More than 10 percent of sex offenders on parole in Illinois live on Chicago’s South Side in poor black neighborhoods where group homes have been set up, a practice that has angered residents and city leaders, says the Chicago Tribune. The practice of placing sex offenders in poor neighborhoods is unfair, said Alderman Carrie Austin and other local leaders and residents. They are troubled by the fact that many of the sex offenders on parole in Chicago come from downstate and other communities outside city limits. “They dump every damn thing here. It’s a disrespect to our community,” Austin said. “If they’re ours, then we have to accept ours. But [state corrections officials] don’t care–just so they have them off their books at my community’s expense.”
The protests have led state corrections officials to start sending paroled sex offenders to a broader range of communities. Paroled sex offenders must spend time at a transitional facility before they are allowed to return to more permanent homes. Austin said race may help explain why two Chicago wards are the sites of a cluster of group homes. “I just have a feeling that when they’re African-American communities, [state corrections officials] could just care less,” she said. Corrections officials denied that the racial makeup of a neighborhood has any role in where paroled sex offenders are sent.