For Lindenmeier, that means finding a place to live where, among other things, he is away from children and has no internet-accessible devices like smartphones and smart TVs. But their living situations disqualified them under state law. The rules even prohibit halfway houses from taking in sex offenders. So he remains behind bars, searching for a home.
But Hamilton noted that sex offenders are much less likely to re-offend than most other criminals. For those sex offenders stuck in prison, the laws have left them questioning when they have served their time.
But the laws have also created a situation where Illinois residents must weigh the cost of keeping sex offenders out of their neighborhood. Only then will a parole board re-evaluate offenders and decide when parole should end. Once the term of parole was complete, the prisoner would be released.
They apply to certain sex crimes, such as dissemination of child pornography and aggravated sexual assault, but not for people convicted of crimes like arson, domestic violence, or even murder. Adele Nicholas, an attorney representing Lindenmeier in the class-action lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections, said the current laws are a violations of constitutional rights.
She said lawmakers looking to score political points with voters have created a host of restrictions that make it difficult for felons to leave prison and adjust back into society. On a larger scale, imagine a map of Illinois, with pins on it for each of the 5, elementary and high schools across the state. Add 10, more pins for each of the registered day care centers.
Add more points for public parks, pools, libraries, malls, and other places where minors could congregate. Then, cover virtually the whole map because stipulations also restrict living places with access to the internet.
Trapped in the system Lindenmeier, 34, pleaded guilty in to sexual contact with a minor. But after her daughter turned 18, state rules about internet access in the home pushed her to make an impossible decision. I basically had to choose between my two kids. Alfred Aukema, 43, pleaded guilty in to statutory rape for having sex with a year-old when he was He said his family has gone to great lengths to get him out of prison. They removed photos of children and outfitted their homes with landlines, which the state says is necessary for the GPS tracker Aukema will be required to wear upon release.
As of November, Aukema was still in dead time. Aukema said the restrictions put a financial and emotional toll on poor families. The suit alleges the housing restrictions create a disproportionate burden for poor families. Nekritz, the state representative who retired in September, said she saw that burden firsthand during her 15 years in office. For now, the rules mean Lindenmeier will continue his revolving door of visits to the parole board every six months. To see more, visit WCBU.