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May 22, 2009

MADIGAN, I-SORT PARTNERS ANNOUNCE RESULTS OF EAST ST. LOUIS AREA 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 Thursday morning of 121 registered sex offenders in East St. Louis and vicinity to ensure that they are living at the locations where they are registered and not evading detection by law enforcement officials.

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

As a result of this week's check, the I-SORT team found that 31 offenders were not in compliance with Illinois' sex offender registration laws. Attorney General Madigan noted that her office and the participating I-SORT members will investigate and work to ensure that these offenders are located and come into compliance with all facets of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act. Sixty-three offenders were determined to be in compliance with the sex offender registration laws.

The East St. Louis Police Department teamed with investigators from Madigan's office, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Illinois State Police in targeting the convicted sex offenders residing in East St. Louis and the nearby communities of Centreville, Alorton, Washington Park and Fairmont City. ISORT compliance check participants left "notices to comply with reporting" at the residences of 27 offenders who did not answer or were not home when investigators arrived. If an offender fails to respond to the notice by calling the I-SORT hotline within 24 hours, he may be deemed non-complaint with the requirements of the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act, which may result in the issuance of a warrant or other enforcement action.

Attorney General 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 Jonathon Monken. "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 May 1, 2009, Illinois State Police records list 20,436 registered sex offenders and compliance with Illinois' sex offender registration requirements now stands at 92.8 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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