(1) Does the state require everyone to report child abuse, including sex abuse? No.
(2) Does the law require coaches to report child abuse? Yes. The personnel of a “recreational or athletic program or facility” are required to report. Coaches who work for schools are also required to report on the basis of their school employment.
(3) Does the law require college staff to report child abuse? Yes. “Personnel of institutions of higher education” are explicitly required to report.
(4) Does the law allow jail time for those who fail to properly report abuse? Yes. The punishment for failing to report is a Class A Misdemeanor (up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine) for a first violation and a Class 4 Felony (between one and three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000) for a second or subsequent violation. If the failure to report is part of a cover-up, the punishment is a Class 4 Felony for a first offense and a Class 3 Felony (between two and five years in prison and up to a $25,000 fine) for a second or subsequent offense. The law states that multiple offenses can involve the same person or factual scenario.
Notes: Illinois has a so-called “pass the trash” law embedded in its mandatory reporting law. If a school employee is the subject of an abuse complaint, administrators must disclose the existence of the complaint to any other school which inquires about the employee’s job performance or history; the complaint cannot be hidden. However, this provision of the mandatory reporting law only appears to apply to schools, not colleges or coaches who work outside of schools. Additionally, school employees are required to be trained within one year of employment and once every five years about mandatory reporting requirements. Again, however, this requirement does not appear to apply to coaches outside of schools or to higher education employees.
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