UNITED STATES, Pa (WTAJ) – The Office of Justice Programs Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking announced it has awarded approximately $20 million to help states, U.S. territories and tribal communities register and track sex offenders and protect Americans from sexual violence.
The awards will help jurisdictions meet the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
The SMART Office also awarded grants to the U.S. Center for SafeSport to help safeguard young athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and to the Justice Research and Statistics Association and the University of Massachusetts Lowell to carry out the Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative.
Funding will also support the maintenance of the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website.
“Its important for the professionals charged with protecting the public to have information about where people convicted of sex offenses live, work and attend school,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Maureen A. Henneberg said. “These awards will help jurisdictions across the country update and maintain registry systems, access necessary training and resources, and provide young athletes with greater protection against sexual abuse and predation.”
Jurisdictions across the country will receive $16.1 million directly to develop and enhance programs designed to implement the provisions of SORNA. These enhancements will help grantees update and maintain their registry systems. Additional funding will support training and technical assistance to jurisdictions to implement SORNA standards.
“Providing the means to better track those convicted of sex offenses is the very heart of our mission and a task we take very seriously,” SMART Office Acting Director Dawn Doran said. “We are pleased that we are able to support our jurisdictional partners as they operate their registration and notification systems and expand their capacity to protect their communities. We are especially pleased to be able to provide substantial support to tribal agencies as they work to improve the safety of their communities.”
The U.S. Center for SafeSport will receive $2.2 million from the Keep Young Athletes Safe grant program to help prevent abuse of young people in athletic programs across the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic movements.
The SMART Office will award nearly $900,000 to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to support maintenance, operations and technological improvements for the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. NSOPW.gov links state territorial and tribal public registry websites and allow the public to search for registered sex offenders on a national scale.
It also contains technological tools and resources for law enforcement and registry officials.
The Justice Research and Statistics Association and the University of Massachusetts Lowell will receive about $500,000 for the Sexual Violence Prevention Initiative.
The initiative will compile an inventory of sex offender management, treatment and reentry practices, and sexual violence prevention efforts; update literature review chapters and research briefs with current and emerging research and practice on sexual violence prevention, and identify best practices and research gaps.