OP-ED: Teens and the Sex Offender Registry, No Good Outcomes for Anyone
by Judge George Timberlake, Retired
To read this article on the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange website, click here.
The day before, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission (IJJC), which I chair, released its nearly two-yearlong study entitled “Improving Illinois’ Response to Sexual Offenses Committed by Youth”. So, I used it as an example. We found that the number of sexual offenders in our juvenile justice system is very small — 232 arrests in 2010 — and 50 percent of those kids were 14 years old or younger.
The offenses charged were the alleged result of a very wide range of behavior from inappropriate exposure to touching or fondling to sexual penetration. Furthermore, national and Illinois studies reveal that the vast majority of these youth have not acted in response to a deviant sexual arousal or a focused intent to harm others. The victims in the majority of these cases are family members or persons known to the youth.