Oak Lawn police are about to embark on their semi-annual sweep of the village's 28 sex offenders under supervision and/or parole in 2013. While that number has remained the same since last year, some individuals have moved out and others have moved into Oak Lawn during the past 12 months.
See the INTERACTIVE MAP of Oak Lawn’s registered sex offenders.
The operation confirming the addresses of 28 registered sex offenders is one of two conducted each year by village police. Around Halloween, police visit the homes of registrants and remind them of the rules and regulations affecting registered sex offenders in Illinois that bars them from passing out candy to trick-or-treaters or leaving their home dressed in costume.
Police confirm addresses, place of and/or changes in employment, and vehicle registration, including make, model and license plate. Any changes in the aforementioned, state statutes require registered sex offenders to notify their local police department.
As for monitoring the village’s registered sex offenders’ activities on Halloween (Oct. 31), police keep their activities for that day close to the vest. As in past years, Oak Lawn's registered sex offenders never know if police will show to make sure they're complying with state laws and statutes.
While local police will be doing their part, the best way to make Halloween safe for everyone is for adults—parents, grandparents, babysitters—to accompany children as they make their candy rounds around the neighborhood.
Rules for Halloween
In July 2005, a new state law was passed barring registered sex offenders from participating in any holiday event involving children, including Halloween. This same law also prohibits sex offenders from dressing as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
During Halloween, sex offenders are not allowed to distribute candy to children; however, the law does give leeway to sex offenders who are parents or legal guardians of children under age 18 living in the home. While those sex offenders are still barred from handing out candy to trick-or-treaters, other household members can participate in Halloween activities.
Click on names of offenders to see type of offense, age of victim, etc.
To avoid violating the law, registered sex offenders often are advised by police to keep porch lights turned off to avoid attracting children on Halloween and to not answer the door. Registered sex offenders also are prohibited from leaving the house dressed in costumes.
"They can wear a costume if they are home," Master Sgt. Isiah Vega, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police told Oak Lawn Patch last year. "But if they leave the house in costume, it's considered participating in a holiday event involving children."
Registered sex offenders who break the rules may be subject to fines or revocation of their parole or probation.
Who Needs to Register?
Persons convicted of misdemeanor or felony sex crimes involving children under age 18 as well as adult victims are required to register their addresses with the local law enforcement agency in the communities where they reside once a year, under the Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act. The same rules apply to out-of-state sex offenders who move to or work in Illinois, as well as out-of-state students attending a state college or university.
The Illinois State Police maintain a detailed Sex Offender Registry of all of the state's registered sex offenders that is available to the public. There, citizens can look up and find the registered sex offenders living in their own communities. Local police departments throughout the state feed information about the individual sex offenders registered in their jurisdictions to the state database.
Similar requirements for registration are also in effect for sex crimes committed against adults — especially adults with disabilities.
A sex offender must register annually in person at the local police department for the duration of the required 10-year registration period.
In addition, registered sex offenders are prohibited from residing within 500 feet of a school, daycare center, youth center or other facility catering to children under age 18.