The following are excerpts from an article that describes Nevada’s implementation of the Adam Walsh Act.
It took a decade—and the Nevada Supreme Court weighing in with a denial of further delays—before the bill and its provisions took effect in October 2018, adding Nevada to a list of 16 other compliant states. Its passage came with a carrot: Nevada could receive some additional federal funding, as well as hold on to some existing earmarked dollars. A year-and-a-half later, it may have missed the mark on both.
There were criticisms, most notably led by then-State Senator Tick Segerblom and State Senator Peter Goicoechea, who argued that the recalibration of tiers—which would be retroactive—created an unconstitutional double jeopardy scenario (although a federal court struck down this argument in 2012). Some argued that, considering the complexity of some situations, tiering should happen on a case-by-case basis, rather than painted with a broad brush. Segerblom said that the expanded roll would be “just too many people for the cops to focus [on].” Other critics argued the cost of implementing the bill would surpass the amount of funding it would receive for signing it into state law. Jay Rivera, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, told the Nevada Independent the law was “obviously going to be a bigger load for our records section.”
Fifteen months later, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 has not seemed to translate into results. In fact, some argue it has done what Segerblom and Goicoechea had warned: more harm than good. As of last year, roughly 45 percent of registered sex offenders in Nevada fall into Tier 3, and are considered the most likely to re-offend.
The Department of Public Safety said the registry adds approximately 300 new offenders per year, which was the same rate they saw prior to AB 579. Warren said RPD has not seen a reduction in non-compliant sex offenders—those who aren’t registering with the authorities per the new mandate—since 2018. “With only three detectives going around and knocking on doors even once a month, it would be pretty time-consuming,” Officer Warren said. “That time would be better spent finding individuals in non-compliance.”