In general, offense-based classification systems are used for their simplicity and uniformity. Sources of variation are diverse, but may be viewed over three dimensions — how classes of registrants are distinguished from one another, the criteria used in the classification process, and the processes applied in classification decisions. Prior to Megan's death, only 5 states had laws requiring sex offenders to register their personal information with law enforcement. Finally, some states use a hybrid of offense-based and risk-assessment-based systems for classification. Jacob's mother, Patty Wetterling , current chair of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children , led a community effort to implement a sex offender registration requirement in Minnesota and, subsequently, nationally.
Some states, like Massachusetts and Colorado, utilize multidisciplinary review boards or judicial discretion to establish registrant tiers or sexual predator status. Public notification[ edit ] States also differ with respect to public disclosure of offender information. Alternatively, some states use multi-tier systems, usually with two or three categories that are supposed to reflect presumed public safety risk and, in turn, required levels of attention from law enforcement and the public. June In , California became the first state in the United States to have a sex offender registration program. In some jurisdictions all sex offenders are subject to public notification through newspapers, posters, email, or Internet-accessible database. Critics say that registries are overly broad as they reach to non-violent offenses, such as sexting or consensual teen sex, and fail to distinguish those who are not a danger to society from predatory offenders. Effectiveness of sex offender registration policies in the United States Evidence to support the effectiveness of public sex offender registries is limited and mixed. The amendment required all states to implement Registration and Community Notification Laws by the end of His whereabouts remained unknown for nearly 27 years until remains were discovered just outside Paynesville, Minnesota in The offense an offender is technically found or pleads guilty to may not truly reflect his dangerousness and risk level". In , New Jersey enacted Megan's Law. This section may stray from the topic of the article. SORNA requires states to widen the number of covered offenses and to include certain classes of juvenile offenders. Depending on state, registration and notification systems may have special provisions for juveniles, habitual offenders or those deemed " sexual predators " by virtue of certain standards. Jacob Wetterling Act of [ edit ] Main article: Whereas many states had adopted to use structured risk assessment tools classification to distinguish "high risk" from "low risk" individuals, SORNA mandates such distinctions to be made solely on the basis of the governing offense. Finally, some states use a hybrid of offense-based and risk-assessment-based systems for classification. The most comprehensive legislation related to the supervision and management of sex offenders is the Adam Walsh Act AWA , named after Adam Walsh , who was kidnapped from a Florida shopping mall and killed in , when he was 6-years-old. Risk-assessment-based systems, which employ actuarial risk assessment instruments and in some cases clinical assessments, require more of personnel involvement in the process. Please help improve this section or discuss this issue on the talk page. The report also found that laws preclude registrants from homeless shelters within restriction areas. Maureen Kanka's goal was to mandate community notification, which under the Wetterling Act had been at the discretion of law enforcement. They call the laws too harsh and unfair for adversely affecting the lives of registrants decades after completing their initial sentence , and for affecting their families as well. States running offense-based systems use the conviction offense or the number of prior offenses as the criteria for tier assignment. On August 5, Massachusetts was the last state to enact its version of Megan's Law. Lanning argues that registration should be offender-based instead of offense-based:
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