The Champion

December 2009 , Page 20 

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Registering Harm: The Adam Walsh Act and Juvenile Sex Offender Registration

By Nastassia Walsh, Tracy Velazquez

When members of Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (AWA) in 2006, their intention was to keep children and families safe from violent sexual predators. Through Title I of the AWA — the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) — policymakers sought to increase penalties for sex offenses and the information available to the public on people convicted of sex offenses. However, in this push to target people who may actually pose a significant danger to the public, policymakers may end up doing more harm than good. This is particularly the case when it comes to youth who have been convicted of sex offenses. SORNA is unlikely to increase public safety, and its provisions requiring long-term or lifetime registration are particularly damaging and inappropriate for young people convicted of a sex offense. Although Ohio is the only state currently in compliance with SORNA, a number of states are working to fully implement the Act.

Provisions Regarding Peo

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