SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to improve public safety, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation strengthening and improving the state’s sex offender registry. By signing Senate Bill 2607, House Bill 6811 and House Bill 7057 into law, Gov. Blagojevich established the state’s harshest restrictions and requirements on registered sex offenders to date.
Senate Bill 2607, drafted by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and sponsored by Sen. Kirk Dillard (D-Westmont) and Rep.William Delgado (D-Chicago), requires sex offenders to be photographed annually and creates a critical check and balance system among parole and probation officers statewide who will be required to verify the registration of sex offenders within 15 days of sentencing or release on parole. Current law states the penalty for violating sex offender registration requirements is a Class 4 Felony, punishable by one to three years in the Department of Corrections. Under Senate Bill 2607, the penalty for such violations increases to a Class 3 Felony, punishable by two to five years in prison. Senate Bill 2607 also adds a 10-year extension to the length of time an offender is required to register if the offender fails to comply with any provision of the Sex Offender Registration Act. Finally, the new legislation makes failure to comply with any requirements of the Act cause for the parole or probation officers to initiate revocation proceedings with the Prisoner Review Board or sentencing court.
“The people of Illinois have a right to know and access the most up to date information on sexual predators living within their communities,” stated Governor Blagojevich, “this new legislation will allow both the public and law enforcement agencies, to better track and monitor such offenders. It will also give our enforcement agencies the ability to further prosecute offenders violating the terms of their release.”
“The Illinois Sex Offender Registry is a critical source of information about offenders and provides families and communities with information they can use to lessen the risk of being victimized,” Attorney General Madigan said. “SB 2607 makes common-sense changes to the sex offender registry that will make it more effective in the fight to protect women and children. I urge all Illinoisans to visit the site at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/frames.htm
. The information is only useful if people access it.”
Under House Bill 6811, also drafted by Attorney General Madigan and sponsored by Rep. Patricia Bailey (D-Chicago) and Sen. James Clayborne (D-East St. Louis), registered sex offenders will be required to notify Illinois law enforcement before any move out of the state. Current law requires sex offenders to notify law officials within 10 days after the offender has begun working or living out of state. The new law signed by Governor Blagojevich now requires offenders to provide written notification 10 days prior to working or living out of state.
The law also makes a substantial change to the Sex Offender Registration Act’s requirement involving the registration of child murderers. Current law requires child murderers to register as sex offenders for life only if their crime was committed after June 1, 1996. The new legislation applies the registration requirement to any person currently incarcerated for the crime of first degree murder of a child regardless of the date the crime was committed.
House Bill 7057, sponsored by Rep. Richard T. Bradley (D-Chicago) and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), requires all sex offenders to refrain from any contact with any person specified by the court and mandates that offenders be available for all required evaluations and treatment programs. The law also allows the court or probation department to assess fees on certain offenders to pay for all costs of their assessment, treatment, and monitoring either as they occur or under a payment plan.
All three bills are effective immediately.