Failure To Implement SORNA

States and territories (and the District of Columbia) that fail to substantially implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) by the July 27, 2011, deadline face a 10-percent annual reduction in Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds for each year that they do not implement SORNA; however, the 10-percent reduction is only applied to the state portion (60 percent) of the total Byrne JAG funding distributed to the jurisdictions.

Calculating award amounts under the Byrne JAG formula is a multistep process. First, initial allocations to the states, territories, and the District of Columbia are calculated based on population and violent crime statistics, and certain adjustments are made to ensure a minimum amount of funds for each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. These initial allocations determine the amount that goes into each state, but not the amount that goes to the state government itself. Rather, of this initial allocation, 60 percent goes directly to the state, with the remaining 40 percent going to qualifying units of local government and tribes. If a state fails to substantially implement SORNA, the 10-percent reduction in its Byrne JAG formula funds will be applied only to the 60 percent in direct grants to the state and not to the 40 percent in grants to local governments and tribes within the state.

The reduction will be applied in the fiscal year following the implementation deadline. For example, if a jurisdiction has not substantially implemented SORNA by July 27, 2011, the reduction will be 10 percent of the FY 2012 award, imposed when the FY 2012 awards are made.

For those jurisdictions that are still working toward implementing SORNA, the Act provides for reallocation of funds withheld to be used solely for SORNA implementation. The SMART Office is currently developing guidance on this procedure and will inform jurisdictions of the reallocation process closer to the July 2011 deadline.

Tribal Jurisdictions

For Indian tribes that have elected to implement SORNA and fail to meet the July 2011 deadline, there is a separate and significant penalty: a tribe's registration and notification obligations could be delegated to the state in which the tribe is located. The SMART Office will work with these tribes to determine whether implementation is likely to occur within a reasonable amount of time or whether delegation to the state is appropriate.

Further, if a tribe has delegated its registration and notification obligation to the state, it no longer functions as a SORNA jurisdiction and is no longer subjected to penalties.

  • New Supplemental Guidelines and Checklist
    On January 11, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice released supplemental guidelines . .  arrow More
  • Measuring Implementation Costs
    As the final implementation deadline for SORNA approaches,  . . .  arrow More
  • Submitting Substantial Implementation Packets
    As the final statutory deadline of July 27, 2011, approaches, jurisdictions must submit formal requests to the SMART Office . .  arrow More
  • Failure To Implement SORNA
    States and territories (and the District of Columbia) that fail to substantially implement SORNA by the July 27, 2011, deadline face a 10-percent annual reduction . . .  arrow More
  • Tracking Offenders Departing and Entering the Country
    When SORNA was enacted, the U.S. Department of Justice was tasked with creating a tracking system for sex offenders . . .  arrow More
  • 2011 National Workshop
    The SMART Office held its 2011 National Workshop on SORNA in the District of Columbia, January 10–11.  . . .  arrow More