Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), requires that sex offenders register in each jurisdiction where they live, work or go to school (see 34 U.S.C. § 20913(a)).
There are a number of Indian tribes that are SORNA registration jurisdictions and, in some instances, the geographical apportionment of tribal lands has raised questions about where an offender must register. For example, some tribal lands are arranged in a patchwork with state or county land. In such instances, a tribe is responsible for registration functions on land subject to its law enforcement jurisdiction, and a state is responsible for registration functions on land subject to its law enforcement jurisdiction.
Sex offenders must initially register in the jurisdiction of conviction. Thereafter, they must register in each jurisdiction where they live, work or go to school. Jurisdictions do not need to register a sex offender based on their taking courses at a school remotely through the internet, unless the participation in the educational program also involves some physical attendance at the school in the jurisdiction. It is possible that a sex offender will have to register in multiple registration jurisdictions. For example, if a sex offender lives in Washington, D.C., works in Virginia and goes to school in Maryland, they will have to register with officials in each of these jurisdictions and keep their registration current in each. Similarly, a sex offender may work in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and live in the Pueblo of Laguna. They would thus have to register with officials in both New Mexico and the Pueblo of Laguna. In this instance, if the offender stops working in Albuquerque and takes up employment at the Pueblo of Laguna, they will have to notify the New Mexico authorities of the termination of their employment in Albuquerque and notify the Pueblo of Laguna that they now work in the Pueblo of Laguna.
A sex offender may also reside, be employed and go to school exclusively in a tribal jurisdiction. If so, SORNA only requires that the offender register with the tribal jurisdiction.
There is no requirement that a state, territory or tribe where an offender previously was registered must remove an offender from the registry once they are no longer required to register in that particular jurisdiction.
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