For Immediate Release
*****I-SORT HALLOWEEN POSTER AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA*****
MADIGAN REMINDS FAMILIES TO “KNOW THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS” AND PLAN SAFE HALLOWEEN ROUTES
Chicago – With Halloween around the corner, Attorney General Lisa Madigan reminds Illinois families to “know their neighborhoods” as they plan safe trick-or-treat routes for their children by going online to the state’s Sex Offender Registry Web site at www.isp.state.il.us.
Madigan noted that while there were over 350,000 visits to the Illinois Sex Offender Registry last month alone and over 3.8 million visits to the site since January 1, 2006, many Illinoisans have yet to take advantage of the online resource and all parents are encouraged to visit the registry before Halloween trick-or-treating.
“On Halloween, Illinois children will be visiting houses all across their neighborhoods. This is a critical time for parents to take advantage of the Sex Offender Registry and know their neighborhoods. Parents can help to keep their children keep safe by checking the Sex Offender Registry and learning who lives in those houses,” Madigan said. “With 87 percent of Illinois registered sex offenders having assaulted a child, parents are urged to use this critical resource.”
Madigan also noted that Illinois law prohibits sex offenders on parole, mandatory supervised release or probation from distributing candy or other items to children on Halloween.
In December 2003, Madigan created the Illinois Sex Offender Registry Team (I-SORT) to improve Illinois’ sex offender registry and increase the compliance rate of registered sex offenders. In April 2003, I-SORT launched a statewide public awareness campaign to educate Illinoisans about the registry and the information available on the site. Madigan’s office also established a toll-free hotline – 1-888-41-ISORT – which the public and law enforcement can call with questions about the registry and with tips about non-compliant sex offenders. Since creating I-SORT in late 2003, the Illinois compliance rate has jumped from 86% to almost 93% on October 1, 2006. There are approximately 18,000 registered sex offenders in Illinois.
Members of I-SORT include Madigan, Secretary of State Jesse White, ISP, IDOC, the Chicago Police Department, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.