The approach of Halloween brings with it lots of interesting sex offender issues, which we have frequently blogged about. Recently, the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole has notified sex offenders on supervised release that they cannot participate in Halloween activities involving children. You may view the complete list of restrictions here. Officials in Albany, New York have done the same. From the article:
The restrictions do not apply to sex offenders who are no longer under the supervision of the agency, which generally extends through their time on probation or parole. Thus they do not apply to those on the state's sex offender registry who are no longer under Board of Probation and Parole supervision, nor those who have met the criteria and been removed from the registry, the agency's communications director, Melissa McDonald, said today.
The restrictions are not new and have been enforced in recent years, although they have not been broadly publicized as the board is doing this year. "Our goal is to protect the safety of the public, especially children, throughout the Halloween season," the board's executive director, Bo Irvin, said in a press release issued today. "By reminding offenders of the restrictions upon them, and the consequences of non-compliance, we make the harvest season safer for Tennessee families."
Every state-supervised sex offender in Tennessee has received, through their probation or parole officer, a document detailing the restrictions and the consequences of non-compliance for their signature. Officers are also making announced and unannounced visits to verify that offenders are abiding by restrictions and the terms of their curfews.
The Halloween panic is always predictable, but I'm still waiting for any evidence that children are at greater risk on Halloween than any other day of the year. While kids are out and about, they are often among other children and/or supervised by adults. Further, the kids whereabouts are pretty well known to the parents (at least within a certain radius). If a child is victimized or disappears on Halloween, I'm sure the police will go right to the area sex offenders. That seems like a pretty good deterrent for crimes on that particular day.