IL bill would take social media away from juveniles charged with crimes

IL lawmaker suggests social media penalties for juvenile offenders

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Should the state of Illinois take away the social media accounts of juveniles who have a run-in with the law?

That's what one lawmaker wants.

The bill's sponsor says teens can lose their way for a number of reasons but the last thing they should be doing is posting anything to social media to get them into even more trouble.

Under existing law, courts can keep a minor from associating with certain people, such as gang members.

This bill goes a step further.

Senator John Mulroe says he's seen it before; a kid winds in front a judge accused of a crime and later finds himself in even more trouble for posting something to social media.

"They don't always make the best decisions and if you are warned ahead of time by a judge to not do anything silly on social, maybe that will prevent you from doing it," he said.

Senator Mulroe says the bill is about protecting the minors.

"You're already charged with a crime, by doing, putting someone on social media, specifically carrying a gun, possessing a gun or showing your arms crossed with guns that is going to get you in more trouble," said Senator Mulroe.

The bill would allow courts to hold pretrial hearings to determine whether to ban a juvenile charged with a crime from accessing social media.

Law enforcement would have access to his or her social media accounts.

Some minors agree, if ever in trouble, you should lose some privileges.

"It's a privilege, you did the crime and you are going to lose something in the end. There is no reason for them to have that freedom for something that got them in trouble," said John Seabaugh.

"If they are really in trouble than they should be blocked from social media as a form of punishment if nothing else," said Justin Rosati

Under this law, law enforcement would also have be able to remove any photographs of firearms or other dangerous weapons from those social media accounts effective immediately.

The bill is currently in a subcommittee with no future hearings scheduled.

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