2019 National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability
The SMART Office hosted the 2019 National Symposium on Sex Offender Management and Accountability July 18-19 in Chicago. The two-day event brought together criminal justice professionals who investigate and prosecute sex offenses and register and monitor sex offenders, as well as those providing victim support services. Highlights included a case study on a cold case solved with genetic genealogy, tactics to identify child trafficking and a session on psychopathic sex offenders.
The symposium provided almost 600 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, sex offender registry officials, victim advocates and criminal justice experts information on the latest tools and techniques vital to combatting sexual assault and child sexual abuse. At the symposium, SMART discussed the Department’s expansion of direct access to the FBI’s National Sex Offender Registry to tribes participating in the Tribal Access Program. Direct access allows tribes participating in TAP to use their Tribe and Territory Sex Offender Registry System to input data and gain access to NSOR, giving tribal law enforcement information necessary to investigate offenses and share information to jurisdictions across the country. TAP allows information sharing between tribal and federal government criminal information systems.
The symposium sessions focused on four topic areas: information for prosecutors; tools for registrars and jurisdictional registry officials; interdiction and tracking of sex offenders; and research on sex offender behavior and sex offender registration and notification laws.
In the DNA and Cold Cases session, participants learned about how police worked with a genetic genealogist to identify the killer of 8-year-old April Tinsley, which can help agencies working to solve cold-case sexual assaults in the future. There were also sessions on sex offender registry case law, stopping child trafficking and child pornography and recruiting and retaining sex offender registrars, among other topics critical to personnel in law enforcement, corrections, the judiciary and prosecutions.
“The 2019 Symposium brought together criminal justice professionals from across the nation to network and learn how to continue to strengthen their systems for protecting and informing their citizens about potential risks,” said SMART Acting Director Dawn Doran. “Sharing and using the more complete sex offender information between jurisdictions is critical to keeping our communities safe.”
At the symposium, the SMART Office also highlighted a refresh of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW.gov) with expanded search capacity, improved navigation and updated safety and education information.