Hoeven: Senate Passes Bill to Help States Track Sex Offenders
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that the U.S. Senate has passed legislation to assist states in preventing future abuses by registered sex offenders. The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act Reauthorization, introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), helps to improve tracking of sex offenders through federal support of state registries and dedicated resources to target offenders who fail to comply with registration requirements.
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act is named for a six-year-old Florida boy who was kidnapped and murdered in 1981. Adam’s father, John Walsh, founded the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and worked closely with Congress to develop the 2006 law and the reauthorization that was introduced today. Linda Walker, the mother of North Dakota college student Dru Sjodin who was kidnapped and murdered by a released Minnesota sex offender in November 2003, also advocated for passage of the legislation.
“We can help to prevent sex crimes, especially by known offenders, but it requires coordination and vigilant tracking of offenders by law enforcement,” Hoeven said. “This bill will help to ensure that states and municipalities continue to have the federal support they need to successfully monitor offenders with a history of crimes against children.”
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 established nationwide notification and registration standards for convicted sex offenders. The measure was designed to bolster information sharing between law enforcement agencies and increase public safety through greater awareness. The legislation Congress passed today reauthorizes key programs in the 2006 act to help states meet the national standards and locate offenders who fail to properly register or periodically update their information as the law requires.
Specifically, the bill reauthorizes the Sex Offender Management Assistance Program, a federal grant program that assists state and local law enforcement agencies in their efforts to improve sex offender registry systems and information sharing capabilities. The bill also authorizes resources for the U.S. Marshals Service to aid state and local law enforcement in the location and apprehension of sex offenders who fail to comply with registration requirements.
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