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Many sex offenders end up at shelters July 14, 2007

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

This article is about the state of Illinois

Nearly three years after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state could post the names, addresses, and photos of the most dangerous sex offenders on a public website, sex offenders released from prison now often end up in homeless shelters, where it is difficult to track them, and a range of potential victims sleep nearby.

In a recent review of 77 Level 3 sex offenders — the category the state uses to define those with a high risk of committing sex crimes again — who list addresses in Boston on the state’s online registry, the Globe found that 65 percent reported they were living at homeless shelters.

Level 3 sex offenders are required by law to register their addresses with police.

City and state officials, police, and homeless advocates say the system meant to ease the transition from prison is broken.

They say the glut of sex offenders listing shelters as their address raises questions about whether they have anywhere else to go, whether they are more likely to commit additional sex crimes, and whether they list shelters as their address to evade registration.

“This is a critical issue of grave concern,” said Jim Greene , director of the city’s Emergency Shelter Commission. “Large, crowded homeless shelters are a militantly anti therapeutic milieu for people with mental health or other behavior problems. They’re just not a place for a Level 3 sex offender to reintegrate into society.”




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