We estimate that developing, implementing and maintaining a national registry of child maltreatment perpetrators would involve the following costs. These are preliminary, ballpark estimates. Actual costs would depend on a variety of factors that are not laid out clearly in the authorizing legislation.
|Federal costs of developing and implementing the database of child maltreatment perpetrators||$4 million over 2 to 3 years|
|Grants to states to defray initial implementation costs (e.g. preparing data, ensuring security of information exchanged)||$10 to 20 million over 2 to 3 years|
|Annual costs of maintaining the database, including responding to states' database queries||$4 to 6 million|
|Annual cost to states of resolving potential false positive matches and responding to requests for more detailed information||Unknown|
|Costs to states that need to change the level of proof required for substantiation decisions or otherwise alter their due process procedures conform to standards for a national registry||Unknown|
Decisions regarding implementation of a national registry of child maltreatment perpetrators should consider both the costs and the potential benefits in deciding whether to move forward. A consideration of benefits should also recognize that in some cases the matches produced by a registry would not be "new" identifications, but rather perpetrators who would already have been identified through existing criminal background checks.