Criminal Justice

Illinois: Young Sex Offenders Not on List

Effectively admitting that it made a mistake two years ago, the Illinois legislature passed a law yesterday saying that juveniles convicted of sex offenses no longer have to register publicly as sex offenders.

The legislature was urged by many involved with the juvenile court system to change a 2005 state law that required young sex offenders to register, at the age of 17, on an adult sex offenders list available to the general public over the Internet, reports the Chicago Tribune. Also influential in the legislature’s decision to pass the new law was the story of a 13-year-old boy who touched a neighbor girl’s chest and would have been required to register as an adult, and concerns that the adult registration requirement would discourage juveniles from pleading guilty to sex offenses.

Due to protests, the registration requirement for 17-year-olds, which was supposed to take effect in 2006, was never actually implemented, as state police awaited the result of court challenges. However, juveniles convicted of sex offenses apparently must still register on a young sex offenders list, which is released to schools and day care centers.

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