Juvenile Sex Offenders

Juveniles who offend sexually present major challenges to the juvenile justice system. The role of the court and probation are key elements to successful interventions and outcomes. The NCJFCJ is involved in ongoing efforts to develop guidelines for judges and juvenile probation officers in the management of juvenile sex offenders, as well as training both groups to improve the effectiveness of the process. In addition, the NCJFCJ is committed to helping judges and other juvenile justice professionals develop strategies to work within the framework of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.

The Adam Walsh Act

There are far reaching implications for the juvenile offenders that are involved in the juvenile justice system who may or may not have committed a sexual offense.  The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which was signed into law on July 27, 2006 has requirements and provisions that may have long-lasting effects on the lives of the juveniles in your court. This webpage hopes to provide information, resources, and tools that will help juvenile justice professionals make the most informed decisions when dealing with juvenile sex offenders.


To download a complete copy of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (SORNA) of 2006, click here.

SORNA was codified in the United States Codes - 42 U.S.C. § 16911. To download a complete copy of the section, click here.
Note: Section 16911 begins half down the second column on the page.


An Examination of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act as Applied to Juveniles by Michael F. Caldwell, Michael J. Vitacco, and Mitchell H. Ziemke discusses, through evaluation of juvenile males, the implications of applying mandatory registration and notification for adolescents.  

The Adam Walsh Act: The Scarlet Letter of the Twenty-First Century  by Lara Geer Farley (Washburn Law Journal Vol. 47, No. 2, Winter 2008) is an in depth look at the "unfair registration requirements and punishments" of the Adam Walsh Act on non-violent sex offenders, as well as the problems associated with  implementation the Act.

Update: Practitioner’s Guide to the Adam Walsh Act was published by the American Prosecutors Research Institute’s National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse. The guide conveys a helpful breakdown of SORNA including the application to juveniles located on page two and three.

Registering Harm: The Adam Walsh Act and Juvenile Sex Offender Registration, by Nastassia Walsh; Tracy Velazquez. Published by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Champion Magazine (December 2009, Page 20). This article gives an interesting look at the harm a sex offender registry can do when it is applied to juvenile offenders.

Resources & Tools


Juvenile Sex Offense Specific Treatment Needs & Progress Scale

External Web Resources:

Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers

Center for Sex Offender Management

Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Juvenile Sex Offender Research Bibliography

National Center on Sexual Behavior of Youth

SMART Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking


Juveniles Who Commit Sex Offenses Against Minors, published by OJJDP in December of 2009

Experts in the Field

Dr. Frank DiCataldo is assistant professor of psychology at Roger Williams University in Bristo, Rhode Island. Dr. DiCataldo has served as a consulting psychologist to the Departments of Mental Health, Correction and Youth Services in Massachusetts for the past twenty years. He recently authored the book, Perversion of Youth: Controversies in the Assessment and Treatment of Juvenile Sex Offenders. Published by NYU Press in 2009. His research and clinical interests include juvenile sex offenders, youth violence and the history of juvenile delinquency and juvenile institutions.

To read an excerpt from his book, click here

If you have any questions regarding juvenile sex offenders and wish to ask Dr. DiCataldo, he may be reached at the following email address: fdicataldo@rwu.edu.