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What is the Adam Walsh Act?

by Garry S.

What is the Adam Walsh Act, Adam Walsh
Adam Walsh Act Explained

The Adam Walsh Act It is an act for child safety and protection, which is in place in the United States of America and was brought in for protecting the general public, particularly the kids from the clutches of violent sex offenders. The idea was to put a nationalized and thoroughly comprehensive system in place to register such sex offenders in the country. It was in 2006 when the Walsh Act came up as a full-fledged law.


Background of the Adam Walsh ActThe catalyst for this safety act was the much-publicized and cruel murder of a 6-year-old boy called Adam Walsh by Ottis Tool, who later confessed to the murder, after he went missing from a mall for several days in 1981. Adam went to this mall in Florida with his mom was browsing while he was playing video games only some aisles away. However, when the mother came to collect her son, he had simply disappeared. 

What is the Adam Walsh Act

Retailer giants in the United States like Wal-Mart started the implementation of what they called "Code Adam" in 1994. It was a measure taken to mobilize their store personnel if a kid reportedly goes missing from their store. Eventually, George W. Bush, the former American President signed The Adam Walsh Act in 2006. The Child Protection & Safety Act expanded the national registry of sex-offenders and also led to the creation of a national registry for child abuse. Objectives of the Adam Walsh Act

The following are the major aims of The Adam Walsh Act as listed below:
  • Offer programs for child protection grant
  • Make changes to the criminal laws related to sex and child
  • Offer a revised system to register sex offenders
  • Offer access to resources and information required to make sure that the kids are not abused or attacked
  • Improve the enforcement of federal criminal law to make sure that there is compliance with the notification and registration of sex offenders
  • Conduct various campaigns and programs so those sex offenders can be punished, as well as prevented from committing such heinous crimes, especially if kids are their victims
Adam Walsh

The Adam Walsh Act – Provisions

With the deployment of this Federal Act, it is the responsibility of the attorney general to issue regulations and guidelines to implement and interpret the Act's provisions. The SORNA or Sex Offender Registration & Notification Act is a component of the Adam Walsh Act. Its purpose is to create a national registry for sex offenders. In fact, the Adam Walsh Act requires that the state should conform to different aspects of its national registry for sex offenders along with the kind of information, which should be collected include the registration requirement duration for categorizing the sex offenders.

Information such the photo, employer details, date of birth, address, and name of the offender are part of the data to be furnished. 

Ottis Tool

Penalties for violating the Adam Walsh Act

Post the implementation of this Act, in case any state in the United States does not adhere to the federal requirements wherein the data, is not provided within 3 years after the commencement of the act, the defaulter state will suffer from a 10% reduction in the grant for their enforcement assistance. 

According to the Adam Walsh Act, the sex offenders fall into any one of the 3-tier classification structure. According to this act, tier three is regarded as the most severe tier. The sex offenders falling within this tier has to intimate their whereabouts after every 3 months along with registration requirements for the offenders' lifetime. 

Sex offenders belonging to Tier 2 classification system must update whereabouts details with twenty-five years of registration and after every 6 months.

Adam Walsh Murder

On the other hand, sex offenders belonging to Tier 1 may be minors who are very young and can be even 14-year-old. Such offenders should report their whereabouts each year with a registration requirement for 15 years. The law declares the failure to update and register details as a felony. 

The Adam Walsh Act also forms a national registry for sex offenders. It advises every territory and state in the country to have the same criteria to post data of sex offenders on the net. Such data include name, date of birth, address, photograph, and place of employment among others. 

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