March 27, 2015

Pasco considers tighter sex offender restrictions

3-27-15 Florida:

WESLEY CHAPEL — An ordinance proposed by Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore that would force sex offenders in the county to live 2,500 feet away from places where children typically congregate was briefly discussed during this week’s Board of County Commissioners meeting.

Under Florida law, those convicted of certain sex crimes against a child younger than 16 are not allowed to live within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers, playgrounds or other places where children congregate.

Moore’s proposed ordinance would substantially expand the “buffer zone.”

Commissioners are expected to vote on the proposal during a public hearing at 1:30 p.m. April 21 at the West Pasco Government Center in New Port Richey.

Information on the proposed ordinance was provided to commissioners by Senior Assistant County Attorney Kristi Sims and Pasco sheriff’s Sgt. Zak Arey. The county attorney’s office and sheriff’s office have each recommended the ordinance be approved.

Similar measures were implemented in Miami-Dade County in 2010 and Lake County in 2012.

As of this week, 902 sex offenders are living in Pasco, including 101 sexual predators and six juvenile sexual offenders, according to the sheriff’s office.

At the sheriff’s office’s request, the proposed ordinance also regulates the conduct of sexual predators and sexual offenders on Halloween.

Under the proposal, registered sexual offenders would be prohibited from giving — or seeking to give — treats to children; the offenders must avoid all Halloween-related contact with children and leave all “outside residential lighting off after 5 p.m.” on Halloween.

Further, the proposal would prohibit registered sexual offenders from displaying Halloween-style decorations at their residences.


The proposed ordinance also would create a 300-foot “safety zone” when children are at schools and school bus stops, playgrounds, YMCA facilities, Boys & Girls Clubs, youth campgrounds, sports facilities and other areas.

Proposed expansions of the 1,000-foot law have been considered by several municipalities around the Tampa Bay area. Zephyrhills considered a 2,500-foot buffer in 2006 but decided against it, as did Tampa in 2008.

In 2010, the San Antonio City Commission adopted a 1,500-foot ordinance, practically making the entire small city off-limits to sex offenders. ..Source.. by GEOFF FOX

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Half of state's sex offenders will be allowed to live near schools, parks

3-27-15 California:

State parole officials will circumvent Jessica's Law, overwhelmingly approved by voters eight years ago, and no longer enforce its controversial 2,000-foot residency restrictions for sex offenders who target adults, the department announced Thursday.

The decision will allow about half of the state's 6,000 sex offender parolees to live close to schools and parks, avoiding a residency rule that critics claimed was too prohibitive and led to homelessness. Prompted by a March 2 state Supreme Court decision ruling that the residency rules violate the constitutional rights of sex offenders in San Diego County, parole agents will now review existing parolee files over the next 60 days to determine who can be free of the strict living conditions.

"The Court's ruling is specific to San Diego County, its rationale isn't," said Luis Patino, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesman. "The State Attorney General's Office has advised us that applying the blanket mandatory residency restrictions would be found to be unconstitutional in every county."

The Supreme Court ruling found what critics have long complained about: sex offender parolees cannot easily find housing that meets the restrictions, causing them to be homeless, harder to monitor and less likely to adapt back into society. Of the approximately 6,000 sex offender parolees in California, 1,400 are transients, according to the CDCR.

In 2006, 70 percent of California voters passed Proposition 83 of 2006 and it's biggest proponent was disheartened by the news Thursday.

"This is an overreaction on the part of corrections," said Board of Equalization member George Runner, a former state senator who co-authored Jessica's Law with his wife, then-Assemblywoman Sharon Runner. "The Supreme Court decision was focused on a single county, and I have no idea why the CDCR believes it has to be applied statewide."

Runner said his wife, who was just re-elected to the state Senate in a special election last week, intends to introduce a bill that would let offenders who can't find homes outside the 2,000-foot zone ask judges for permission to do otherwise.

Runner noted that Gov. Jerry Brown, both as attorney general and as a 2010 gubernatorial candidate, "was a big supporter of Jessica's Law."

"It seems stunning to me that his agency now would be making such a bold change that is truly unwarranted even in light of what the Supreme Court decided," he said. ..Source.. by Matthias Gafni

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San Angelo Bail Bondsman, Defense Attorney Accused of Forging Will of Alleged Pedophile

3-27-15 California:

A San Angelo bail bondsman and a high-power defense attorney have both been indicted on multiple felonies that center on the will of an alleged pedophile that died of natural causes last year.

Ray Zapata, 63, of Zapata Bail Bonds, was booked into the county jail this morning after being picked up by a sheriff’s deputy at the law offices of Melvin Gray and Fred Brigman around 10:15 a.m. Zapata was not cuffed, but was placed in the backseat of the deputy’s vehicle and entered the jail through the sally port, where he turned himself in.

Court records allege that Zapata forged the will of 77-year-old John Edward Sullivan, who died on June 4 of last year. The holographic will, which was dated June 2, 2014, two days before Sullivan’s death, was scrawled on a small piece of paper with Zapata written in as the witness.

“I, John Sullivan, in case of some expected emergency or death, leave everything that I own, bank accounts, savings, life insurance policies, all real estate properties…to my attorney John Young, who knows my wishes and intentions as we have discussed…” the will states.

Young, Sullivan’s defense attorney in a pending case against the deceased for child pornography and online solicitation of a minor, has also been indicted as a co-defendant in the case. He has been charged with one count of forgery, one count of theft of property greater than or equal to $200,000, one count of aggravated perjury and first-degree misapplication by a fiduciary.

The aggregate sum of the money on Sullivan's domestic bank accounts, as reported by Young, is $4,442,022.48. Sullivan had well over $1 million in real estate as well, and several bank accounts overseas with over €200,000 in total. Zapata has been charged with one count of forgery, one count of theft of property greater than or equal to $200,000, one count of aggravated perjury and two counts of forgery of a financial instrument.

The perjury and theft are alleged to have been committed on June 4, the day of Sullivan’s death, according to the indictment. The two forgery charges are alleged to have taken place on June 16, the date of the probate hearing before Judge Ben Nolan in Tom Green County.

The case against Zapata and Young is being prosecuted by Cliff Herburg of the Attorney General’s Office. The investigation, court documents reveal, was a combined effort of the Texas Rangers, the San Angelo Police Department and The Texas Attorney General's Office.

The forgery charges against both men are state jail felonies punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail and an optional $10k fine. Aggravated perjury is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison and an optional $10k fine, and theft of $200k or greater is a first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and an optional $10k fine.

Misapplication of a fiduciary is also a first-degree felony. Zapata bonded out of the jail on Thursday afternoon, a few hours after he was booked. Jenkins A-Action Bail Bond posted the $45,000 on Zapata's behalf. Zapata is an employee of Jenkins. Young was booked out-of-county on March 26. He has since been released on bond. ..Source.w/Video.. by Amanda Henson

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March 26, 2015

California loosens Jessica's Law rules on where sex offenders can live

3-26-15 California:

California officials announced Thursday that the state would stop enforcing a key provision of a voter-approved law that prohibits all registered sex offenders from living near schools.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it would no longer impose the blanket restrictions outlined in Jessica's Law that forbids all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, regardless of whether their crimes involved children.

High-risk sex offenders and those whose crimes involved children under 14 will still be prohibited from living within a half-mile of a school, the CDCR emphasized. Otherwise, officials will assess each parolee based on factors relating to their individual cases, the agency said.

The shift comes nine years after California voters approved the controversial law, which has made it difficult for some sex offenders to find places to live.

The California Supreme Court on March 2 unanimously ruled that Jessica's Law violated the constitutional rights of parolees living in San Diego County who had argued that the limitations made it impossible for them to obtain housing. As a result, advocates said, some parolees were living in places like riverbeds and alleys.

"While the court's ruling is specific to San Diego County, its rationale is not," CDCR spokesman Luis Patino said Thursday. "After reviewing the court's analysis, the state attorney general's office advised CDCR that applying the blanket mandatory residency restrictions of Jessica's Law would be found to be unconstitutional in every county."

The CDCR sent a memo to state parole officials on Wednesday outlining the policy change. The directive said residency restrictions could be established if there was a “nexus to their commitment offense, criminal history and/or future criminality."

The memo said officials would soon provide further direction on how to modify conditions for parolees currently already living in the community. ..Continued.. by Kate Mather

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March 25, 2015

With 500 convicted killers on the streets, does Michigan need a murderer registry?

3-25-15 Michigan:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - A man who had spent nearly all his adult years behind bars for second-degree murder was paroled to Grand Rapids after his prison term. A scant seven months later, money was tight and job options hadn't panned out for Paul White.

He went on a week-long armed robbery spree.

One store clerk described being frozen with fear as the man aggressively demanded cash. A victim at another business was inconsolable when police tried to calm her after the crime.

Around that same time last spring, another convicted murderer, Shawn Jarrett, was living and working in the Grand Rapids area, his coworkers and employer unaware of his violent past in Pennsylvania.

Police suspect Jarrett killed a mother of four, a coworker at an area greenhouse, and dumped her body in a pit. Before police caught up with him, he brutally raped and robbed an elderly woman in her home.

Hundreds of Michigan residents are on active parole for second-degree murder and manslaughter. The number totaled 539 last fall, according to Department of Corrections data released to MLive and The Grand Rapids Press through a Freedom of Information Act request.

They could be living next to you. Or your child's school. Chances are you'd never know it, though.

Other states, including Illinois and Indiana, maintain a murderer registry - and some prosecutors and victims' families are saying it's time for Michigan to follow suit.

"Dangerous people are going to get out. That's a fact of life. And people have to be aware of that and be proactive in taking steps to protect themselves," Kent County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Chris Becker said.

Becker acknowledges that a public registry would not necessarily deter violent criminals from offending again - but it would provide valuable information to residents and raise their awareness.

"I think the vast majority of people think this is Mayberry to some extent, and they don't realize there are dangerous people out there," he said.

Murderer registries are online databases listing an offender's name and address, along with a physical description or photo. This information is made available to the public once the offender is released from prison. Residents often can search these databases by location to see if any live near their homes, daycares or schools.

Michigan maintains a similar registry for those convicted of sex crimes. Michigan's sex offender registry requires those convicted of certain crimes to register their address with police to keep the database - which also includes their photo and criminal records - current.

In some states, out-of-state offenders like Jarrett who move to the area are required by law to register.

In Michigan, once someone convicted of second-degree murder or manslaughter is paroled, police in specific cities are notified, but not the public. Offenders convicted of first-degree murder are not eligible for release.

There's reason to be concerned about those offenders who are being released. Nearly half of the people incarcerated for murder are arrested for a new offense within five years of their release from state prison, according to a report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2014 that looked at recidivism patterns in 30 states.

In Michigan, information on violent criminals is available to the public only piecemeal.
The state's Offender Tracking Information System, a public website, allows people to look up information on inmates currently in prison and those who have been discharged from parole or otherwise in the last three years.

It shows their name, age, a photo and their crime and sentencing information.
If they have been paroled, it does not include their current address. And unlike the state's sex offender registry, there is no option to search for offenders by geographic area.

Creating a statewide murderer registry could be lifesaver, one Barry County mother said.

Sally Nink believes it would help protect communities from people like Kyle Wilson, who killed Nink's 15-year-old son in 2007 over an $80 debt. Months after Wilson's parole term ended after serving 3 ½ years in prison on that manslaughter conviction, he killed again. This time, he was convicted of second-degree murder, and is now serving a minimum of 46 years in the Michigan Reformatory in Ionia.

"It would be great to have that registry for killers. I wouldn't want to live next to a killer, especially knowing now what I know," Nink said. "I agree with the registry. ... The State of Michigan should do that."

Attorney General Bill Schuette declined to be interviewed about a murderer registry, but said through a spokeswoman that he would welcome the Legislature looking at the concept.

"It is good public policy to make that information available in new ways," spokeswoman Sydney Allen said. "The idea to implement a murderer registry is a good one, which is why the public has open and public access to felony records and (Law Enforcement Information Network) reports for prosecutors to see prior convictions of those later charged with other crimes."

FIRST SEX OFFENDERS, NOW KILLERS?

Michigan's sex offender registry was created in 1994 when lawmakers passed legislation that required certain offenders to register their addresses with police, allowing prosecutors to issue arrest warrants for non-compliant offenders.

In the beginning, this information was available only to law enforcement agencies.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard, then a state senator, sponsored legislation in 1996 to make the names on the sex offender registry available to the public. The registry at first was only accessible by visiting a law enforcement agency to view a paper copy. The website was introduced three years later.

Bouchard said crimes such as murder merit a debate about a registry, although he stopped short of taking a stance on creating one.

The challenge with registries is making sure the list focuses on dangerous individuals who have a possibility of re-offending, he said. The point is not to create fear, but for families to have the knowledge to make cautious decisions if they want, for instance, by instructing children to avoid an offender's house when trick-or-treating, he said.

"Information is power," he said.

When writing the legislation to make the sex offender registry public, Bouchard often fielded the question, "When is the punishment enough for offenders?" Offenders can remain on the registry for 15 years, 25 years or for life, depending on their conviction.

Bouchard pointed to the emotional and psychological scars that victims and their relatives bear their entire lives.

"My sympathy lies with the victim first. Since they can't quote, unquote 'move on,' why should the person that caused that pain be able to forget it?" he said.

PRECAUTION OR HARASSMENT?

Terry Jungel, executive director of the Michigan Sheriffs' Association, said a murderer registry could be important for keeping residents aware, but a database wouldn't be foolproof and could create a false sense of security. The self-reporting requirement is an inherent failure of registries such as the sex offender list, he said.

Still, a quick and easy method of checking a neighbor's background would be useful, he said.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so knowing that person has had a proclivity to migrate to violent crimes may be good information for you to have in protecting yourself," Jungel said. "People have a right to know that this person violated those laws, and I should have that information when determining whether or not that person's going to babysit for my children or work for my business."

Some argue a murderer registry could create a stigma and publicly brand offenders as they attempt to re-enter society.

Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Terry Dixon works closely with parolees and directs CLEAR, a group that helps men re-enter society after jail or prison. He sees a public benefit to a murderer registry, but only if it's reserved for the worst of the state's convicted killers, like those who behaved poorly in prison.

"Maybe that should be reserved for the proven violent offenders. For example, we track their record throughout their incarceration," Dixon said. "On average, I would not support it."

William Lugrand, 75, twice convicted of murder and now making a quiet life for himself in Grand Rapids, believes a public murderer registry would be a dark mark against him.
He knows not everyone thinks ex-convicts like him should be free.

"I think a lot of people live in black and white, that you shouldn't be given a chance because of the violations that you committed," said Lugrand, who killed a prostitute and a drug dealer years apart in fits of rage.

He thinks everyone has the ability to change their lives. Having their name on a registry would hamper that, he said.

Former state Rep. Joe Haveman, R-Holland, a vocal advocate for prison reform, said a public murderer registry would "just perpetuate a problem of making people afraid of people that they don't need to be afraid of." It could lead to harassment from neighbors and further stigmatize ex-convicts who have worked hard to turn their lives around, he said.

"And ultimately it will have the adverse effect, making them more apt to reoffend because they have a harder time functioning in society," Haveman predicted.

State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, argued that taking precautions around neighbors "doesn't mean you're abusing that person or harassing them." He believes violent offenders should be monitored on a registry for a minimum of 10-15 years.

State law requires some prisoners who had been serving up to a life sentence, or commutation cases, be supervised for four years when released on parole. Other offenses, such as second-degree murder, require a two-year community supervision period. In other cases, the parole board sets the term.

Jones, former sheriff of Eaton County, recalled when a man who had shot and killed two relatives and injured others was released from a mental hospital. It was a high-profile case and the community was aware of his return to the county. Some residents were upset about his release, but, Jones said, "at least they knew where he was at and could watch for behaviors that were dangerous to others."

"But many times people are released in Michigan communities and no one knows who they are," he said. ..Source.. by Angie Jackson

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RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Supervisors vote to lift sex offender residency restrictions

3-25-15 California:

The move complies with a recent state Supreme Court ruling that said blanket residency restrictions violated offenders’ constitutional rights.

Forced to repeal restrictions on where sex offenders can live, Riverside County Supervisors on Tuesday, March 24, began work on a new ordinance that would comply with a recent court ruling.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance to do away with the restrictions, which applied to the county’s unincorporated communities. Final votes on the ordinance will occur in the coming weeks.

The repeal is in response to a ruling earlier this month by the California Supreme Court. Justices ruled that blanket residency restrictions violated sex offenders’ constitutional rights by limiting their access to housing, boosting their chances of becoming homeless and restricting their access to services such as counseling.

Critics contend the ruling endangers children and goes against the will of the people.

Jessica’s Law, passed by California voters in 2006, imposed a number of restrictions on sex offenders, including a ban on living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks.

The county risked being sued unless it repealed its restrictions. Last summer, another court ruling led to supervisors voting to lift restrictions on offenders entering schools and parks without prior written permission.

Despite the loss of blanket restrictions, County Counsel Greg Priamosnoted that residency restrictions on individual sex offenders still can be imposed if warranted.

A number of rules governing offenders remain in place, Priamos said, including:

• A lifetime duty to register with local law enforcement.

• A ban against entering a school without “lawful business” and the school’s written permission.

• A restriction on going to a park where children gather without a parole agent’s permission if the offender’s victim was under age 14.

• A ban against working with or volunteering with children if the victim was 16 years old or younger.
..Source.. by JEFF HORSEMAN

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County moving forward with predatory offender ordinance

3-25-15 Minnesota:

The Chisago County Board of Commissioners doesn’t have a concrete plan yet about how it’s going to address the residency of predatory offenders in the county, but commissioners agreed March 18 that the state should be involved in the process.

After about 45 minutes of discussion, the board decided to have county staff begin working on a draft ordinance that would restrict where predatory offenders can live in Chisago County.

As part of that motion, which was approved unanimously, Commissioner George McMahon said the board should work with Sen. Leroy Stumpf, DFL, District 1. McMahon said Stumpf and his staff are drafting legislation this session that deals with sex offenders.

Before the board voted on that motion, County Attorney Janet Reiter spoke to the board about her recent research.

Reiter said the interest in having a countywide ordinance stemmed from the release of Thomas Stanton, a Level 3 predatory offender who raped and severely beat a woman in the Stacy area more than two decades ago. He served about 20 years in prison for the crime.

Stanton lived at a residence off Lang Avenue and Lincoln Road for less than a week last month before he violated terms of his release — having access to an Internet-capable device and failure to inform his agent of his activities. He was sentenced to a year in the Rush City Prison for those violations.

Another man living at the residence with Stanton, Leonard Oliver, a Level 2 predatory offender, vandalized a neighbor’s sign that read, “Sex offenders live here,” with an arrow pointing to the residence. He was also arrested.

Even though those two men are back in custody, residents in the community want action taken, and they came before the board at its March 4 meeting to express their concerns.

Reiter researched proximity laws between the March 4 and March 18 board meetings. She noted that those types of laws allow local units of government to prohibit people with predatory offenses on their records from living within certain distances of places like schools, parks and licensed day care facilities.

She added that empirical data shows the laws aren’t particularly effective.

She said a 2005 ruling in an Iowa case supports the constitutionally of proximity laws.

However, she said those laws have to be narrowly tailored.

Reiter noted the California Supreme Court at the beginning this month struck down a San Diego County ordinance that limited where sex offenders could live in that county. She described that law as a “blanket ordinance.”

“It limited their residency as such that it inhibited their ability to find housing, find drug or alcohol treatment or other services that might help them maintain their stability,” she said.
Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan told the board he understands nobody wants a convicted sex offender living near them, but they have to live somewhere after they’ve served their time.

“Nobody wants them in their community,” he said. “However, that’s the society we live in.

Felons get released from prison all the time, and we don’t even have to notify the community that these people are living here.”

But Duncan added that someone should look into making a law that would prohibit a predatory offender from living in the county in which they offended.

“Why are we placing Level 3 sex offenders who have committed in a county back in that same county?” he asked. “That stirs the population even more because they went through the process of what this person did. It’s not fair for the violator — they don’t have a fighting chance to live in the community, even if they wanted to change. And it’s not fair to the victim because they have to relive the whole process over again.”

Commissioner Ben Montzka said even if proximity laws aren’t very effective, the county should do something.

“We have a duty to try and protect, but I think we should do it wisely,” he said. “If we do nothing, we’re encouraging offenders to live in our unincorporated areas.”

Commissioner Mike Robinson asked Reiter what would happen if the board enacted an overly broad ordinance that limited the residency of predatory offenders in the county.

She said that the ordinance could eventually be struck down, and the county might have to foot the bill for court costs associated with defending the ordinance.

She also noted there could also be the possibility of someone representing an offender suing the county for punitive damages.

Even with that explanation from Reiter, Robinson said he thought the county should have a strong ordinance.

“I think we should make a real tough ordinance because it will probably take about two years for the state to do anything about it,” he said. “For those two years, maybe none of our people will get attacked.” ..Source.. by Derrick Knutson

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March 23, 2015

Board to Rescind Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders

3-23-15 California:

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that the anti- residency provisions were “unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive.”

Riverside County supervisors are expected Tuesday to begin the process of nullifying an ordinance prohibiting where convicted sex offenders can reside.

The Office of County Counsel is requesting that the Board of Supervisors completely invalidate Ordinance 902 in order for the county to comply with a California Supreme Court finding that residency restrictions are no longer enforceable, except in narrowly defined circumstances.

Ordinance 902 was implemented in July 2010 as a protective measure to ensure individuals convicted of various sex crimes were barred from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Similar laws were already on the books in neighboring Orange and San Diego counties.

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court ruled that the anti- residency provisions, made possible by Proposition 83 -- better known as Jessica’s Law -- were “unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive.”

Associate Justice Marvin Baxter penned the court’s decision and agreed with four convicted sex offenders from San Diego County who filed suit and argued for dismantling residency requirements based on the fact they were unable to find suitable living arrangements.

One of the petitioners stated that he had resorted to living in a dry riverbed after being blocked by his parole agent from renting space in the vicinity of schools.

Some lawmakers, including Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, denounced the court’s decision as “judicial activism” that would inevitably endanger children. ..Continued.. by Renee Schiavone

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March 18, 2015

Sex offender workplace registry bill sparks debate

More insanity, if someone is at work how can s/he commit an offense! Am I reading this correctly, the police computers are too stupid to be able to record and transfer the information, between jurisdictions, so they are forcing the registrants to do it for them? Absolutely stupid.., they need to hire competent computer programmers. Or the state should pay the registrant for doing the work for the state!!!!!
3-18-15 Illinois:

State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) has introduced a bill that would require convicted sex offenders to register with police in the locales where they work to plug a hole in the state's registry system.

The measure is viewed as a common-sense approach by Highland Park Police Chief Paul Shafer and others in law enforcement, and seen as overly punitive and burdensome by some advocates looking out for offenders' rights.

"To require registrants to appear in person to fill out paperwork accomplishes nothing more than further punishing individuals who have already served their time and who are attempting to support themselves and their families by finding meaningful employment," said Will Mingus, executive director of Illinois Voices for Reform.

The bill is awaiting a hearing in the Senate's criminal law committee. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), the chamber's assistant majority leader, has signed on as co-sponsor.

Currently, convicted sex offenders are required to register with police in the jurisdiction where they live. The offender is asked to provide employment information for any job of five or more days in duration.

However, that information is not automatically shared with police in the community where the individual is employed. So investigators looking into a reported offense can't cross-check the description and circumstances against past offenders who work, but don't live in the community.

Highland Park police officer Michael Leonard brought the issue to Shafer's attention after he became aware that a registered sex offender was working at a Highland Park business near a park where children play.

"We did not have any violation or anything, but we were a little troubled by the fact that if we did have an incident that might match what one of the these offenders might do," police wouldn't have access to information that would be helpful, Shafer said. The police chief believes the workplace registration makes sense considering that workers spend 40 hours a week at their place of employment.

"We thought it was appropriate to plug that hole in the law," he said.

Laimutis Nargelenas of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police cited one instance in which a registered offender was spending 60 to 70 hours a week on the job in Springfield and was renting an apartment due to the long hours and commute.

"This is very useful information when we conduct these investigations," Nargelenas said. "It's information we need to protect our citizens."

A better solution would be for the Illinois State Police to spend one or two million on their computer system so the reports would be forwarded to other jurisdictions when the person registers, he said.

Last year, the chiefs' association lobbied successfully to expand the registration requirement for offenders attending a college or university. An offender must register both with the police chief or county sheriff in the locale where the institution is located, and the public safety or security director at the college or university.

Nargelenas understands why people affected by the requirements would view the workplace registration as burdensome.

"You're having us register in our community. You are having us register at the university. And now you want us to register where we work?" Nargelenas said of the likely reaction.

"We have to balance the rights of the individual, versus protecting our children."

Under current law, convicted sex offenders must register in person and provide a current photograph, their address, place of employment and phone numbers. They must provide both their age and the victim's age at the time of the offense; the school they attended; any distinguishing body marks; their vehicle license plate numbers; and all e-mail addresses, instant messaging and chat room identities they use. They also must supply the IP addresses of their computers.

Shafer does not see the workplace registration requirement as intrusive, noting police would only use the information in the investigation of a crime.

"I think it is well known that sex offenders have a propensity to violate again," he said. "Based on that, historically, it just makes sense that if someone is working 40 hours a week some place outside of (their home town) at least notify the agency of where they are at." ..Source.. by Karen Berkowitz

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