Chicago – As Halloween approaches, Attorney General Lisa Madigan reminded parents to check the state’s sex offender registry (www.isp.state.il.us) before determining trick-or-treat routes for their children. This week, Madigan’s office will assist local law enforcement agencies in conducting compliance checks on registered sex offenders through her Illinois Sex Offender Registry Team (I-SORT) to ensure safe neighborhoods for children and their families as they venture out for the holiday.
“We conduct compliance checks to verify that offenders actually live where they claim to so we can ensure the registry continues to serve as a useful tool for parents,” Madigan said. “I encourage families to check the registry before they head out on Halloween to help them plan safe trick-or-treating routes for their kids.”
Madigan noted that Illinois law prohibits sex offenders on parole, mandatory supervised release or probation from distributing candy or other items to children on Halloween. In 2003, Madigan created the Illinois Sex Offender Registry Team (I-SORT) to improve Illinois’ Sex Offender Registry and increase the compliance rate of registered sex offenders. I-SORT launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Illinoisans about the registry and the information available on the site.
Madigan’s office also established a toll-free hotline – 1-888-41-ISORT – which the public and law enforcement can call with questions and with tips about non-compliant sex offenders. Since creating I-SORT in 2003, the Illinois compliance rate has jumped from 86 percent to 93.4 percent (as of Oct. 26, 2012). There are more than 26,000 registered sex offenders in Illinois as of October 2012.