Some principals were not told that young sex offenders had enrolled in their schools, because the state system designed to notify them is mired in confusion, the Chicago Tribune reports. While the state list of adult sex offenders is accessible on the Internet, a similar registry of about 1,100 juveniles who have committed sex crimes is largely secret. State law says school officials are supposed to be told by sheriff’s police when a juvenile sex offender is enrolled, but some sheriffs decline to divulge the names.
In recent weeks, the Tribune informed officials at several suburban schools that at least one of their students was on the state registry for committing a sex crime. In each case, school officials did not know because of a breakdown–sheriff’s departments and police officials misunderstood the law and their responsibilities. In Chicago, officials say the system is working. The Chicago Police Department has registered roughly 60 juvenile sex offenders and has a procedure for informing school officials.