Nearly 400 sex offenders who are supposed to be registered in Illinois have fallen off the radar, but Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to do something about it.
Head to the Illinois sex offender website and you'll find names and addresses for more than 17,000 registered sex offenders, but you'll also find hundreds who are non-compliant whose whereabouts are unknown.
"Once sex offenders are released back into a community, they’re out of prison or off parole, although they’re still required to register on the sex offender registry, if they fail to do so or they move, often times they drop off the radar screen,” says Madigan.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is starting a fugitive task force to make the unknown known. It'll be made up of local and state law enforcement officers whose job will be to track down the most serious offenders.
“There are a certain percentage of them that you tend to lose track of because they don’t come in and register, they’re on the run or they may be committing other crimes so they haven’t maintained a permanent address. Those are the people being targeted in this group,” says Rockford Deputy Police Chief Dominic Iasparro.
“So if somebody has a drivers license, if somebody works somewhere, there are addresses available out there for them as opposed to the one on the registry for them,” adds Madigan.
But when it comes to non-compliance, Illinois is actually doing better than most states. Nationwide 24-percent of sex offenders are non-compliant. In Illinois less than 10 percent are non-compliant.
“So we’ve already made a significant dent in non-compliance,” says Madigan.
Madigan is also asking us to help. If we go on the website, see someone we know and know their whereabouts she urges us to call police.
By law, convicted sex offenders are mandated to register their addresses with local law enforcement for ten years. Rockford police say they regularly knock on doors and check up on the sex offenders to make sure their information is accurate and up to date.