Chapter 3.7.2 Transfer of Supervision of Juvenile Sex Offenders

Transfer of Supervision of Juvenile Sex Offenders

The transfer and supervision of juvenile sex offenders imposes special requirements on both the sending and receiving states. The ICJ Rules define a “juvenile sex offender” as “a juvenile having been adjudicated for an offense involving sex or of a sexual nature as determined by the sending state or who may be required to register as a sex offender in the sending or receiving state.” ICJ Rule 1-101 (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024). Such transfers implicate heightened public safety concerns and therefore are subject to more stringent requirements. Because sex offender registration laws vary significantly from state to state, the Commission provides a “State Sex Offender Matrix” resource.

In general, a juvenile sex offender’s supervision may be transferred to another state, which is obligated upon acceptance to supervise the juvenile under the same standards it applies to in-state sex offenders.  Id. at Rule 5-101. See, e.g., In re Crockett, 71 Cal. Rptr. 3d 632, 640 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008) (“We think this [the ICJ] bars authorities from requiring juveniles arriving on probation from other states to register as sex offenders based on orders from another state’s court, if that requirement would not be imposed on a juvenile adjudicated by a California court under the same facts and circumstances.”). See also Palmer v. Commonwealth, 632 S.E.2d 611, 615 (Va. Ct. App. 2006) (“ICJ directs each receiving state to assume the duties of . . . supervision over any such delinquent juvenile and in the exercise of those duties will be governed by the same standards of . . . supervision that prevail for its own delinquent juveniles released on probation or parole.”).  Consequently, a state may not require a juvenile sex offender from another state to register if it would not require the same of its own juvenile delinquents even though the courts of the sending state required such registration. Id., in accord Doe v. Ward, 124 F. Supp.2d 900 (W.D. Penn. 2000). (This reasoning was applied by the Court in interpreting a similar rule promulgated by the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision.)

Key requirements related to transfer of supervision of juvenile sex offenders include:

  • The sending state shall not allow a juvenile sex offender to transfer to the receiving state until the sending state’s request to transfer supervision has been approved or the receiving state has issued reporting instructions. ICJ Rule 4-103(1) (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024).
  • When it is necessary for a juvenile sex offender to relocate or reside out of state with a legal guardian prior to the acceptance of supervision, under the provision of ICJ Rule 4-103(3), the sending state shall determine if the circumstances justify the use of a travel permit, including consideration of the appropriateness of the residence. When the sending state provides the approved travel permit, they must include a written explanation as to why ICJ procedures for submitting the referral could not be followed.
  • Within five (5) business days of receipt of the travel permit, the receiving state advises the sending state of applicable registration requirements and/or reporting instructions.
  • The sending state maintains responsibility until supervision is accepted in the receiving state. The receiving state shall have the authority to supervise juveniles pursuant to reporting instructions from the receiving state.
  • The following documentation shall be provided to the receiving state:
    • Form VI, Application for Services and Waiver;
    • Form IV, Parole or Probation Investigation Request;
    • Order of adjudication and disposition;
    • Conditions of supervision; and
    • Petition and/or arrest report.
  • If available, the sending state shall also provide
    • Safety plan;
    • Specific assessments;
    • Legal and Social History information pertaining to the delinquent behavior;
    • Victim Information, i.e., sex, age, relationship to the juvenile sex offender;
    • The sending state’s current or recommended supervision and treatment plan;
    • A photograph of the juvenile; and
    • All other pertinent materials.

Id. at Rule 4-103(2).

  • In conducting home evaluations for juvenile sex offenders, the receiving state shall ensure compliance with local policies or laws to issuing reporting instructions. Id. at Rule 4-103(4).
  • If the proposed residence is unsuitable, the receiving state may deny acceptance.  Id. at Rule 4-103(4).
  • A juvenile sex offender must abide by the offender registration laws of the receiving state, including felony or sex offender registration requirements, notifications, and DNA testing.  A juvenile sex offender who fails to register is subject to the laws of the receiving state.  Id. at Rule 4-103(5), (6).
  • Additionally, ICJ Form V, Notification from Sending State of Parolee or Probationer Proceeding to the Receiving State, shall be forwarded prior to or at the time juvenile relocates to the receiving state if the juvenile is not already residing in the receiving state. Id. at Rule 4-103(3).