PRLog - Aug. 22, 2010 - CHICAGO -- Cook County, IL has 4,174 registered sex offenders according to the Illinois State Police. The majority of them are listed as African American. Typically when one thinks of a sexual deviant, they conjure up images of a white man in a long trench coat. But today the guys on the registry do not fit that description. Blacks make up around 26% of the population in Cook County, but 57% of those on the registry, whereas those identifying themselves as white constitute only 32% of the registrants but 56% of Cook County’s population. According to Illinois Department of Corrections, the prison population of Blacks and Whites is 58% and 28% respectively.
It has been long argued and empirical studies have proven that white men receive more leniencies when they appear in a court room. Now it appears that this is true even for sexual crimes. Tom, who asked us not to use his real name, stated that while he was in prison there were generally a few reasons why he would see white men in state prison – child sexual abuse, habitual DUIs, habitual Methamphetamine use/distribution.
Illinois has one of the most oppressive systems that registrants must live under. Just this year alone, twelve new laws have been enacted to further restrict former sex offenders. Studies by both New Jersey and Minnesota Department of Corrections concluded that residency restrictions do not discourage, deter, nor prevent child sexual abuse. In fact, the studies concluded that not one single predatory sexual act occurred near the home of the registrant. Contrarily, most of the crimes took outside of the registrants’
Keep in mind that 90% of child abuse victims say they knew their offender. Empirical studies show that less than 5% of sex offenders reoffend. The biggest threat to Cook County’s urban communities has proven to be burglars, thieves, and gang members. Sex offenders aren’t doing drive-bys or killing Black kids. Sex offenders aren’t out there selling drugs on the corners and robbing the elderly. Sex offenders are occupying the beds in the prisons and the guys who need to be locked up are being released within six months of arriving downstate so that the prisons can house the guys who are less likely to commit another crime.
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The mission of Illinois Voices is to educate the public, the media, law-enforcement, educators, faith-based organizations, and legislators regarding the facts, based on current research, of sexual abuse. We support the prevention of child sexual abuse through carefully structured laws that target violent, forced, and/or dangerous predatory acts of sex against children. Existing laws encompass a wide range of offenders and require the exact same resources be used for both violent, dangerous offenders and those whose offenses were neither violent, forced, or dangerous.