Most States Still Not Complying with Adam Walsh Sex Offender Law


The federal plan to track sex offenders more effectively is hitting resistance from states concerned about costs and reliability, reports the Wall Street Journal. The U.S. Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act after the son of “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, seeks to create a uniform national system out of a hodgepodge of sex-offender-registration laws in states. Proponents of the 2006 law say it will close loopholes that allow criminals to move from state to state undetected.

States have until July 27 to comply or risk losing federal funds. Ohio, Delaware, South Dakota, and Florida have complied. Texas officials say their local laws are tougher than the new standards. The federal act “contradicts what our research over 30 years indicates,” said Allison Taylor of Texas’s Council on Sex Offender Treatment. “Public safety would not be enhanced.” Linda Baldwin, director of a U.S. Justice Department office that helps states implement the act, said that while some states would have to track more offenders under U.S. rules, the law is often misunderstood and its burdens overstated.

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