Article I. Name of the Organization

The name of this organization shall be the Sex Offense Policy Research Work Group (hereafter, SOPRWG), which is incorporated in and whose agent is a resident of the State of Arkansas.

Article II. Purposes

The Sex Offense Policy Research (SOPR) working group is a community of scholars engaged in policy-focused research in the area of sexual offending and victimization. We are dedicated to building a supportive community for both established and emerging scholars in the field, forging constructive partnerships with policymakers and criminal justice agencies, and advancing empirical knowledge to inform the development and implementation of evidence-informed public policies.

Article III. Membership

A. Membership in the SOPRWG shall be limited to those persons who agree with the purposes of the organization as set forth in Article II and who are current in their dues. Regular members are those who have paid their annual dues to the association and are, therefore, eligible to vote. Active members, those who for at least the last two years have paid their annual dues to the association prior to an election, are eligible to hold office.

B. The membership year and the fiscal year of the SOPRWG shall be from June 1 to May 31 of each year. Membership fees are due by June 1 of each year.

C. The amount of the annual dues for members shall be established by the Executive Board. Changes to annual dues will be presented to and voted on by the membership at the Annual Meeting.

D. Any member who has not paid dues by September 1 shall automatically be terminated as a regular member. However, a member so terminated may be reinstated by means of payment of dues.

Article IV. Officers

A. The officers of this organization shall be a President, a Vice President, a Secretary, a Treasurer. All shall be filled by election.

B. To be eligible for election or appointment as an officer of the SOPRWG, a person must have been an active member for at least two years prior to the date of the election or appointment, and must have agreed to be a candidate for this office.

C. The term of office for all officers shall be for three years. Elected offices shall be filled on a staggered basis, with the President and Vice President elected in even-numbered years and the Secretary and Treasurer elected in odd-numbered years. The term for officers filling full terms shall begin at the end of the Annual Meeting following the election or appointment. Except for the Treasurer, no officer shall serve more than two (2) successive full terms in the same office. Upon completion of the second consecutive term of office, a member must wait a period of at least one full term before running again for the same office.

D. The powers and duties of the officers shall be as follows:

  1. President

    The President shall be the principal representative and spokesperson for the SOPRWG in issues consistent with, and limited to, the purposes set forth in Article II; shall preside at all meetings of the organization and the Executive Board; shall review the annual budget for the future year in conjunction with the Vice President and the Treasurer for submission to the Executive Board for its approval; shall appoint all committees and committee chairs, except as noted, with the approval of the Executive Board; shall supervise the activities of any staff within the guidelines approved by the Executive Board; shall receive notice of any substantive business proposed by members for meetings; shall prepare and cause the proper notice of all meetings to be sent to the members; shall periodically review and approve web site changes; and shall otherwise carry out the duties customarily associated with the office of President, including signing contracts.

  2. Vice President

    The Vice President shall assist the President in the duties of that office, as requested by the President, shall co-review the annual budget for the future year in conjunction with the President and the Treasurer for submission to the Executive Board for its approval, and shall preside at meetings of the organization and the Executive Board in the absence of the President. The Vice President shall serve as the chair of the Publications Committee.

  3. Secretary

    The Secretary shall keep an accurate record of the SOPRWG business meetings and of Executive Board meetings and shall prepare and submit minutes of each to the Executive Board for approval. The Secretary shall be the custodian of all official records and files of the SOPRWG; shall assure that SOPRWG archive materials are properly maintained and stored; shall be responsible for all SOPRWG official correspondence, for the collection and maintenance of records on the interests of SOPRWG members, and for dissemination of these data to members for networking purposes; and shall chair the Communications Committee.

  4. Treasurer

The Treasurer shall cause an accurate set of accounts to be maintained for the SOPRWG, and shall prepare an annual budget for the future year, in conjunction with the President and Vice President, for submission to the Executive Board for its approval. The Treasurer shall present an annual report on the financial status of the SOPRWG, in writing, to the Executive Board for its approval. The Treasurer shall arrange to have an independent audit conducted at least every two years, which shall then be presented to the Executive Board for approval. Auditors may be two members of the SOPRWG appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Board. The Treasurer shall serve as a member of the Membership Committee, shall maintain current records of members in good standing, and shall otherwise carry out the duties customarily associated with the office of Treasurer.

E. Vacancies that occur in the office of the Vice President, Secretary, or Treasurer, shall be filled for the remainder of the term by appointment by the President with the approval of the Executive Board. Appointees shall assume the duties of the vacant office immediately after the office is vacated. A vacancy in the office of the President shall be filled by the Vice President. The new President shall appoint a new Vice President with the approval of the Executive Board.

F. Officers shall receive no compensation for holding office but may be reimbursed for the ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in the fulfillment of their SOPRWG duties.

Article V. Executive Board

A. There will be an Executive Board comprised of the SOPRWG's current four officers, the immediate past President, the current editor(s) of any journal the SOPRWG creates, the chair of any standing committees the Web site liaison, a student representative, and three members elected to serve as Executive Board Members. All Executive Board members must be active SOPRWG members.

B. The powers and duties of the Executive Board shall be the following:

  • To act for the SOPRWG between meetings of the organization;
  • To form policies for the operation of the SOPRWG;
  • To consider and approve the annual budget for future expenditures;
  • To consider and approve the annual financial status report, submitted by the Treasurer; To consider guidelines submitted by the President for any SOPRWG staff who might be employed and to approve guidelines to be used by the President in the supervision of this staff;
  • To approve the specific time and place of the Annual Meeting and any other meetings of the organization;
  • To approve the establishment of ad hoc or special committees recommended by the SOPRWG assembled;
  • To approve the members of the Nominations and Elections Committee, and all other committee appointments made by the President;

C. The Executive Board shall meet at least once annually, in person or through use of a conference telephone or other communication technique by means of which all Executive Board members participating in the meeting can communicate with each other.

Article VI. Meetings

A. The active membership shall meet in assembly at least once annually at a specific time and place approved by the Executive Board. This meeting shall be called the Annual Meeting, even if it is divided into two or more segments over several days.

B. Special meetings may be called by the President or by a majority vote of the Executive Board. Only those matters contained in the notice for such special meetings may be acted upon at that special meeting.

C. The SOPRWG assembled shall have the following powers and duties:

  • To adopt and amend standing rules, including changes to annual dues;
  • To consider and take actions in matters presented for a vote of the membership by the Executive Board (requires a majority vote of the Executive Board);
  • To recommend the establishment of ad hoc or special committees to the President or to the Executive Board;
  • To consider and recommend to the Executive Board proposed amendments to these Bylaws; and
  • To act as the final authority on all matters arising in the organization for which authority has not been given to some other officer or governance body by these Bylaws.
    • A quorum at a meeting of the SOPRWG shall consist of 30 active members or one-fifth of the active membership, whichever is smaller. Proxies are not allowed for the establishment of a quorum or for the transaction of the business of the organization. 

Article VII. Committees

A. There shall be six standing committees of the SOPRWG:

  1. Program Committee: The Program Committee shall be responsible for planning and implementing the Annual Meeting of the SOPRWG. The committee shall be chaired by the Program Chair. The Program Chair shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Board.
  2. Outreach Committee: The Communications Committee, chaired by the Communications Committee Chair, shall be responsible for facilitating mentoring between senior professionals in the field and new researchers or those changing careers; for facilitating international networking among members; and for coordinating the work of SOPRWG with other professional organizations of similar or related interests. This includes assisting the Membership Coordinator in identifying other professional organizations that may welcome receiving information about the SOPRWG.

  3. Publications Committee: The Publications Committee, chaired by the Publications Committee Chair, shall be responsible for the general oversight and central policy formation for all publications produced on behalf of the membership of the SOPRWG, and for the recommendation to the President of editors, co-editors, and editorial board members for all such publications. The Publications Committee shall include the SOPRWG Web site liaison and any other publications sponsored by the SOPRWG. Editors and/or co-editors of all publications sponsored by the SOPRWG shall also be selected by the President and approved by the Executive Board in accordance with the approved guidelines for each publication. Editorial board members shall be recommended by the journal editor and/or co-editors, and approved by the Publications Committee and the Executive Board.

  4. Nominations and Elections Committee: The Nominations and Elections Committee shall be responsible for preparing a slate of candidates for elected positions and shall conduct the elections. The committee shall consist of at least three members appointed by the President and approved by the Executive Board.

  5. Membership Committee: The Membership Committee shall consist of members who are in charge of major network maintenance activities, such as the manager of the telecommunications network (listserv), the manager of the member interest database, the Treasurer, and other interested SOPRWG members appointed by the President with the approval of the Executive Board. The Committee shall also be responsible for maintenance of a current membership database in conjunction with the Treasurer; for the preparation of mailing labels and/or electronic distribution for SOPRWG publications; and for the dissemination of information about SOPRWG to prospective members

  6. SOPRWG Awards Committee: To honor the scholarly achievements of members, the membership has established a thesis/dissertation award for the outstanding thesis or dissertation with a focus on sex offender policy. The Committee Chair shall be appointed by the President.

B. Each of the standing committees shall have no more than three members, with the exception of the Publications Committee, which may have more than three members if necessary. Committee members may be added by the Committee Chair with the approval of the President. Members serving on committees by virtue of an appointed or elected office shall serve a term consistent with that position; other appointed members shall serve one-year renewable terms. All members in good standing are eligible for appointment to committees.

C. The Executive Board or the President of the SOPRWG may create such other ad hoc or special committees as are needed to accomplish the work of the organization.

D. The President shall appoint all members of committees, with the advice and consent of the Executive Board, except as specified elsewhere in these Bylaws. The President shall serve ex officio on all committees, except the Nominations and Elections Committee.

Article VIII. Nominations and Elections

A. The President with the approval of the Executive Board shall appoint a Nominations and Elections Committee consisting of at least three members in good standing. The Nominations and Elections Committee will receive names in nomination for each office to be filled the following year and will select two names, when two or more active members agree to run, to be included on the ballot in the appropriate year for the elected offices of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer, except in uncontested cases. The final ballot must be approved by the Executive Board.

B. Nominees for elected offices must have been active members in good standing of the SOPRWG for at least two years prior to the date of the election, must meet the qualifications specified for the offices for which they are to be considered as candidates, and must have agreed to serve in this capacity.

C. Elections of officers will be held every year by means of mail ballot and/or electronic ballot. Elections will be managed by the Nominations and Elections Committee, who shall disseminate ballots and supporting information to all members at least two months before the Annual Meeting and shall set a deadline for return of such ballots such that elections will be completed at least two weeks before the start of the Annual Meeting after which these persons are to assume office.

Article IX. Execution of Instruments, Deposits, and Funds

A. Execution of Instruments: The Executive Board, except as otherwise provided in these bylaws, may by resolution authorize any officer or agent of the corporation to enter into any contract or execute and deliver any instrument in the name of and on behalf of the SOPRWG, and such authority may be general or confined to specific instances. Unless so authorized, no officer, agent, or member shall have any power or authority to bind the SOPRWG by any contract or engagement or to pledge its credit or to render it liable monetarily for any purpose or in any amount.

B. Checks and Notes: Except as otherwise specifically determined by resolution of the Executive Board, or as otherwise required by law, any checks, drafts, promissory notes, orders for the payment of money, and other evidence of indebtedness of the SOPRWG shall be signed by the treasurer and countersigned by the president. Any purchases made on behalf of the SOPRWG shall be approved by a majority vote of the Executive Board. Such approved purchases shall be carried out by the President or Treasurer.

C. Deposits and Gifts: All funds of the corporation shall be deposited from time to time to the credit of the SOPRWG in such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as Executive Board may select. The Executive Board may accept on behalf of the SOPRWG any contribution, gift, bequest, or devise for the nonprofit purposes of this corporation.

Article X. Authority

The SOPRWG shall be governed by these Bylaws and by any standing rules of the organization. The latest edition of Cannon's Concise Guide to Rules of Order shall be the parliamentary authority for the SOPRWG on matters not governed by these Bylaws and the standing rules.

Article XI. Amendments to the Bylaws

A. Proposed amendments to these Bylaws may be submitted by petition by any active member or members in good standing. All such proposed amendments that meet the requirements below shall be determined to be qualified for consideration by the Executive Board:

  • The proposed amendment receives the written support of one-fifth of the total membership in good standing; or
  • The proposed amendment is introduced at an Annual Meeting of the SOPRWG and receives a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present. 

B. The Executive Board or the President with the approval of the Executive Board may establish a Bylaws Revision Committee to review the bylaws and recommend revisions of the bylaws to the Executive Board for their approval.

C. Proposed amendments or recommended revisions will be approved upon a two-thirds affirmative vote by mail or electronic ballot returned by SOPRWG members in good standing. Ballots will be prepared and distributed by the Executive Board immediately after the approval of the Executive Board and shall be distributed to all members in good standing at least one month prior to the vote deadline established by the Executive Board. The results will be reported to the SOPRWG membership no later than the next Annual Meeting. Newly adopted amendments and/or revisions shall take effect immediately upon their approval by the SOPRWG membership.

The proposed amendment receives the written support of one-fifth of the total membership in good standing; or
The proposed amendment is introduced at an Annual Meeting of the SOPRWG and receives a two-thirds affirmative vote of those present.

Article XII. IRC 501(c)(3) Tax Exemption Provisions

A. Limitations on Activities: No substantial part of the activities of the SOPRWG shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided by Section 501(h) of the Internal Revenue Code), and the SOPRWG shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements), any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provisions of these bylaws, the SOPRWG shall not carry on any activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under Section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.

B. Prohibition Against Private Inurement: No part of the net earnings of the SOPRWG shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to, its members, Executive Board, officers, or other private persons, except that the SOPRWG shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes of the SOPRWG.

C. Distribution of Assets: Upon the dissolution of the SOPRWG, its assets remaining after payment, or provision for payment, of all debts and liabilities of this corporation, shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or shall be distributed to the federal government, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose. Such distribution shall be made in accordance with all applicable provisions of the laws of this state.

D. Private Foundation Requirements and Restrictions: In any taxable year in which the SOPRWG is a private foundation as described in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, the SOPRWG (1) shall distribute its income for said period at such time and manner as not to subject it to tax under Section 4942 of the Internal Revenue Code; (2) shall not engage in any act of self-dealing as defined in Section 4941(d) of the Internal Revenue Code; (3) shall not retain any excess business holdings as defined in Section 4943(c) of the Internal Revenue Code; (4) shall not make any investments in such manner as to subject the corporation to tax under Section 4944 of the Internal Revenue Code; and (5) shall not make any taxable expenditures as defined in Section 4945(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.