While the first state to have a sex offender registration program was California, which occurred in 1947, there was no Federal mandate until 1994. A Federal Statute, called the Jacob Wetterling Act, was passed in 1994, requiring all States to pass individual legislation that required all sex offenders to register in the State in which they reside. Based on a series of New Jersey laws called Megan’s Laws, in 1996 the Federal Government required states to add to their existing sex offender registration laws which mandated the public notification of personal information for certain sex offenders.

After years of work, John Walsh, the host of America’s Most Wanted, was able to have a Federal law passed, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, in honor of his son, Adam Walsh. This law implements uniform, nationwide requirements for sex offender registration across state lines. The main focus of this law is a new National Sex Offender Registry, standardized registration requirements and new and enhanced information regarding criminal offenses related to sex offenders.

In keeping with its proactive approach to crimes against children, the State of Illinois created an additional offender registration, the “Illinois Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act”. Although an offender can be located on both registrations, this separate registration differentiates between sex offenders and violent offenders against youth.

The South Holland Police Department takes a proactive approach to Sex Offender Registration by performing both annual and random verification of residency and checks of the registrant’s home. Another way the South Holland Police Department maintains a proactive stance is that we use our patrol officers to register sex offenders. Many police departments use their detective divisions to handle the registration process, but we believe that since our patrol officers are the ones patrolling our community, they should be having the contact with our registered offenders. This gives our patrol officers the ability to have contact with the offenders, see them in person, and see their place of residence and its vicinity to schools, parks and playgrounds. This approach also lets the convicted offenders know that the officers on the street know who they are, where they live, and of what crime(s) they have been convicted.

The Sex Offender and the Child Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth registrations are updated daily and are searchable by name, city, county and status.