Division of Criminal Justice Services

About the New York State
Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA)

By Chapter 192 of the Laws of 1995 signed into law by Governor George E. Pataki on July 25, 1995, the Sex Offender Registration Act (Correction Law Article 6-C) established a Sex Offender Registry within the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. SORA was enacted to assist local law enforcement agencies to protect communities by: 1) requiring sex offenders to register with the State; and, 2) providing information to the public about certain sex offenders living in their communities. SORA took effect on January 21, 1996.

While modeled upon the provisions of the federal Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, SORA recognizes concerns unique to the State of New York. The SORA envisions a multi-agency, multi-discipline registration and community notification process for a sex offender. An individual is designated a sex offender based on conviction for a New York State offense or an attempt to commit an offense that correlates with the Wetterling requirements. SORA also requires registration of those individuals convicted in another jurisdiction if the offense is equivalent to a New York State registerable offense. Individuals convicted of certain registerable offenses on or after the effective date of the Act must register with the Division. Additionally, any person convicted of a registerable offense who was incarcerated or under parole or probation supervision on that date is included in the Sex Offender Registry.

The law is amended periodically by the New York State Legislature to add additional registerable offenses.

As part of the Registry, the SORA requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to maintain a Subdirectory which includes Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. While the Registry also contains information on low-risk (Level 1) sex offenders, this site provides you with public access to the Subdirectory only.

In May 1998, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York issued an injunction prohibiting the State from classifying any sex offender who committed his or her crime prior to January 21, 1996 to a risk level higher than a Level 1 for purposes of community notification, unless the offender has had an opportunity to avail himself or herself of a hearing to contest the higher risk level. Accordingly, while the injunction remains in effect, Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders who committed their crime prior to January 21, 1996, cannot be included in the Subdirectory.

On June 4, 2004, a settlement was reached in Doe v. Pataki. Therefore, the injunction prohibiting community notification of certain sex offenders will be lifted as provided in the settlement. For more information, refer to the Legal Information: Stipulation of Settlement or the Notice of Settlement.

In the interim, the Division of Criminal Justice Services has prepared a version of the Subdirectory which only contains information on those registered Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders who committed their crimes after the effective date of SORA, or who have received the judicially mandated hearing.

Sex offenders are classified as either low risk (Level 1), moderate risk (Level 2) or high risk (Level 3). Accessing this site will not provide you with information about Level 1 offenders. You may, however, learn if an individual is a convicted sex offender listed in the Registry by accessing the Sex Offender Registry 800 # Information Line.