House Committee Advances Public Safety Reauthorization Bills
By: Jared King | July 20 | The Navajo Post
WASHINGTON—On July 18, the House Judiciary Committee advanced bills reauthorizing the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program and the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
HR 6062, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program Reauthorization Act of 2012, would reauthorize up to $800 million a year for the program through fiscal 2017. The Navajo Nation receives grants from this program, which provides funding for law enforcement; prosecution and court programs; prevention and education programs, and corrections programs.
HR 3796, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012, would reauthorize several grant programs from the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
The bill would reauthorize up to $20 million through fiscal 2017 for the Sex Offender Management Assistance (SOMA) Program and the Jessica Lunsford Address Verification Grant Program.
The SOMA Program provides grants to offset the costs of implementing Sex Offender Registration and notification requirements under the Adam Walsh Act. The Jessica Lunsford Program provides grants to, among others, Indian tribes to assist in verifying the residence of registered sex offenders.
The bill would also authorize up to $46.2 million through fiscal 2017 for a program that provides federal assistance to jurisdictions in locating and apprehending sex offenders who violate registration requirements.
There are 16 other grant programs in the Adam Walsh Act that are not included in this reauthorization bill, as amended.
HR 3796 would also decrease the length of time for which tier III sex offenders must maintain a clean record before their otherwise lifetime registration requirement may be reduced from 25 to 15 years.
As amended, the bill would also reauthorize $2.9 million per year through fiscal 2017 in grants for treatment of juvenile sex offenders; it would add juvenile offenses to a list of information that a jurisdiction may exempt from disclosure; requires a report on the long-term impact of the registration program; and would require the return of 10% of funds allocated to a jurisdiction for non-compliance, rather than require 10% to be withheld.
The committee rejected an amendment that would have removed the mandatory delegation of the responsibility for maintaining a registry to states where a tribe is in a PL 280 state, does not affirmatively elect to carry out the requirements of the act, or the tribe has not substantially implemented the act.
The bills will now be reported to the House.