New proposed Justice Department guidelines would make it optional for states to include most juvenile sex offenders on a public database under the federal Adam Walsh Act are confusing, juvenile justice advocates tell Youth Today. “It appears the supplemental guides are contradicting the regular ones,” said Nicole Pittman, a juvenile justice analyst for the Defender Association of Philadelphia, who opposes the inclusion of juveniles on the database. “It's getting away from the uniformity that Walsh was intending to bring.”
It has been 1,434 days since the Walsh Act was signed into law, and just Ohio, Delaware, and Florida are officially in compliance with the act's regulations. The penalty for not complying with Walsh – a 10 percent cut to a state's Justice Assistance grants – is likely to be significantly lower than the cost of doing what the law asks of states, contends the advocacy organization Justice Policy Institute.