IL: Illinois Supreme Court weighs juvenile sex offender registry.
July 6, 2002
Critics say young criminals should be given chance at rehabilitation.
SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Supreme Court will decide soon whether to require
juvenile sex offenders to register publicly with the state.
The photos, addresses and criminal histories of adult sex offenders are placed on
an Illinois State Police Web site. Currently, the same information about underage
offenders is given to their local police departments but not publicly posted.
The Supreme Court is considering a case from Kane County in which a 12-year-old
South Elgin boy assaulted two 7-year-old boys. The Supreme Court must decide
whether the Juvenile Court's confidentiality requirements should shield the
youngster from public registration.
No law prohibits the publication of juvenile sex offenders' information. Of the 14,930
sex offenders registered in the state, 455 are juveniles, according to Illinois State
Opponents of the registration say publication would violate the spirit of the Juvenile
Court, which aims to protect and rehabilitate child offenders so they may start adult
life with a clean slate.
Publishing the child's name would amount to adult punishment for a case tried in
Juvenile Court, said Steven Drizin, a Northwestern University law professor who has
filed a brief in the South Elgin boy's case.
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Source: © 2002 Northwest Indiana News: TheTimesOnline.com