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"The original intent of the registry was to protect children, and I believe we've gone far beyond that," said Tonia Maloney, founder of Illinois Voices for Reform, a group based in Fairview Heights that says the law unfairly stigmatizes low-risk teenage sex offenders.Currently, the law requires that all sex offenders' names and mug shots be posted on the sex offender registry for 10 years. Robert Pritchard, R-Sycamore, the crime itself wouldn't change, but offenders whose victims were at least 14 and who weren't more than 4 years older than the victim could petition for early removal from the list.The Justice Department's Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) today announced 27 awards totaling .5 million to enhance victim services and develop programs to prevent, investigate and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.The awards are made with funds from the Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program (campus program).Critics fear child molesters and sexual predators might be wiped from the registry. Dennis Reboletti, R-Elmhurst, a former prosecutor, objected to giving judges the power to make the decision to remove sex offenders from the registry.Under the proposal, prosecutors would be notified in advance of a petition and given time to prepare a case against the sex offender, but the ultimate decision on how to punish an offender would rest with the judge.Created in 1995, the Office on Violence Against Women provides federal leadership in developing the Nation’s capacity to reduce violence against women through the implementation of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and subsequent legislation.OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Recipients are required to conduct mandatory prevention and education programming for all incoming students and to train campus law enforcement and all members of campus disciplinary boards to respond effectively to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking."I kind of feel like I really don't have a life anymore," Raxter, 22, told an Illinois House committee last week."It doesn't feel good at all to be compared to somebody who's out there raping little children." Some activists are calling for a change to the law so nonviolent offenders who are within four years of age of their sexual partner, like Raxter, could petition a judge to remove their name from the state's sex offender registry.“Coordination between on-and-off campus victim services organizations and the local criminal justice system is critical to providing holistic support and services that victims need and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable.” For more information about the Campus Program, visit The Fiscal Year 2015 grant recipients are: Humboldt State University, Arcata, California; Shasta-Tehama-Trinity Joint Community College, Redding, California; Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield, Conn Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee, Florida; Daytona State College, Daytona Beach, Florida.; Valencia College, Orlando, Florida.; Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, Iowa; Saint Joseph’s College, Rensselaer, Indiana; Washburn University of Topeka, Topeka, Kansas; Salam State University, Salem, Massachusetts; Bates College, Lewiston, Maine; Avila University, Kansas City, Missouri; Mississippi Valley State University, Itta Bena, Mississippi; Salish Kootenai College, Pablo, Montana; Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, North Carolina; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Passaic County Community College, Paterson, New Jersey; The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey.; University of Nevada at Reno, Reno, Neveda; Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.; Cabrini College, Radnor, Pennsylvania.; Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.; University of Puerto Rico at Carolina, Carolina, Puerto Rico; Augustana College (recently renamed Augustana University), Sioux Falls, South Dakota; University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee; University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas; Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood, Washington.