The Northern Arapaho Tribe has set up a sex offender registration office on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes recently agreed to share the registry. The first offender was registered Friday.
The office was established under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act – or SORNA – to close reporting gaps among states, territories and Indian Country.
Assistant US Attorney Kerry Jacobson says there was previously no sex offender registry on the reservation, and Wyoming couldn’t force offenders to keep registration current. Jacobson said the reservation became a “safe haven” for sex offenders living under the radar.
“There was no enforcement to keep these sex offenders registered on the reservation,” Jacobson says. “So on the reservation, you would have a sex offender living potentially in a neighborhood with children, and none of the families would have been notified.
“Now families will have the capability to get on the website, learn what sex offenders live, work or go to school on the reservation, and where they reside.”
Jacobson says families will also be able to see what types of convictions are in the offenders’ backgrounds.
From the time they arrive on the reservation, sex offenders have 24 hours to register with the Wind River SORNA office.
The U.S. Marshal Service now can investigate and report noncompliant offenders there to the U.S. Attorney’s Office or Tribal Court.