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October 5, 2007

Governor Blagojevich signs law to further restrict child sex offenders, methamphetamine producers
Senate Bill 1397 increases punishments for sex offenders; establishes meth ingredient sales tracking pilot program

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed legislation that puts additional restrictions on child sex offenders and producers of methamphetamine. Senate Bill 1397, sponsored by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and State Representative Deborah L. Graham (D-Oak Park), includes several provisions that crack down on sex offenders, including increasing maximum jail sentences for several types of sex offenses and requiring sex offenders to notify law enforcement within 72 hours of a change in address, employment or school, rather than the current five days.  The law also creates a Pilot Program in Southern Illinois’ Williamson County to track the sale of ingredients used to produce methamphetamine.  
“We must do everything we can to keep our children and our communities safe,” said Gov. Blagojevich.  “I am happy to sign this law that will keep our children safer by implementing common sense restrictions on sex offenders and helping parents to be more aware of the sex offenders living in their communities.  This law will also help law enforcement keep track of individuals who are buying ingredients for meth so that we can stop them before their products get into the hands of our children.”
SB 1397 adds the crime of aggravated child pornography to the list of sex offenses.  Now, individuals convicted of aggravated child pornography will be restricted from residing, loitering, or being present within 500 feet of a school, park, or other facility providing services to children under 18 years of age.  This already applies to persons convicted of other sex offenses against children and adults.  A violation of this provision would result in a prison sentence of 1-3 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000.
SB 1397 also:
  • Prohibits sexual predators and sex offenders who are on parole from possessing prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction.
  • Requires a sexual predator to pay the costs of electronic home monitoring.
  • Increases the maximum sentence for exploitation of a child from a Class 1 felony to a Class X felony, with the maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
  • Increases the maximum penalty for predatory criminal sexual assault on children under the age of 13 by a person 17 years or older to 60 years in prison.
  • Adds the offense of exploitation of a child as an aggravating factor that would increase the penalty for criminal sexual assault from a Class 1 felony to a Class X felony with a maximum sentence increasing to 60 years in prison.
“I was proud to sponsor Jessica’s Law because I believe that keeping communities notified of registrations changes will help to curb contact between sex offenders and children,” said Sen. Harmon.
The legislation prohibits jailed sex offenders from receiving good conduct credit unless they successfully participate in sex offender treatment.  SB 1397 also creates a task force to study the implementation, cost, placement, and effectiveness of transitional housing facilities for sex offenders released from facilities of the Illinois Department of Corrections.  The task force will include two members from the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) appointed by the director, two members from the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, four members each from the Senate and House of Representatives and two members from the Governor’s Office.
The bill also creates the Williamson County Pilot Program to collect and store electronic information pertaining to the sale of meth ingredients.  These electronic logs will contain the name, address and ID type or number of a customer who is purchasing products that can be used to manufacture methamphetamines.  The logs will also provide details of the transaction such as the brand, the amount of the drug, and the time and date of the purchase.  It will also record the pharmacy’s name, address and the DEA code from pharmacies in Franklin, Jackson, Johnson, Saline, Union or Williamson Counties and any other pharmacy that wishes to participate.
“This law will provide people in these counties with unprecedented tools to track the purchases of products that can be used to make methamphetamines,” said Rep. Graham.  “This Program is an unprecedented step toward stopping the people who produce this toxin before they have the opportunity to do so.”
The law takes effect January 1, 2008.


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