Sex offenders banned from Halloween activities

(WVLT/BOPP) -- The Board of Probation and Parole’s officers are again enforcing Halloween and fall festival restrictions against sex offenders under the agency’s supervision.

Each sex offender has signed a letter acknowledging that they are prohibited from participating in Halloween activities. BOPP Chairman Charles Traughber said, “The safety of Tennessee’s communities is the top job for our staff all year long. But each year, we inform sex offenders under our supervision that Halloween and fall festival activities are inappropriate for them. The offenders also sign a letter acknowledging they understand and will comply with these restrictions.”

The letters advise sex offenders that:

• They cannot answer the door to trick or treaters on Halloween;
• They cannot pass out candy;
• Their homes cannot be decorated for Halloween, either inside or outside;
• They cannot host Halloween parties at their homes;
• They cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
• They cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
• They cannot give any Halloween treats to children;
• They cannot wear costumes and
• They cannot take any child trick or treating.

BOPP probation and parole officers are enforcing the restrictions throughout the season. BOPP Field Services Director Gary Tullock said, “Officers are making additional visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify that sex offenders are in compliance with these restrictions. On many visits, probation and parole officers will be accompanied by local law enforcement officers for added emphasis on the importance of complying with these restrictions.”

To stay safe this Halloween, follow these tips by

• Have an agreed upon route. Plan a trick-or-treating course that takes your child through well-lit, heavily populated areas of the neighborhood. That way, if you need to find her in a hurry, you’ll know where to start.
• Have your child carry a cell-phone, and check in with them at regular intervals. This gives them freedom as well as security: if they see an awesome haunted house up the hill, have them call and let you know they’re deviating from the route.
• Have “what if?” conversations with your child. What would you do if someone bigger and older took your candy? What would you do if someone dared you to egg a house, or to smash a jack o’lantern? By preparing them for every eventuality, you’re giving yourself and your child some peace of mind.
• When trick-or-treating, tell your child to accept candy only when the door is open, and to never go inside someone’s house, except in an emergency. This counts for neighbors, older brothers of friends, and anyone else your child might encounter, as well as “strangers.”

Other tips include, checking the sex offender registry in your area. Many areas give you access to this by visiting


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