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Sex Offender Registries a Problem Across the Country

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Illinois is struggling to keep track of sex offenders across the state. More than 500 registered sex offenders have failed to update their status with authorities. The state doesn’t know the whereabouts of another 200.

Scott Berkowitz is the president of the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network. He says states nationwide have had similar problems.

BERKOWITZ: When the programs aren’t implemented well, and thousands of sex offenders go missing, it hurts lots of victims. They lose that certainty of knowing that they’re keeping their distance. Many of them will live in fear that their attacker could be anywhere.

Yesterday, Illinois authorities announced they arrested 40 non-compliant sex offenders and discovered the whereabouts of almost 200 more. That was over the course of a two month operation in partnership with the U-S Marshals Service.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general says the state has struggled for more than 6 years to keep track of sex offenders in Illinois because of a lack of resources. Almost three thousand sex offenders are registered in the city of Chicago.

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