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International Tracking of Sex Offenders Working Group

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In 2008, the SMART Office established the International Tracking of Sex Offenders Working Group (IWG) to track registered sex offenders who enter and depart the United States. More than 25 IWG member agencies and offices are working to create this comprehensive tracking system, including representatives from the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, and Justice. The tracking system proposed by IWG is fully described in the IWG White Paper (2010), and a detailed report on its status was issued by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in 2013.

To comply with the SORNA Supplemental Guidelines issued in 2011, registration jurisdictions must (1) require offenders to report any intended international travel 21 days in advance, and (2) notify the U.S. Marshals Service’s National Sex Offender Targeting Center (NSOTC) of that intended travel. Working in conjunction with other IWG members, the SMART Office and NSOTC have issued an International Travel Form, the most current version of which is available on the SORNA Exchange Portal. Registry officials can electronically submit international travel information to NSOTC using this form.

In addition, IWG has worked tirelessly with the FBI to create an automatic notification system that would provide an automatic message to the registering agency as well as NSOTC whenever U.S. Customs and Border Protection screens a registered sex offender for entry to or departure from the United States. The concept of the system has been approved by the Director of the FBI, and the SMART Office continues to work with the FBI to refine its parameters so that implementation can occur.

Registry officials are encouraged to use the International Travel Form, and the SMART Office is available at any time to assist with the drafting or implementation of code or policy to enable the collection of international travel information from registered sex offenders.

Date Created: April 16, 2020