October 31, 2012

Sex offenders tracked on Halloween


---- — ALBANY — Sex offenders under the supervision of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will be closely monitored on Halloween.

Under its Operation Halloween initiative, the agency imposes special conditions on sex offenders who are on parole and living in the community. The program is now in its seventh year.

E Beginning in the early afternoon or immediately following the end of their work day or completion of an approved community program, all sex-offender parolees must remain in their residence until 6 a.m. Thursday.

E Parolees are not permitted to participate in any Halloween activity or wear any costume, mask or other disguise, and they cannot open the door to trick-or-treaters.

E Parolees are required to answer their telephones as parole officers will be making calls throughout the night, as well as conducting unannounced curfew visits. During those visits, parole officers will bring portable DVD players to ensure that parolees are not in possession of inappropriate CDs or DVDs.

“Providing a safe and secure community is our highest priority at any time of the year, but Halloween presents unique challenges, and we take extra precautions to ensure the safety of children as they enjoy this tradition across the state,” DOCCS Commissioner Brian Fischer said in a news release.

“As part of this effort, which began in 2006, our officers impose special conditions, conduct surveillance and make unannounced home visits and curfew checks at sex offender’s residences on Halloween. These efforts provide an additional level of security that helps parents feel that their children are protected and can enjoy Halloween.”

The agency’s Community Supervision staff is responsible for the supervising 2,440 sex offenders on parole statewide.

New Yorkers can learn about registered sex offenders in a variety of ways, with an offender’s risk level determining what information is available and how that information can be accessed.

Information about medium- and high-risk sex offenders is accessible at and via the New York State Public Safety Facebook page: