Sex Offender Watch: A Map of Homes to Keep on Your Radar this Halloween
There are 129 registered sex offenders listed as living in Joliet, according to the Illinois Sex Offender Registry.
Patch wants to help Joliet-area parents keep their kids safe this fall. With Halloween and trick-or-treating just a day away, we are providing information about registered sex offenders in the area.
In general, the laws center on sex offenders registering in person each year the local police department. They must do so for a required 10-year registration period, unless they are separately required to register for life. Offenders are prohibited from living within 500 feet of a school, daycare center, youth center or other facility that caters to children younger than 18 years old.
A search of the Illinois Sex Offender Registry lists 129 registered sex offenders living in Joliet, some of whome are identifed as being homeless and others of whom non-compliant, meaning they haven't confirmed their address with the city as required by law.
How the Map Works
The map is interactive, meaning you can zoom in, zoom out, or move it around to see all the plotted points.
Floating your cursor over one of the markers will give you the name of the sex offender and his address. Double clicking on the marker will give you more information about the specific charge.
The yellow markers represent sex offenders who are not listed as sexual predators. The remaining red pins are those who are labeled as sexual predators in the registry.
The term refers to anyone convicted after July 1, 1999 of certain violations in the Criminal Code of 1961. Sexual predators are required to register for their entire lives.
Who Needs to Register?
Persons convicted of misdemeanor or felony sex crimes involving children under age 18 as well as adult victims are required to register their addresses with the local law enforcement agency in the communities where they reside once a year, under the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act. The same rules apply to out-of-state sex offenders who move to or work in Illinois, as well as out-of-state students attending a state college or university.
The Illinois State Police maintain a detailed Sex Offender Registry of all of the state's registered sex offenders that is available to the public. There, citizens can look up and find the registered sex offenders living in their own communities. Local police departments throughout the state feed information about the individual sex offenders registered in their jurisdictions to the state database.
Similar requirements for registration are also in effect for sex crimes committed against adults — especially adults with disabilities.
A sex offender must register annually in person at the local police department for the duration of the required 10-year registration period.
In addition, registered sex offenders are prohibited from residing within 500 feet of a school, daycare center, youth center or other facility catering to children under age 18.
Rules for Halloween
In July 2005, a new state law was passed barring registered sex offenders from participating in any holiday event involving children, including Halloween. This same law also prohibits sex offenders from dressing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
During Halloween, sex offenders are not allowed to distribute candy to children; however, the law does give leeway to sex offenders who are parents or legal guardians of children under age 18 living in the home. While those sex offenders are still barred from handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, other household members can participate in Halloween activities.
To avoid violating the law, registered sex offenders often are advised by police to keep porch lights turned off to avoid attracting children on Halloween and to not answer the door. Registered sex offenders also are prohibited from leaving the house dressed in costumes.
Local Editor Carrie Frillman contributed to this report.