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Jacob Wetterling Act


1994
The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act is passed as part of the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. This law requires states to implement a sex offender and crimes against children registry.

1996
Megan's Law amends the Wetterling Act. It requires states to establish a community notification system.

The Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 becomes an amendment to the Wetterling Act. It requires lifetime registration for recidivists and offenders who commit certain aggravated offenses.

1998
Provisions contained in Section 115 of the General Provisions of Title I of the Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (CJSA) amend the requirements of the Wetterling Act to include heightened registration requirements for sexually violent offenders, registration of federal and military offenders, registration of nonresident workers and students, and participation in the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).

2000
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act amends the Wetterling Act, requiring offenders to report information regarding any enrollment or employment at an institution of higher education and to provide this information to a law enforcement agency whose jurisdiction includes the institution.
 

Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Program

42 USC § 14071. Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Program

(a) In general

(1) State guidelines

The Attorney General shall establish guidelines for State programs that require??

   (A) a person who is convicted of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor or who is convicted of a sexually violent offense to register a current address for the time period specified in subparagraph (A) of subsection (b)(6) of this section;  and

   (B) a person who is a sexually violent predator to register a current address unless such requirement is terminated under subparagraph (B) of subsection (b)(6) of this section.

(2) Determination of sexually violent predator status;  waiver;  alternative measures

(A) In general

A determination of whether a person is a sexually violent predator for purposes of this section shall be made by a court after considering the recommendation of a board composed of experts in the behavior and treatment of sex offenders, victims' rights advocates, and representatives of law enforcement agencies.

(B) Waiver

The Attorney General may waive the requirements of subparagraph (A) if the Attorney General determines that the State has established alternative procedures or legal standards for designating a person as a sexually violent predator.

(C) Alternative measures

The Attorney General may also approve alternative measures of comparable or greater effectiveness in protecting the public from unusually dangerous or recidivistic sexual offenders in lieu of the specific measures set forth in this section regarding sexually violent predators.

(3) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

   (A) The term "criminal offense against a victim who is a minor" means any criminal offense in a range of offenses specified by State law which is comparable to or which exceeds the following range of offenses:

    (i) kidnapping of a minor, except by a parent;

    (ii) false imprisonment of a minor, except by a parent;

    (iii) criminal sexual conduct toward a minor;

    (iv) solicitation of a minor to engage in sexual conduct;

    (v) use of a minor in a sexual performance;

    (vi) solicitation of a minor to practice prostitution;

    (vii) any conduct that by its nature is a sexual offense against a minor;  or

    (viii) an attempt to commit an offense described in any of clauses (i) through (vii), if the State??

(I) makes such an attempt a criminal offense;  and

(II) chooses to include such an offense in those which are criminal offenses against a victim who is a minor for the purposes of this section.

For purposes of this subparagraph conduct which is criminal only because of the age of the victim shall not be considered a criminal offense if the perpetrator is 18 years of age or younger.

   (B) The term "sexually violent offense" means any criminal offense in a range of offenses specified by State law which is comparable to or which exceeds the range of offenses encompassed by aggravated sexual abuse or   sexual abuse (as described in sections 2241 and 2242 of Title 18 or as described in the State criminal code) or an offense that has as its elements engaging in physical contact with another person with intent to commit aggravated sexual abuse or sexual abuse (as described in such sections of Title 18 or as described in the State criminal code).

   (C) The term "sexually violent predator" means a person who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense and who suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder that makes the person likely to engage in predatory sexually violent offenses.

   (D) The term "mental abnormality" means a congenital or acquired condition of a person that affects the emotional or volitional capacity of the person in a manner that predisposes that person to the commission of criminal sexual acts to a degree that makes the person a menace to the health and safety of other persons.

   (E) The term "predatory" means an act directed at a stranger, or a person with whom a relationship has been established or promoted for the primary purpose of victimization.

   (F) The term "employed, carries on a vocation" includes employment that is full?time or part?time for a period of time exceeding 14 days or for an aggregate period of time exceeding 30 days during any calendar year, whether   financially compensated, volunteered, or for the purpose of government or educational benefit.

   (G) The term "student" means a person who is enrolled on a full?time or part?time basis, in any public or private educational institution, including any secondary school, trade, or professional institution, or institution of higher education.

(b) Registration requirement upon release, parole, supervised release, or probation

An approved State registration program established under this section shall contain the following elements:

(1) Duties of responsible officials

  (A) If a person who is required to register under this section is released from prison, or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation, a State prison officer, the court, or another responsible officer or official, shall??

   (i) inform the person of the duty to register and obtain the information required for such registration;

   (ii) inform the person that if the person changes residence address, the person shall report the change of address as provided by State law;

   (iii) inform the person that if the person changes residence to another State, the person shall report the change of address as provided by State law and comply with any registration requirement in the new State of residence, and inform the person that the person must also register in a State where the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student;

   (iv) obtain fingerprints and a photograph of the person if these have not already been obtained in connection with the offense that triggers registration;  and

   (v) require the person to read and sign a form stating that the duty of the person to register under this section has been explained.

  (B) In addition to the requirements of subparagraph (A), for a person required to register under subparagraph (B) of subsection (a)(1) of this section, the State prison officer, the court, or another responsible officer or official, as the case may be, shall obtain the name of the person, identifying factors, anticipated future residence, offense history, and documentation of any treatment received for the mental abnormality or personality disorder of the person.

(2) Transfer of information to State and FBI;  participation in National Sex Offender Registry

(A) State reporting

State procedures shall ensure that the registration information is promptly made available to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the person expects to reside and entered into the appropriate State records or data system.  State procedures shall also ensure that conviction data and fingerprints for persons required to register are promptly transmitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(B) National reporting

A State shall participate in the national database established under section 14072(b) of this title in accordance with guidelines issued by the Attorney General, including transmission of current address information and other information on registrants to the extent provided by the guidelines.

(3) Verification

  (A) For a person required to register under subparagraph (A) of subsection  (a)(1) of this section, State procedures shall provide for verification of address at least annually.

  (B) The provisions of subparagraph (A) shall be applied to a person required to register under subparagraph (B) of subsection (a)(1) of this section, except that such person must verify the registration every 90 days after the date of the initial release or commencement of parole.

(4) Notification of local law enforcement agencies of changes in address

A change of address by a person required to register under this section shall be reported by the person in the manner provided by State law.  State procedures shall ensure that the updated address information is promptly made available to a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the person will reside and entered into the appropriate State records or data system.

(5) Registration for change of address to another State

A person who has been convicted of an offense which requires registration under this section and who moves to another State, shall report the change of address to the responsible agency in the State the person is leaving, and shall comply with any registration requirement in the new State of residence. The procedures of the State the person is leaving shall ensure that notice is provided promptly to an agency responsible for registration in the new State, if that State requires registration.

(6) Length of registration

A person required to register under subsection (a)(1) of this section shall continue to comply with this section, except during ensuing periods of incarceration, until??

   (A) 10 years have elapsed since the person was released from prison or placed on parole, supervised release, or probation;  or

   (B) for the life of that person if that person??

    (i) has 1 or more prior convictions for an offense described in subsection  (a)(1)(A) of this section;  or

    (ii) has been convicted of an aggravated offense described in subsection  (a)(1)(A) of this section;  or

    (iii) has been determined to be a sexually violent predator pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section.

(7) Registration of out?of?State offenders, Federal offenders, persons sentenced by courts martial, and offenders crossing State borders

As provided in guidelines issued by the Attorney General, each State shall include in its registration program residents who were convicted in another State and shall ensure that procedures are in place to accept registration information from??

   (A) residents who were convicted in another State, convicted of a Federal offense, or sentenced by a court martial;  and

   (B) nonresident offenders who have crossed into another State in order to work or attend school.

   (c) Registration of offender crossing State border

Any person who is required under this section to register in the State in which such person resides shall also register in any State in which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student.

(d) Penalty

A person required to register under a State program established pursuant to this section who knowingly fails to so register and keep such registration current shall be subject to criminal penalties in any State in which the person has so failed.

(e) Release of information

 (1) The information collected under a State registration program may be disclosed for any purpose permitted under the laws of the State.

 (2) The State or any agency authorized by the State shall release relevant information that is necessary to protect the public concerning a specific person required to register under this section, except that the identity of a victim of an offense that requires registration under this section shall not be released.

(f) Immunity for good faith conduct

Law enforcement agencies, employees of law enforcement agencies and independent contractors acting at the direction of such agencies, and State officials shall be immune from liability for good faith conduct under this section.

(g) Compliance

(1) Compliance date

Each State shall have not more than 3 years from September 13, 1994, in which to implement this section, except that the Attorney General may grant an additional 2 years to a State that is making good faith efforts to implement this section.

(2) Ineligibility for funds

  (A) A State that fails to implement the program as described in this section shall not receive 10 percent of the funds that would otherwise be allocated to the State under section 3756 of this title.

(B) Reallocation of funds

Any funds that are not allocated for failure to comply with this section shall be reallocated to States that comply with this section.

(h) Fingerprints

Each requirement to register under this section shall be deemed to also require the submission of a set of fingerprints of the person required to register, obtained in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Attorney General under section 14072(h) of this title.

(i) Grants to States for costs of compliance

(1) Program authorized

(A) In general

The Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (in this subsection referred to as the "Director") shall carry out a program, which shall be known as the "Sex Offender Management Assistance Program" (in this subsection referred to as the "SOMA program"), under which the Director shall award a grant to each eligible State to offset costs directly associated with complying with this section.

(B) Uses of funds

Each grant awarded under this subsection shall be??

    (i) distributed directly to the State for distribution to State and local entities;  and

    (ii) used for training, salaries, equipment, materials, and other costs directly associated with complying with this section.

(2) Eligibility

(A) Application

To be eligible to receive a grant under this subsection, the chief executive of a State shall, on an annual basis, submit to the Director an application (in such form and containing such information as the Director may reasonably require) assuring that??

    (i) the State complies with (or made a good faith effort to comply with) this section;  and

    (ii) where applicable, the State has penalties comparable to or greater than Federal penalties for crimes listed in this section, except that the Director may waive the requirement of this clause if a State demonstrates an overriding need for assistance under this subsection.

(B) Regulations

(i) In general

Not later than 90 days after October 30, 1998, the Director shall promulgate regulations to implement this subsection (including the information that must be included and the requirements that the States must    meet) in submitting the applications required under this subsection.  In allocating funds under this subsection, the Director may consider the annual number of sex offenders registered in each eligible State's monitoring and notification programs.

(ii) Certain training programs

Prior to implementing this subsection, the Director shall study the feasibility of incorporating into the SOMA program the activities of any technical assistance or training program established as a result of section 13941 of this title.  In a case in which incorporating such activities into the SOMA program will eliminate duplication of efforts or administrative costs, the Director shall take administrative actions, as allowable, and make recommendations to Congress to incorporate such activities into the SOMA program prior to implementing the SOMA program.

(3) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection,  $25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 1999 and 2000.



Background

The U.S. Congress passed three laws that require States to keep track of sex offenders; the Wetterling Registration Act, the Lynchner Tracking and Identification Act and Megan’s Law. On March 5, 2003, The Supreme Court ruled that information about potential predators may be posted on the Internet.


The Problem

The information is available and you have the right to see it. But the problem is that access is very difficult. You have to know the name of the individual you are looking for and in many States you must go to your police station and complete a request form. In some States there is a fee and limit to view only two names


The Solution - Predator Report

Now in the privacy of your home you can view the same information displayed on a map of your neighborhood. The free service provides the number of predators in your neighborhood. You can then choose to purchase the full service, which includes details about those sexual offenders, including specific addresses. The full service search is based on your exact address.

eVerify.com



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