WASHINGTON, July 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Justice's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) of 2006 at the 2016 National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability today through July 27, in Kansas City, Missouri.
"In 10 short years, we've come a long way toward building a comprehensive sex offender registration and notification system," said Office of Justice Programs Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason. "Inspired by the memory of one amazing little boy who was taken from us much too soon, we've created something that has the potential to protect countless people across the country."
More than 650 law enforcement personnel, probation officers, tribal representatives, prosecutors and SORNA registry personnel are attending the Symposium, focusing on a wide-range of sex offender management topics. The topics include: research; sexual violence prevention; campus sexual assault prevention; education and treatment; sexual violence in Indian Country; enforcing federal requirements; tracking, monitoring and registering sex offenders; and prevention, education and treatment of sex offenders.
Designed to protect children and vulnerable adults from sexual exploitation and violent crime, the AWA established the SMART Office, the first and only federal office devoted solely to sex offender management-related activities, and comprehensively revised the national standards for sex offender registration and notification. The AWA also honors the memory of Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old boy who was abducted and murdered on July 27, 1981, along with other victims.
"The Adam Walsh Act has helped dozens of jurisdictions build the infrastructure for managing sex offenders within their borders," said SMART Office Director Louis E. deBaca. "The SMART Office will continue to give our state, tribal, and territorial partners the support they need to keep their citizens safe."
In the last 10 years the SMART Office has made great progress in implementing effective practices to register and manage sex offenders. For example:
- It has helped 17 states, 100 tribes and three territories substantially implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which is Title I of the AWA, with many of the remaining jurisdictions adopting key aspects of the law and continuing to work towards implementation.
- It has improved information-sharing among states, tribes, and territories through the creation of the SORNA Exchange Portal, in which registration personnel can share information about sex offenders relocating between jurisdictions.
- It has commissioned the development of the Sex Offender Management Assessment and Planning Initiative (SOMAPI), which serves as a roadmap for how people should view sex offender management and prevention. It also provides a solid assessment of research and practice surrounding both adult and juvenile offender management.
- It has developed innovative solutions to help tribes overcome obstacles with the Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System (TTSORS) and the Tribal Access Program (TAP) for National Crime Information. TTSORS is an administrative registry system and a customized public website for managing sex offender information and removes technical difficulties of implementing SORNA compliant registry system for tribes. TAP provides tribes with access to national crime information databases, which allows tribes to more effectively manage and protect their citizens by the exchange of critical data.
Additional information about the SMART Office can be found at www.smart.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. More information about OJP can be found at http://www.ojp.gov.
SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs