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October 1 , 2008

MADIGAN, I-SORT PARTNERS ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF MADISON COUNTY SEX OFFENDER COMPLIANCE CHECKS

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that investigators from her office and Illinois Sex Offender Registry Team (I-SORT) partners conducted compliance checks early Tuesday in Granite City, Madison and Venice to ensure that sex offenders are living at the locations where they are registered and not evading detection by law enforcement officials.

"The sex offender registration laws only work if we enforce them and police know the whereabouts of sex offenders registered in their communities," Madigan said. "As part of our ongoing community protection work, we partner with local law enforcement to verify that sex offenders in our towns and cities are where they say they are."

Officers from the police departments in Granite City, Madison and Venice teamed with investigators from Madigan's office and the Illinois State Police in targeting 73 convicted sex offenders to verify their compliance with Illinois' sex offender registration laws.

Specifically, I-SORT investigators worked with Granite City Police to check the status of 50 sex offenders. During the compliance check, the investigators located 38 of the offenders and determined that they are in compliance with the registration laws. The remaining 12 offenders were not at home. Investigators left I-SORT notices for these offenders with instructions to call the I-SORT hotline within 24 hours. If an offender fails to respond to the notice, he may be deemed non-complaint with the requirements of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act and that may result in the issuance of a warrant or other enforcement action.

"We recognize that public safety involves a team effort and we welcome the opportunity for Granite City Police to work with Attorney General Madigan to help ensure the safety of our citizens," said Police Chief Richard Miller.

I-SORT investigators checked on 14 registered sex offenders in Madison and confirmed that 10 were in compliance with the law. The investigators left I-SORT notices for 3 offenders, instructing them to immediately call the I-SORT hotline. The investigators determined that the remaining offender is not in compliance with the registration laws.

"Sex offenders can represent a group of dangerous persons and we have a responsibility to make sure that they are residing at the place they are supposed to be," said Madison Police Chief Steven Shelby.

Also on Tuesday, Madigan's office and I-SORT investigators checked on nine registered sex offenders in Venice and found that six of the offenders were in compliance with the law, two were deemed non-compliant and one notice was left for an offender not at home with instructions to contact the I-SORT hotline immediately.

"The sex offender registry law is one component to a safer community," said Venice Police Chief Shawn Tyler. "We're excited to have the opportunity to work with Attorney General Madigan and the Illinois State Police to help ensure registered offenders comply with the law."

Madigan said that when offenders are determined as non-compliant, her office and the participating I-SORT members work to ensure that they come into compliance with all facets of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act.

Madigan created I-SORT in December 2003 to ensure greater compliance with the state's sex offender registration laws. Since then, I-SORT has undertaken comprehensive and ongoing efforts to improve the registration process and solve problems with the system. Led by Madigan's office, I-SORT members have conducted targeted raids and used tips from the sex offender hotline to locate non-compliant offenders, worked to improve the accuracy of the information on the sex offender Web site and launched a public awareness campaign to publicize the importance of the Web site as a tool to protect families.

"Knowing where sex offenders reside within our communities is critical to the safety of the citizens of Illinois," said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent. "Periodic compliance checks provide an important tool in maintaining public safety and keep sex offenders on notice that the sex offender registry laws are aggressively enforced."

As of August 31, 2008, Illinois State Police records list 19,998 registered sex offenders and compliance with Illinois' sex offender registration requirements now stands at 92.7 percent. Madigan said that when I-SORT was formed, 86 percent of Illinois' sex offenders were compliant with the registration requirements. Madigan noted that while I-SORT members are pleased with this increase in compliance, they are continuing their extensive and aggressive efforts to improve the accuracy and usefulness of the information on the registry.

Interested individuals can access the Illinois Sex Offender Registry at www.isp.state.il.us and the Attorney General's I-SORT Hotline at 1-888-41-ISORT.

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