose elements require that the victim
Part VII of these Guidelines. That would one year of imprisonment, and upon be below a certain age, but rather
meet the SORNA requirements with conviction is sentenced to three include as well those convicted of more
respect to sex offenders satisfying the consecutive terms of six months of generally defined offenses that may be
‘‘tier III’’ criteria, and exceed the incarceration. Though the aggregate committed against either adult or child
minimum required by SORNA with penalty is 18 months, these convictions victims, in cases in which the victim
respect to sex offenders satisfying the do not place the sex offender above tier was in fact below the age of 18. For
‘‘tier II’’ or ‘‘tier I’’ criteria. Hence, such I, because each offense was not example, in a case in which the sex
a jurisdiction would be able to punishable by more than one year of offender was convicted of a generally
implement the SORNA requirements imprisonment. defined ‘‘sexual contact’’ offense, whose
with respect to all sex offenders without If the requirement of an offense elements include no specification as to
any labeling or categorization, and punishable by imprisonment for more victim age, tier II treatment is required
without having to assess individual than one year is satisfied, the remaining if the victim was in fact below 18.
registrants against the tier criteria in the offense-related criteria for tier II are that The corresponding offense coverage
SORNA definitions. Likewise, any other the registration offense falls within one specifications for ‘‘tier III’’ in section
approach a jurisdiction may devise is of two lists. In general terms, these lists 111(4)(A)–(B) cover offenses punishable
acceptable if it ensures that sex cover most sexual abuse or exploitation by more than one year of imprisonment
offenders satisfying the criteria for each offenses against minors. (Here as in the following categories:
SORNA tier are subject to duration of elsewhere in SORNA, ‘‘minor’’ means a • Offenses comparable to or more
registration, appearance frequency, and person under the age of 18—see SORNA severe than aggravated sexual abuse or
Web site disclosure requirements that section 111(14).) The first list, appearing sexual abuse as described in 18 U.S.C.
meet those SORNA requires for the tier. in section 111(3)(A), covers offenses 2241 and 2242, or an attempt or
Turning to the specific tier committed against minors that are conspiracy to commit such an offense.
definitions, SORNA section 111(2) comparable to or more severe than a Considering the definitions of the cited
defines ‘‘tier I sex offender’’ to mean ‘‘a number of cited federal offenses—those federal offenses, comparable offenses
sex offender other than a tier II or tier under 18 U.S.C. 1591, 2422(b), 2423(a), under the laws of other jurisdictions
III sex offender.’’ Thus, tier I is a and 2244—and attempts and would be those that cover:
residual class that includes all sex conspiracies to commit such offenses. Æ Engaging in a sexual act with
offenders who do not satisfy the criteria The second list, appearing in section another by force or threat (see 18 U.S.C.
for tier II or tier III. For example, tier I 111(a)(3)(B), covers use of a minor in a 2241(a), 2242(1));
includes a sex offender whose sexual performance, solicitation of a Æ Engaging in a sexual act with
registration offense is not punishable by minor to practice prostitution, and another who has been rendered
imprisonment for more than one year, a production or distribution of child unconscious or involuntarily drugged,
sex offender whose registration offense pornography. Determining whether a or who is otherwise incapable of
is the receipt or possession of child jurisdiction’s offenses satisfy the criteria appraising the nature of the conduct or
pornography, and a sex offender whose for this tier is simplified by recognizing declining to participate (see 18 U.S.C.
registration offense is a sexual assault that the various cited and described 2241(b), 2242(2)), or
against an adult that involves sexual offenses essentially cover: Æ Engaging in a sexual act with a
contact but not a completed or • Offenses involving the use of child under the age of 12 (see 18 U.S.C.
attempted sexual act. minors in prostitution, and inchoate or 2241(c)).
The definitions of tier II and tier III— preparatory offenses (including Considering the related definition in
in section 111(3) and 111(4) attempts, conspiracies, and 18 U.S.C. 2246(2), ‘‘sexual act’’ for this
respectively—are both limited to cases solicitations) that are directed to the purpose would include: (i) Oral-genital
in which the offense for which the sex commission of such offenses; or oral-anal contact, (ii) any degree of
offender is required to register ‘‘is • Offenses against minors involving genital or anal penetration, and (iii)
punishable by imprisonment for more sexual contact—i.e., any sexual direct genital touching of a child under
than 1 year.’’ This means that the touching of or contact with the intimate the age of 16. (This definition of ‘‘sexual
statutory maximum penalty possible for parts of the body, either directly or act’’ is the same as that applicable in the
the offense exceeds one year. It does not through the clothing—and inchoate or SORNA requirement of registration
mean that inclusion in these tiers is preparatory offenses (including based on certain juvenile delinquency
limited to cases in which the sex attempts, conspiracies, and adjudications—see Part IV.A of these
Guidelines—but the range of covered
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offender is actually sentenced to more solicitations) that are directed to the

than a year of imprisonment. commission of such offenses; offenses is in some respects broader
Because the definitions of tier II and • Offenses involving use of a minor in here, as indicated; compare SORNA
tier III are limited to certain offenses a sexual performance; and section 111(4)(A)(i), which references
punishable by imprisonment for more • Offenses involving the production both aggravated sexual abuse and sexual
than one year, and federal law does not or distribution of child pornography, abuse, with SORNA section 111(8), the

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juvenile coverage provision, which be obtained and included in the registry. identification in Internet
references only aggravated sexual This expansion authority is utilized to communications or postings, and
abuse.) require including in the registries a traditional names given by family or
• Offenses against a child below the number of additional types of clan pursuant to ethnic or tribal
age of 13 that are comparable to or more information, such as information about tradition.
severe than abusive sexual contact as registrants’ e-mail addresses, telephone Æ Internet Identifiers and Addresses
defined in 18 U.S.C. 2244, or an attempt numbers, and the like, information (section 114(a)(7)): In the context of
or conspiracy to commit such an concerning the whereabouts of Internet communications there may be
offense. Considering the definitions of registrants who lack fixed abodes or no clear line between names or aliases
the federal offenses in 18 U.S.C. 2244 definite places of employment, and that are required to be registered under
and the related definition in 18 U.S.C. information about temporary lodging, as SORNA section 114(a)(1) and addresses
2246(3), comparable offenses under the discussed below. that are used for routing purposes.
laws of other jurisdictions would be In order to implement requirements Moreover, regardless of the label,
those that cover sexual touching of or for the sharing or disclosure of including in registries information on
contact with the intimate parts of the registration information appearing in designations used by sex offenders for
body, either directly or through the other sections of SORNA (sections purposes of routing or self-identification
clothing, where the victim is under 13. 113(c), 119(b), 121(b)—see Parts VII and in Internet communications—e.g., e-
• Kidnapping of a minor (unless X of these Guidelines for discussion), mail and instant messaging addresses—
committed by a parent or guardian). jurisdictions will need to maintain all serves the underlying purposes of sex
Hence, jurisdictions can implement required registration information in offender registration and notification.
the relevant SORNA requirements by digitized form that will enable it to be Among other potential uses, having this
according ‘‘tier III’’ treatment to sex immediately accessed by or transmitted information may help in investigating
offenders convicted of offenses of these to various entities. Hence, the crimes committed online by registered
three types. jurisdiction’s registry must be an sex offenders—such as attempting to
In addition to including criteria electronic database, and descriptions of lure children or trafficking in child
relating to the nature of the registration required types of information in section pornography through the Internet—and
offense, the definitions of tier II and tier 114 should consistently be understood knowledge by sex offenders that their
III accord significance to a registrant’s as referring to digitizable information Internet identifiers are known to the
history of recidivism. Specifically, rather than hard copies or physical authorities may help to discourage them
section 111(3)(C) places in tier II any sex objects. This does not mean, however, from engaging in such criminal
offender whose registration offense is that all required registration information activities. The authority under section
punishable by imprisonment for more must be reproduced in a single 114(a)(7) is accordingly exercised to
than one year, where that offense segregated database, since the same require that the information included in
‘‘occurs after the offender becomes a tier effect may be achieved by including in the registries must include all
I sex offender.’’ Thus, any sex offender the central registry database links or designations used by sex offenders for
whose registration offense is punishable identification numbers that provide purposes of routing or self-identification
by more than one year of imprisonment access to the information in other in Internet communications or postings.
who has a prior sex offense conviction databases in which it is included (e.g., Æ Telephone Numbers (section
is at least in tier II. Likewise, section with respect to criminal history, 114(a)(7)): Requiring sex offenders to
111(4)(C) places in tier III any sex fingerprint, and DNA information). provide their telephone numbers (both
offender whose registration offense is These points are further discussed in for fixed location phones and cell
punishable by imprisonment for more connection with the relevant phones) furthers the objectives of sex
than one year, where that offense informational items. offender registration. One obvious
‘‘occurs after the offender becomes a tier As with SORNA’s requirements purpose in having such information is
II sex offender.’’ Thus, any sex offender generally, the informational to facilitate communication between
whose registration offense is punishable requirements of section 114 and these registration personnel and a sex
by more than one year of imprisonment, Guidelines define a floor, not a ceiling, offender in case issues arise relating to
and who at the time of that offense for jurisdictions’ registries. Hence, the sex offender’s registration.
already satisfied the criteria for jurisdictions are free to obtain and Moreover, as communications
inclusion in tier II, is in tier III. include in their registries a broader technology advances, the boundaries
range of information than the minimum blur between text-based and voice-based
VI. Required Registration Information
requirements described in this Part. communications media. Telephone calls
Section 114 of SORNA defines the The required minimum informational may be transmitted through the Internet.
required minimum informational content for sex offender registries is as Text messages may be sent between cell
content of sex offender registries. It is follows: phones. Regardless of the particular
divided into two lists. The first list, set • Name, Aliases, and Remote communication medium, and regardless
forth in subsection (a) of section 114, Communication Identifiers and of whether the communication involves
describes information that the registrant Addresses (section 114(a)(1), (a)(7)): text or voice, sex offenders may
will normally be in a position to Æ Names and Aliases (section potentially utilize remote
provide. The second list, set forth in 114(a)(1)): The registry must include communications in efforts to contact or
subsection (b), describes information ‘‘[t]he name of the sex offender lure potential victims. Hence, including
that is likely to require some affirmative (including any alias used by the phone numbers in the registration
action by the jurisdiction to obtain, individual).’’ The names and aliases information may help in investigating
beyond asking the sex offender for the required by this provision include, in crimes committed by registrants that
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information. Supplementary to the addition to the registrant’s primary or involved telephonic communication
information that the statute explicitly given name, nicknames and with the victim, and knowledge that
describes, section 114(a)(7) and (b)(8) pseudonyms generally, regardless of the their phone numbers are known to the
authorize the Attorney General to context in which they are used, any authorities may help sex offenders to
specify additional information that must designations or monikers used for self- resist the temptation to commit crimes

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by this means. The authority under a park or spot on the street (or a number they have passports, and that registrants
section 114(a)(7) is accordingly of such places) where the sex offender who are aliens must be required to
exercised to require that the information stations himself during the day or sleeps produce or provide information about
included in the registries must include at night, shelters among which the sex documents establishing their
sex offenders’ telephone numbers and offender circulates, or places in public immigration status. The registry must
any other designations used by sex buildings, restaurants, libraries, or other include digitized copies of these
offenders for purposes of routing or self- establishments that the sex offender documents, the critical information
identification in telephonic frequents. Having this type of location from these documents, or links to
communications. information serves the same public another database or databases that
• Social Security Number (section safety purposes as knowing the contain such information. Having this
114(a)(2), (a)(7)): The registry must whereabouts of sex offenders with type of information in the registries
include ‘‘[t]he Social Security number of definite residence addresses. Hence, the serves various purposes, including
the sex offender.’’ In addition to any authority under SORNA section helping to locate and apprehend
valid Social Security number issued to 114(a)(7) is exercised to require that registrants who may attempt to leave the
the registrant by the government, the information be obtained about where United States after committing new sex
information the jurisdiction requires sex offenders who lack fixed abodes offenses or registration violations;
registrants to provide under this habitually live with whatever facilitating the tracking and
heading must include any number that definiteness is possible under the identification of registrants who leave
the registrant uses as his or her circumstances. Likewise, in relation to the United States but later reenter while
purported Social Security number since sex offenders who lack a residence still required to register (see SORNA
registrants may, for example, attempt to address for any other reason—e.g., a sex section 128); and crosschecking the
use false Social Security numbers in offender who lives in a house in a rural accuracy and completeness of other
seeking employment that would provide or tribal area that has no street types of information that registrants are
access to children. To the extent that address—the registry must include required to provide—e.g., if immigration
purported (as opposed to actual) Social information that identifies where the documents show that an alien registrant
Security numbers may be beyond the individual has his or her home or is in the United States on a student visa
scope of the information required by habitually lives. but the registrant fails to provide
section 114(a)(2), the authority under Æ Temporary Lodging Information information concerning the school
section 114(a)(7) is exercised to require (section 114(a)(7)): Sex offenders who attended as required by SORNA section
that information on such purported reoffend may commit new offenses at 114(a)(5).
numbers be obtained and included in locations away from the places in which • Employment Information (section
the registry as well. they have a permanent or long-term 114(a)(4), (a)(7)):
• Residence, Lodging, and Travel presence. Indeed, to the extent that Æ Employer Name and Address
Information (section 114(a)(3), (a)(7)): information about sex offenders’ places (section 114(a)(4)): The registry must
Æ Residence Address (section of residence is available to the include ‘‘[t]he name and address of any
114(a)(3)): The registry must include authorities, but information is lacking place where the sex offender is an
‘‘the address of each residence at which concerning their temporary lodging employee or will be an employee.’’
the sex offender resides or will reside.’’ elsewhere, the relative attractiveness to SORNA section 111(12) explains that
As provided in SORNA section 111(13), sex offenders of molesting children or ‘‘employee’’ includes ‘‘an individual
residence refers to ‘‘the location of the committing other sexual crimes while who is self-employed or works for any
individual’s home or other place where traveling or visiting away from home other entity, whether compensated or
the individual habitually lives.’’ (For increases. Hence, to achieve the not.’’ As the definitional provisions
more as to the meaning of ‘‘resides’’ objectives of sex offender registration, it indicate, the information required under
under SORNA, see Part VIII of these is valuable to have information about this heading is not limited to
Guidelines.) The statute refers to places other places in which sex offenders are information relating to compensated
in which the sex offender ‘‘will reside’’ staying, even if only temporarily. The work or a regular occupation, but
so as to cover situations in which, for authority under SORNA section includes as well name and address
example, a sex offender is initially being 114(a)(7) is accordingly exercised to information for any place where the
registered prior to release from provide that jurisdictions must require registrant works as a volunteer or
imprisonment, and hence is not yet sex offenders to provide information otherwise works without remuneration.
residing in the place or location to about any place in which the sex Æ Other Employment Information
which he or she expects to go following offender is staying for seven or more (section 114(a)(7)): A sex offender who
release. days, including identifying the place is employed may not have a fixed place
Æ Other Residence Information and the period of time the sex offender of employment—e.g., a long-haul
(section 114(a)(7)): Sex offenders who is staying there. The benefits of having trucker whose ‘‘workplace’’ is roads and
lack fixed abodes are nevertheless this information include facilitating the highways throughout the country, or a
required to register in the jurisdictions successful investigation of crimes self-employed handyman who works
in which they reside, as discussed in committed by sex offenders while away out of his home and does repair or
Part VIII of these Guidelines. Such sex from their normal places of residence, home-improvement work at other
offenders cannot provide the residence employment, or school attendance, and people’s homes. Knowing as far as
address required by section 114(a)(3) decreasing the attractiveness to sex possible where such a sex offender is in
because they have no definite ‘‘address’’ offenders of committing crimes in such the course of employment serves the
at which they live. Nevertheless, some circumstances. same public safety purposes as the
more or less specific description should Æ Travel and Immigration Documents corresponding information regarding a
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normally be obtainable concerning the (section 114(a)(7)): The authority under sex offender who is employed at a fixed
place or places where such a sex SORNA section 114(a)(7) is exercised to location. The authority under section
offender habitually lives—e.g., provide that registrants must be 114(a)(7) is accordingly exercised to
information about a certain part of a city required to produce or provide require that information be obtained and
that is the sex offender’s habitual locale, information about their passports, if included in the registry concerning the

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places where such a sex offender works operated by the sex offender.’’ This as his or her purported date of birth—
with whatever definiteness is possible includes, in addition to vehicles not just his or her actual date of birth—
under the circumstances, such as registered to the sex offender, any since registrants may, for example,
information about normal travel routes vehicle that the sex offender regularly provide false date of birth information
or the general area(s) in which the sex drives, either for personal use or in the in seeking employment that would
offender works. course of employment. A sex offender provide access to children.
Æ Professional Licenses (section may not regularly use a particular • Physical Description (section
114(a)(7)): The authority under section vehicle or vehicles in the course of 114(b)(1)): The registry must include
114(a)(7) is exercised to require that employment, but may have access to a ‘‘[a] physical description of the sex
information be obtained and included in large number of vehicles for offender.’’ This must include a
the registry concerning all licensing of employment purposes, such as using description of the general physical
the registrant that authorizes the many vehicles from an employer’s fleet appearance or characteristics of the sex
registrant to engage in an occupation or in a delivery job. In a case of this type, offender, and any identifying marks,
carry out a trade or business. jurisdictions are not required to obtain such as scars or tattoos.
Information of this type may be helpful information concerning all such • Text of Registration Offense (section
in locating the registrant if he or she vehicles to satisfy SORNA’s minimum 114(b)(2)): The registry must include
absconds, may provide a basis for informational requirements, but ‘‘[t]he text of the provision of law
notifying the responsible licensing jurisdictions are free to require such defining a criminal offense for which
authority if the registrant’s conviction of information if they are so inclined. The the sex offender is registered.’’ As with
a sex offense may affect his or her authority under section 114(a)(7) is other information in the registries, this
eligibility for the license, and may be exercised to define and expand the does not mean that the registry must be
useful in crosschecking the accuracy required information concerning a paper records system that includes a
and completeness of other information vehicles in two additional respects. hard copy of the statute defining the
the registrant is required to provide— First, the term ‘‘vehicle’’ should be registration offense. Rather, the registry
e.g., if the registrant is licensed to understood to include watercraft and must be an electronic database, and the
engage in a certain occupation but does aircraft, in addition to land vehicles, so relevant statutory provision must be
not provide name or place of descriptive information must be included as electronic text.
employment information as required by required for all such vehicles owned or Alternatively, this requirement can be
section 114(a)(4) for such an occupation. operated by the sex offender. The satisfied by including in the central
• School Information (section information must include the license registry database a link or citation to the
114(a)(5)): The registry must include plate number if it is a type of vehicle for statute defining the registration offense
‘‘[t]he name and address of any place which license plates are issued, or if it
if: (i) Doing so provides online access to
where the sex offender is a student or the linked or cited provision, and (ii)
has no license plate but does have some
will be a student.’’ Section 111(11) the link or citation will continue to
other type of registration number or
defines ‘‘student’’ to mean ‘‘an provide access to the offense as
identifier, then information concerning
individual who enrolls in or attends an formulated at the time the registrant was
such a registration number or identifier
educational institution, including convicted of it, even if the defining
must be included. To the extent that any
(whether public or private) a secondary statute is subsequently amended.
of the information described above may • Criminal History and Other
school, trade or professional school, and
be beyond the scope of section 114(a)(6), Criminal Justice Information (section
institution of higher education.’’ As the
the authority under section 114(a)(7) is 114(b)(3)): The registry must include
statutory definition indicates, the
exercised to provide that it must be ‘‘[t]he criminal history of the sex
requirement extends to all types of
educational institutions. Hence, this obtained and included in the registry. offender, including the date of all arrests
information must be provided for Second, the sex offender must be and convictions; status of parole,
private schools as well as public required to provide and the registry probation, or supervised release;
schools, including both parochial and must include information concerning registration status [i.e., whether the sex
non-parochial private schools, and the place or places where the offender is in violation of the
regardless of whether the educational registrant’s vehicle or vehicles are registration requirement and
institution is attended for purposes of habitually parked, docked, or otherwise unlocatable]; and the existence of any
secular, religious, or cultural studies. kept. Having information of this type outstanding arrest warrants for the sex
The registration information may help to prevent flight, facilitate offender.’’ This requirement can be
requirement of section 114(a)(5) refers to investigation, or effect an apprehension satisfied by including the specified
the names and addresses of educational if the registrant is implicated in the types of information in the central
institutions where a sex offender has or commission of new offenses or violates registry database, or by including in that
will have a physical presence as a registration requirements. database links or identifying numbers
student. It does not require information • Date of Birth (section 114(a)(7)). that provide access to these types of
about a sex offender’s participating in The authority under section 114(a)(7) is information in criminal justice
courses only remotely through the mail exercised to require date of birth databases that contain them.
or the Internet. (Internet identifiers and information for registrants, which must • Current Photograph (section
addresses used by a sex offender in such be included in the registry. Since date 114(b)(4)): The registry information
remote communications, however, must of birth is regularly utilized as part of an must include ‘‘[a] current photograph of
be included in the registration individual’s basic identification the sex offender.’’ As with other
information as provided in the information, having this information in information in the registries, this does
the registry is of obvious value in not mean that the registry must be a
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discussion of ‘‘Internet Identifiers and

Addresses’’ earlier in this list.) helping to identify, track, and locate paper records system that includes
• Vehicle Information (section registrants. The information the physical photographs. Rather, the
114(a)(6), (a)(7)): The registry must jurisdiction requires registrants to photographs of sex offenders must be
include ‘‘[t]he license plate number and provide under this heading must included in digitized form in an
a description of any vehicle owned or include any date that the registrant uses electronic registry, so as to permit the

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electronic transmission of registration notification in a broader sense and with needed for full participation in [the
information that is necessary to some more targeted types of disclosures. NSOPW],’’ jurisdictions’ sex offender
implement other SORNA requirements. The two sections will be discussed Web sites must allow searches by name,
(For more about the taking of separately. county, and city/town, as well as having
photographs and keeping them current, the zip code and geographic radius
A. Sex Offender Web Sites
see the discussion of periodic in-person search capacities mentioned specifically
appearances in Part XI of these Section 118(a) of SORNA states a in the statute.
Guidelines.) general rule that jurisdictions are to Other SORNA requirements relating
• Fingerprints and Palm Prints ‘‘make available on the Internet, in a to sex offender Web sites are discussed
(section 114(b)(5)): The registry manner that is readily accessible to all in the remainder of this subpart under
information must include ‘‘[a] set of jurisdictions and to the public, all the following headings: mandatory
fingerprints and palm prints of the sex information about each sex offender in exemptions, discretionary exemptions
offender.’’ As with other registration the registry.’’ This general requirement and required inclusions, remote
information, this should be understood is subject to certain mandatory and communication addresses, and other
to refer to digitized fingerprint and palm discretionary exemptions, appearing in provisions.
print information rather than physical subsections (b) and (c) of section 118,
which are discussed below. Currently, Mandatory Exemptions
fingerprint cards and palm prints. The
requirement can be satisfied by all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Section 118(b)(1)–(3) identifies three
including such digitized fingerprint and Puerto Rico, and Guam have sex types of information that are
palm print information in the central offender Web sites that make mandatorily exempt from disclosure,
registry database, or by providing links information about registered sex and section 118(b)(4) gives the Attorney
or identifying numbers in the central offenders available to the public. The General the authority to create
registry database that provide access to listed jurisdictions may need to modify additional mandatory exemptions. The
fingerprint and palm print information their existing Web sites to varying limitations of subsection (b) only
in other databases for each registered degrees to implement the requirements constrain jurisdictions in relation to the
sex offender. of section 118. information made available on their
• DNA (section 114(b)(6)): The Beyond stating a general rule of Web publicly accessible sex offender Web
registry information must include ‘‘[a] site posting for sex offender sites. They do not limit the discretion of
DNA sample of the sex offender.’’ This information, subsection (a) of section jurisdictions to disclose these types of
means that a DNA sample must be 118 includes requirements about the information in other contexts. The types
taken, or must have been taken, from the field-search capabilities of the of information that are within the
sex offender, for purposes of analysis jurisdictions’ Web sites. In part, it states mandatory exemptions from public sex
and entry of the resulting DNA profile that these field search capabilities must offender Web site disclosure are as
into the Combined DNA Index System include searches by ‘‘zip code or follows:
(CODIS). The requirement is satisfied by geographic radius set by the user.’’ In • Victim Identity: Section 118(b)(1)
including information in the central other words, the Web sites must be so exempts ‘‘the identity of any victim of
registry database that confirms designed that members of the public a sex offense.’’ The purpose of this
collection of such a sample from the sex who access a Web site are able to exemption is to protect victim privacy.
offender for purposes of analysis and specify particular zip code areas, and So long as the victim is not identified,
entry of the DNA profile into CODIS or are able to specify geographic radii— this does not limit jurisdictions’
inclusion of the sex offender’s DNA e.g., within one mile of a specified discretion to include on the Web site
profile in CODIS. address—and thereby bring up on the information about the nature and
Driver’s License or Identification Card Web site the information about all of the circumstances of the offense, which may
(section 114(b)(7)): The registry posted sex offenders in the specified zip include information relating to the
information must include ‘‘[a] code or geographic area. victim, such as the age and gender of the
photocopy of a valid driver’s license or Subsection (a) of section 118 further victim, and the conduct engaged in by
identification card issued to the sex states that each Web site ‘‘shall also the sex offender against the victim.
offender by a jurisdiction.’’ The include * * * all field search • Social Security Number: Section
requirement can be satisfied by capabilities needed for full participation 118(b)(2) exempts ‘‘the Social Security
including a digitized photocopy of the in the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender number of the sex offender.’’
specified documents in the central Public Web site and shall participate in • Arrests Not Resulting in Conviction:
registry database for each sex offender to that Web site as provided by the Section 118(b)(3) exempts ‘‘any
whom such a document has been Attorney General.’’ The statutory basis reference to arrests of the sex offender
issued. Alternatively, it can be satisfied for the referenced National Sex Offender that did not result in conviction.’’ As
by including in the central registry Public Web site (NSOPW) appears in noted, this mandatory exemption, like
database links or identifying numbers SORNA section 120. It is operated by the others, only affects the information
that provide access in other databases the Department of Justice at the address that may be posted on a jurisdiction’s
(such as a Department of Motor Vehicles All 50 States, the public sex offender Web site. It does not
database) to the information that would District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and limit a jurisdiction’s use or disclosure of
be shown by such a photocopy. Guam currently participate in the arrest information in any other context,
NSOPW, which provides public access such as disclosure to law enforcement
VII. Disclosure and Sharing of to the information in their respective agencies for law enforcement purposes,
Information sex offender Web sites through single- or disclosure to the public (by means
The SORNA requirements for query searches on a national site. As
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other than posting on the sex offender

disclosure and sharing of information noted, participation in the NSOPW is a Web site) under ‘‘open records’’ laws.
about registrants appear primarily in required element of SORNA • Travel and Immigration Document
section 118, which is concerned with implementation. To satisfy the Numbers: The authority under section
sex offender Web sites, and section 121, requirement under section 118(a) of 118(b)(4) is exercised to exempt the
which is concerned with community having ‘‘all field search capabilities numbers assigned to registrants’

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passports and immigration documents. registration information, such as tier I sex offender convicted of an
This exemption reflects concerns that fingerprints, palm prints, and DNA offense other than a specified offense
public posting of such information information, are primarily or against a minor.
could facilitate identity theft and could exclusively of interest to law
Remote Communication Addresses
provide a source of passport and enforcement.
immigration document numbers to Following the exclusion of types of Public access to or disclosure of sex
individuals seeking to enter, remain in, information that are exempt from public offenders’ remote communication
or travel from the United States using Web site disclosure on a mandatory routing addresses and their equivalent—
forged documents or false identities. basis under section 118(b), that are such as e-mail addresses and telephone
Like the other mandatory exemptions, expressly identified as subject to numbers—is discussed separately
this exemption only affects the discretionary exemptions under section because the issue presents both risks
information that may be posted on a 118(c)(1)–(3), or that will be allowed as and benefits and merits careful handling
jurisdiction’s public sex offender Web additional discretionary exemptions on by jurisdictions.
site. It does not limit a jurisdiction’s use the basis of section 118(c)(4), several On the one hand, appropriately
or disclosure of registrants’ travel or core types of information remain whose designed forms of access to such
immigration document information in public disclosure through the sex information may further the public
any other context, such as disclosure to offender Web sites has the greatest value safety objectives of sex offender
agencies with law enforcement, in promoting public safety by enabling registration and notification. For
immigration, or national security members of the public to identify sex example, the operators of Internet social
functions. offenders, to know where they are, and networking services that serve children
to know what crimes they have may validly wish to check whether the
Discretionary Exemptions and Required e-mail addresses of individuals on their
Inclusions committed. These core informational
user lists are those of registered sex
items, which are not within a
Section 118(c)(1)–(3) provides three offenders, so that they can prevent sex
mandatory or discretionary exemption,
optional exemptions, which describe offenders from using their services as
and do have to be included by
information that jurisdictions may avenues for Internet luring of children
jurisdictions on their public sex
exempt from their Web sites in their for purposes of sexual abuse. Likewise,
offender Web sites, are as follows:
discretion. The first of these is ‘‘any a parent may legitimately wish to check
information about a tier I sex offender • The name of the sex offender, whether the e-mail address of an
convicted of an offense other than a including any aliases. unknown individual who is
specified offense against a minor.’’ The • The address of each residence at communicating with his or her child
meaning of ‘‘tier I sex offender’’ is which the sex offender resides or will over the Internet is that of a registered
explained in Part V of these Guidelines, reside and, if the sex offender does not sex offender, for the same protective
and the meaning of ‘‘specified offense have any (present or expected) purpose.
against a minor’’ is explained in Part residence address, other information On the other hand, some forms of
IV.D of these Guidelines. The second about where the sex offender has his or public disclosure of this type of
and third optional exemptions are, her home or habitually lives. If current information—such as including sex
respectively, ‘‘the name of an employer information of this type is not available offenders’ e-mail addresses as part of the
of the sex offender’’ and ‘‘the name of because the sex offender is in violation information in their individual listings
an educational institution where the sex of the requirement to register or on the sex offender Web sites, which
offender is a student.’’ As noted, these unlocatable, the Web site must so note. also include their names, locations,
exclusions are discretionary. • The address of any place where the etc.—could raise serious concerns about
Jurisdictions are free to include these sex offender is an employee or will be unintended consequences and misuse.
types of information on their sex an employee and, if the sex offender is Posting of the information in this form
offender Web sites if they are so employed but does not have a definite could provide ready access by sex
inclined. employment address, other information offenders to the e-mail addresses of
Section 118(c)(4) provides a further about where the sex offender works. other sex offenders, thereby facilitating
optional exemption of ‘‘any other • The address of any place where the networking among such offenders
information exempted from disclosure sex offender is a student or will be a through the Internet for such purposes
by the Attorney General.’’ This student. as: Exchanging information about or
authorization recognizes that there are • The license plate number and a providing access to child victims for
some additional types of information description of any vehicle owned or purposes of sexual abuse; recruiting
that are required to be included in sex operated by the sex offender. confederates and accomplices for the
offender registries by section 114, but • A physical description of the sex purpose of committing child sexual
whose required disclosure through offender. abuse or exploitation offenses or other
public sex offender Web sites may • The sex offense for which the sex sexually violent crimes; trafficking in
reasonably be regarded by particular offender is registered and any other sex child pornography; and sharing ideas
jurisdictions as inappropriate or offense for which the sex offender has and information about how to commit
unnecessary. For example, public access been convicted. sexual crimes, avoid detection and
to registrants’ remote communication • A current photograph of the sex apprehension for committing such
routing addresses (such as e-mail offender. crimes, or evade registration
addresses) presents both risks and Part VI of these Guidelines includes requirements.
benefits. Minimizing the risks and more detailed explanation concerning The public safety benefits of public
maximizing the benefits depends on the the informational items that the list access in this context may be realized,
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appropriate design of the means and above requires to be included on the and the risks and concerns addressed,
form of access. The recommended public sex offender Web sites. This list by not including remote communication
treatment of such information is remains subject to the discretionary routing addresses or information that
discussed later in this subpart. A authority of jurisdictions under section would enable sex offenders to contact
number of other types of required 118(c)(1) to exempt information about a each other on the individual public Web

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site postings of registrants, but the information in the registry (other requirements. Jurisdictions accordingly
including on the Web sites a function by than information exempted from can implement the requirement of
which members of the public may enter, disclosure by the Attorney General) section 121(b)(1) by submitting to the
e.g., an e-mail address or phone number about that offender’’ must be provided FBI within three business days the types
and receive an answer whether the to various specified entities and of registry information that the FBI
specified address or number has been individuals. The requirement that the includes in NSOR or other national
registered as that of a sex offender. In information must be provided to the databases, and by submitting
the case of a concerned parent as specified recipients ‘‘immediately’’ information within the same time frame
described above, for example, this could should be understood to mean that it to other federal agencies (such as the
enable the parent to ascertain that the e- must be provided within three business United States Marshals Service) in
mail address of an individual days. Cf. SORNA sections 113(b)(2), conformity with any requirements the
attempting to communicate through the 117(a) (equating within three business Department of Justice or the Marshals
Internet with his or her child is the days and ‘‘immediately’’ in relation to Service may adopt for this purpose.
address of a sex offender, but without initial registration). The requirement • Law Enforcement and Supervision
providing sex offenders access to that the information be provided Agencies: Section 121(b)(2), in part,
listings showing the e-mail addresses of immediately is qualified by section identifies as further required recipients
other persons who may share their 121(c), which provides that recipients ‘‘appropriate law enforcement agencies
dispositions to commit sexual crimes. described in section 121(b)(6)–(7)—i.e., (including probation agencies, if
Jurisdictions are accordingly volunteer organizations in which appropriate) * * * in each area in
permitted and encouraged to provide contacts with minors or other which the individual resides, is an
public access to remote communication vulnerable individuals might occur, and employee or is a student.’’ ‘‘Law
address information included in the sex any organization, company, or enforcement agencies’’ should be
offender registries, in the form described individual who requests notification— understood to refer to agencies with
above, i.e., a function that allows ‘‘may opt to receive the notification criminal investigation or prosecution
checking whether specified addresses * * * no less frequently than once functions, such as police departments,
are included in the registries as the every five business days.’’ sheriffs’ offices, and district attorneys’
addresses of sex offenders. The registry These requirements will be discussed offices. ‘‘Probation agencies, if
management and Web site software that in turn in relation to two groups of appropriate’’ should be understood to
the Justice Department is developing recipients—a group of four types of refer to all offender supervision agencies
pursuant to SORNA section 123 will recipients that require special treatment, that are responsible for a sex offender’s
include software for such a Web site followed by suggestions for a uniform supervision. Jurisdictions can
function. approach in relation to the remaining implement the requirement of section
types of recipients. The four types that 121(b)(2) by making registration
Other Provisions require special treatment are as follows: information available to these agencies
The final three subsections in section • National Databases: Section within three business days, by any
118 contain additional Web site 121(b)(1) states that the information is to effective means—permissible options
specifications as follows: be provided to ‘‘[t]he Attorney General, include electronic transmission of
Subsection (d) requires that sites who shall include that information in registration information and provision
‘‘include, to the extent practicable, links the National Sex Offender Registry or of online access to registration
to sex offender safety and education other appropriate databases.’’ The information. Jurisdictions may define
resources.’’ National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR) the relevant ‘‘area[s]’’ in which a
Subsection (e) requires that sites is a national database maintained by the registrant resides, is an employee, or is
‘‘include instructions on how to seek Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a student for purposes of section
correction of information that an which compiles information from the 121(b)(2) in accordance with their own
individual contends is erroneous.’’ A registration jurisdictions’ sex offender policies, or may avoid the need to have
jurisdiction could comply with this registries and makes it available to to specify such areas by providing
requirement, for example, by including criminal justice agencies on a access to sex offender registry
on its Web site information identifying nationwide basis. The current statutory information to law enforcement and
the jurisdiction’s agency responsible for basis for NSOR appears in SORNA supervision agencies generally, since
correcting erroneous information, and section 119(a). The statute refers to the doing so makes the information
advising persons that they can contact Attorney General including the available to recipients in all areas
this agency if they believe that information submitted by jurisdictions (however defined). The authority under
information on the site is erroneous. in NSOR ‘‘or other appropriate the introductory language in section
Subsection (f) requires that sites databases’’ because some types of 121(b) to exempt information from
include ‘‘a warning that information on registry information described in disclosure is not exercised in relation to
the site should not be used to SORNA section 114, such as criminal these recipients with respect to any of
unlawfully injure, harass, or commit a history information, may be maintained the information required to be included
crime against any individual named in by the FBI in other databases rather than in registries under section 114 because
the registry or residing or working at directly in the NSOR database. In law enforcement and supervision
any reported address,’’ and further addition, the United States Marshals agencies need access to complete
provides that the warning ‘‘shall note Service, which is the lead federal information about sex offenders to carry
that any such action could result in civil agency in investigating registration out their protective, investigative,
or criminal penalties.’’ violations by sex offenders and assisting prosecutorial, and supervisory
jurisdictions in enforcing their
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B. Community Notification and registration requirements, may establish • Jurisdictions: Section 121(b)(3)
Targeted Disclosures an additional national database or identifies as required recipients ‘‘[e]ach
Section 121(b) of SORNA states that databases to help in detecting, jurisdiction where the sex offender
‘‘immediately after a sex offender investigating, and apprehending sex resides, is an employee, or is a student,
registers or updates a registration * * * offenders who violate registration and each jurisdiction from or to which

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a change of residence, employment, or established by the jurisdiction (section the jurisdiction in which a sex offender
student status occurs.’’ This is part of a 121(b)(7)). is convicted is not the same as the
broader group of SORNA provisions Implementing the required provision jurisdiction to which the sex offender
concerning the exchange of registration of information about registrants to these goes to live immediately following
information among jurisdictions and entities potentially presents a number of release. For example, a resident of
ensuring that all relevant jurisdictions difficulties for jurisdictions, such as jurisdiction A is convicted for a sex
have such information in an up-to-date problems in identifying and maintaining offense in jurisdiction B. After being
form. The implementation of section comprehensive lists of recipients in released following imprisonment or
121(b)(3) and other provisions relating these categories, keeping those lists up sentenced to probation in jurisdiction B,
to these matters is discussed in Parts IX to date, subdividing recipients by ‘‘area’’ the sex offender returns immediately to
and X of these Guidelines. with respect to the notification under jurisdiction A. Although jurisdiction B
• National Child Protection Act section 121(b)(2), and developing means is not the sex offender’s jurisdiction of
Agencies: Section 121(b)(4) identifies as of transmitting or providing access to residence following his release or
required recipients ‘‘[a]ny agency the information for the various types of sentencing, jurisdiction B as the
responsible for conducting employment- recipients. The objectives of these convicting jurisdiction is in the best
related background checks under provisions, however, can be achieved by position initially to take registration
section 3 of the National Child augmenting public sex offender Web information from the sex offender and to
Protection Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. sites to include appropriate notification inform him of his registration
5119a).’’ The National Child Protection functions. Specifically, a jurisdiction obligations, as required by SORNA
Act (NCPA) provides procedures under will be deemed to have satisfied the section 117(a), and is likely to be the
which qualified entities (e.g., requirements of these provisions of only jurisdiction in a position to do so
prospective employers of child care section 121(b) if it adopts an automated within the time frames specified in
providers) may request an authorized notification system that incorporates SORNA sections 113(b) and 117(a)—i.e.,
state agency to conduct a criminal substantially the following features: before release from imprisonment, or
history background check to obtain • The information required to be within 3 business days of sentencing for
information bearing on an individual’s included on sex offender Web sites, as a sex offender with a non-incarcerative
fitness to have responsibility for the described in Part VII.A of these sentence. Hence, SORNA section 113(a)
safety and well-being of children, the Guidelines, is posted on the provides for initial registration in the
elderly, or individuals with disabilities. jurisdiction’s sex offender Web site jurisdiction of conviction in such cases.
The authorized agency makes a within three business days. Beyond the special case of initial
• The jurisdiction’s sex offender Web registration in the conviction
determination whether the individual
site includes a function under which jurisdiction where it differs from the
who is the subject of the background
members of the public and residence jurisdiction, section 113(a)
check has been convicted of, or is under
organizations can request notification requires both registration and keeping
indictment for, a crime bearing on the
when sex offenders commence the registration current in each
individual’s fitness for such
residence, employment, or school jurisdiction where a sex offender
responsibilities, and conveys that
attendance within zip code or resides, is an employee, or is a student.
determination to the qualified entity.
geographic radius areas specified by the Starting with jurisdictions of residence,
Considering the nature of the recipients
requester, where the requester provides this means that a sex offender must
under section 121(b)(4) and the
an e-mail address to which the notice is initially register in the jurisdiction of
functions for which they need
to be sent. residence if it is the jurisdiction of
information about sex offenders, • Upon posting on the jurisdiction’s conviction, and must thereafter register
jurisdictions can implement section sex offender Web site of new residence, in any other jurisdiction in which the
121(b)(4) by making available to such employment, or school attendance sex offender subsequently resides.
agencies—i.e., those authorized to information for a sex offender within an The notion of ‘‘residence’’ requires
conduct NCPA background checks— area specified by the requester, the definition for this purpose. Requiring
within three business days all criminal system automatically sends an e-mail registration only where a sex offender
history information in the registry notice to the requester that identifies the has a residence or home in the sense of
relevant to the conduct of such sex offender, thus enabling the requester a fixed abode would be too narrow to
background checks. to access the jurisdiction’s Web site and achieve SORNA’s objective of
Beyond the four categories specified view the new information about the sex ‘‘comprehensive’’ registration of sex
above, section 121(b) requires that sex offender. offenders (see section 102), because
offender registration information be some sex offenders have no fixed
provided to several other types of VIII. Where Registration Is Required abodes. For example, a sex offender may
recipients, as follows: Section 113(a) of SORNA provides be homeless, living on the street or
• Each school and public housing that a sex offender shall register and moving from shelter to shelter, or a sex
agency in each area in which the sex keep the registration current in each offender may live in something that
offender resides, is an employee, or is a jurisdiction in which the sex offender itself moves from place to place, such as
student (section 121(b)(2)). resides, is an employee, or is a student. a mobile home, trailer, or houseboat.
• Social service entities responsible It further provides that, for initial SORNA section 111(13) accordingly
for protecting minors in the child registration purposes only, a sex defines ‘‘resides’’ to mean ‘‘the location
welfare system (section 121(b)(5)). offender must also register in the of the individual’s home or other place
• Volunteer organizations in which jurisdiction in which convicted if it is where the individual habitually lives.’’
contact with minors or other vulnerable
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different from the jurisdiction of This entails that a sex offender must
individuals might occur (section residence. register:
121(b)(6)). Starting with the last-mentioned • In any jurisdiction in which he has
• Any organization, company, or requirement—registration in jurisdiction his home; and
individual who requests such of conviction if different from • In any jurisdiction in which he
notification pursuant to procedures jurisdiction of residence—in some cases habitually lives (even if he has no home

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or fixed address in the jurisdiction, or fixed places of employment or definite IX. Initial Registration
no home anywhere). employment addresses. For example,
The scope of ‘‘habitually lives’’ in this consider a person residing in Under sections 113(b) and 117(a) of
context is not self-explanatory and jurisdiction A who works out of his SORNA, jurisdictions must normally
requires further definition. An overly home as a handyman, regularly doing require that sex offenders be initially
narrow definition would undermine the repair or home-improvement work at registered before release from
objectives of sex offender registration other people’s houses both in imprisonment for the registration
and notification under SORNA. For jurisdiction A and in an adjacent offense or, in case of a non-
example, consider the case of a sex jurisdiction B. Since the sex offender imprisonment sentence, within three
offender who nominally has his home in works in both jurisdictions, he must business days of sentencing for the
one jurisdiction—e.g., he maintains a register in jurisdiction B as well as registration offense. Upon entry of the
mail drop there, or identifies his place jurisdiction A. registration information into the
of residence for legal purposes as his registry, the initial registration
parents’ home, where he visits The implementation measure for jurisdiction must immediately forward
occasionally—but he lives most of the these SORNA requirements is for the registration information to all other
time with his girlfriend in an adjacent jurisdictions to require sex offenders jurisdictions in which the sex offender
jurisdiction. Registration in the nominal who are employed in the jurisdiction, as is required to register. This is required
home jurisdiction alone in such a case described above, to register in the by SORNA section 121(b)(3)
would mean that the registration jurisdiction. To the extent that a sex (registration information is to be
information is not informative as to offender has some employment-related provided immediately to ‘‘[e]ach
where the sex offender is actually presence in a jurisdiction, but does not jurisdiction where the sex offender
residing, and hence would not fulfill the have a fixed place of employment or resides, is an employee, or is a
public safety objectives of tracking sex regularly work within the jurisdiction, student.’’). Hence, for example, if an
offenders’ whereabouts following their line drawing questions will arise, and imprisoned sex offender advises the
release into the community. jurisdictions may resolve these conviction jurisdiction on initial
‘‘Habitually lives’’ accordingly should questions based on their own registration that he will be residing in
be understood to include places in judgments. For example, if a sex another jurisdiction following release,
which the sex offender lives with some offender who is a long haul trucker or that he will stay in the conviction
regularity, and with reference to where regularly drives through dozens of jurisdiction but will be commuting to
the sex offender actually lives, not just jurisdictions in the course of his work in another jurisdiction, the
in terms of what he would choose to employment, it is not required that all conviction jurisdiction must notify the
characterize as his home address or such jurisdictions must make the sex expected residence or employment
place of residence for self-interested offender register based on his transient jurisdiction by forwarding to that
reasons. The specific interpretation of employment-related presence, but rather jurisdiction the sex offender’s
this element of ‘‘residence’’ these they may treat such cases in accordance registration information (including the
Guidelines adopt is that a sex offender with their own policies. (For more about information about the expected
habitually lives in the relevant sense in required employment information, see residence or employment in that
any place in which the sex offender the discussion in Part VI of these jurisdiction). The sex offender will then
lives for at least 30 days. Hence, a Guidelines.) be required to make an in-person
jurisdiction must require a sex offender registration appearance within three
The final SORNA basis of registration
to register in the jurisdiction as a business days of commencing residence
resident under SORNA if the sex is being a student, which SORNA
section 111(11) defines to mean ‘‘an or employment in that jurisdiction, as
offender has a home in the jurisdiction, discussed in Part X of these Guidelines.
or if the sex offender lives in the individual who enrolls in or attends an
jurisdiction for at least 30 days. educational institution, including With respect to sex offenders released
Jurisdictions may choose how the 30- (whether public or private) a secondary from imprisonment, the initial
day requirement is satisfied (e.g., 30 school, trade or professional school, and registration procedures must be carried
consecutive days, 30 nonconsecutive institution of higher education.’’ Hence, out prior to release from imprisonment.
days over a 45-day period, or 30 for example, a sex offender who resides SORNA does not include a specific
nonconsecutive days within a calendar in jurisdiction A, and is enrolled in a requirement as to how long before
year). college in an adjacent jurisdiction B to release from imprisonment the initial
SORNA also requires sex offenders to which he commutes for classes, must be registration process must be conducted.
register and keep the registration current required to register in jurisdiction B as But jurisdictions are encouraged, as a
in any jurisdiction in which the sex well as jurisdiction A. School matter of sound policy, to effect initial
offender is an employee. Hence, a sex enrollment or attendance in this context registration with ample time in advance
offender who resides in jurisdiction A should be understood as referring to whenever possible so that the following
and commutes to work in an adjacent attendance at a school in a physical can be done before the sex offender is
jurisdiction B must register and keep the sense. It does not mean that a released into the community: (i)
registration current in both jurisdiction has to require a sex offender Subjecting the registration information
jurisdictions—in jurisdiction A as a in some distant jurisdiction to register provided by the sex offender to any
resident, and in jurisdiction B as an in the jurisdiction based on his taking verification the jurisdiction carries out
employee. SORNA section 111(12) a correspondence course through the to ensure accuracy (e.g., cross checking
defines ‘‘employee’’ for this purpose to mail with a school in the jurisdiction, or with other records), (ii) obtaining any
include ‘‘an individual who is self- based on his taking courses at the school information needed for the registry that
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employed or works for any other entity, remotely through the Internet, unless must be secured from sources other than
whether compensated or not.’’ As with the participation in the educational the sex offender, (iii) posting of the sex
residence, the SORNA requirement to program also involves some physical offender’s information on the
register in jurisdictions of employment attendance at the school in the jurisdiction’s sex offender Web site, and
is not limited to sex offenders who have jurisdiction. (iv) effecting other required notifications

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and disclosures of information relating the sex offender is released on for which he was convicted in 1980—because
to the sex offender. completion of imprisonment in 2010. that time is past.
The specific initial registration Such a sex offender can be registered With respect to sex offenders with
procedures required by section 117(a) prior to release from imprisonment in pre-SORNA or pre-SORNA-
are as follows: the same manner as sex offenders implementation convictions who
• Informing the sex offender of his or convicted following the enactment of remain in the prisoner, supervision, or
her duties under SORNA and explaining SORNA and its implementation by the registered sex offender populations at
those duties. (Of course if the jurisdiction. the time of implementation—illustrated
jurisdiction adopts registration But in other cases this will not be by the examples in the first and second
requirements that encompass but go possible, as illustrated by the following bullets above—jurisdictions should
beyond the SORNA minimum, the sex examples: endeavor to register them in conformity
offender should be informed of the full
• Example 1: A sex offender convicted by with SORNA as quickly as possible,
range of duties, not only those required a State for an offense in the SORNA including fully instructing them about
by SORNA.) registration categories is sentenced to the SORNA requirements, obtaining
• Requiring the sex offender to read probation, or released on post-imprisonment
and sign a form stating that the duty to signed acknowledgments of such
supervision, in 2005. The sex offender is not
register has been explained and that the registered near the time of sentencing or
instructions, and obtaining and entering
sex offender understands the before release from imprisonment, because into the registry all information about
registration requirement. the State did not require registration for the them required under SORNA. But it is
• Ensuring that the sex offender is offense in question at that time. The State recognized that this may entail newly
registered—i.e., obtaining the required subsequently implements SORNA in 2008, registering or re-registering a large
which will include registering such a sex number of sex offenders in the existing
registration information for the sex offender. But it is impossible to do so near
offender and submitting that sex offender population, and that it may
the time of his sentencing or before his not be feasible for a jurisdiction to do
information for inclusion in the registry. release from imprisonment, because that time
SORNA sections 113(d) and 117(b) is past. Likewise, a person convicted of a sex so immediately. Jurisdictions are
recognize that the normal initial offense by an Indian tribal court in, e.g., 2005 accordingly authorized to phase in
registration procedure described above may have not been registered near the time SORNA registration for such sex
will not be feasible in relation to certain of sentencing or release because the tribe had offenders in conformity with the
special classes of sex offenders, and not yet established any sex offender appearance schedule of SORNA section
registration program at the time. If the person 116. In other words, sex offenders in
provides that the Attorney General may
remains under supervision when the tribe these existing sex offender populations
prescribe alternative rules for the implements SORNA, registration will be
registration of such sex offenders. The who cannot be registered within the
required by the SORNA standards, but the
specific problem is one of timing; it is normal time frame for initial registration
normal SORNA time frame (i.e., before
not always possible to carry out the under SORNA will have passed some years release from imprisonment or within
initial registration procedures for sex ago, so registration within that time frame is three business days of sentencing for the
offenders who are required to register impossible. registration offense) must be registered
under SORNA prior to release from • Example 2: A sex offender is required to by the jurisdiction when it implements
register for life by a jurisdiction based on a the SORNA requirements in its system
imprisonment (or within three days of
rape conviction in 1995 for which he was within a year for sex offenders who
sentencing) for the registration offense. released from imprisonment in 2005. The sex
The situations in which there may be satisfy the tier I criteria, within six
offender was initially registered prior to his
problems of this type, and the rules release from imprisonment on the basis of the
months for sex offenders who satisfy the
adopted for those situations, are as jurisdiction’s existing law, but the tier II criteria, and within three months
follows: information concerning registration duties he for sex offenders who satisfy the tier III
was given at the time of release did not criteria. If a jurisdiction believes that it
Retroactive Classes include telling him that he would have to is not feasible for the jurisdiction to
As discussed in Part II.C of these appear periodically in person to verify and fully register the existing sex offender
Guidelines, SORNA applies to all sex update the registration information (as population in conformity with SORNA
required by SORNA § 116), because the within these time frames, the
offenders, including those convicted of
jurisdiction did not have such a requirement
their registration offenses prior to the at the time. So the sex offender will have to
jurisdiction should inform the SMART
enactment of SORNA or prior to be required to appear periodically for Office of the difficulty, and the SMART
particular jurisdictions’ incorporation of verification and will have to be given new Office will consider whether an
the SORNA requirements into their instructions about that as part of the extension of time for implementation of
programs. Jurisdictions are specifically jurisdiction’s implementation of SORNA. SORNA under section 124(b) is
required to register such sex offenders if • Example 3: A sex offender convicted in warranted on that basis.
they remain in the system as prisoners, 1980 for an offense subject to lifetime In cases in which a sex offender
registration under SORNA is released from reenters the system based on conviction
supervisees, or registrants, or if they
imprisonment in 1990 but is not required to
later reenter the system because of register at the time because the jurisdiction
of some other offense—illustrated by the
conviction for some other crime had not yet established a sex offender third example above—and is sentenced
(whether or not the new crime is a sex registration program. In 2010, following the or released from imprisonment
offense). jurisdiction’s implementation of SORNA, the following the jurisdiction’s
In some cases this will create no sex offender reenters the system because of implementation of SORNA, the normal
difficulty for registering these sex conviction for a robbery. The jurisdiction SORNA initial registration procedures
offenders in conformity with the normal will need to require the sex offender to and timing requirements will apply, but
SORNA registration procedures. For register based on his 1980 conviction for a with the new offense substituting for the
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sex offense when he is released from

example, suppose that a sex offender is imprisonment for the robbery offense. But it
predicate registration offense as the
convicted of an offense in the SORNA is not possible to carry out the initial basis for the time frame. In other words,
registration categories in 2005, that the registration procedure for the sex offender such a sex offender must be initially
jurisdiction implements SORNA in its prior to his release from imprisonment for registered in the manner specified in
registration program in 2008, and that the registration offense—i.e., the sex offense SORNA section 117(a) prior to release

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from imprisonment for the new offense the sex offender to any other Persons with foreign sex offense
that brought him back into the system, jurisdiction in which the sex offender is convictions provide an additional class
or within three business days of required to register under SORNA (e.g., who cannot be initially registered
sentencing for the new offense in case on the basis of employment), as required within the normal SORNA time frame.
of a non-incarcerative sentence. by SORNA section 121(b)(3). If federal Since they are convicted and
authorities notify the jurisdiction imprisoned in a foreign country, no
Federal and Military Sex Offenders
concerning the release of a sex offender domestic jurisdiction would normally
There is no separate federal to the jurisdiction, but the sex offender be in a position to register them prior to
registration program for sex offenders fails to appear and register as required, their release from imprisonment (or near
required to register under SORNA who the jurisdiction must proceed as the time of sentencing in case of a non-
are released from federal or military discussed in Part XIII of these incarcerative sentence).
custody. Rather, such sex offenders are Guidelines for cases involving possible The procedure for initial registration
integrated into the sex offender violations of registration requirements. of such persons is logically the same as
registration programs of the States and that for other analogous classes
other (non-federal) jurisdictions Sex Offenders Incarcerated in Non- discussed above: A jurisdiction must
following their release. Provisions of Conviction Jurisdictions require a person with a foreign
federal law, appearing in 18 U.S.C. A sex offender sentenced to conviction for which registration is
4042(c) and section 115(a)(8)(C) of imprisonment may serve his or her required under SORNA to appear in
Public Law 105–119, require federal and prison term in a facility outside of the person to register within three business
military correctional and supervision convicting jurisdiction. For example, an days of entering the jurisdiction to
personnel to notify the receiving Indian tribe may not have its own reside or commencing employment or
jurisdiction’s authorities concerning the correctional facility and may school attendance in the jurisdiction. If
release to their areas of such sex accordingly lease bed space from a the sex offender has not previously been
offenders so that this integration can be county jail. Or a State may lease prison registered by another jurisdiction, the
effected. Moreover, these sex offenders space in a facility in an adjacent State, jurisdiction must carry out the initial
are required to comply with the SORNA so that some of its offenders serve their registration procedure as provided in
registration requirements in the prison terms in the other State’s SORNA section 117(a) when the sex
jurisdictions in which they reside, are facilities. In such a case, the jurisdiction offender appears. The jurisdiction must
employed, or attend school as incarcerating the sex offender may be immediately forward the registration
mandatory conditions of their federal neither the jurisdiction of conviction information to any other jurisdiction in
supervision, as provided in 18 U.S.C. nor the jurisdiction of expected which the sex offender is required to
3563(a)(8), 3583(d), 4209(a), and may be residence following release. But it is register under SORNA. If a jurisdiction
prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 2250 if they likely to be in the best position to is notified, by federal authorities
fail to do so. initially take the required registration pursuant to SORNA section 128 or
For example, consider a person information from the sex offender and to otherwise, that a sex offender is entering
convicted of aggravated sexual abuse instruct the sex offender concerning the United States and is expected to be
under 18 U.S.C. 2241, who is released registration obligations, while the locating in the jurisdiction, but the sex
following his completion of the prison jurisdiction that convicted the sex offender fails to appear and register as
term for this offense. As provided in 18 offender may be in no position to do so required, the jurisdiction must follow
U.S.C. 4042(c), the Federal Bureau of prior to the sex offender’s release, the procedures discussed in Part XIII of
Prisons is required to inform the sex because the facility in which the sex these guidelines for cases involving
offender prior to his release that he must offender is incarcerated is in another possible violations of registration
register as required by SORNA, and jurisdiction. requirements.
must notify law enforcement and In such cases, the jurisdiction
registration authorities in the incarcerating the sex offender must X. Keeping the Registration Current
jurisdiction in which the sex offender carry out the initial registration There are a number of provisions in
will reside following release. procedure described in SORNA section SORNA that are designed to ensure that
Situations of this type are in principle 117(a) prior to releasing the sex offender changes in registration information are
the same as those in which a sex and must immediately forward the promptly reported, and that the
offender enters a jurisdiction to reside registration information for the sex registration information is kept fully up
following conviction in another (non- offender to any other jurisdiction in to date in all jurisdictions in which the
federal) jurisdiction—see Part X of these which the sex offender is required to sex offender is required to register:
Guidelines for discussion—except that register under SORNA (e.g., on the basis • Section 113(a) provides that a sex
the federal authorities will not have of expected residence), as required by offender must keep the registration
registered the sex offender in the same SORNA section 121(b)(3). current in each jurisdiction in which the
manner that a non-federal jurisdiction sex offender resides, is an employee, or
would. The jurisdiction to which such Registrants Based on Foreign is a student.
a sex offender goes to reside following Convictions • Section 113(c) provides that a sex
release from federal custody (or after Persons with foreign sex offense offender must, not later than three
sentencing for a federal offense, in case convictions are often required to register business days after each change of
of a non-incarcerative sentence) under SORNA, as discussed in Part IV.B name, residence, employment, or
accordingly must require the sex of these Guidelines. Section 128 of student status, appear in person in at
offender to appear in person to register SORNA directs the Attorney General, in least one jurisdiction in which the sex
within three business days, and must consultation with the Secretary of State offender is required to register and
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carry out the procedure described in and the Secretary of Homeland Security, inform that jurisdiction of all changes in
SORNA section 117(a) when the sex to establish a system for informing the the information required for that sex
offender appears for that purpose. The relevant jurisdictions about persons offender in the sex offender registry. It
jurisdiction must also immediately entering the United States who are further provides that that information
forward the registration information for required to register under SORNA. must immediately be provided to all

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30230 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 30, 2007 / Notices

other jurisdictions in which the sex who is registered in the jurisdiction as required, the jurisdiction must inform
offender is required to register. a resident and changes his or her name the jurisdiction that provided the
• Section 119(b) provides that or place of residence within the notification that the sex offender failed
updated information about a sex jurisdiction, to appear in person to to appear, and must follow the
offender must be immediately register or update the registration within procedures for cases involving possible
transmitted by electronic forwarding to three business days. Also, each violations of registration requirements,
all relevant jurisdictions. jurisdiction in which a sex offender is as discussed in Part XIII of these
• Section 121(b)(3) provides that registered as a resident must: guidelines.
immediately after a sex offender Æ Require the sex offender to inform
registers or updates a registration, the the jurisdiction if the sex offender B. Changes in Other Registration
information in the registry (other than intends to commence residence, Information
any exempted from disclosure by the employment, or school attendance in By incorporating the foregoing
Attorney General) must be provided to another jurisdiction; and procedures into their registration
each jurisdiction where the sex offender Æ If so informed by the sex offender, programs, jurisdictions can implement
resides, is an employee, or is a student, notify that other jurisdiction by the SORNA requirements for keeping
and each jurisdiction from or to which transmitting the sex offender’s the registration current in relation to
a change of residence, employment, or registration information (including the name, residence, employment, and
student status occurs. information concerning the sex school attendance information through
• Section 128 directs the Attorney offender’s expected residence, in-person appearances. The registration
General, in consultation with the employment, or school attendance in information that sex offenders are
Secretary of State and the Secretary of that jurisdiction) immediately by required to provide under SORNA
Homeland Security, to establish a electronic forwarding to that section 114, however, as discussed in
system for informing relevant jurisdiction. Part VI of these Guidelines, includes as
jurisdictions about persons entering the • Employment Jurisdictions: Each well information about vehicles owned
United States who are required to jurisdiction must require a sex offender or operated by sex offenders, temporary
register under SORNA. who commences employment in the lodging information, and information
Implementation of these provisions jurisdiction, or changes employer or about designations that sex offenders
requires the definition of place of employment in the jurisdiction, use for self-identification or routing
implementation measures that can be to appear in person to register or update purposes in Internet communications or
carried out by the individual the registration within three business postings or telephonic communications.
jurisdictions, whose collective effect days. If changes occur in these types of
will be to realize these provisions’ • School Jurisdictions: Each information, the changes may
objectives. The remainder of this Part of jurisdiction must require a sex offender eventually be reported as part of the
these Guidelines details the required who commences school attendance in periodic verification appearances
implementation measures. the jurisdiction, or changes the school required by section 116 of SORNA, as
attended or place of school attendance discussed in Part XI of these Guidelines.
A. Changes of Name, Residence, But the registration information may
in the jurisdiction, to appear in person
Employment, or School Attendance become in some respects seriously out
to register or update the registration
The in-person appearance within three business days. of date if the verification appearances
requirements of section 113(c) described • Information Sharing: In all cases in are relied on exclusively for this
above serve to ensure—in connection which a sex offender makes an in- purpose.
with the most substantial types of person appearance in a jurisdiction and For example, if a sex offender is on a
changes bearing on the identification or registers or updates a registration as yearly appearance schedule, the sex
location of sex offenders (name, described above, the jurisdiction must offender’s motor vehicle information
residence, employment, school immediately transmit by electronic may be a year out of date by the time
attendance)—that there will be an forwarding the registration information the sex offender reports at the next
opportunity to obtain all required for the sex offender (including any appearance that he has acquired a new
registration information from sex updated information concerning name, vehicle. Temporary lodging at places
offenders in an up to date form, residence, employment, or school away from a sex offender’s residence
including direct meetings for this attendance provided in the appearance) might not be reported until long after
purpose between the sex offenders and to all other jurisdictions in which: the time when the sex offender was at
the personnel or agencies who will be Æ The sex offender is or will be the temporary location. Likewise, given
responsible for their registration. The required to register as a resident, the ease with which Internet addresses
purposes served by in-person employee, or student; or and identifiers and telephone numbers
appearances under the SORNA Æ The sex offender was required to are added, dropped, or changed, the
standards are further explained in Part register as a resident, employee, or value of requiring information about
XI of these Guidelines, in relation to the student until the time of a change of them from registrants could be seriously
periodic in-person appearance residence, employment, or student undermined if they were only required
requirements of section 116. status reported in the appearance, even to report changes periodically in the
The required implementation if the sex offender may no longer be context of general verification meetings.
measures for the appearances required required to register in that jurisdiction Hence, an additional implementation
by section 113(c)—and other in light of the change of residence, measure is necessary to keep
information updating/sharing and employment, or student status. registrations current with respect to
• Failure to Appear: If a jurisdiction
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enforcement provisions under SORNA these informational items:

as they bear on such appearances—are is notified that a sex offender is • Each jurisdiction in which a sex
as follows: expected to commence residence, offender is registered as a resident must
• Residence Jurisdictions: Each employment, or school attendance in require the sex offender to report
jurisdiction must require a sex offender the jurisdiction, but the sex offender immediately changes in vehicle
who enters the jurisdiction to reside, or fails to appear for registration as information, lodging of seven days or

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more duration, and changes in return for their advising the United registration information in the national
designations used for self-identification States about sex offenders coming to the databases pursuant to the procedures
or routing in Internet communications United States from their jurisdictions. under SORNA section 121(b)(1).
or postings or telephonic For this reason as well, federal
XI. Verification/Appearance
communications, and must immediately authorities in the United States will
transmit such changes in the registration need information about sex offenders
information by electronic forwarding to leaving domestic jurisdictions to go Section 116 of SORNA States that ‘‘a
all other jurisdictions in which the sex abroad in order to effectively carry out sex offender shall appear in person,
offender is required to register. the requirements of SORNA section 128 allow the jurisdiction to take a current
• In addition, with respect to lodging and enforce 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)(2)(B). photograph, and verify the information
of seven days or more duration, the International travel also implicates in each registry in which that offender
residence jurisdiction must immediately the requirement of SORNA section is required to be registered not less
transmit the information by electronic 113(a) that sex offenders keep the frequently than’’: (i) Each year for a tier
forwarding to the jurisdiction in which registration current in all jurisdictions I sex offender, (ii) every six months for
the temporary lodging by the sex in which they reside, work, or attend a tier II sex offender, and (iii) every
offender takes place (if different from school. If a sex offender simply leaves three months for a tier III sex offender.
the residence jurisdiction), even if that the country and does not inform the Jurisdictions accordingly must require
is not a jurisdiction in which the sex jurisdiction or jurisdictions in which he such periodic appearances by sex
offender is required to register. has been registered, then the offenders who reside or are employees
requirement to keep the registration or students in the jurisdiction, since sex
C. International Travel offenders must register in the
current will not have been fulfilled.
A sex offender who moves to a foreign Rather, the registry information in the jurisdictions of their residence,
country may pass beyond the reach of domestic jurisdictions will show that employment, and school attendance, as
U.S. jurisdictions and hence may not be the sex offender is residing in the explained in Part VIII of these
subject to any enforceable registration jurisdiction (or present as an employee Guidelines. As with other SORNA
requirement under U.S. law unless and or student) when that is no longer the requirements, jurisdictions may require
until he or she returns to the United case. in-person appearances by sex offenders
States. But effective tracking of such sex In addition, a sex offender who goes with greater frequency than the
offenders remains a matter of concern to abroad may remain subject in some minimum required by section 116.
the United States and its domestic respects to U.S. jurisdiction. For The in-person appearance
jurisdictions, and some measures example, a sex offender may be leaving requirements of section 116 further the
relating to them are necessary for to live on an overseas U.S. military base, purposes of sex offender registration
implementation of SORNA. as a servicemember, dependent, or and notification in a number of ways. A
Relevant provisions include SORNA employee, or to work as or for a U.S. sex offender’s physical appearance, like
section 128, which directs the Attorney military contractor in another country. that of any other person, will change in
General to establish a system for In such cases, notification about the the course of time. The in-person
informing domestic jurisdictions about individual’s status as a sex offender and appearance requirements provide
persons entering the United States who intended activities abroad is of interest reasonably frequent opportunities to
are required to register under SORNA, to federal authorities, because the obtain a photograph of the sex offender
and 18 U.S.C. 2250(a)(2)(B), which presence of sex offenders implicates the and a physical description that reflects
makes it a federal crime for a sex same public safety concerns in relation his or her current appearance, types of
offender to travel in foreign commerce to communities abroad for which the registration information that are
and knowingly fail to register or update United States has responsibility (such as required by section 114(b)(1), (4). The
a registration as required by SORNA. To U.S. military base communities in in-person appearances further provide
carry out its responsibilities under these foreign countries) as it does in relation an opportunity to review with the sex
provisions, the Department of Justice to communities within the United offender the full range of information in
needs to know if sex offenders States. the registry, and to obtain from the sex
registered in U.S. jurisdictions are The following requirements offender information about any changes
leaving the country, since such accordingly apply in relation to sex in the registration information or new
offenders will be required to resume offenders who leave the United States: information that has not been reported
registration if they later return to the • Each jurisdiction in which a sex since the initial registration or the last
United States to live, work, or attend offender is registered as a resident must appearance.
school while still within their require the sex offender to inform the Beyond these functions of directly
registration periods. Also, both for sex jurisdiction if the sex offender intends helping to ensure the accuracy and
offenders who are convicted in the to commence residence, employment, or currency of the registration information,
United States and then go abroad, and school attendance outside of the United the appearance requirement ensures
for sex offenders who are initially States. periodic face-to-face encounters
convicted in other countries, identifying If so informed by the sex offender, the between the sex offender and persons
such sex offenders when they enter or jurisdiction must: (i) Notify all other responsible for his or her registration.
reenter the United States will require jurisdictions in which the sex offender For example, if the appearance
cooperative efforts between the is required to register through requirement is implemented by a
Department of Justice (including the immediate electronic forwarding of the jurisdiction to require that registrants
United States Marshals Service) and sex offender’s registration information report to local police departments or
agencies of foreign countries. As a (including the information concerning sheriffs’ offices, these meetings help to
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necessary part of such cooperative the sex offender’s expected residence, familiarize law enforcement personnel
activities, foreign authorities may expect employment, or school attendance with the sex offenders in their areas.
U.S. authorities to inform them about outside of the United States), and (ii) This may contribute to the effective
sex offenders coming to their notify the United States Marshals discharge of the local law enforcement
jurisdictions from the United States, in Service and update the sex offender’s agency’s protective and investigative

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functions in relation to these sex may be in the required registration nonincarcerative sentence for the
offenders, and help to ensure that the information categories. offense.
agency’s responsibility to track these sex • Upon entry of the updated The proviso relating to custody or
offenders is taken seriously and information into the registry, it must be civil commitment reflects the fact that
consistently enforced. Likewise, from immediately transmitted by electronic the SORNA procedures for keeping up
the perspective of the sex offender, forwarding to all other jurisdictions: (i) the registration—including appearances
periodic in-person encounters with In which the sex offender is or will be to report changes of residence or other
officials responsible for their monitoring required to register as a resident, key information under section 113(c),
may help to impress on them with employee, or student, or (ii) in which and periodic appearances for
greater vividness than remote the sex offender was required to register verification under section 116—
communications that their identities, as a resident, employee, or student until generally presuppose the case of a sex
locations, and past criminal conduct are the time of a change of residence, offender who is free in the community.
known to the authorities. Hence, there employment, or student status reported Where a sex offender is confined, the
is a reduced likelihood of their avoiding in the appearance, even if the sex public is protected against the risk of his
detection and apprehension if they offender may no longer be required to reoffending in a more direct way, and
reoffend, and this may help them to register in that jurisdiction in light of more certain means are available for
resist the temptation to reoffend. the updated information. (This is tracking his whereabouts. Hence,
As long as the appearances involve necessary to carry out information SORNA does not require that
meetings between the sex offenders and sharing requirements appearing in jurisdictions apply the registration
officials who can carry out the required SORNA sections 119(b) and 121(b)(3).) procedures applicable to sex offenders
functions of the meetings, the specific Like other SORNA registration in the community during periods in
arrangements for such appearances and requirements, the in-person appearance which a sex offender is in custody or
the officials who will conduct them are requirements of section 116 are only civilly committed.
matters that jurisdictions may determine minimum standards. They do not limit, Subsection (b) of section 115 provides
in their discretion. For example, and are not meant to discourage, that the registration period shall be
jurisdictions may require sex offenders adoption by jurisdictions of more reduced by 5 years for a tier I sex
to report to local law enforcement extensive or additional measures for offender who has maintained a ‘‘clean
offices for this purpose, or may combine verifying registration information. Thus, record’’ for 10 years, and provides that
the appearances with meetings between jurisdictions may require verification of registration be terminated for a tier III
sex offenders and their supervision registration information with greater sex offender required to register on the
officers if they are under supervision, or frequency than that required by section basis of a juvenile delinquency
may have law enforcement, supervision, 116, and may wish to include in their adjudication if the sex offender has
or registration personnel visit with sex systems additional means of verification maintained a ‘‘clean record’’ for 25
offenders at their homes or meet with for registration information, such as years. (The circumstances in which
them at other arranged locations. mailing address verification forms to the registration is required on the basis of
The specific requirements for the registered residence address that the sex juvenile delinquency adjudications are
conduct of such appearances are as offender is required to sign and return, explained in Part IV.A of these
follows: and cross-checking information Guidelines.) Subsection (b) does not
• Appearances must be conducted at provided by the sex offender for provide for the reduction of the required
least annually for sex offenders inclusion in the registry against other 25-year duration of registration for tier
satisfying the ‘‘tier I’’ criteria, at least records systems. Section 631 of the II sex offenders, or for the reduction of
semiannually for sex offenders Adam Walsh Act (Pub. L. 109–248) the required lifetime registration for tier
satisfying the ‘‘tier II’’ criteria, and at authorizes a separate grant program to III sex offenders required to register on
least quarterly for sex offenders assist in residence address verification the basis of adult convictions.
satisfying the ‘‘tier III’’ criteria. (The for sex offenders. Additional guidance The specific requirements under
‘‘tier’’ classifications and what they will be provided concerning application section 115(b) to satisfy the ‘‘clean
entail are explained in Part V of these for grants under that program if funding record’’ precondition for reduction of
Guidelines.) for the program becomes available. the registration period are as follows:
• The sex offender must allow a • The sex offender must not be
current photograph to be taken. This XII. Duration of Registration
convicted of any sex offense for which
does not mean that jurisdictions must Section 115(a) of SORNA specifies the imprisonment for more than one year
require officials conducting these minimum required duration of sex may be imposed (section 115(b)(1)(A)).
meetings to take a new photograph at offender registration. It generally • The sex offender must not be
every appearance and enter the new requires that sex offenders keep the convicted of any sex offense (section
photograph into the registry. Where the registration current for 15 years in the 115(b)(1)(B)). In contrast to section
official sees that the sex offender’s case of a tier I sex offender, for 25 years 115(b)(1)(A), section 115(b)(1)(B) is not
appearance has not changed in the case of a tier II sex offender, and limited to cases in which the offense is
significantly from a photograph in the for the life of the sex offender in the case one potentially punishable by
registry, it may be concluded that the of a tier III sex offender, ‘‘excluding any imprisonment for more than a year.
existing photograph remains sufficiently time the sex offender is in custody or Hence, conviction for a sex offense
current and the taking of a new civilly committed.’’ (The tier prevents satisfaction of the ‘‘clean
photograph does not have to be required classifications and their import are record’’ requirement, even if the
in such circumstances. explained in Part V of these Guidelines.) maximum penalty for the offense is less
• The sex offender must be required The required registration period begins
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than a year.
to review the existing information in the to run upon release from custody for a • The sex offender must successfully
registry that is within his or her sex offender sentenced to incarceration complete any periods of supervised
knowledge, to correct any item that has for the registration offense, and begins release, probation, and parole (section
changed or is otherwise inaccurate, and to run at the time of sentencing for a sex 115(b)(1)(C)). The requirement of
to provide any new information there offender who receives a ‘‘successfully’’ completing periods of

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supervision means completing these Attorney General and appropriate law informs the original registration
periods without revocation. enforcement agencies of failures by sex jurisdiction that the sex offender has
• The sex offender must successfully offenders to comply with registration failed to appear and register.
complete an appropriate sex offender requirements, and that such registration • When such information is received
treatment program certified by a violations must be reflected in the by a jurisdiction indicating that a sex
jurisdiction or by the Attorney General registries. The section further provides offender may have absconded, whether
(section 115(b)(1)(D)). Jurisdictions may that the official, the Attorney General, one registered in the jurisdiction or
make their own decisions concerning and each such law enforcement agency expected to arrive from another
the design of such treatment programs, are to take any appropriate action to jurisdiction, an effort must be made to
and jurisdictions may choose the ensure compliance. Complementary determine whether the sex offender has
criteria to be applied in determining measures for federal enforcement appear actually absconded. If non-law-
whether a sex offender has in section 142, which directs the enforcement registration personnel
‘‘successfully’’ completed a treatment Attorney General to use the resources of cannot determine this, then a law
program, which may involve relying on federal law enforcement, including the enforcement agency with jurisdiction to
the professional judgment of the persons United States Marshals Service, to assist investigate the matter must be notified.
who conduct or oversee the treatment jurisdictions in locating and Also, if the information indicating the
program. apprehending sex offenders who violate possible absconding came through
registration requirements. (Also, notice from another jurisdiction or
XIII. Enforcement of Registration
SORNA section 623 authorizes grants by federal authorities, the authorities that
the Attorney General to States, local provided the notification must be
This final part of the Guidelines governments, tribal governments, and informed that the sex offender has failed
discusses enforcement of registration other public and private entities to to appear and register.
requirements under the SORNA assist in enforcing sex offender • If a jurisdiction receives
provisions. It initially discusses the registration requirements—additional information indicating that a sex
penalties for registration violations guidance will be provided concerning offender may have absconded, as
under SORNA, and then the practical application for grants under this described in the preceding bullets, and
procedures for investigating and dealing provision if funding is made available takes the measures described therein but
with such violations. for this program.) cannot locate the sex offender, then the
SORNA contemplates that substantial Translating the requirements of jurisdiction must take the following
criminal penalties will be available for section 122 into practical procedures steps:
registration violations at the state, local, that will ensure effective enforcement of Æ The information in the registry
and federal levels. Section 113(e) of sex offender registration requires further must be revised to reflect that the sex
SORNA requires jurisdictions (other definition. Jurisdictions can implement offender is an absconder or unlocatable.
than Indian tribes) to provide a criminal the requirements of section 122 by Æ A warrant must be sought for the
penalty that includes a maximum term adopting the following procedures: sex offender’s arrest, if the legal
of imprisonment greater than one year • Information may be received by a requirements for doing so are satisfied.
for the failure of a sex offender to jurisdiction indicating that a sex Æ The United States Marshals
comply with the SORNA requirements. offender has absconded—i.e., has not Service, which is the lead federal
Hence, a jurisdiction’s implementation registered at all, or has moved to some agency for investigating sex offender
of SORNA includes having a failure-to- unknown place other than the registered registration violations, must be notified.
register offense for which the maximum place of residence. For example, a sex Also, the jurisdiction must update the
authorized term of imprisonment offender may fail to make a scheduled National Sex Offender Registry to reflect
exceeds a year. (Indian tribes are not appearance for periodic verification of the sex offender’s status as an absconder
included in this requirement because registration information in his or unlocatable and enter the sex
tribal court jurisdiction does not extend jurisdiction of residence as required by offender into the National Crime
to imposing terms of imprisonment SORNA section 115, or may fail to Information Center Wanted Person File
exceeding a year.) Section 141(a) of return an address verification form (assuming issuance of a warrant meeting
SORNA enacted 18 U.S.C. 2250, a new mailed to the registered address in a the requirement for entry into that file).
federal failure-to-register offense, which jurisdiction that uses that verification The foregoing procedures must be
provides federal criminal penalties of procedure. Or a jurisdiction may receive adopted for possible absconder cases to
up to 10 years of imprisonment for sex notice from some other jurisdiction implement SORNA section 122. In
offenders required to register under providing grounds to expect that a sex addition, a jurisdiction’s policies must
SORNA who knowingly fail to register offender will be coming to live in the require appropriate follow-up measures
or update a registration as required jurisdiction—such as notice that a sex when information is received indicating
where circumstances supporting federal offender will be moving to the violation of the requirement to register
jurisdiction exist, such as interstate or jurisdiction from a jurisdiction in which in jurisdictions of employment or
international travel by a sex offender, or he was previously registered, or notice school attendance, whether or not a
conviction of a federal sex offense for from federal authorities about the violation of the requirement to register
which registration is required. Federal expected arrival in the jurisdiction of a in jurisdictions of residence is
sex offenders are also required to released federal sex offender or sex implicated. Specifically, a jurisdiction
comply with the SORNA registration offender entering the United States from may receive information indicating that
requirements as mandatory conditions abroad—but the sex offender then fails a sex offender may be employed or
of their federal probation, supervised to appear and register as required. Or a attending school in the jurisdiction but
jurisdiction may notify another has not registered as required—for
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release, or parole, as provided pursuant

to amendments adopted by section jurisdiction, based on information example, failure by the sex offender to
141(d)–(e), (j) of SORNA. provided by a sex offender, that the sex appear for a required periodic in-person
In terms of practical enforcement offender will be relocating to the other appearance in the employment or
measures, SORNA section 122 requires jurisdiction, but the supposed school jurisdiction, as required by
that an appropriate official notify the destination jurisdiction thereafter SORNA section 116, or failure by a sex

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30234 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 103 / Wednesday, May 30, 2007 / Notices

offender to appear and register in the sex offender is actually employed or Dated: May 17, 2007.
jurisdiction following receipt of notice attending school in the jurisdiction but Alberto R. Gonzalez,
from another jurisdiction that the sex has failed to register. If (non-law Attorney General.
offender is expected to be commencing enforcement) registration personnel [FR Doc. E7–10210 Filed 5–29–07; 8:45 am]
employment or school attendance in the cannot determine this, then a law BILLING CODE 4410–18–P
jurisdiction. In such cases, an effort enforcement agency with jurisdiction to
must be made to determine whether the investigate the matter must be notified.
rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with NOTICES2

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