About 130 Illinois police officers, lawyers, educators, social workers, and state officials agreed at a meeting this week that sheriff’s police need to tell schools about students who are juvenile sex offenders, reports the Chicago Tribune. They did not come to a consensus about how police should protect the community from such offenders. Although police have the authority to share with school administrators the names of juvenile sex offenders, they must often determine with little information the level of risk an offender poses to the community.
Comprehensive information about an offender’s background is essential for police when they decide whether to tell the public about the offender, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. The three-hour discussion, led by Madigan at an office of the Illinois State Police in Des Plaines, took place a week after the Tribune revealed that some schools don’t know about juvenile offenders who are students because of a state system mired in confusion. Although the list of Illinois’ adult sex offenders was accessible to anyone on the Internet, a similar registry of about 1,100 juveniles who have committed sex crimes was largely kept secret.