ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – A measure sponsored by state Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, to provide greater protections for children enrolled in local park district programs by prohibiting districts from knowingly using volunteers who have been found to be child predators is now law.
“As a father, I understand parents’ concerns when leaving their children in the care and supervision of another adult,” Halpin said. “Anyone who works with or has access to children through park district programs should be thoroughly vetted and held to the highest standard.”
Halpin’s House Bill 786 forbids local park districts from utilizing the services of any volunteer with a history of committing sexual abuse against children. The new law requires all park district volunteers to fill out an application and disclose if they have been found to be a child sex offender. Failure to disclose this information would be considered a Class A misdemeanor, and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent violation, punishable by up to a week in jail.
“Many park districts already conduct background checks on potential volunteers, but this legislation provides parents with additional peace of mind by requiring it,” Halpin said. “When it comes to the safety of our children, it is critical that we take every precaution against individuals with a dangerous or predatory past.”
For more information, please contact Halpin’s full-time constituent service office at 309-558-3612 or at email@example.com.