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National

IL: Federal Judge Finds Illinois Rules On Sex Offenders Unconstitutional

[wbez.org – 4/1/19]

 

A federal judge in Chicago has found the Illinois Department of Corrections is violating the constitutional rights of prisoners convicted of certain sex crimes by making the restrictions on where they can live so stringent that inmates are often locked up long beyond their sentences.

In a ruling issued Sunday, Judge Virginia Kendall wrote that hundreds of offenders in the state’s prison system successfully complete their entire court-ordered sentences yet remain behind bars indefinitely. Kendall found the corrections department is depriving them of fundamental rights, and if they had money and support, they’d be able to leave and begin serving out what’s called “mandatory supervised release.”

Mark Weinberg, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the decision could mean relief for hundreds of people who have been in prison even though they’ve served their time.

“A plaintiff of mine called me [today] to say it’s the talk of the prison,” he said. “There are ways to protect public safety but holding people in prison long after their sentences are over isn’t the proper way to do it.”

In 2017, WBEZ visited and spoke with J.D. Lindenmeier, one of the plaintiffs in the case. At that time, Lindenmeier had been behind bars six years past his court-ordered release date. But he’s still in prison today, a total of eight years beyond his sentence because he can’t find a place to live that complies with the state’s requirements.

Prisoners call the time they serve beyond their sentences — often many years — “dead time.”

Read more

 

Join the discussion

  1. TS

    Like to see them get paid for the extra time served beyond what was supposed to be served…

    • texas

      so i am a little confused. if you complete your sentence they have to let you out, even if you live under a bridge. this must be concerning parole. it is against the law to keep you in prison if your sentence is up. this article is so misleading, there is no supervised release if you serve all of the time. please correct me if i am wrong

      • RegistrantNotAnOffender

        In some places they can keep you confined until you find a DOC approved address even after your sentence is up. Depends on state laws. Not just parole , probation as well.

        • Timmmy

          If your sentence is completely up, then the DOC has no say in where you go.
          There has to be more to this than what the article has in it.

  2. mike r

    Man the only thing these people understand is law suits.
    https://www.dicellolaw.com/practice-areas/civil-rights/wrongful-imprisonment-release-date.html

    “In 2017, WBEZ visited and spoke with J.D. Lindenmeier, one of the plaintiffs in the case. At that time, Lindenmeier had been behind bars six years past his court-ordered release date. But he’s still in prison today, a total of eight years beyond his sentence because he can’t find a place to live that complies with the state’s requirements.”

    So it has now been 8 years past his release date.
    Why in the hell are these prisoners filing habeas corpus petitions left and right? And filing civil suits for monetary damages?
    I know reason and logic usually does not apply in sex offenders, but it would be hard pressed for a court to state that it is legal to hold someone not civilly committed beyond their release date regardless of reasoning. Seems like a slam dunk to me.

    • Will Allen

      I really don’t understand why these people don’t get out and then dedicate part of their lives into finding out who was responsible for them being held past the legal date and then get those people murdered. I really don’t understand that.

      Governments that act like ours are truly no better than Nazi Germany. People do things they shouldn’t do. Always have. But … people have to be able to trust that a decent, moral, sensible country/government will punish them and hold them accountable for their misdeeds in moral, appropriate, and proportional ways. And governments can’t always do that perfectly, of course. But there are reasonable mistakes and then there are “mistakes” that are nothing but evil acts driven by evil people. The Registries are evil acts.

      If I were these people, I think I’d have to disappear and retaliate. I really don’t see how I could do anything else. They certainly need to disappear because clearly big governments of the U.S. cannot be trusted for 2 seconds. They never really were on a moral high road and they certainly aren’t today.

  3. Eric

    That was me. I was denied halfway house because they weren’t taking us dangerous people, only arsonists, armed robbers, and drug dealers. I didn’t get extra time, but I had to stay in the prison up to my final release date. fortunately I had a relative get me a motel and I went right to there.

  4. Timothy

    Illinois,
    I live a stone’s throw North of the border. I was born there. I worked in Illinois for many years so I know how the unions dominate politics. It is among the most indebted state as far a unfunded pension for state gov employees. The state is broke and avoids bankruptcy with extreme fees and tax rates. Many people and businesses are leaving Illinois because it is well known the live under no rules based on constitutional preference. Keeping folks locked up beyond their terms is just the tip of the iceberg. I sure hope fines are levied against the state for these obvious constitutional infractions.

  5. Henry

    If you are on the registry in Illinois you are nothing more than a modern day slave. The registry is nothing more than treating people just like the Germans and Japanese people during the world wars. A person is restricted on where they can go, where they can work, and if they have a family they are denied doing normal things like going to a church(if it has a play ground), I have been on it for 8 years and when I was convicted in 1992 when I was 17 these laws didn’t exist. But after serving 20 full years in prison I had to see if I would even be released. Then to boot, I was informed of every where I couldn’t go and told at least you are free. No I am not a person is free when they can do what the constitution says they can do. Which is to be able to be free from illegal laws that violate due process. Illinois registry is the same as Michigan’s and it need to be fought on the exact same grounds

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