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State ponders changes to sex offender registration

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 06:55:11 CDT

The Illinois legislature is considering a measure that would lengthen the amount of time sex offenders have to stay on the state's registry. The proposal would create three categories of offenders, with registration that lasts a lifetime, 25 years, or 15 years. Current law calls for either lifetime or 10-year registration. Tonia Maloney says that's already harsh enough. She's head of a group called Illinois Voices for Reform:


"What if there is no threat to society? When do we stop with this person? And now we're adding new offenses -- it's only going to get worse. We're not fixing the problem. We're continuing to punish for past events."

But there's a financial incentive for Illinois to pass the legislation: States that do not comply will lose federal funding for drug law enforcement. The longer registration requirements were mandated by Congress in 2006 in the Adam Walsh Act, named for the murdered son of the man who would host the TV program "America's Most Wanted." The measure has been approved by an Illinois Senate committee and is awaiting a vote by the full chamber.

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