U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner
Press Release

The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017 Passes in the House of Representatives

This legislation is critical because despite ongoing prevention efforts, the fight against child exploitation is not over.

By - May 22nd, 2017 04:17 pm

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017, which would allow the protections of the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act to continue saving the lives of children throughout the nation, passed in the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support.

Introduced by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), 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. The devastation it causes impacts every societal group and lasts a lifetime for its victims and their loved ones. Today’s reauthorization the Adam Walsh Protection and Safety Act ensures that serious action will continue to prevent the ongoing sexual exploitation of our nation’s children.”

Further details of the bill include the following:

  • The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017 reauthorizes 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 of 2017 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

5 thoughts on “The Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2017 Passes in the House of Representatives”

  1. Echo says:

    you, this ‘act’ and so called prevention is not working.
    have you ever heard of the words or phrase, “collateral damage”? while i agree that children need to be protected from sex abuse. but you are totally forgetting, sweeping under the carpet, ignoring or simply don’t care about the LIFE LONG damage that your championed law causes to innocents. not only emotional damage but physical, economical and life threatening. innocents have been bullied, harassed, attacked, have had to change schools, lost friends, lost loved ones, separated from or lost, family, lost jobs, lost education, careers, homes vandalized/burnt and completely lost homes because of the onerous stigma of another family member that has been labeled and published as a sex offender.
    there are close to 900k people on the sex offender registry, in some states as young as 8yrs old and most will be labeled as such for life. now if you take that 900k and multiply that by 2 or 6 immediate family members, not even country extended family or friends??? just how many innocents have been affected, harmed or devastated by your law and laws

  2. lamarshall says:

    We all know that childhood sexual exploitation is not over. We see the crimes splashed all over the front pages of newspapers and tops of webpages.
    Unfortunately, not only is the Adam Walsh Act ineffective, the evidence is mounting which indicates that it may even be making the situation worse! Counter-intuitive though it may be, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification portion of the Adam Walsh Act seems to be increasing recidivism while not discouraging initial offenses.
    Part of this may be due to the fact that most child sexual exploitation goes on within the home by a family member, and not in parks or on the street by strangers who have done this before, which is what SORN is supposed to prevent.
    When we prevent reintegration of former offenders, all we are doing is destabilizing them, which experts overwhelmingly agree increases the likelihood of repeat offenses.
    We would do well to carefully review scientific studies when considering whether or not to renew such important legislation, or how to change the law to accomplish the stated aims of the legislation.
    That we have not done so in this case is painfully obvious.

  3. Ranger11bv says:

    Gotta keep that money flowing in from the feds!!

  4. AG says:

    I have a better idea, other than Romeo and Juliet or similar level offenders, let’s lock the rest of these sick people up for life. Problem of integration and recidivism solved.

  5. Congress seriously needs to update their maps. The “100,000 fugitive unregistering SOs” myth was conjured out of thin air by a vigilante group called Parents For Megan’s Law back in 2003. How is it that that despite all these useless compliance check operations, this number has remained steady for 14 years? Also, these idiots don’t even know how many folk are on the list. There are over 860,000 names o it today. As far as setting minimum standards, the states that HAVE adopted this law are even MORE messed up than the states without it. So PA has a three tiered system. In Alabama and FloriDUH, you register for life no matter your offense. Yet, all these states are “substantially compliant” with the AWA.

    These laws are feel good garbage by pandering pols trying to distract us from the screwjob the ReTHUGnicans are giving us under Mein Trumpf.

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