• The 2006 Weblog Awards

      Design by

Halloween Could Bring Out Real Ghouls - Watch Your Kids!

I remember when I was a kid, we had to start looking at the candy we got after Trick-or-Treating, just to ensure there were no razor blades in apples or pins in candy bars after some idiots decided it would be entertaining to do such stupid things to kids. 

Now that I have my own children, worrying about pedophiles and child molesters is on the list of "safety tips" for Halloween.  I truly believe that as a parent, I am the number one protector of my children - no one can do it better.  Either my husband or I will go out with the kids as they trick-or-treat, ensuring they are safe from traffic, other kids out to cause trouble, or adults who would enjoy inviting kids in for an inappropriate visit.

There are many communities who are focused on how to protect kids from sexual predators who may be "tempted" by children parading up to their homes - and I applaud their efforts!  There are various approaches to this, ranging from increased in-home visitations to the homes of sex offenders on Halloween night to proposed laws banning sex offenders from participating in Halloween altogether.  Here’s a glimpse:

About 45 registered Level 2 and 3 sex offenders who live in Westchester County, just north of New York City, will receive special invitations to attend an educational program between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Oct. 31, under an initiative spearheaded by Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano. Those who don’t attend will receive a personal visit from probation officers and police. Level 1 sex offenders and those on probation who have committed crimes of a sexual nature will also receive a home visit, according to a statement released by Spano’s office.

"We’ve done home visits on Halloween nights in the past, but this is the first year that we’ve asked sex offenders on probation to come in to our offices," said Victoria Hochman, assistant communications director for the county executive.

Hochman said kids present the same temptation to sex offenders that alcohol presents to alcoholics. Rather than have sex offenders at home and in the position to be tempted by parades of children coming to their doors, Hochman said, the county will offer probationers something constructive and hopefully put parents at ease.

The Halloween initiative does not come in response to a spike in molestations or abductions on the holiday, however. "We have never had an incident on Halloween night," Hochman said. But highly publicized cases of brutal child abductions in recent years have heightened citizen activism and put pressure on local authorities to monitor sex offenders more closely. Westchester County was also the first in the state to use active Global Positioning System bracelets on sex offenders under the supervision of its probation department.

"Given the high recidivism rates with this type of crime, people are very concerned. This could provide some relief for people," Hochman said.

I like this idea, and in my mind it seems as though this would be the best approach.  Removing any high risk offender from the situation all together seems to make the most sense with follow-up for those who don’t attend the activity.

Here are what a few more communities are doing:

  • New Jersey’s state parole board is putting a curfew on some 2,200 sex offenders it supervises.  Sex offenders need to be indoors by 7pm on Halloween and can’t answer their doors.  They can’t attend parties where children are present as well and can’t take children - including their own - out to trick-or-treat.

  • In Parker County, TX (west of Forth Worth), 42 registered sex offenders on probation will have to spend the evening at county offices.  They state, again, that this is proactive, in order to prevent any issues as well as "protect" the sex offenders from any false accusations.  Eh, the latter isn’t as important to me, but it may temper the heat the ACLU may attempt to throw their way. 

  • Lastly, a Michigan state lawmaker wants to ban sex offenders from Halloween. State representative Fran Amos of Waterford introduced a bill that would prohibit convicted sex offenders from handing out candy and could be passed in time for Halloween.  This most recent action has ruffled the feathers of the ever criminal protective ACLU, who states this is unconstitutional.  I say let’s invite said sex offenders over to the house of the ACLU’s Shelli Weisberg on Halloween - she can entertain them.  Oh, and let’s hope she doesn’t have young children.

Again, the best thing we can do is be good parents - get out with your kids to ensure their safety.  And if you’re like us, maybe you can "trick-or-beer" at the same time!


Punta del Cappello to Jay and Ace of Spades 

Portia Rediscovered linked with Freedom Fighters
Cotillion linked with Freedom Fighters