Jacob's Law

Jacob’s law refers to the Jacob Wetterling Act that’s named after Jacob Wetterling, an 11 year old boy from St. Joseph, Minnesota who went missing in October, 1989.

Jacob was abducted near a convenience store after being confronted by a masked man. Police later found out that there were halfway houses in the St. Joseph area that housed sexual offenders after they were released from prison.

In 1994, the Jacob Wetterling Act was created and included in the Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Jacob’s law was later amended by Megan’s Law in 1996 and Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006.

The Jacob Wetterling Act requires states to track sexual offenders by validating their place of residence annually for 10 years after being released into the community. Sexual offenders convicted of violent sex crimes must validate their residence quarterly for the rest of their lives.

Jacob’s remains were found in 2016, 27 years after his disappearance.  Jacob’s Law has helped other children from suffering the same fate.

To read more about the details of Jacob’s disappearance or the Jacob Wetterling Act, visit the following websites:

Registration Requirements: Impact of Jacob Wetterling

Jacob Wetterling Resource Center

Explaining the Jacob Wetterling case: Where it stands

For the full Act details, download the full text here

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