Time to Rethink Adam Walsh Act: Denver Post


States are struggling both financially and philosophically to comply with well-intended federal legislation to create a national sex-offender registry, says the Denver Post. It’s unclear whether more than a handful of states will meet a July deadline to enact the mandates of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. States that don’t comply — and Colorado seems poised to be one of them — could see federal grant reductions that will hurt their ability to fund victim assistance and other court programs.

It’s time to rethink the law, says the newspaper. The legislation, passed in 2006, is named for Adam Walsh, a 6-year-old abducted in Florida in 1981 and later found dead. The law’s aim is absolutely laudable, to create a uniform national tracking and registry system so sex offenders can’t cross state lines to avoid detection. So far, just four states are in full compliance. In 2008, Colorado’s Sex Offender Management Board advised against complying with the act. The panel cited conflicts between the state’s system, which has been well-vetted and tailor-made for Colorado, and the expense of conversion. For instance, juveniles who commit sex crimes have the opportunity in Colorado, through good behavior and counseling, to be removed from the registry. The Adam Walsh act would do away with that rule.

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