States would be given discretion to exempt certain juveniles from public sex offender registries under several compliance modifications to the Adam Walsh Act proposed this week by the U.S. Department of Justice. The act, formally known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006, sets federal requirements for sex registries, with federal funding at stake for those who don’t comply. Only Ohio, Delaware, and Florida have fully complied, and many states have complained that the federal guidelines are at odds with state laws.
The proposed modifications were posted this week in the Federal Register. States and other interested parties have 60 days to comment. Another key change would require registries to exclude a sex offender's e-mail address and other Internet identifiers from public website posting. State and local registries also would be given discretion to modify the retroactive registration requirement to apply to new felony convictions only. (The link connects to the 17-page posting of the proposed changes in the Federal Register.)