Press

Wallace Backed Plan to Strengthen Park District Volunteer Screening Standards Signed into Law

09/14/2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. – A measure supported by state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, which would strengthen park district volunteer screening processes and aim to prevent sex offenders from working with children was recently signed into law.

“When a parent drops their child off at a park or signs them up for a park district activity, they deserve to have the peace of mind that the volunteers and staff on location have been appropriately screened,” Wallace said. “Individuals with a history of child sex crimes should never be granted an official position of authority and given access to children.”

The Wallace-backed House Bill 786 strictly prohibits park districts from knowingly engaging a volunteer who has been convicted or found to be a child sex offender. While park districts currently require applicants to authorize an investigation to determine if the applicant has a history of sexual offenses, the new law will now hold volunteers to the same standard.

“Participating in park district programs is an enriching experience for so many children in Rockford and around the state,” Wallace said. “We need to make sure that proper steps are taken to ensure our children’s safety is prioritized.”



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