WASHINGTON, Sept. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs (OJP) awarded almost $18 million to implement and enhance sex offender programming throughout the United States.
"We have made tremendous strides over the last decade toward building a comprehensive sex offender registration and notification system," said Director Luis C. deBaca, Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART Office). "The new awards take our efforts to the next stage, giving our state, local and tribal partners evidence-based tools and technologies that will enhance their capacity to manage sex offenders and protect citizens."
More than $9.8 million will be used to develop or enhance sex offender registration programs; improve law enforcement and other justice agency information sharing as it relates to sex offender registration and notification; and implement other efforts that further the objectives of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Act. The Adam Walsh Act, signed into law July 27, 2006, is designed to protect children and adults from sexual exploitation and violent crime, prevent child abuse and child pornography, promote Internet safety and honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other crime victims. SORNA established a comprehensive national system for the registration and public naming of convicted sex offenders.
The SMART Office will also support SORNA implementation with the following funding:
The Promoting Evidence Integration in Sex Offender Management: Development and Implementation of Sex Offender Treatment Standards program will receive $1.5 million in funding to create treatment standards to help jurisdictions design programs or assess the effectiveness of their existing programs to help with the implementation of SORNA. Another $1 million will support Juvenile Treatment Progress Scale Development and Implementation, which will help to develop an assessment tool for juveniles who commit sex offenses.
The SMART Office will continue to support sexual assault prevention and education on college campuses with awards totaling $1 million.
The Sex Offender Management Fellowship program will provide $298,747 to support two fellowship positions to guide public and private colleges on preventing sexual violence and educating students about sexual offending behaviors on college campuses.
The SMART Office also dedicated $882,000 to support maintenance, operations and enhancements technology tools for sex offender administration, such as the National Sex Offender Public Website (which allows the public to search for registered sex offenders on a national scale), the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System, the Sex Offender Registry Tool and the SORNA Exchange Portal.
An award for $750,000 will support SORNA workshops and the National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability Planning Projects from now through 2019.
Finally, approximately $2.5 million will support other efforts to address sex offenders through contracts and agreements with federal partners.
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SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs