Across Illinois, about 18,000 convicted sex offenders are out of prison and walking free. Some 90 percent of them have registered with police, which requires them to simply tell local law enforcement where they live. Only 5,300 are on parole or probation, meaning that more than two-thirds of the state’s convicted rapists, child molesters, and other sexual predators are not monitored in any way, says the Boston Globe.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants to add Illinois to a list of states — including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island — that impose some sort of lifetime parole or probation on certain convicted sex offenders. In Illinois, where there is a 51 percent recidivism rate for sex offenders, compared to 55 percent of all ex-convicts, those convicted of rape or other sexual assaults generally are on parole for just two to three years after they are released. “That is just insufficient for our rapists and these other sex offenders,” said Madigan. She has strong backing from law enforcement groups, corrections officials, and some 30 members in the House. Andrea Lyon, president of the Illinois Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers says lifetime parole would be “an unmitigated disaster. Anybody who remains on lifetime parole remains unemployed for the rest of their lives.”