IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College


Illinois schools too lenient with sex offender laws

Lisa Chounard, Staff Writer

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Illinois has a 500-foot sex offender distance restriction.

In the state of Illinois, a convicted sex offender is only required to remain 500-feet from schools, which makes Illinois one of the most lenient states in sex offender laws.

Most other states uphold 1000 to 2000 foot restrictions from schools and child care facilities.

Whether the distance itself is enough to deter or prevent a repeat offense is unclear, but 500-feet from a school seems too close for comfort.

On one side of this debate we hear about the rights of the perpetrator, and on the other, we hear about the rights of the victims.

The question on most minds is why is it that Illinois seems more concerned with procuring the rights of a convicted sex offender rather than the rights of the victims?

Some would argue the statistics for second offenses, but I for one would not be willing to risk anything where my children are concerned.

Standing at a school bus stop is even more dangerous than being in a protected school, yet there are currently no sex offender restriction laws in Illinois at or near a school bus stop.

I was horrified this past school year when I became aware of this, and immediately began driving my two teenage daughters to and from school.
There is no foolproof way to protect our children from these sexual predators, sadly, but Illinois could and should do more.
Illinois needs to extend these sex offender restriction laws and strictly reinforce sex offender restriction laws at and near any location children are present.

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
Illinois schools too lenient with sex offender laws