originally posted 6/9/2009
It just amazes me how the registry laws are in effect, yet even the police have no idea what the “actual” laws are. Here’s what has taken place . . . when my son was first put on the sex offender registry, he went to the police department and told them where he was working (his manager kept his job for the 3 months he was in jail). The police told him that he could not work there because there was a school across the street and it fell within the 500 feet restriction. His manager then transferred him to another store in another city and again, the police told him he had to quit because it was across the street from a high school. They actually went into the store and told the manager that he could not work there – imagine the embarrassment of that one.
Well, during the last month or so I have been writing and writing my state representatives, senators, governor, etc. explaining how terrible these laws are and the fact that my son cant even get a job anymore (among several other issues). Well, apparently, the Governor forwarded one of my letters to the Illinois State Police and they responded – I received the attached letter on Saturday stating that the restrictions of 500 feet DID NOT include employment, only residency and loitering. So of course, I go up to the police department this morning and showed them the letter. They are even more confused than I am. The police officer I spoke with this morning told me that he never thought there was a restriction for employment and he wasn’t sure who told us there was. I explained to him that 3 police officers in “this” department told us that and 2 detectives in the other city said the same thing. He went to talk to his Sergeant and came back out and told me that no where in his copy of the law did it state that my son could not work within 500 feet of a school and that it only applied to residency and loitering. He told me to call the State Police for clarification. I held up the letter and said, “You would think a letter from Director of the Illinois State Police would be clarification.” He agreed, but gave me a number to call. He also said that he did not believe my son should even be on the registry in the first place.
How can 2 separate police departments in 2 different cities not know what the laws are that they are “supposed” to be enforcing? Or, could it be possible that the actual “Director” of the state police, who runs the registries, doesn’t know? I’ll find out today. Plus, to top things off, when I called another police department in a totally different city to find out how to get my son’s property back they took when they arrested him (including a $300 camera which he needs back to re-enroll in school), they don’t have a clue where it is. I was transferred 3 times before I was disconnected. And, you might remember a couple months ago when my son got a letter from the Secretary of State saying that they were cancelling his license until he was compliant with the sex offender registry – which he was – and when we took this information to the DMV, we were told that the license had to expire “before” he could renew it. He waited 3 days before they were open again to renew it just to find out that the lady at the DMV who told us this didn’t know what she was talking about. He sat in his apartment for 3 days afraid to drive and it was a lie.
I guess I’m just venting here, but it really amazes me how these terrible laws are in effect in the first place and then to find out that nobody even knows what the laws are or how to enforce them.