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State Attorney General Thanks Lawmakers for Passage of the Adam Walsh Act

From: Office of the Attorney General    Filed 3/14/07 GCN

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wishes to thank Mississippi Lawmakers for unanimous support of HB1015 (the Adam Walsh Act)  which is expected to be signed by the Governor.

"The Attorney General's Office and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS) have effectively worked together to protect Mississippi's children from pedophiles through our equivalent to the federal Adam Walsh Act," said Attorney General Jim Hood.  "It passed through the legislature without one dissenting vote.

"That shows you how important this bill is and how important the safety of our children is to everyone, regardless of politics.  This legislation will not only give Mississippi a windfall of federal aid in the millions of dollars, but it will also keep our children safe.  Protecting our children was my highest priority when I took this job some three and a half years ago, and that commitment continues.   An accomplishment like this is priceless."  

Key elements of the legislation include:

* Requires additional information and palm prints from the sex offender when registering with the DPS.

* Requires juveniles adjudicated delinquent in youth court of a sex offense to register as a sex offender.

* Requires sex offender to provide computer online identity, screen name or username to DPS.

* Requires offender to notify DPS within 3 business days of changing address, name or employment.

* Requires offender to submit a current photograph every 90 days when reregistering with DPS.

* Requires DPS to notify all drivers license applicants and identification card applicants of the sex offender laws and obtain written acknowledge from applicants of receipt of the notification.

* Requires sex offenders to obtain a new driver's license or state issued identification cards that identifies the individual as a sex offender.

* Requires person to register as a sex offender if convicted of violating Sec. 97-29-63, filming another without permission where there is an expectation of privacy.

* Lengthens the registration time for offenders convicted after July 1, 2007, to  25 years or life depending on the offense.

* Provides for community notification of sex offenders' change of address. Upon DPS receiving software from the Department of Justice, DPS will be required to notify law enforcement agencies, probation, schools, public housing, social service agencies tasked with protecting children, volunteer organizations working with children and anyone who requests notification when an offender moves. 

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