Since the implementation of Megan’s Law, sheriff departments have access to sex offender information and photos through the Megan’s Law CD-ROM. The Department of Justice updates the CD-ROM every three months. The information on the CD-ROM can be used to help identify those offenders that are out of compliance with their annual registration requirements. For many sex registrants, failure to register annually is now a felony offense.
In October of 1994, Congress enacted the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. (42 USC § 14071(f)). In broad terms the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act provided for a system and outline for the various states to create sex offender registration programs in order to continue to receive certain federal funds. The various states had three years from the Act’s original enactment date of September 13, 1994 to comply with these standards. The Wetterling Act was modified on May 17, 1996 by way of “Megan’s Law” (Public Law 104-145) to add provisions relating to the release of registration information. It was again modified by way of “The Pam Lyncher Sexual Offender Tracking Act of 1996.”
On January 1, 1996, the North Carolina General Assembly created North Carolina’s first Sex Offender Registration Law, known as the “Amy Jackson Law.” In 1998 and 2001 North Carolina’s Sex Offender Registration Program was rewritten to comply with the standards enunciated under the Jacob Wetterling and Megan and Pam Lyncher Laws. This outline is intended to be an overview of these new laws to assist North Carolina citizens in understanding the Program’s provisions. This publication is not intended to be legal advice or guidance.