More than 100,000 sex offenders are in violation of state and federal laws by not registering their current addresses with local law enforcement.
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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. The registry is necessary because sex offenders pose a high risk of re-offending after release from custody,
Megan’s Law amends the Wetterling Act. It requires states to establish a community notification system. Megan’s Law was signed in 1996 by President Clinton allowing states discretion in establishing criteria for disclosure, but compels them to make private and personal information on registered sex offenders available to the public. This public notification would assist law enforcement in investigations, establish legal grounds to hold known offenders, deter sex offender from committing new offenses and offer citizens information they can use to protect children from victimization.
The Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 becomes an amendment to the Wetterling Act. The Pam Lychner amendment requires lifetime registration for recidivists and offenders who commit certain aggravated offenses.
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).
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.