When Terry Parke, a state representative from Pittsfield, the chief sponsor of the Habitual Child Sex Offender Registration Act, discusses his 1986 bill, he describes it as “one of the most important laws the Legislature would consider that year.”
The law requires habitual child sex offenders to register with police within 30 days of release from prison and remain registered for 10 years.
“We are having an epidemic in Illinois … of sex crimes against our children,” Parke said.
But state Rep. Larry Hicks, a Democrat from Mount Vernon, argues that the registry violates the rights of those convicted of sex crimes.
“It is wrong to tell criminals that once they have been rehabilitated and have served their time, that we’re going to register them and brand them for years to come,” he said.
That first enacted law for sex offender legislation in Illinois went into effect on Aug. 15, 1986. It defined a habitual child sex offender as any person convicted, discharged, or paroled from a correctional facility of a second or subsequent sex offense (attempts included) where the victim was under 18.