ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP)- Maryland is not quite in full compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act to better monitor sex offenders, a state official told a panel of lawmakers on Tuesday.
Maryland lawmakers approved a variety of legislation last year aimed at cracking down on repeat sex offenders after the December 2009 slaying of 11-year-old Sarah Foxwell on the Eastern Shore. Authorities say she was killed by a registered sex offender who has been charged in her death.
Maryland public safety officials found out this month that the state was not considered to be in compliance in one area pertaining to the registration of juvenile offenders. David Wolinski, assistant director of the state's Criminal Justice Information System, said Maryland was not in compliance with a stipulation requiring lifetime registration for juveniles 14 or older who have committed an aggravated sex offense.
"They didn't find us substantially in compliance on that one item and that single item only," Wolinski told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. Wolinski said the federal government has backed away from requiring public notification for juveniles who fit into that category, and he said lifetime registration can be reduced to 25 years under certain circumstances.
Maryland could lose 10 percent of federal Byrne grant money in the next fiscal year, if the state isn't compliant by June 30. The money, which would add up to an estimated $2 million a year, is allocated for law enforcement initiatives. Four states have been found to be in full compliance so far, including Delaware, Florida, Ohio and South Dakota.
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