September 28th, 2009
The U.S. Department of Justice today announced the first two jurisdictions to implement the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and one of them is the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon.
The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, which is part of the Adam Walsh Act, requires tribal and state governments to develop sex offender registration systems. Although the provision was developed without tribal consultation, the Umatilla Tribes have been working for the last three years to comply with the law.
“As tribes across the nation work towards compliance, we hope Congress will revisit the act and make the changes necessary to properly address tribal jurisdictions and their compliance with the law,” said Antone Minthorn, chairman of the Tribes’ board of trustees.
The Obama administration has given tribes and states another year to comply with the law. One reason Indian Country needs more time is lack of funding.
“Each tribe likely needs in the neighborhood of $300,000 a year to establish a small, fully compliant, registry. With 197 tribes having opted in, Congress needs to appropriate approximately $60 million a year over the course of the next several years directly to tribes for SORNA implementation,” said M. Brent Leonhard, the tribe’s deputy attorney general. “The costs can vary depending on the size of the tribe and number of individuals that will be subject to registration requirements.”
The tribe developed a website, ctuir.nsopw.gov, in order to comply with the law. The site allows people to search for registered offenders on the reservation.
The only other jurisdiction that has substantially implemented the law is the state of Ohio.