For some with sex offenses, laws have gotten so crazy, cruel and convoluted that getting released from prison – after serving the time – becomes practically impossible. That’s right, individuals are held in prison months or even years beyond their release dates in Illinois (and other states). Why? Because while still behind bars they must find housing that meets strict state requirements or no release. The Dept. of Corrections claims it doesn’t even know how many are impacted; a 2015 news report put the number at 1,000 annually. This is just another facet of an ongoing human and constitutional rights crisis caused by extremely harsh sex offense laws affecting hundreds of thousands across the country. A battle to stop this robbery of liberty is heating up as a federal class action lawsuit heads to trial in Illinois. Good luck to J.D. Lindenmeier and others similarly trapped in prison, and to their legal eagles Mark Weinberg and Adele Nicholas! Max Green shines a spotlight on this scandal with audio and text reports for WBEZ, Chicago’s National Public Radio affiliate. The lawsuit complaint and other case materials are linked below. Have a look. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire
WBEZ Radio (Chicago, IL) | Nov. 13, 2017
For Illinois Sex Offenders, Six Years Can Turn Into Life In Prison
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By Max Green
Excerpts: J.D. Lindenmeier completed his six-year prison sentence in 2011, but he hasn’t been released because he has nowhere to go. Inmates call these extra years behind bars “dead time.”
He could remain behind bars for the rest of his life if he doesn’t find appropriate housing. For Lindenmeier, that means finding a place to live where, among other things, he is away from children and has no internet-accessible devices like smartphones and smart TVs.
When all of these restrictions are added up — when every school, day care, or park in Illinois is blacked out on a map — there’s a lot of places where someone like Lindenmeier can’t live. On a larger scale, imagine a map of Illinois, with pins on it for each of the 5,000 elementary and high schools across the state. Add 10,000 more pins for each of the registered day care centers. Add more points for public parks, pools, libraries, malls, and other places where minors could congregate.
He’s part of a class-action lawsuit with other Illinois prisoners in similar situations, though the exact number of sex offenders who remain behind bars after their sentence is unknown. That’s because the Illinois Department of Corrections doesn’t track that information, according to IDOC spokeswoman Dede Short.
Story continues, including audio:
Additional coverage: WBEZ’s Max Green stops by Morning Shift to explain his report (AUDIO—13 minutes)
Murphy v. Madigan
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Case No. 16C11471
Complaint filed Dec. 19, 2016:
Other case materials:
Our vision for a just future
1. Abolish pre-crime preventative detention laws
2. Free our friends and loved ones from dehumanizing labels
3. Realign our justice system with the values of restoration and reintegration
Just Future Project is a new initiative focused on challenging pre-crime preventative detention laws. We are a people-driven grassroots advocacy campaign dedicated to building a movement of community members demanding an end to indefinite detention regimes.
Why Is This Important?
Pre-crime preventative detention systems are a dangerous departure from the traditional values of our legal system.
We believe in justice, that persons who have caused harm may be held accountable for their actions. But justice also demands proportionality and due process, elements essential to distinguish justice from mere vengeance. The goal of any true system of justice must be restoration and re-integration, not the perpetual containment and incapacitation that have come to define the U.S. criminal legal system.
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