Publish Date: December 2020 | Download PDF |

Description of Download:

Almost all adults, teens, and children convicted or adjudicated of a sexual crime must register with the police for the sexual offender registry in the United States (U.S.), as well as several other countries in the world. Sometimes they have to register for the rest of their lives, and information about them is often posted on the internet for everyone to see.

These registration laws began in the U.S. in the 1930s. They were first used by the police to track adults who had committed sex crimes, and only the police knew the names of people on the registries. Gradually, registration laws were expanded to include community notification and the registration information became available to the public. The federal government in the U.S. sets registry standards that most states, territories, and tribes follow. Other nations also have expanded their sexual offender registration laws, but very few have any form of community notification.

Registration laws initially were applied only to adults in the U.S., but this was expanded to include children and teens. In some states, children as young as 9 must register. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that requires children and teens to register as a sexual offender.

The Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) published a paper on the reform of sexual offender registration and community notification as applied to children and adolescents in July 2020.This is summary of the findings and recommendations. For a more comprehensive overview and references, readers are encouraged to review the full publication.

Publication Type:
Policy Papers