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IL: Task force recommends changing sex offender rules

CHICAGO — Major changes in Illinois’ rules for sex offenders, including how long an offender must remain on a public registry, are part of a final report on its way to the governor’s office from the Sex Offenses & Sex Offender Registration Task Force.

The report comes after a year of study by the group of legislators, criminal justice policymakers and advocates for victims and offenders, all appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The report set for release Thursday recognizes that Illinois lacks sufficient resources to monitor and assess treatment of sex offenders at the state and local level. Full Article

Final Report

Join the discussion

  1. AJ

    Just so I’m clear, once it becomes too expensive, the threat of RC recidivism declines? Got it. Public safety is cost-based, not safety-based? Got it. Risk assessment is wise now that it’s become a burdensome mess? Got it.

    Good thing their intent is keeping the public safe.

    • kind of living

      @ AJ ,,,,, ,, LOL , Got It 1 hahaha , you have it right , they don’t truly care about anyone , but when it starts hitting them in the wallet they start to whine , and looking for cheaper ways to punish as well as keeping their binky

  2. Dustin

    I for one would like to read the revised legislative intent if the IL legislature decides to adopt any of those recommendations.

  3. "structured risk assessment"

    The new trend of sex offender laws will evolve to the use of “structured risk assessments.” The public will overwhelmingly support the use of “risk” based registries because they sound good. (Note: Emphasis on “sound,” as not to imply actual efficacy.)

    As we already know, these risk assessments are far from infallible. Just refer to the Static-99R, which now has a shelf-life of two years. (We should all be asking the great Karl Hanson how the Static went from a 10-year… all the way down to a two-year shelf-life.)

  4. Dustin

    Maybe someone should try to push a tax increase to fund the registry. Like a 5% sales tax at arcades or a $2 surcharge at water parks, zoos, or other places minors congregate. Or requiring privately-run registries to charge subscription fees and tax that at 10% or so.

    Would love to see that. The fallout would be very entertaining.

  5. Illinois Contact

    Of course, this whole development is a dream come true. A lifer in Illinois now in my 12th year, I never hoped for relief.

    The recommendations propose two different methods for getting off the registry.

    Automatic (#9)
    “Individuals on lower tiers—i.e., those who pose less risk—automatically removed from the registry after a set duration”

    Petition (#10)
    “Allow registrants to petition to be removed from the registry if they meet certain criteria, such as having crossed the desistance threshold.”

    While it would be insanely great to open an envelope and read a letter that said I am no longer required to register because I have crossed the desistance threshold, petitioning would be acceptable, especially if it’s do-it-yourself and doesn’t require a lawyer’s fee.

    It does suggest that the magic number for getting off the registry is likely to be 10 years:
    “Individuals convicted of sexual offenses reach the desistance threshold—meaning the likelihood of reoffending is low—at 10 years of offense-free community living.”

    The definition of “desistance” is “ceases to exist.”

    Of course getting off the registry, and the end of presence/residence/travel/IML restrictions is the goal, and these recommendations seem to provide a way. There is (so far) no talk of excepting specific convictions (like CP in the new CA law).

    Here is a PDF of the entire report. The findings/evidence could be instrumental in other states.

    http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/articles/SOTF_report_final_12292017.pdf

    • CR

      It would be great if the recommendations are adopted. I’d consider moving to Illinois if I could petition to get off the registry for having passed the desistance threshold. I’m well past the 10 year mark. My two deferred adjudications were in 1992, and I’ve had to register since 1997.

      Sadly, I think the odds of those proposals being adopted and passed into law are slim.

      • AJ

        IDK…the State is teetering on becoming the first to go bankrupt, law enforcement is saying they cannot handle the burden as it stands, and the task force included someone who fought an RC case (I forget the exact reference right now, but clearly recall the irony). Money, cops, and prosecutor seem aligned behind this.

    • Trish

      What about after de-registry! Is the information still available online..?…now after personal info is shared how the heeeeeell are you free?

  6. "structured risk assessment"

    It’s pretty crazy how the IL state report cites Hanson, Helmus, Thornton and Phenix’s “study” in claiming that the Static-99R is “validated” (see footnote 55). Hanson, Helmus, Thornton, and Phenix all happen to be Static-99R developers (i.e. they all developed the “test” — and are all on its so-called “advisory board:” http://www.static99.org). In other words, what Illinois isn’t telling the public is that the studies that claim credibility of its “risk” assessments were “studies” that are in conflict-of-interest.

    Of course, when the Static’s data is requested by independent researchers, Karl Hanson and team are sure to push back so that non-biased persons are essentially prevented from examining and cross-checking the ostensible validity of the Static’s methodology. With regard to a Dauber challenge, see the following judge’s order, noting that Thornton “failed to provide the state or the respondent with the requested data” — even after he initially “agreed to provide the requested data” — in this link:

    http://karenfranklin.com/files/Perren-Ruling-Static99-RRASOR.pdf

    As mentioned in one blog article (below), Karl Hanson and team’s insistence that the Static is a “trade secret” violates the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code. APA Ethics Code Section 8.14 requires psychologists to furnish data, after their research results are published, to “other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis.” (Yes… given that Hanson is not licensed to practice psychology in California — or any other U.S. state for that matter — is he even bound by APA Ethics Code?)

    Regardless, how does the Static-99R go from being used as just one factor in SVP determination… to being the all out determining factor to “risk” in a tiered registry that lumps *all* crimes together? And for how long will the data and methodology behind the Static-99 tests remain a “trade secret?”

    https://forensicpsychologist.blogspot.com/2012/12/judge-bars-static-99r-risk-tool-from.html

    It all seems very fishy.

    • Trish

      What is scary to me ! The so called medical treatment goes ape Sheeeeet and drugs the hell out of people and psychological evaluations and on and on ! Tilll Helllllll freeezes over….so we go from police state to mental/ Psyco state controlled! Watch out who knows !

  7. John doe

    I pray something positive comes from this report. Hopefully doing away with residency restrictions.

    I don’t know much about the static 99 paperwork. But it seems that would be more man hours Illinois wouldn’t want to spend money on.

    I believe I read somewhere that recreational marijuana was gonna be introduced again in 2018. And that’s not something Illinois has embraced in the past. The medical laws here are very strict. If recreational would pass I fear any SO laws would be over looked. Illinois doesn’t like sweeping changes. Just baby steps. Maybe the governor can reach his hand out to get the ball rolling on that. He did make Illinois a sanctuary state.

    • AJ

      With the gubernatorial primaries coming in March and election in November, I’d be surprised by any action on this before November. Who’s going to win? The wealthy (~$1B) incumbent, Rauner (R), with his political connections, the “relatively wealthy” Kennedy family member (D), or the quite wealthy (estimated at $3.5B, about 3x the entire Kennedy clan’s fortunes) Pritzker (D)? Ahh, IL politics…I half-miss them!

  8. R M

    As one who has violated one of my “community supervision” provisions and as a result extended my time to petitioning the court to get off all this crap by 5 1/2 years, I like this part…

    “Statutory requirements that stipulate any new felony (not for a sex offense) triggers retroactive registration for certain individuals should be removed.”

    I’m not in Illinois but this is one thing I have found ridiculous in my conviction state (NJ).

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