Wednesday, March 17, 2010

IL Tries to Ban Loitering of Sex Offenders Near Parks Proposed bill would restrict sex offenders

Sexual offenders would be banned from visiting or loitering near Illinois public parks, including state parks, under the provisions of legislation sponsored by state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, that is advancing through the Illinois General Assembly.

"Unfortunately, parks can be hard to patrol, making it hard to deter crime in these areas," Dillard said. "However, hopefully by prohibiting sexual offenders from hanging around public parks, we reduce the number of people who are loitering in a potentially secluded environment where law enforcement officials aren't likely to be."

Child sex offenders are already prohibited from being in or loitering within 500 feet of a public park when children are present. Under Senate Bill 2824, convicted sexual predators and child sex offenders would be forbidden from being in or loitering within 500 feet of a public park.

Having been unanimously approved by the Illinois Senate, Senate Bill 2824 is now in the Illinois House for consideration.

Can you imagine how foolishly impossible it is to enforce such laws? Unless there is a well-known and recognized offender seen by a terrified neighbor, police would never be able to identify and enforce this ban in any park. This is not to mention the clear constitutional violations involved with banning citizens from public places, nor the statistical fact that over 90% of sex offenses against minors are committed by family or acquaintances of the victim

Synopsis As Introduced:
Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that it is a Class 4 felony for any sex offender (rather than just a child sex offender) to knowingly be present in any public park building or on real property comprising any public park or to knowingly loiter on a public way within 500 feet of a public park building or real property comprising any public park.

Senate Sponsors:
Sen. Pamela J. Althoff - Iris Y. Martinez - Emil Jones, III, Antonio Muñoz, A. J. Wilhelmi, Toi W. Hutchinson, Kirk W. Dillard and Martin A. Sandoval

House Sponsors:
(Rep. Jack D. Franks )