U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner
Press Release

Congressman Sensenbrenner Reintroduces Bill to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children

The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act would allow the protections of the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act to continue saving the lives of children throughout the nation.

By - Feb 16th, 2017 03:28 pm

Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner reintroduced the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, which would allow the protections of the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act to continue saving the lives of children throughout the nation.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act became law in 2006 and has played a vital role in the prevention of sexual exploitation of America’s children. The comprehensive, bipartisan law strengthened sex offender registry requirements and enforcement across the country, as well as extended registry requirements to Native American tribes, increased penalties for child predators, and authorized funding for various programs to strengthen our defenses against child exploitation.

This legislation is critical because despite ongoing prevention efforts, the fight against child exploitation is not over. The Justice Department reports that only 17 states, three territories, and 36 Native American tribes have substantially implemented the Sex Offender Management Assistance Program and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). Additionally, there are also an estimated 100,000 fugitive sex offenders across the country who are unregistered or in violation of registry requirements.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Childhood sexual abuse is a serious problem facing this nation, and the devastation it causes impacts every societal group, and lasts a lifetime for its victims and their loved ones. Reauthorizing the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act would ensure efforts continue to prevent the ongoing sexual exploitation of our nation’s children.”

Further details of the proposal include the following:

  • The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act would reauthorize the two primary programs of the Adam Walsh Act – The Sex Offender Management Assistance Program and SORNA – for five years.
  • SORNA sets minimum guidelines for state sex offender registries and establishes the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website, which is a comprehensive national system for the registration and notification to the public of sex offenders. This registry currently contains information on more than 600,000 convicted sex offenders in the United States.
  • The Sex Offender Management Assistance Program provides funding to the states, tribes, and other jurisdictions to offset the costs of implementing and enhancing SORNA, and funding for the U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies to assist jurisdictions in locating and apprehending sex offenders who violate registration requirements.
  • The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act makes targeted changes to the SORNA requirements, including giving states more flexibility in classifying sex offenders on their registry, lowering the period that certain juveniles must register to 15 years, and limiting public access to juvenile sex offender information.

Mentioned in This Press Release

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner

Rep. Sensenbrenner Introduces the CyberTipline Modernization Act

"The modernization of this bill would be a significant step forward in the fight to reduce the sexual exploitation of children online."

Rep. Sensenbrenner Introduces the RFG Modernization Act

"I have been an advocate for consumer relief from burdensome fuel regulations for many years."

Sensenbrenner Bill is a “No-Brainer” for Taxpayers

The No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017 would codify the principle that businesses must be physically present in a state before it is lawful to tax or regulate them.

27 thoughts on “Congressman Sensenbrenner Reintroduces Bill to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Children”

  1. Karen McGraw says:

    A good idea that went wild. The sex offender registries no longer contain just dangerous predators but also contain misdemeanor offenders for doing things like urinating in public and even teenagers that “sext” other teenagers. The law has gone insane and I can’t use it to protect my family because its so bloated with piddly cases that I can’t find where the real dangers are. Anyone who supports this bill is just a gullible citizen- your legislature plays on your fears and makes you think they are helping so you re-elect them. ALL the experts say our current sex offender laws do more harm than any good.

  2. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom says:

    I find the following statement thought provoking, stimulating my Critical Thinking Skills.

    “Additionally, there are also an estimated 100,000 fugitive sex offenders across the country who are unregistered or in violation of registry requirements.”

    So there are 100,000 persons in America who have Not committed any further crime (for if they had committed further crime they would not be fugitives) and are Repentant & Law Abiding, perhaps even Productive Members of their Communities. So for all Practical Purposes all sexual offence laws & registry laws are In-Effective for targeting who in the future tense will be a Danger to the country. Clearly a waste of our Hard Earned Tax Dollars.

    Here’s is another question Mr. Congressman of Effeciency, Pray Tell:
    What is the penalty for the violation of a person being “Unregistrated” or the extremely Abtract term “In Violation of Registration Requirments”?

    Answer: 10 year penalty of Incarnation !

    Conclution:

    The Honorable Gentleman wants to Take Tax Payer Monies to Round Up 100,000 US Citizens and Spend Future Coveted Net Net Tax Payer Money to support for 10 years in prison 100,000 plus US Citizens who Do Not violat any Criminal Law, in effect Self-Repentant, Self-Rehabilitated @No Cost To The Tax Payer.

    Not to mention how this will affect the family & community who are Dependants of the Repentant Law Abider! – Whoops I mentioned it! The mind when enabled with Critical Thinking Skills produces many Interesting Questions.

  3. J Jobes says:

    This article is in stark contrast to every single published study on the sex offender registry which clearly prove that not only has it not done a single thing to protect children, but it has in fact put society at more risk. Fear mongering at it’s worst is what it is. Pandering on peoples fear to gain votes. Sex offenders who have been through the system have the second lowest recidivism rates in the nation, second only to murder. 96% of all sexual assaults on children are by first time offenders that are either within the child’s family or in their close circle of friends. The registry does NOTHING to stop these crimes.

    What the registry does is make life a living hell for anyone placed on it, many times for life. As Karen stated, a significant number of the registered citizens are on the registry for non-violent, and even non sexual crimes that may have occurred decades ago. Is the 20 year old kid who has a risque photo of his 17 year old girlfriend a real risk to your two year old playing in your yard? I think not. But it labels them for life. It prevents them from living where they want, getting good employment, spending time with family, raising children, and obtaining stability and security in life, for life. When you take away a persons will to live, you also remove their will to follow the rules. The registry makes us more unsafe because of this.

  4. Dave Reid says:

    @J Jobes. This is a Press Release from Congressman Sensenbrenner.

  5. AG says:

    What are you two, NAMBLA members?

  6. FRegistryTerrorists says:

    The P.O.S. A.W.A. would be extremely lucky if it has protected a single person. And without doubt it has harmed hundreds of thousands of children. It has harmed millions of other Americans and our country itself.

    The S*x Offender Registeries (SORs) have divided our country and will continue to do so. Experts never supported the SORs. People living in the U.S. have proven beyond doubt that they cannot have and use the SORs responsibly. There are no Americans who support the SORs. People who do are not Americans and the rest of us need not have any concern for them. They are enemies just like ISIS.

  7. Vincent Hanna says:

    Wow AG that’s really constructive. Maybe you’re in NAMBLA.

  8. Jeremiah says:

    This is the biggest load of BS you’ll ever see…this act prevents NOTHING, and ruins the lives of MANY. Including immigrants. Yes, that’s right, the preciously touchy immigrant situation fails to mention this, ever. An immigrant married to a sex offender must jump through many more hoops than a “regular” immigrant in order to just APPLY for legal documentation. They allege that it “protects people from sex trafficking”, while assuming EVERYONE who marries a sex offender is automatically doing that.

    This witch hunt mentality needs to just stop.

    Segregate immigrants, everyone loses their mind…..but segregate a different group, sex offenders, and no one bats an eye. It’s suddenly ok to segregate then??

  9. AG says:

    Wow, where are these commentors coming from?

    I think it is safe to say that the average citizen feels the complete opposite of what is being said here. And hiding the fact that a convicted sex offender is many times more likely than a non sex offender to commit another sexual offense is irresponsible at best.

    The press release above clearly states that new rules are put forth to allow states latitude to make sure some people don’t make it on the list that maybe shouldn’t (teenagers sexting each other for example).

    Where do these people come from anyway? How did they find this PR so fast??

  10. a mom says:

    We need to abolish the registry for good. And there should not be a public registry. Nothing good has ever come out of this BIG BAD LAW!

  11. Jeremiah says:

    AG,

    Are you a sex offender? Do you know anyone who is one? Doesn’t seem like it, otherwise you wouldn’t be responding with such misinformation as you are doing.

    Realize this….are there registries for any other crime? No.

    Does any other crime affect children? Yes.

    So why is it that the drug offender, with a recidivism rate in the high 70-80% range, who may try to sell your kid cocaine or marijuana or acid or ecstasy has absolutely ZERO restrictions on where he can live, how close to a school or park or daycare he can be, but the guy who had consensual sex with a minor, or was lied to by a minor about her age, etc. ONE TIME forever has to tell you everything he ever does and will never be considered a citizen again, much less “free”. All job avenues are severely restricted, schools don’t want to let them in, neighborhoods purposely build schools or parks so they have nowhere to live except outside.

    Sure, you might justify it to yourself by saying, “oh the states have latitude to do whatever they want”, BUT THEY DON’T. Take Florida for example. Sex offenders are registered not just for life, but forever. Even after they die. What purpose is there to leave someone on such a registry after they are dead? Will they come and haunt your children in the night or something? The only purpose is to further the agenda of those who profit from it. From every name on that list Florida gets funding, or Florida can say “oooo look how many sex offenders there are we need more sanctions!”.

    And by the way, since you’re still obviously learning, what other crime continues to punish the person after they have completed their sentence?

    NONE. Only sex offenses. They also make it so that even if adjudication is withheld, they are still considered “convicted”. That seems fair right? It seems fair that 5 or 10 or even 20 years after the sentence is up, that every single new law that is passed they also have to abide by??

    I guess ex post facto has a different meaning if you’re a sub-human then.

    But the guy who sells crack on the corner and is arrested multiple times for it, has to do not a damn thing, and you will never know when he is preying on your children.

    Want to know how people get here “so fast”? Start here, maybe you’ll find out.

    https://floridaactioncommittee.org/

  12. The Red Baron says:

    There are about 800,000 on the registries in the United States. The 100,000 missing registrants figure was debunked the first year it was floated. But the senator is still spreading it around like gospel 12 years after it died. His facts are as dubious as his assertions that this has more to do with protecting children than it does funneling millions of tax dollars into the prison industries, whose over incarceration of Americans is “frightening and high”. The registries do not prevent anyone from committing a crime if they are determined to do so. Yet, the registries are up to 800,000 and growing because so very few on them are actually the imminent dangers to anyone the AWA crowd would like everyone to think.

  13. Chris says:

    AG, the average citizen does not know the truth, only what pandering politicians and the news media tell them. Also, the press release does not suggest that states can choose who to include on the registry; they already do. It merely says that states will have more flexibility to classify registrants.

    The only study that shows anything similar to what you claim about sex offenders was the 2003 DOJ study that stated that sex offenders were 4x more likely to commit another sexual offense than non-sex offender felons. That’s like saying that a person convicted of abusing drugs is more likely to abuse drugs than someone who’s never used drugs. The actual numbers in the very same study showed low recidivism rates for convicted sexual offenders, even high-risk ones.

    Additionally, studies done by Karl Hanson, et al, show that the majority of reoffenses happen in the first three years after release from prison, and most of the rest occur in the next two years. Their analysis shows that the risk of re-offending halves every five years after release from prison, and that after 15 years, even the offenders at the highest risk to reoffend are no more likely to do so than the average citizen. This is the very same Hanson who co-created the original Static-99 survey that assesses and rates reoffense risks for individual offenders, a survey that has remained fairly unchanged since its inception but is nevertheless THE standard used by states and correctional departments around the world for sex offender risk assessment. I think the dude knows what he is talking about. Something to think about: the Council of State Governments Justice Center wanted the Static-99R (2016) to include a Level 5 Offender, that is to say, an offender that was “almost certain to reoffend”. The authors of the Static-99R (2016) declined, because there IS NO SUCH GROUP OF SEX OFFENDERS. Recidivism numbers are far too low as a baseline for a Level-5 distinction to be practical.

    Do you deny climate change science as well, or only the science that makes you feel superior to others?

  14. Angel says:

    The registry has created child and adult victims that would not exist if not for this ridiculous registration act that can’t possibly do anything the lawmakers claim its purpose is.. It is simply another abuse of government authority. A Rico revenue racket designed to extort money from the tax payers under the guise of the ever classic, “safety” scam at the expense of human lives. Lawmakers know Children are murdered, harassed, bullied, and made homeless because of this scam and they continue to make these things more severe to our children.

  15. Becky says:

    2006 – that was ten years ago.
    We know a lot more now. Including the fact that these kinds of bills and laws and sentencing are not working to make people safer.
    The next sex offense will almost always be from someone close, like family, and family friend, colleague, coach, etc. Statistics reflect somewhere around 97%.

    This is where the sex offender registry is backfiring.
    There are now people not reporting sex offenses – because reporting your family member, friend, etc – would mean that would not only put them in jail, it would put them in the sex offender category.
    So, if you know your parent, teenager, sibling, family friend will never earn a decent living again, be able to attend school, find a place to live? … I’m not judging either way. Just saying this is happening,
    Many are making the choice to not report them.
    Usually, those not reported, never commit another offense. People make mistakes, they regret, they grow up.

    A lot of research has happened since 2006.
    The results show most offenders will not offend another time.
    It’s finding which ones are dangerous, which will re-offend, which will never re-offend.
    Why are we lumping them together?

  16. HW says:

    Many people are asking why we keep a law which does not work.

    100,000 fugitives is fake news, obviously the law is not working. It is however working as springboards for politicians. Authoritative politicians need a group to point to for everyone to unify together to hate.

    Everyone is saying it would be so much better to repeal this bad law and replace it with something terrific.

  17. A.Dad. says:

    One court after another all over the country are finding these laws unconstitutional. They are a total waste of taxpayer money. They destroy families, women, children and others that have violated no laws, never been charged or convicted of anything. Millions of innocent children suffer because of the public registry that lists their home address and one of their parents names. All well educated and knowledgeable scholars who have studied these laws and the devastating impacts to families are opposed to the Adam Walsh act and SORNA. The facts clearly show that children are 20 times more likely to be violated by someone that has never been convicted of a crime and is not on any registry, than to be violated by a former offender that is on these registries. Fact is that your child is more likely to end up on the registry for life, than to ever be violated by someone on the registry. Just say no to SORNA. Just say no to the Adam Walsh re-authorization act. Vote these politicians out of office.

  18. FRegistryTerrorists says:

    People are being waaaay too nice to the criminal politicians and the un-Americans who support them. The “100,000” and similar statements are not just “inaccurate statements”. They are lies by lying criminals. Neutralize nanny big government. The Registries are an act of war against all good Americans. People who support them should be treated as the terrorists that they are.

  19. AG says:

    Yep, this issue clearly was mentioned to some group that wants to do away with the registries. I am all for not ruining some teenagers life who sexted his girlfriend, but ending the registries all together is not the way. Go away NAMBLA members.

  20. Danyelle Carlysle says:

    This Act gives a false sense of security to the population. Once the research is done on how this Act affects the people on it and their families. It is time to abolish this Act. Look at the most recent studies before allowing this to pass again.

  21. Law Abiding Citizen says:

    A.G. I really doubt that there are any nambla members here. I know that anyone that is found to be with such a group would be quickly shut out from participating in any of the many groups and organizations that are fighting the public registries. Study after study including by the U.S. department of justice and by various state justice departments have found that recidivism rates are very low for those on the registries in the US. Sure there are some bad apples but the percentages are in the single digits or lower. Facts are well documented and no recent studies by any qualified government agency or university can make a valid claim to the contrary. I have to wonder what goes on in a mind that is always thinking about nambla? Any such person should really seek professional help. But they fear seeking help because all qualified help would be a mandated reporter and cause them to be put on the public registry. Therefor the sick minds can find no help before they do bad things. But those sick minds are not on the public registries.
    Are you aware of the California sexoffender management board?
    Have you seen their latest video?
    Check it out. https://youtu.be/GBoy2FB27yg
    That is you tube file GBoy2FB27yg if the link does not work.
    Become better educated by the authorities that really study these things.

  22. Sunland says:

    Senator,
    I do not see any citation or references to any of the non-facts you are positing. In fact, the first two paragraphs are not even close to the facts or the reality of the matter. For example: no child has been kept safe from harm by having anyone register. Most offenses against children happen by someone the child knows (http://registrynet.org/facts-and-fiction-about-sex-offenders/) and the people on the registry (some as young as 8 – 10 yrs) have a recidivism rate of 3% or less. (*United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics) [ Vermont Corrections Department 2008 ] [2009 report by Robin Goldman of the Minnesota Department of Corrections]

    There is no murder registry. No arson registry. No drug dealer registry. No drunken driver registry, why put just people who have never harmed a child on this Scarlet Letter list? The collateral effects of life on the registry are the subject of a new Human Rights Watch report http://www.hrw.org/node/115179 challenging the view that registration and related restrictions are appropriate measures for dealing with children who commit sex offenses. “Raised on the Registry: The Irreparable Harm of Placing Children on Sex Offender Registries in the U.S.,” recommends adolescents be exempt from registration and community notification in the absence of empirical data showing that doing so makes communities safer.

    According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children there are 843,680 registered sex offenders in the U.S. Multiply this number by 4 or more (the number of children and spouse as well as elderly that the offender may be taking care of) and you get over 4 million American Citizens who are frustrated by this Legislature’s panic driven law makers’ process.

    *http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/rsorp94.pdf
    az.womenagainstregistry.org

  23. John Casper says:

    AG,

    When both parties get serious about protecting minors, they’ll de-criminalize non-procreative sex work among adults. Tax it–like alcohol and cigarettes–because society doesn’t want to encourage it. Reserve scarce law enforcement resources to keeping minors out of it.

  24. AG says:

    Oh good, John Casper is back to tell us how prostitution should be legalized too. This is a great thread.

    For all the other posters, or single poster using multiple names, you clearly are looking at this from the perspective of the sexual predators. Jeremiah comment #9, have you been the victim of sexual abuse? Do you know anyone who has? It’s apparent that everyone posting here did not and does not.

    I haven’t seen any comments from you about fixing the system so the “poor guy who got lied to about a girls age” isn’t put on the registry. That, I could understand. But the people on the sexual predator registry are almost exclusively NOT victims. The real victims are the people they harmed, and if any of you people believe that those true victims are not living every day of their lives with the scars from what their abuser did, then you’re confused on who the naive one is here.

    Sexual assaults and abuse is reported at extremely low rates. The perpetrators of these crimes get away with it far more than they are caught. The recividism rates being sighted here are not accounting for the non-reported crimes. And to say that a convicted sexual predator is “only” x more likely than an average person to commit further sexual assaults is a rather meaningless statistic due to the nature of the crime.

    Fact: Most sexual abuse and assaults are committed by people who have previously committed acts of abuse or assult before. Fact: only 2.5 percent of sexual abuses and 10 percent of serious sexual assaults actually end up in arrest of the perpetrator. Fact: Within only a 3 year period, your same study shows that 5.3% of offenders are re-arrested for sex crimes and 17.1% for violent crimes, and 43% for all crimes. And for crimes of a sexual nature, considering arrests are only made in 2.5 to 10% of the time, imagine how far off those arrest records are??

    Other studies that go on for more than a mere 3 years found that in 10 and 15 years, 20-25% of sexual offenders were caught committing sexual offenses! That is ONE IN FOUR! And those are just the ones CAUGHT!

    Spare me the victim speech, none of you care about the 18 year old boy caught with the 16 year old girlfriend or other such situations… you could fight to fix just that if you wanted, and it warrants correcting in places that put those types of offenders on.

    No, you are asking to completely end the registry and that is a whole different agenda. The families of the people on the registry are indeed victims… but not victims to the registry, they are additional victims of the person in their life who is on the registry. Society didn’t put them in that situation, the sexual predator did.

  25. Chris says:

    Folks, it’s a waste of time to argue with someone who eagerly consumes the garbage our politicians spew. Legislators, judges, and prosecutors have known for years (if not decades) that the myth of high sex offender recidivism is exactly that: a myth, one that they conveniently overlook so that they can buy votes with the souls of people that society has cast aside.

    Or maybe this “AG” is himself one of those vote-buying pols who needs the public to keep buying the snake oil he’s been selling. Or maybe an (A)ttorney (G)eneral?

    I started to compile a list of links refuting your cited statistics, but why bother. If you wanted to know the truth, the truth accepted by pretty much the entire sex offender treatment community, you would take the time to learn about it. But since your argument hinges on under-reporting, I’ve quoted an article by Steven Yoder (https://psmag.com/whats-the-real-rate-of-sex-crime-recidivism-a56030c56443#.pmetapsee )

    But a leading researcher says the consistency of findings across hundreds of recidivism studies indicates that we’re not underestimating by much. Elizabeth Letourneau directs the Johns Hopkins’ Moore Center for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and has led or participated in several sex offender recidivism studies. “If you have a long enough follow-up period, we believe that you capture [in the data] most recidivists,” she says. “You might miss the guy that offends every 10 years, but you’re getting those who re-offend with any kind of frequency.”

    At least one study’s use of polygraph tests indicates whether actual re-offense rates are significantly higher than reported rates. In 2007, a team from the Vermont Department of Corrections looked at matched sets of 104 sex offenders who received the same type of treatment and supervision. But one group had to take polygraphs, which increased the likelihood they’d admit to offenses that hadn’t been reported. The results showed no significant difference between the two groups: At five years out, recidivism was 6.7 percent in the non-polygraphed group and 5.8 percent in the polygraphed group.

    Meanwhile, more and more re-offenders are likely getting caught because sexual abuse reporting has increased. In a 2011 study led by David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes Against Children Research Center, researchers asked more than 4,500 children and adolescents (and, for those under age 10, their parents) whether they’d been victimized physically or sexually in the previous year. Of those who reported sexual abuse involving an adult, between 69 and 76 percent said the incident had been reported to authorities. Overall, the likelihood that child victimization of all types gets reported has roughly doubled since 1992, Finkelhor and company concluded.

    Re-offenders are especially likely to be caught because they’re closely watched, says Jill Levenson, professor of social work at Florida’s Barry University who’s led or participated in at least 10 studies of sex offender recidivism. “I think there are probably fewer undetected offenses by those offenders, especially those under parole or probationary supervision and in treatment” than in the general population, she says.

  26. Erkman says:

    AG you have done your research but you are incorrect in regard to the last fact. As time passes the chances of a registered offender committing another sexual offense go down considerably compared to your numbers. You have a lot of valid points. Those who committed the offense are the ones who created a whole list of victims. The registry definitely needs to be revamped. Why does it need to be public. 90% of all sexual offenses are committed by someone the victim knows, a relative, teacher, coach, etc. How does a registry prevent this from occurring? How does preventing a registered offender from taking his own kids to the park or zoo protect children? How does preventing a registered offender from attending a school graduation of their own child protect other children? My offense occurred almost 20 years ago. If you look me up I dont have a criminal record. My offense was misdemeanor and I completed probation and offender treatment in 3 years. You are correct, when I was first on the registry all I cared about was myself. But now, I see the registry growing and growing and the various laws becoming more and more restrictive. The Halloween law, the put a sign in your front yard law, these are ridiculous and are passed by politicians who use scare tactics during election time to get re-elected.

  27. Angel says:

    Human trafficking, defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as modern-day slavery involving force, fraud, or coercion to obtain labor… Hmmm, ask yourselves… ISN’T THAT EXACTLY WHAT THE STATES ARE DOING TO REGISTRANTS!???

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