Sex Offenders -- Overview

Many state laws address sentencing and registration of, and restrictions on sex offenders, especially those who victimize children. 

An NCSL database identifies key sex offender state legislation enacted in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Included are state actions related to sex offender registration, residence and other restrictions, as well as sentencing, supervision and civil commitment measures.  Sex offender registration laws enacted in 2007 also are summarized here.

Many sex offender registration laws are related to or part of a state’s work to comply with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety ActThe 2006 federal law set many requirements with regard to sex offender registration. All extensions will expire in July 2011; after that date states face a 10 percent reduction of justice assistance grants for non-compliance.   NCSL has policy on this matter.