The United States is the only country with a registry that is publicly accessible; all other countries in the English-speaking world have sex offender registries only accessible by law enforcement.

From the point of view of an offender, there’s a lot more to being on the list than showing up in offender searches.

Once a person is in the registry, he or she faces a thicket of reporting requirements lasting anywhere from five years to a lifetime.

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In some jurisdictions ina]], where sex offender registration gan, registration is accompanied by residential address notification requirements.

In many jurisdictions, registered sex offenders are subject to additional restrictions, including on housing.

However, not all states have substantially implemented SORNA's standards.

Even those that have substantially implemented the standards still have variations in their laws. Typically, an individual who has been convicted of specified sex offenses and offenses against children must register at the law enforcement agency in the city or town where he lives immediately after being released into the community.

Some of the information in a registry of this kind is made available to the public at large, typically through sex offender websites. Requirements with respect to who must register, what information they must provide, and what information the public may see can vary by jurisdiction, so be sure to check the applicable laws in your state.

Notwithstanding (and in part because of) the local nature of registration, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act ("SORNA") was passed in 2006 in order to strengthen the national network of registration and notification programs and to establish minimum standards for such systems.

In some cases, depending on the offense and the jurisdiction, an offender may be required to register with law enforcement, but be able to prevent any information about him from being publically posted.