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Justice Department awards $20 million to help register and track sex offenders and protect young athletes

WASHINGTON – The Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART Office) today announced it has awarded approximately $16 million to help states, U.S. territories and tribal communities develop and improve their systems to register and track sex offenders, and nearly $1 million to maintain the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. The awards will help jurisdictions meet the requirements of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Additionally, SMART awarded nearly $2.3 million to the U.S Center for SafeSport to help safeguard young athletes from sexual, physical and emotional abuse, authorized by the Keep Young Athletes Safe Act of 2018.

“Protecting Americans from sexual violence remains a top priority of the Office of Justice Programs,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Amy L. Solomon. “We are committed to providing our state, territorial and tribal partners with the resources they need to keep their registration and notification systems up to date, help them meet federal law standards and make registration and notification effective tools of community safety.”

Approximately $16 million will help jurisdictions across the country develop and enhance programs designed to implement the provisions of SORNA. Of that, some $6.5 million is being awarded to help tribes comply with federal law on sex offender registration and notification. An additional $750,000 is being awarded to provide training and technical assistance to jurisdictions implementing SORNA standards.

“The SMART Office is very pleased to provide substantial support to jurisdictions across the country, including the tribal communities that have substantially implemented the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act and those still working toward implementation,” said SMART Office Acting Director Dawn Doran. “The ability to help Native American communities track convicted sex offenders living on tribal land is a critical tool in the prevention of sexual violence against Indigenous people.”

The U.S. Center for SafeSport will receive $2.3 million from the Keep Young Athletes Safe grant to help prevent abuse of young athletes in the athletic programs across the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Movement.

The SMART Office will award nearly $1 million to the Institute for Intergovernmental Research to support maintenance, operations and technological improvements for the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. links state, territorial and tribal public registry websites and allows the public to search for registered sex offenders on a national scale.

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