A new report from the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission argues that young people convicted of sex crimes should be removed from the state’s "counter-productive" sex offender registry.
According to the report issued Tuesday by the commission, there is “no evidence that subjecting youth to registries improves public safety or reduces the risk of future offending.”
State law would ultimately need to be altered in order to keep juveniles off of the state's sex offender registry.
Among other recommendations, the report states that, whenever possible and appropriate, young people convicted of sexual offenses should be allowed to reside at home, "which research shows can bolster public safety more effectively than incarceration."
Youth sex offenders, according to the report, remain in detention centers twice as long on average than young people who are detained for all other crimes. Of the all the youth that enter juvenile detention facilities, only 2 percent are incarcerated because they committed a sexual offense.
According to the commission, the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice could save between $60,000 to $100,000 in detention expenses for each youth offender annually if the state moved to more individualized intervention approaches that are community and family focused.
Meanwhile, the commission found that "the number of youth arrested for sexual offenses in Illinois is small and has declined." In 2010, there were 232 youth arrests for sex offenses statewide. That's less than the 434 arrests in 2004.