Press Release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Sept. 30, 2011:
U.S. Justice Department gives TN nod for substantially complying with Adam Walsh Act
Nashville, Tenn. – The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Tennessee is one of fifteen (15) states that has substantially complied with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. This designation ensures that Byrne Grant funding to the state will not be reduced by 10%, the penalty for non-compliance. The Justice Department’s Office of Sex Offender Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) reviewed compliance packet submitted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and determined that the state’s law, policies and procedures substantially complied with the Walsh Act.
Tennessee’s quest for compliance, which started following the Act’s passage in 2006, concluded with the submission of a compliance packet on July 6, 2011. The compliance packet included relevant state statutes along with state policies and procedures. TBI’s Sex Offender Registry Attorney and the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Registry answered follow up questions from the SMART office and provided additional requested information during the two month review process.
“The TBI is proud to have helped Tennessee reach the federal standards of the Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act. We have worked very hard to meet this goal,” said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. TBI would also like to commend the state legislators, law enforcement agencies, the SMART office, and all of the other agencies that supported this effort. Tennessee is a safer place because of the Sex Offender Registry.”
Tennessee’s Sex Offender Registry, which currently contains information about close to 18,000 sex offenders, has been in existence since 1995.
Although Tennessee received approval for substantial implementation, there are still some areas that may require further progress, including offenses included in the registry, the tiering of certain offenses, and the accumulation of required registration information. TBI will continue to work with fellow law enforcement agencies and the General Assembly to incorporate any needed changes to the registry.