Almost everyone is familiar with the Sex Offender Registry, the registry where those convicted of certain sex crimes must record their information as a matter of public record as a means to keep the public safe.
Have you heard of another registry, though? It’s called the Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry, and it is neither as widely publicized nor widespread as the other one. In fact, it only exists in five states: Oklahoma, Indiana, Kansas, Montana, and Illinois.
If you’ve been convicted for murder or another violent crime against youth, here’s what you need to know about the Illinois State Police Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry.
What is the Murder and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry?
The Murder and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry is a public list of names, recent photos, and addresses of some convicts who live in the state.
The registry was originally created in order to facilitate the access of information about people convicted of certain crimes against youth.
The list does not represent threat level or chance to re-offend in the future, but merely provides information about those who have committed certain crimes.
In other words, it’s based solely on their conviction record and not on their level of threat to the community.
Who Must Register for the Registry?
The Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act offers details for the considerations of the registry.
According to the Act, if someone is convicted or adjudicated of any of these crimes against someone under the age of 18, then they must register:
- Home invasion
- Unlawful restraint
- Aggravated kidnapping
- Child abduction
- Domestic battery that results in bodily harm
- Aggravated unlawful restraint
- Aggravated domestic battery
- Aggravated battery of a child
- Aggravated battery of an unborn child
- Aggravated battery with a firearm
- Ritualized abuse of a child
- Forcible detention
- First-degree murder of a child
- An effort to perpetrate any of the crimes listed above
Does the Registry Really Help Illinoisans?
The Illinois State Police keep the registry according to the direction of the state legislature. It is meant to help the public more easily access information about those who have been convicted of violent crimes in the past involving children.
Even before they created this registry, this information was available to the public. Now, it’s simply easier to find. This isn’t necessarily a good thing for those involved, however.
Of course, keeping children safe is a priority and should be, but those who have been convicted of crimes involving children in the past are being impacted far beyond paying their debt to society.
They find that registering now has a negative impact on their lives long after they’ve served their time in prison and have put in the work to rebuild their lives after their sentence. For some people, the registry acts as a continuing form of punishment.
We recognize that allowing victims to track those who harmed them is important, but there’s a balancing act that must be maintained between public safety and privacy for those that have made mistakes in the past.
If you’re facing charges involving violence toward a child or you have been convicted in the past and now must register, it’s vital to know your rights.
Consult with an experienced attorney about your case, and ask for help mounting a defense that can best prevent you from ending up on the registry in a way that can have a negative impact on the rest of your life.
About the Author
Sami Azhari has been working as a lawyer since 2007, after receiving his Juris Doctor from the Michigan State University College of Law. He has handled numerous state and federal cases and is known throughout the Chicago and Rolling Meadows area for providing his clients with high-quality, skilled representation. He has been recognized by Avvo (2013 and 2018), SuperLawyers (2015-2020), The National Trial Lawyers, and other notable organizations, and has spoken at a number of legal conferences.