August 4, 2011

Sex offender limits to stay as is

8-4-2011 Illinois:

BATAVIA — The city will not be toughening residency restrictions for convicted sex offenders living in the area of schools.

The City Council City Services Committee this week decided to end discussions of expanding on Illinois’ law that prohibits convicted child sex offenders from living within 500 feet of school property.

In June, the city began researching issues associated with toughening sex offender residency restrictions, after a parent alerted authorities of a registered sex offender living in front a school bus stop and near school property.

The registered sex offender was 204 feet outside of the exclusion zone, which makes him in compliance with the state statute, police officials said.

The Batavia School District subsequently changed an Alice Gustafson Elementary School bus stop for next year, but the parent had asked the city to consider an ordinance extending the distance for sex offenders to 1,000 feet.

Police Chief Gary Schira said literature on the subject didn’t convince him of a need to change Batavia’s residency requirements.

“The 500 feet (standard) has been working very well for the 10 sex offenders we have,” Schira told aldermen.

Schira said research on tougher residency requirements indicated that it can give a “false sense” of security and it is not the best way to ensure there won’t be repeated offenses.

“I am not sure what we would accomplish by moving the requirement beyond 500 feet,” Schira said.

Schira said if the city moves to a 1,000-foot requirement, nine out of 10 registered sex offenders living in the city would not be in compliance and would have to relocate. If the city were to move to a 2,000-foot minimum, all 10 would be in violation.

Schira said studies show increasing the exclusion area makes it more difficult for registered sex offenders to find places to live in a community to the point they are forced to live transient lifestyles and subsequently do not register their place of residency, making it more difficult for law enforcement to track them.

Under the existing 500-feet requirement, 30 percent of Batavia’s property is off limits to registered sex offenders, Schira said. He said 59 percent and 80 percent of property in Batavia would be off limits if the residency requirement is extended to 1,000 feet and 2,000 feet, respectively.

“I think we are trying to fix a problem that doesn’t need to be fixed,” the police chief said.

Alice Gustafson School parent Rodney Shiver expressed concern there is little supervision when children are let out of school and many of them must walk home, but Schira said officers cannot realistically police all school exits with the existing manpower. ..Source.. by Linda Girardi


Anonymous said...

Is that a light i see? does this mean there is someone with a little bit of comon sence in this country?.

ttheredbaron said...

The word is starting to get out that as these laws get overturned in state supreme courts these broke communities who have already squandered every last dime on these loco regulations will then have to come up with the lawyers fees for everyone who had to sue them. Suddenly these restrictions are looking like a false sense of security and a certain sense of higher taxes.

Anonymous said...

Statiscally, An airplane could just as well drop on the child's head as he/she stands waiting for the bus!!! perhaps we should have no fly zones around bus stops as well???