The purpose of this paper is to discuss and outline the history and progression of sex offender registry list including the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. I will also discuss how the Adam Walsh Act has impacted the State of Ohio.
Since the early 1990s, sex offenders have had to register themselves on the national sex offender registry list so that it would be easier for states to track them. The first of these laws was put into effect in 1994 and new laws have been helping the system evolve into the programs and registry lists we have today. Every time Congress passed a new law to help with the racking of sex offenders, many states also change the way they operate and pass their own laws so that they can work more efficiently under federal guidelines.
The first law enacted by Congress regards sex offender registration came in 1994 with the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, (Office of Justice Programs). This was passes as a part of the Omnibus Crime Bill of 1994 and established guidelines for states to track sex offenders, (Office of Justice Programs). The act required states to track sec offenders by confirming their place of residence annually for ten years after their release into the community or quarterly for the rest of their lives if the sex offender had been convicted of a violent sex offense, (Office of Justice Programs).
The next major piece of legislation came in 1996 with Megan’s Law. Almost every state had passed a Megan’s Law prior to the federal government doing so in 1996. Megan’s Law provides the public with the ability to access information from sex offender registries. Megan’s Law also requires state and local law enforcement agencies to release relevant information necessary to protect the public about persons registered under a state registration program established under the Jacob Wetterling Act, (Office of Justice Programs).
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