IL: Current policies funnel large number of… [people] …into one building. That needs to change

[ – 3/25/21] The state’s job is to balance the needs and rights of… [people with a prior conviction] …with those of all others.

A single building in Englewood, a neighborhood with plenty of struggles, has been home to not one or two or even three… [people listed on the registry] …— but to literally dozens.

That strange and — for most Americans — troubling fact came to light recently when people in the neighborhood became aware of, and objected strongly, to one man in particular who had moved into the building who was both… [convicted of a sex offense] …and… [convicted of murder] ….

Every previously incarcerated person who has done their time, paying the price for their crimes, deserves a chance to re-enter society and build a new life. We firmly believe that. But it has to be done in a way that also respects the legitimate fears and worries of the larger community.

Common sense says it is entirely understandable that the people of Englewood — and, really, the residents of any neighborhood — don’t want to live in or near a building that is home to a bizarrely high concentration of [people] convicted [of] sex [offenses] …or other high-level… [offenses].

How does that go on in the state, whose job it is to balance the needs and rights of [people with former convictions] …with those of all others?

It should not.

Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) tells us that his first concern was that there was no process to let the community know what was going on at the apartment building. Nor, to his knowledge, was there any monitoring or security at the building, or any programs there for the paroled [people]…. The building is not registered as a halfway house or recovery house, according to the police.

Sawyer has been in constant contact with the Chicago Police Department, the city’s building department and the Illinois Department of Corrections, trying to get answers, and he repeatedly has been told the same thing: As long as [people] convicted [of] sex [offenses] …register with the county in which they live and don’t reside within 500 feet of a school, day care center or public park, there’s no prohibition against a large number of them living in one particular building. [In IL as of 3-21-2021]

Legally, the government can’t interfere with private property and its ownership, Stephen M. Komie, a criminal justice attorney based in Chicago, told us, except of course when it comes to such things like building code violations that raise health and safety concerns.

Sawyer thinks this is nuts. If the State of Illinois can regulate whether a… [person with a sex related conviction] …lives within 500 feet of a grammar school, we’re hard pressed to see why the state can’t find a way to ensure so many [people] …can’t live in one building.

“Most people are saying this is still totally legal, and we are saying how? How could this be legal?” Sawyer said. “You got women and children across the hall, not across the street, from a [person] paroled [from prison for a sex offense conviction]…who quite honestly needs support.”

Adding to the problem, the names of most [people with a sex related conviction] …are included on a public registry, for all to see, and while many of these [people] …eventually get off the list [FALSE STATEMENT] — generally depending on the severity of their crimes and at the discretion of a judge [FALSE STATEMENT] — others never get off the list. Some of them may no longer be a risk to anybody, but their ability to move on, find a job and a place to live remains a struggle.

If a paroled [person] …has developed a solid record of good behavior, their case should be reviewed regularly by somebody — a judge or true panel of experts — who is empowered to remove the [person’s] …name from the registry and erase the scarlet letter.

But that’s not how things work.

“[The current system] is a sledgehammer which is in the hands of bureaucrats, and not in the hands of the judge who actually hears the case,“ Komie said.

Housing restrictions placed upon… [people listed on the public registry], as well as their limited ability to land good jobs, push them to live in areas in the city where rent comes cheap and where there are no schools, parks or daycare centers, which rules out much of the metropolis. This has been the case for some time at the Englewood apartment building, but it took the arrival of a particularly high profile [person] …to bring the problem to the neighborhood’s attention. To avoid a high concentration of them in one place, they need to be provided with clear housing alternatives.

Why, we have to ask, can the state not ensure [people] …who have served their time can find housing throughout the Chicago area? Why do we, as a state, allow the problem to fall disproportionately on poorer communities, usually communities of color? Advocates for those [people] registered… …say one answer would be to reduce the 500-foot limit to 250 feet so they have more places to live and don’t have to congregate in the same areas.

“We shouldn’t warehouse people in one place,” said Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “We ought to have more resources close to the communities where they live so they can help to get back into society. But you can’t be angry at the Englewood neighbors for protesting.”

Reed about new related court decision for IL

See prior story here about this apartment building

Read the full article at the source [but without the “person-first” language changes]

The above story has been edited to comply with “person-first” language and avoid the degrading labels that are so often applied to people with a former sex related conviction.  If you like this change then please also make use of “person-first” language in your comments to all posts.  Lets work on totally eliminating the use of degrading labels.

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It’s not education that moves the masses. It’s hollywood. Law and order and shows like it make episodes about sex offenders demonizing them into monsters and politicians use this to capitalize on people’s fears. If you want to change the mind of the people,it’s not through the courts, cops, judges, or lawyers, it’s through entertainment. Imagine a show or movie about a sex offender family or a movie where a sex offender does good. Millions of people watch it and take it in. Realize oh, that’s what a sex offender is? A parent? A helper? A son? A daughter? A good person? Music and hollywood have a bigger influence on people than any meta analysis ever could.

Oh no a bunch lepers live together and might ambush our children like Law Order or some other crime featured program. If one gets their crime stats from shows based on fiction they probably can get outsmarted by a toddler.

The problem with the sex offender registry is the fact that after 10-20-30 years people are still on it struggling to survive in A society that doesn’t see sex offenders as humanbeings.
Pretty much every crime in America is glorified on TV shows movies and even in music let’s face it America loves rooting for the bad guy and even in the movies the bad guy saves the day by saving A women or A child from some sick pedophile rapist.
I agree if we’re gonna see any change it’s gotta start with public perception of what a sex offender is we gotta start debunking all fake news coverage we need to start making our own documentaries we need to start documenting what lifes like for sex offenders living in homeless encampments or how being on Megan’s law causes mental illness and interview teenagers placed on Megan’s law for dateing outher teenagers and the list goes on
The other problem with the registry is SVP’s pedophiles and habitual offenders these guys make it extremely hard for people in society to even give someone labeled A sex offender a chance and keeps that stigma of all sex offenders are a danger to society alive.
So i support the new California teir leaves there’s no way A 18 year old dateing a 14 year old should be labeled on A list with a guy who raped molested and tortured 5 children for years.

Good luck

Ya know.. with the public’s view on sex offenders one of the hardest things me and my wife have to face due to my crime is that we will probably never be able to adopt like we always wanted. I am so demonized that even in 8 years when I’m off this hit list, the record will still be there. I have an older friend who was charged in kidnapping for giving a girl a ride back home( in florida, where else would you get a kidnapping charge for dropping a girl at her home.) 20 years later he’s living in NC. Thankfully not as a RSO.. but that didn’t save him. His wife has been fired from jobs.. his church a few years ago ousted him and treated him pretty badly.. his daughter now grown.. who knows the hell she went through. Seeing all hes gone through and not being an rso. me and my wife understand the next decade of our life will be hard.. we won’t get to do this or that.. and whatever we do do, we risk some hate filled bigot ousting us and rallying a mob at us.. the hate is real.. I watched an SO in my group have to sell his brand new home after neighbors from half a mile away come to his place and threatened him… This has to stop…the way americans view criminals.. and I really do blame media for it. From the war on witchcraft, to the war on alcohol and prohibition, to the war on gangs and unions, to the war on drugs, and now, the war on sex offenses.. america.. every generation had someone to hate.. and right now.. we are numbers uno.

I’m just wondering if Illinois has a statute of limitations on child abuse by teachers?
I went to public schools in Illinois in the 70s and corporal punishment the order of the day for wise crackers like me. Wooden paddle OR size 14 shoe leather more or less on the backside.
Total number of whacks dependent upon infraction. Were talking 4,5,6th graders. Yes, one had to drop your pants!

Totally a different world today.

@Tim in WI. In a way myself and many have mixed emotions on one’s understanding or should we all go back to rhyme and reason or a demonination type view of understanding. Should we judge not or you will be judged. Are many facing a firing squad today, if that is even approiate today, or going to sexual abuse classes as dictated, or fight for providencial justice. So were is the providential recovery of true justice in America? Or who feels one needs to take a refresher course in those sex abuse classes. I’m sure everyone’s not gonna rush out and say sign me up.

Sure I’ve woke up in jail and had to stand in front of magistrate court. Even the magistrate was our high school and sub principal counselor at the school I attended. Yes I knew both his daughters but I never actually hung around with those people as they were college prep and I wasn’t back in the day.

Are authorities college prep to put it in prospective today or do they even make mistakes such as a lot of this registry going on and other instances. Or even judging a bit of helter skelter today. So how does one look up the defination of abuser today with so many variations of abuse today. Even abusing government is abuse of justice and can be considered abuse, but who hids under a bush in these devilish schemes. If the flour is exaulted were is it to be replenished in this Governmental type rain barrel.