Tennessee Sex Offenders Prohibited from Taking Part in Halloween Activities

October 20, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole has issued restrictions prohibiting the sex offenders it supervises from taking part in Halloween activities. Every state-supervised sex offender in Tennessee has received a letter detailing the restrictions, which apply to any Halloween celebration, festival or other fall/harvest activity.

Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Halloween is different from other holidays because children and adults may wear costumes, and because candy is given as a treat. By issuing restrictions to state-supervised sex offenders, we make clear what they must do to comply with the law at this time. Our goal is to protect the safety of the public, especially children, throughout the Halloween season.”

The letters advise sex offenders that:

• Neither they, nor anyone in their home, can 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.

Probation/Parole Officers have discussed the restrictions with sex offenders under their supervision, and had the offenders sign to acknowledge they understand the conditions. Between now and Halloween, officers will make visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify that offenders are complying with their curfews and the directives.

The Board of Probation and Parole ( www.tn.gov/bopp/ ) is an independent seven-member board whose members are appointed by the Governor. The Board is charged with the responsibility of deciding which eligible felony offenders will be granted parole and released from incarceration to community-based supervision. Along with the supervision of those granted parole, the Board is also responsible for supervising felony offenders who are placed on probation by criminal courts.

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