October 31, 2012
Two laws sponsored by State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) prohibiting convicted sex offenders from handing out candy to children on Halloween may ease some parents’ minds on Oct. 31.
“These laws stem from real incidents brought to my attention that occurred in Decatur and Morris, Illinois. These are not hypothetical situations; there are truly child sex offenders who use holiday events to inappropriately interact with children,” explained Dillard. “Sex offenders are already restricted from schools, parks and other places where children are present. Similarly, I do not believe child sex offenders should have the option of participating in holiday events catering to kids.”
A 2005 Dillard law (House Bill 121/PA 94-0159) prohibits sex offenders from participating in any holiday event involving children younger than 18 years of age as a condition of their probation, parole, mandatory supervised release or conditional discharge. A more recent law (SB 3579/PA 97-0699) sponsored by Sen. Dillard this year restricts all child sex offenders from participating in these same types of holiday events. Offenders who break these laws may be subject to fines or revocation of their parole or probation, and could face additional jail time.
Sen. Dillard joined Attorney General Lisa Madigan in encouraging parents to check the state’s Sex Offender Registry Web site at http://www.isp.state.il.us/sor/ to plan safe trick-or-treating routes for their children.
“It’s always a good idea to be aware of any sex offenders living in your neighborhood, and then plan your Halloween route accordingly,” said Dillard. “The Illinois State Police (ISP) caution that Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for children. However, being aware of potential hazards and being prepared will help ensure a happy, safe Halloween night!”