U.S. Department of Justice Gives $400,000 Grant to VI for Sex Offender Program

Gretchen C. F. Shappert, United States Attorney for the USVI (File photo)
Gretchen C. F. Shappert, United States Attorney for the USVI (File photo)

The U.S. Department of Justice has given a grant of $400,000 in support of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to the Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert.

The award from the DOJ’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) supports the vital work of the V.I. Department of Justice (VIDOJ) efforts towards the implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act initiatives.

SORNA requires convicted sex offenders to register in the states in which they live, work or attend school, and it directs the attorney general to issue regulations and guidelines to implement the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

“Sex offender registrations and notification systems are critical in our efforts to diminish the continued victimization of children subjected to sexual abuse,” Shappert said. “Consistent with the law, convicted sex offenders are expected to comply with registration requirements. This process helps law enforcement protect our communities.”

Congress enacted SORNA as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 to strengthen the nation’s sex offender registration programs that exist in every state and to ensure that sex offenders are effectively tracked as they move among jurisdictions.

SORNA includes requirements regarding the sex offenses for which registration is required and the information sex offenders must provide to registration authorities, reporting of changes in, and periodic verification of, residence and other information; and the required duration of registration for sex offenders in different classes. SORNA also requires sex offenders to report travel abroad, which addresses the global concern over international sex tourism and trafficking.

The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is a federal agency that provides federal leadership, grants, training, technical assistance and other resources to improve the nation’s capacity to prevent and reduce crime, assist victims and enhance the rule of law by strengthening the criminal and juvenile justice systems.

Its six program offices support state and local crime-fighting efforts, fund thousands of victim service programs, help communities manage sex offenders, address the needs of youth in the system and children in danger, and provide vital research and data.

Learn more about the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act at SORNA.

For more information about DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs, see www.ojp.gov/about