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IL: For Illinois sex offenders, six years can turn into life in prison

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.”

The Rockford native committed a sex crime, and in order to get out of prison he has to meet the state’s long list of rigid parole requirements for those convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault. 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.

Lindenmeier said he couldn’t afford his own apartment, so he turned to his family for help. But their living situations disqualified them under state law. He said his father lived too close to a park, his mother had a computer and smartphone, his sister had small children, and his dad’s girlfriend’s home was too close to a day care center. The rules even prohibit halfway houses from taking in sex offenders. So he remains behind bars, searching for a home.

And Lindenmeier isn’t alone.

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