« "Victim Gender and the Death Penalty" | Main | Without much to say about the Second Amendment, SCOTUS gives broad reading to federal firearm possession crime »

March 25, 2014

Illinois commission advocates against putting all juve sex offenders on registry

As explained in this AP article, headlined "Commission: Remove Juveniles From Sex Offender Registries," a new public policy report urges Illinois officials to no longer require juvenile sex offenders to register. Here are the basics:

Requiring juveniles to register as sex offenders impairs rehabilitation efforts for a crime that very few of them ever commit again, according to a study released Tuesday.  The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission’s report recommends ending the practice of making offenders younger than 17 add their names to sex-offender registries, which can negatively affect an offender for years.  Every juvenile convicted of a sex crime must register, and 70 percent of the 2,553 currently registered must do so for life, the report said.

The 150-page review of laws and treatment practices regarding juvenile sex crimes calls for the state to abolish the categorical requirement for young offenders’ registration.  The report [available here], which the General Assembly requested in 2012, says sex crimes committed in youth are seldom repeated in adulthood and that individualized, community-based treatment plans are highly effective and more productive than incarceration.

“Automatic, categorical registries do not protect public safety,” commission chairman George Timberlake, a retired chief circuit judge from Mount Vernon, told The Associated Press.  “There’s no evidentiary basis that says they do and more importantly, they have very negative consequences in the effects they have on the offenders’ life, and perhaps the victim’s life.”

Timberlake said the victim, often a family member, loses confidentiality through offender registration and can also suffer from not being able to resume a familial relationship with an offender who is required to register.  He added that a registry might be appropriate based on risk.  Many states offer courts flexibility.

The report recommends developing statewide standards and training for courts and law enforcement professionals for intervening with young sex offenders and victims.  It also calls for a consistent assessment tool for evaluating risks an individual juvenile poses. Also, the report says, offenders whenever possible should be kept in treatment programs in their homes that involve parents as opposed to locking them up.

March 25, 2014 at 07:14 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e201a73d99c1cc970d

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Illinois commission advocates against putting all juve sex offenders on registry:

Comments

no shit shurlock. sad thing is it all applies to adults as well.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 25, 2014 7:18:23 PM

I'm going to disappoint the pro-defense types here who are fond of calling me (and my wife) a kapo by agreeing that not all juvenile offenders should be on the registry.

I do this for the same reason I favor keeping the death penalty available for juries to impose: It's unwise to decide the exact punishment before you know the facts of the offense.

Just as there some murders so grotesque that nothing but the death penalty even resembles justice, there are some juvenile sex offenses so readily explained by the fact the juveniles are not equipped to handle sex and decisions involving sex very well. In those instances where maturing actually does seem like a realistic hope (as opposed to a defense shrink's shake-and-jive), the registry creates too many longtime disabilities to be considered a uniformly applicable remedy.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 25, 2014 8:15:32 PM

// "... they have very negative consequences in the effects they have on the offenders’ life,
and perhaps the victim’s life.” //

--- The victim's life? Speaking of there being, “no evidentiary basis.”

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 25, 2014 8:46:57 PM

|"Timberlake said the victim, often a family member, loses confidentiality through offender registration,”|

-- Same with adult perpetrators, right?
Victims also suffer as much whether the perpetrator is 17 & 364 days old, or 18.
Do everything possible to protect the confidentiality of the victim, why can you not?

Nonetheless, do not choose to liberate the abuser out of
fear of failing to ensure confidentiality.

Posted by: Adamakis | Mar 25, 2014 9:28:58 PM

Bill,

Are you going you going to get your "Official Internet Victim: Wife Called Kapo" card laminated? The corners are getting very worn from constant use.

Posted by: Skeptical | Mar 26, 2014 12:39:09 AM

Skeptical --

I see you find the problem to be my mentioning the slur against my family, not the low life who did the slurring. Quite revealing.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 26, 2014 1:58:06 AM

"“Automatic, categorical registries do not protect public safety,” commission chairman George Timberlake, a retired chief circuit judge from Mount Vernon, told The Associated Press. “There’s no evidentiary basis that says they do and more importantly, they have very negative consequences in the effects they have on the offenders’ life, and perhaps the victim’s life.”

Quick lawyer question.

Has there been a defense motion for a Daubert or Frye hearing on this aspect of sentencing? Daubert standards apply to the criminal trial. Do they apply to the sentencing phase? If never done, why not?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 26, 2014 3:52:07 AM

Daubert is not a constitutional standard. It is merely an interpretation of the previous version of the Rule governing the admissibility of scientific or expert testimony (Rule 702 of the Federal Rules of Evidence.) It was incorporated into the latest version of Rule 702.

Rule 1101(d) of the Federal Rules of Evidence states that the Rules of Evidence do not apply to sentencing proceedings. Therefore no.

Posted by: the power of google | Mar 26, 2014 10:16:40 AM

As for states, most states also follow the rule that their respective rules of evidence do not apply to the sentencing phase. Since Daubert and Frye are the standards for expert testimony under the respective rules of evidence, they do not apply and a hearing will not be granted.

Posted by: the power of google | Mar 26, 2014 3:19:11 PM

Kapo - I had to look that up........it fits!

Posted by: Book38 | Mar 26, 2014 9:43:53 PM

Power: Thanks for the useful information.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Mar 26, 2014 11:27:47 PM

I think there is some idea that evidence at sentencing must have some minimum threshold of reliability as a matter of due process. However, I don't think you will find too many published opinions where that minimum threshold was not met.

Posted by: Tim Holloway | Mar 27, 2014 10:28:01 AM

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB