IL: Seventh Circuit Slams Illinois Civil Commitment Program but Reverses Injunction

Source: prisonlegalnews.org 1/1/24 “Very weighty interests are at stake when a state institutes a program of civil commitment for sex offenders who, though never tried for or convicted of a crime, are found too dangerous for release.” So began a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on July 24, 2023, in a challenge to a lower court’s order mandating improvements in Illinois’ civil commitment program, operated under the state’s Sexually Dangerous Persons (SDP) Act. Unfortunately, those interests were not deemed weighty enough to convince the…

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IL: How Illinois Housing Banishment Laws Push People into Homelessness and Prison

Source: boltsmag.org 1/16/24 Organizers with past sex offense convictions are championing a bill in the state legislature that could end the cycle and roll back residency restrictions. James Orr was in his apartment in the Austin neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side one Wednesday morning in 2013 when he heard his phone buzz. “James, you have 30 days to move,” an Illinois state police officer on the other end told him. The 62-year-old, who had moved into the apartment with his wife in 2006 after finishing a three-year prison sentence, was…

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IL: Sex offenders on probation challenge Illinois policy on contact with children

Source: courthousenews.com 12/7/23 The parolees complain they have to wait months or more before a therapist deems them fit to see their own children — and can’t even speak to them by phone before then. CHICAGO (CN) ­­— Sex offenders on supervised release argued before a Seventh Circuit panel Thursday that Illinois’ policy limiting when they can see their children is unconstitutional and should be overturned. The parolees filed a class action against the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2018 over a policy that forbade sex offenders from contacting their…

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IL: Illinois Supreme Court Weighs Constitutionality of Lifetime Restrictions on Child Sex Offenders

Source: news.wttw.com 11/15/23 SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether it is constitutional to impose lifetime restrictions on where a person can live after they’ve been convicted of a sex crime involving a minor. “It’s been 21 years – almost 21 years since my conviction,” Martin Kopf told the court’s seven justices on Wednesday. “I have been totally offense-free. Not even a moving violation. But yet, they still say that I’m dangerous.” … In court challenges, Kopf has represented himself while arguing, among other things, that the law…

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IL: Disabled Man on Sex Offense Registry Pardoned by Illinois Governor

Source: news.yahoo.com 11/16/23 In 2012, when Adam Nesteikis was 25 years old, his friend told him to pull down his pants in front of a young girl. Adam did exactly that. Adam is intellectually disabled, which means he didn’t realize he had done something wrong. He also didn’t understand what it meant when, after a trial, he was placed on the sex offense registry. He just knew that for some reason, he lost the job he loved wiping tables. He could no longer participate in the Special Olympics. And he…

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IL: State Supreme Court weighs constitutionality of lifetime restrictions on child sex offenders

Source: ipmnewsroom.org 11/15/23 SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Supreme Court is weighing whether it is constitutional to impose lifetime restrictions on where a person can live after they’ve been convicted of a sex crime involving a minor. “It’s been 21 years – almost 21 years since my conviction,” Martin Kopf told the court’s seven justices on Wednesday. “I have been totally offense-free. Not even a moving violation. But yet, they still say that I’m dangerous.” Kopf, now 54, pleaded guilty in 2003 to aggravated criminal sexual abuse for an incident involving…

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Action Alert for Illinois: Take action now to reduce and repeal registries, decriminalize housing, and let people live in available homes

Source: Illinois Voices for Reform and Chicago 400 A message from Adele Nicholas, Executive Director, Illinois Voices for Reform: Illinois residents, please click here to support SB2158 now! Everyone needs a place to live. People who’ve done their time should have the opportunity to establish stable homes for themselves and their families. Illinois’ wasteful and counterproductive registry and residency laws too often prevent people on the registry from building a foundation for a positive future. It’s time to stand up for real change. You can help us get there! Our…

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IL: Illinois legislator tells prison agency ‘do your job’ on sex offender notification

Source: thecentersquare.com 10/3/23 A Republican state legislator says she has no interest in the idea of changing the state’s sex offender notification system that was the subject of a recent audit finding with the Illinois Department of Corrections.  The compliance audit released last week looks at IDOC for two years ending June 30, 2022. In total, there were 46 findings and 40 repeat findings. The findings include a failure to notify victims and local law enforcement after releasing sex offenders, including those who committed a predatory criminal sexual assault of a child,…

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IL: ‘I Call It Pretend Freedom’: Older Adults Coming Out of Illinois Prisons Face Steep Roadblocks in Their Reentry Journey

Source: goodmenproject.com 9/7/23 At least 17,000 adults age 50 and older have been released from Illinois prisons since 2014, and thousands more are in line to come out soon. Older adults are less likely to reoffend than their younger counterparts but face more hurdles to successful reentry. Before he was released from prison, Bob Covelli told everyone he knew the three things he wanted most once he got out: a job, an apartment, and a kitten. “I’m less anxious, and I’m less angry when I hear a cat purring,” he…

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UPDATED 8/21/23: Corrections to the Paris, Wisconsin 6,500 Feet Residency Restriction by the 7th Circuit

UPDATED Source: floridaactioncommittee.org 8/21/23 Attorneys with the Paris case (6500-foot residence restriction) have contacted us [Florida Action Committee] to correct misstatements that were made in our most recent post.  They let us know there is much to be optimistic about in the court’s decision as they are putting some brakes on municipal ordinances that have spiraled out of control in Wisconsin – something they have never done before. We should not be reading this decision as countenancing 6500-foot zones more generally.  Attorney Adele Nicholas will be continuing to fight these…

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IL: SIU Illinois researcher’s team advocates for new assessment, treatment approach for juvenile sex offenders

Source: news.siu.edu 7/6/23 CARBONDALE, Ill. — Tamara Kang, assistant professor in Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences, and her colleagues have created a new research-based assessment for juvenile sex offenders, which they say is more accurate, effective and beneficial for the young offenders and society as a whole than current systems. And since 95-97% of juveniles won’t reoffend, the team recommends treatment over incarceration. “A lot of times the public views juveniles with sex offenses as really dangerous, but the vast majority of them aren’t different…

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IL: Why doesn’t Illinois copy Missouri’s Strict GPS “Sex Offender” Law?

Source: khmoradio.com 5/5/23 Will there be a time when Illinois passes the same strict law that Missouri has when it comes to Sex Offenders? People are questioning why doesn’t Illinois have the same law. What is this law exactly? Here are the details… North Carolina has just joined Missouri, Wisconsin, and other states as states that can legally GPS Strack Registered Sex Offenders for the rest of their lives. When I saw that headline, as a resident of Illinois, I thought to myself, why don’t more states have that law?…

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IL: Nearly 2,000 children in Illinois were sexually abused by Catholic clergy, state finds

Source: nbcnews.com 5/23/23 CHICAGO — An Illinois attorney general’s office investigation released Tuesday found that 451 Catholic clergy sexually abused nearly 2,000 children in the state over a nearly 70-year period, which was more than four times the 103 individuals the church named when the state began its review in 2018. Attorney General Kwame Raoul said at a news conference that investigators found that Catholic clergy abused 1,997 children in Illinois between 1950 and 2019, though he acknowledged that the statute of limitations has expired in many cases and that those abusers…

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Action Alert for Illinois Residents: Call and email today to support SB 2158 to end weekly police registration

Source: Illinois Voices for Reform, Chicago 400 Illinois residents, we have a great opportunity to support legislation that would improve the lives of registrants and their loved ones, and we urgently need everyone’s help! Our colleagues at the Chicago 400 have been hard at work on a bill that, if passed, would make the following changes to our harmful and wasteful registration and residency laws: reduce residential banishment zones to 250 feet; remove home daycares from the list of zones around which banishment zones are imposed; grandfather in existing residences…

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IL: Illinois gets penalized yearly for not meeting federal Sex Offender Registry standards, but keeps getting money back

Source: cbsnews.com 2/7/23 CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois loses grant money every year as a penalty for failing to meet federal standards with our Sex Offender Registry. CBS 2’s Tara Molina found Illinois manages to get that money back – more than $2.5 million worth. But the state still is not in good standing. This has been going on for more than 10 years. Illinois loses grant money every single year since the state isn’t in compliance with the federal Sex Offender Registry and Notification Act, or SORNA. But we found…

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IL: People with sex and gun convictions are required to register with police. CPD can’t keep up.

Source: wbez.org 1/11/23 Police turn away people trying to register, leaving them at risk of arrest. Some crime victims say the system fails them too. Outside a red brick building in Chicago’s Burnside neighborhood, Odell Whitehorn Jr. recently stood in a line with over a dozen men on a bitterly cold morning. Whitehorn is on the Illinois murder and violence against youth registry, for a crime he committed when he was eighteen-years-old, in 2000. Once a year, Whitehorn is required to register with the Chicago police. This was the fifth…

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IL: New Illinois sex offense laws taking effect Jan. 1

Source: mystateline.com 12/28/22 A handful of new Illinois laws that deal with sex offenses will go into effect Jan. 1. The first, filed as House Bill 4593, places the burden of proof on a defendant accused of soliciting sex from a minor or intellectually disabled person and claims they did not know the victim was a minor or disabled. Anyone who uses the defense must prove they were unaware of the age or disability status of the victim. Currently, that burden of proof is on the state. Gov. JB Pritzker…

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IL: Anglican church informs parishioners of sex offender attendee after three years

Source: religionnews.com 12/6/22 Church of the Resurrection, an Anglican church that serves as a diocesan seat in Wheaton, Illinois, whose leaders have faced criticism for how they handled sexual abuse allegations, informed congregants Friday (Dec. 2) that a registered sex offender has been attending the church since 2019. “We take with utmost seriousness the presence of someone who has committed a significant crime and will continue to show extreme care in the future,” Church of the Resurrection cathedral dean Steve Williamson wrote in an email to church members. … Hays…

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