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Thursday, July 7, 2016

50 State Comparison for Juvenile Registration as Sex Offenders

Update:
 
As of August 8 I’m only missing three pieces of information. 

I need to know the Registration Duration & Removal Process for Juvenile Sex Offenders in:
Ø       New Mexico
Ø       New York
Ø       North Dakota 

If you know please email me the information to MaryDavyeDevoy@comcast.net 

Thanks!
Mary
 

Original Post:

Note: I’m looking for answers from readers in other States to complete my 50-State chart, so be sure to read all the way to the bottom and share your knowledge with me so I make sure this chart is completely accurate. Thank you!  -Mary Devoy 

Sex Offender Registration for Juveniles is a highly controversial issue. Most politicians love it and all Juvenile Justice and Civil Rights groups hate it.  

In the last 8 Virginia General Assembly sessions I have had 3 years where Virginia Legislators had Bills to take the decision of Sex Offender registration for juveniles out of the hands of the judges hearing the cases and mandating registration. Luckily all three years those 3 Bills failed at some point during the process, but one year it came very, very close to being sent to the Governor. 

In Virginia registration for juveniles is a possibility for just three convictions Rape, Sodomy and Object Sexual Penetration. Sounds like pretty severe crimes but just remember the Edgar Coker Jr. case where the female lied about being raped and he was convicted, incarcerated and then required to register as a public Sex Offender. Also if you read the Virginia statute for Object Sexual Penetration, actual penetration does not have to occur, so a juvenile who did not penetrate could be required to register as a Sex Offender. 

In Virginia we ONLY have a public Registry, no Private (Law Enforcement) Registry. In Virginia if a Juvenile is required to register they are classified as Violent (not Non-Violent) because of the three possible convictions and they are “Lifers” with no opportunity to ever petition for removal. 

Now those 3 Virginia Bills I opposed in the past to mandate registration were ALL pushed by the Patrons under the claim it’s a requirement if Virginia is ever to become Federally Adam Walsh Act/SORNA compliant by the SMART Office. But two very important facts that the Virginia Legislators have failed to make is that AWA/SORNA does NOT require the juvenile to be placed on a public Registry AND they do NOT require a mandatory timeframe to register especially life without the ability to petition. 

Not to mention the slew of research over the last 20 years that concludes any type of registration for a juvenile private or public serves no positive outcome to public safety and actually destroys any possibility for the juvenile to ever become a productive member of society with a large percentage of juveniles committing suicide before every reaching their mid-20’s that I regularly share with all 140 Virginia Legislators. 

Two summer’s ago I began charting the differences between each state when it comes to classification (risk or conviction), how many levels of classification, minimum duration of registration, public v. private lists and employer information. This chart has become very large and I update a few times each year when I find more current information which I did earlier this week when I came across this SMART Office Summary http://www.smart.gov/pdfs/SMARTSummary.pdf 

So I updated my chart (see below) and now I know I have confirmation that 21 States have Private Registries, of those 21 States 18 place Juveniles on their Private Registry and of those 18, 11 ONLY place Juveniles on their private Registry. And contrary to past claims made by Virginia Legislators (many who have taken stands against Federal mandates) 6 of those States are AWA/SORNA compliant.
 


I already knew that Guam has been certified as AWA /SORNA compliant and their Registry is Adults ONLY, no Juveniles, so Federal compliance is possible without requiring any type of Juvenile Registration. And that ONLY 6 States and the District of Columbia refuse to register juveniles as Sex Offenders. 

Now when it comes to duration of registration for Juveniles it’s varies quite a bit.

A few States automatically remove the juvenile on their 18, 21 or 25 birthday. This is actually a proposal I’ve made to the Virginia Legislators especially since it’s an accepted AWA/SORNA process, like in Maryland.   

But many States require a court petition (from 5 to 25 years after being placed on the Registry, most are 25 years) leaving the removal in the hands of the judge and if a judge is up for re-election or re-appointment we can all guess most will rule against the petitioner.  

Then there are the “Lifer” States, where no petition is allowed I compare this to Life-without-Parole for Juveniles which has been ruled Unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. For the rest of their lives these juveniles will be Registered Sex Offenders who must abide by all the legal restrictions, regulations and mandates which one misstep means a new felony. I can confirm that 7 States have Lifetime Registration for Juveniles and Virginia is one of them. 

Unanswered questions I have:
  1. In New York, are the registered Juveniles on the private list, the public list or both?
  2. In California, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition? (I’m guessing it’s Lifetime based on the entire State, but want to confirm before adding that to my chart)
  3. In Georgia, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  4. In Kentucky, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  5. In Maine, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  6. In Minnesota, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  7. In Missouri, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  8. In South Dakota, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  9. In Utah, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
  10. In Vermont, what is the minimum duration for Juveniles to register and if they can get off is it automatic or by petition?
If anyone knows an answer/answers to any of the above inquires, please email me MaryDavyeDevoy@comcast.net 

Then I can update the below chart. 

In a few weeks I’ll be posting a new action item as part of my series If You Risk Nothing, You Gain Nothing…. http://goo.gl/r4QhA6  and it will be related to this post / chart, so be sure to check back! 

Mary Devoy

* I have tried more than 10 times to load larger images of this chart, but it's not working out, I'm sorry. I finally broke it into 3 separate images which helped a lot! If you can't read the below, I suggest copying each one into a Word document and then enlarge it in Word. Blogger won't allow me to attach documents and copying an Excel chart into a post doesn't work either. I apologize for any inconvenience.