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Duties of PA State Agencies Under the Adam Walsh Act

Several state agencies will play a key role in getting the new Adam Walsh Act provisions running for Pennsylvania.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Adam Walsh Act Attorney, Harrisburg, PA

Effective December 20, 2012, Megan's Law III, 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9791 et seq. will expire and new provisions regarding the registration and monitoring of sexual offenders, Adam Walsh ("SORNA"), 42 Pa.C.S. §§ 9799.10 et seq., will take effect, in an effort to bring the Commonwealth into substantial compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 [Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 597]. The provision concerning duties of the Pennsylvania State Police in the new legislation is found in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.32, duties of probation and parole officials are found in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.33, duties of facilities housing sexual offenders are found in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.34, and the provision regarding the Board to Assess Sexually Violent Predators is found in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9799.35.

Duties on State Police.  Various duties are imposed on the State Police, including the creation and maintenance of a registry of offenders, the promulgation of guidelines for the general administration of subchapter regulating the registration of sexual offenders and the writing of regulations and guidelines regarding neighbor notification and notification to others.

Duties on the Board of Probation and Parole.  The Board of Probation and Parole, is responsible for creating a notification form for use by state and county prison and probation and parole personnel to inform offenders and sexually violent predators of their duty register, and their other duties under the law. This board must also act in cooperation with the Department of Corrections and other commonwealth agencies, to obtain name, aliases, identifying factors, anticipated future residence, offense history, treatment history, photograph, and any other required information about the offender.

Sexual Offender Assessment Board ("SOAB").  Statutory provisions provide for the composition of the Board to Assess Sexually Violent Predators, appointment of Board members, the term of office for Board members, compensation of Board members and support staff for the Board.

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