The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), which mandates a national registry of people convicted of sex offenses and expands the type of offenses for which a person must register, applies to both adults and children. Although 31 states already post young people on their sex offender registries, SORNA imposes additional burdens on these states by requiring community notification and prohibiting any process that allows a state to eventually remove a rehabilitated youth from the registry. By publicizing the names of youth, SORNA undermines state’s rights to implement many developmentally appropriate practices in youth court. This practice erodes youth court confidentiality—a cornerstone of the rehabilitative process. Youth are different from adults because their developing brains are highly amenable to treatment. A registry system designed for adults could carry lifelong consequences, and should not apply to youth.
Youth Who Commit Sex Offenses: Facts and Fiction
What Will It Cost States to Comply with the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act?
The Negative Impact of Registries on Youth: Why are youth different from adults?