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IL: Controversy in Joliet highlights difficulty of housing sex offenders who have completed their sentences

Source: chicagotribune.com 6/6/22

At a public meeting in Joliet, residents stood up and spoke out against an apartment building that houses sex offenders in a city neighborhood — with one resident lamenting that she wouldn’t let children play outside unless she was on her lunch break, according to a video taken by an attendee.

Other residents, according to accounts of some at the meeting, advocated for violence against the sex offenders, threatening homicide and arson.

The heated public meeting Wednesday, which centered around an apartment building that houses about six sex offenders, represents a frequent flashpoint between communities and officials around a thorny question: where and how to house and monitor sex offenders after they have completed their sentence.

“We used to play outside everyday,” a resident of the neighborhood said at the meeting, speaking about young children in her care, per video taken by community activist Robert Hernandez. “We can’t go outside.”

While neighbors often push back on this type of housing in their own backyards, some public safety experts say state laws that are overly restrictive about where sex offenders can live after their release actually puts people more at risk by taking away opportunities for stable, affordable housing, an important foundation for rehabilitation.

“It’s a massive crisis throughout the state that has been created by Illinois laws,” said Adele Nicholas, a civil rights attorney who is an expert in this area. “They are creating massive homelessness instability and housing insecurity and not bringing any public safety benefit.”

 
The controversy in Joliet centers around an apartment building north of the downtown area. It was purchased in December by NewDay Apartments, a company that specializes in affordable housing for sex offenders.

Illinois’ sex offender registry lists six men as residents of the building who were convicted of sex offenses against children 13 or younger.

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk and other city officials have spoken out against the housing, referencing an Illinois law that says sex offenders cannot live at the same address.

But a federal judge ruled the law unconstitutional about a year ago, stipulating that it violated the rights of the offenders who had served their time, but were held for months or years longer because the Illinois Department of Correction could not find a place for them to live that complied with the myriad restrictions.

“Politicians score these very easy points by just saying let’s banish these folks from being able to live anywhere,” Nicholas said.

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“It appears one federal judge superseded the entire Illinois legislature,” O’Dekirk said. Yes, when you pass unconstitutional laws that’s what happens. I wish state legislators, and city employees had to have a basic test of competency, to see if they paid attention in civics class.

The Registry at best creates fear and paranoia with the uniformed public of our “predators on paper” while blinding them to the actual dangerous non-registrants closest to their children every day.

The Registry is the ultimate red herring of society’s problems – a waste of tax dollars that only helps an industry that profits from it – and no one else.

The person who claims ” I can’t let my kids play outside,” is the same person who tells the child ” You can go play on Barbie.com.”

Guess this world is going to psycho- net, Cyber-net is a bit of a database pig in the poke. So whats next let them live in the backyard of with kids around but poke their eyes out that way they see no evil but that would be to cruel.

Most American’s don’t know the levels of the [registrants]. Guess its some psychosomatic therapy that starts kayos in a community. I wouldn’t mind someone with a record living beside me course one has to understand others and that is presenting a love thy neighbor good will policy. Even those neighbors at this meeting should be ashamed of their actions. Most prisoners released out of prison are based on responsibility and trust and time served. .. Just giving them $50. 00 and saying your on your own is bad enough.
 
One wonders if prisons really helps anyone that gets in tight jam’s such as being incarcerated. Rehabilitation comes in different forms. Standing out in the medium and holding up a sign asking for money is bad enough so that is when a church should take over and help others try to redeem themselves.

 Many times one can try and try but its trusting and I don’t mean trusting in government. Best thing to do at any public meeting is let those that have been incarcerated speak up for themselves. Many times you have to step up to the plate like Casey at the bat.

I have an associate who actually parodied this situation FIFTEEN YEARS ago with a spoof website about SORETRA, the “Sex Offender Residency, Employment, and Technology Restriction Amendment” proposal for the US Constitution. Frightening to how close they people and the country are to its fruition. (Website

The Sex Offense Registries shouldn’t exist. There are no informed, intelligent, moral people who disagree. People who zealously support the Registries are enemy terrorists.

These criminal regimes and their supporting terrorists have created quite the problem. Too bad they aren’t smart or capable enough to fix it. As long as Registries exist I’ll keep praying that scumbag terrorists live in fear every day. I really hope this forced housing situation makes them all uncomfortable. I hope it forces them all to hide inside and curse. That is awesome. They deserve it.

They won’t be affecting me or my family without paying consequences. Welcome to the Divided, Hateful States of Amerika.

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