In 2014’s first three months of this year, the Chicago Police Department turned away sex offenders who wanted to register as required by law 601 times, saying the registration office was at capacity, reports WBEZ radio. “These registrants try and follow the law. They try and report and register and fulfill their duties but the police department doesn't let them and the police department isn't fulfilling their responsibility to the public,” said attorney Patrick Morrissey. He was representing a sex offender who was in jail for failing to register.
The city’s “refusing to register people and causing them to walk the streets unregistered subject to arrest, is unconscionable,” said Morrissey. “You know it doesn't only harm these people who have to register and who are subject to arrest, but it harms the public because it detracts from what this law is about, about keeping track of people.” It's also costly; it costs $52,000 a year to house jail inmates. The Cook County Sheriff's office says that on April 25, there were 190 people in the jail on failure to register charges.