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Governor Crist Announces Florida’s Implementation of the Adam Walsh Act

 
 Governor Charlie Crist and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey today announced that Florida is the third state to implement the Adam Walsh Act. The Act provides a comprehensive set of minimum standards for sex offender registration and notification in the United States.

“Florida has always been a front runner in implementing tools and technologies to protect our citizens and families,” said Governor Crist. “Our state is one of the first states, and the largest state, to implement this important federal law, and it exemplifies our commitment to strong sex offender registration and notification laws and practices.”

On May 14, the U.S. Department of Justice recognized Florida as having reached substantial implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. The act aligns sex offender registry standards across the states and tightens requirements for offender registration and notification. Under current federal rules, states that fail to substantially implement these provisions by July 26, 2010 stand to lose 10 percent of their annual federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funding. Ohio and Delaware are the only other two states to implement the act to date.

Florida’s Sexual Offender/Predator Registry is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, Florida implemented several changes to the registry requirements including:
  • increased the number of times per year that sexual offenders and predators must register in person with their local sheriff’s office;
  • Required all registered sexual offenders and predators to register any e-mail or instant message address they may use prior to using it;
  • Required juvenile sexual offenders to register if adjudicated of certain crimes committed after July 1, 2007;
  • Increased the minimum length of registration for sexual offenders while removing the ability for sexual predators to petition the court for removal from registration requirements; and
  • Increased sexual offender/predator notification to the public, including free e-mail notifications made available to citizens through the Florida Offender Alert System. To date, more than 109,000 people have subscribed to the program and more than two million notifications have been sent out.

“FDLE has worked hard to ensure Florida’s registry is current, comprehensive and readily accessible to the public,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “We appreciate the support of Governor Crist, the Cabinet, and the Legislature in ensuring Florida’s Sex Offender/Predator Registry meets these important national standards.”

Through the Public Safety Information Act of 1997, Florida became the first state in the nation to list sexual offenders and predators on the Internet and to make the same information available through a 24-hour/day hotline. The registry currently houses data on more than 54,000 registered sex offenders and predators and the Web site averages more than 546,000 searches per month.

For more information on SORNA, visit www.ojp.gov/smart/index.htm. Citizens can learn more about Florida’s Sexual Offender/Predator Registry and sign up to receive e-mail alert notifications by visiting www.flsexoffender.net or www.fdle.state.fl.us.

For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristen Chernosky or Mike Morrison
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001