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Implementation Documents

Registering Tribal Convictions Under SORNA

Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), requires registration for anyone convicted of a sex offense, which is defined as "a criminal offense that has an element involving a sexual act or sexual contact with another ..." (see 34 U.S.C. § 20911(5)). Under SORNA, a "criminal offense" is defined as "a State, local, tribal, foreign, or military offense ... or other criminal offense" (see 34 U.S.C. § 20911(6)). 

Many federally recognized Indian tribes have court systems. Furthermore, the Bureau of Indian Affairs operates Courts of Indian Offenses, sometimes known as CFR courts, on certain Indian reservations. Convictions that otherwise meet the definitions of "sex offense" under SORNA (see 34 U.S.C. § 20911(5)) that are obtained in tribal or CFR courts are convictions for purposes of SORNA registration (see 25 C.F.R. § 11.100 et seq.) and must be included in all SORNA registration jurisdictions’ codes or enactments.

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