In part by creating email notifications about local sex offenders, Missouri’s sex offender registry is now considered up to snuff by the standards of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Missouri, along with 13 other states, aced a July 25 deadline to achieve compliance with the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA.
Had Missouri not met the deadline, the state faced losing 10 percent — or $640,727 — of its annual federal law enforcement grant.
Some states, such as California and Colorado, actively opted out of compliance because the cost to implement SORNA requirements would hurt state budgets more than the 10 percent penalty.
For most of 2010, an interdisciplinary committee of court personnel, police, prosecutors and probation and parole officials had pored over possible legislative changes that would bring Missouri into compliance with the federal law.
As it turns out, no legislative action was necessary, said James Klahr, the legislative liaison for the Missouri Department of Public Safety.
“I was personally surprised,” Klahr said Friday morning. “We had been given the impression a year ago that we had to make additional legislative changes.”