Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), requires that jurisdictions must register homeless and transient sex offenders, as well as offenders without fixed employment locations. The National Guidelines for Sex Offender Registration and Notification advise that, for the purposes of registration under SORNA, a sex offender resides in a jurisdiction when they:
- have a home in a jurisdiction, or
- habitually live in a jurisdiction.
A sex offender “habitually lives” in a jurisdiction when they reside in a jurisdiction for more than 30 days (a jurisdiction may specify whether those days must be consecutive or if they can be aggregated over a longer period of time). Jurisdictions are free to decide how to make the determination regarding who resides in their jurisdiction, thus triggering a registration requirement.
Jurisdictions must register homeless sex offenders, and these individuals must provide "some more or less specific description" of where they habitually live with whatever definiteness is possible under the circumstances.
Under SORNA, the definition of employee includes individuals who are self-employed or who work for any other entity, whether compensated or not. For those sex offenders who do not have a fixed employment location, jurisdictions are expected to register places where such a sex offender works with whatever definiteness is possible and to the extent it is possible to do so, such as information about the normal travel routes or general area(s) in which an offender works. For day laborers the location of a "common gathering point" counts as a "workplace" for registration purposes.
The SMART Office encourages jurisdictions to consider specific situations and how to handle them in conformance with the intent of SORNA. Some situations that might require such consideration are those posed by long-haul truckers, day laborers, temporary workers, contractors and similarly situated offenders.
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