More sex offenders ending up on registries

Mar 25, 2014

Illinois juveniles are committing fewer sex offenses, but more of them are ending up on public sex offender registries.

Seven percent.  That’s how many juvenile sex offenders are repeat offenders. But the state forces 70 percent of them to be on the sex offender registry for the rest of their lives. That’s according to a new report by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.

The study’s authors say the registries don’t protect the public. And they say there are effective treatment methods, but for the most part Illinois doesn’t use them.

Loyola law Professor Anita Weinberg is one of the authors:

WEINBERG: There are family members who end up saying, had I known what was going to happen I would never have reported this because I wanted them to get treatment I wanted this to stop but I wasn’t looking to ruin the rest of their lives.

The Illinois general assembly expanded the sex offender registry to include juveniles in 1999.

I called six sponsors of that legislation, but no one was available.