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

No comments: