Sex offender danger at Halloween — truth or fiction?

On October 31, towns and cities all over the United States will enforce ordinances prohibiting registered sex offenders and their households from participating in Halloween activities. These restrictions generally require registrants to wear no costumes, remain off the streets during trick-or-treat hours, display no lights or decorations at their homes, and give out no candy.

More extreme jurisdictions will also require a sign posted at their homes alerting the public of their presence. Others may require anyone on probation or parole to gather at a special location for specific supervision on Halloween night.

All of this hysterical activity is predicated on a terribly flawed assumption—or at least the appearance of such an assumption—that people who have preyed on children in the past will naturally decide to take advantage of Halloween’s supposed opportunity to seek new victims.

But there is not a single shred of past or present evidence demonstrating that Halloween is any more or less scary on account of an increase in child predation accompanying the annual festival of ghouls and goblins.

Extensive research reveals no reports of sexual assaults of random children by registrants on Halloween—not any place or at any time going back many decades. This is also true for the states and the jurisdictions that have wisely decided not to waste money implementing and monitoring restrictions that address a non-existent problem.

“This is very clearly a solution searching desperately for a problem. Anyone serious about protecting children on Halloween will pay far more attention to the incidences of injury sustained by children being hit by cars while crossing the street. But if you’re looking for statistics to support the hysterical notion that sex offenders are abducting children, you’re going to be very disappointed,” stated Brenda Jones, Executive Director of National RSOL.

“Parents already have enough to worry about when it comes to keeping their children safe. Whipping them into a panicked frenzy about a problem that doesn’t exist while depriving hundreds of thousands of citizens their right to turn on their own porch lights is the sort of pandering these parents can do without,” Jones continued. “According to the Center for Disease Control, children are at approximately four times greater risk on Halloween for involvement in pedestrian-auto accidents.  Would not money spent on increased traffic patrol and drunk-driving checkpoints be better spent and actually protect children?”





someone outside of NARSOL

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21 Thoughts to “Sex offender danger at Halloween — truth or fiction?”

  1. AvatarBobby

    Ordinances, are NOT LAWS PEOPLE, regardless of what they tell you,they certainly are NOT BINDING LAWS. They actually only pertain to city and town employee’s and employer’s, AKA city officials. NOT citizens of the town or city. look it up in your state constitutions.

    1. AvatarJohn W

      You are correct about ordinances being written by a city or town. But I think somebody’s playing a joke on you if they told you that there is a such thing as a “not binding or a non-binding law.” Your town’s speed limit is an “ordinance” and if you violate it, you will be “bound” to a legal penalty.
      It’s possible you’re thinking of an “unconstitutional law”. BUT, I think all laws, that are enacted by a constitutional legislative body, regardless of it being federal, state, city, or town, are automatically considered to be constitutional and will be enforced by the executive branch and be judged accordingly by the judicial branch. . A Supreme Court could overturn a law based on constitutional matter. BUT, that’s not likely to happen until a person is arrested, tried, and convicted, (and most likely sitting in prison), which would give him “cause” to challenge that ordinance, and then, sometime down the road, if he has lots of money or a constitutional rights organization deems it a worthwhile battle to fight, that person may or may not be absolved, based purely on the fact of who was the best debater, but keeping in mind that a prosecutor has bottomless pockets of money, and he will appeal the ruling if it was not in his favor. I would also add, from what I see of what’s happening in our country, that if the person is a registered ex-sex offender, his chance of a win doesn’t seem likely.

  2. AvatarCarole Roberts

    not keeping kids safe at all, but scarring the hell out of them and for no good reason, this is child abuse at it’s worse

  3. Two years ago I was suppose to be in at 5PM on Halloween night. Since I didn’t know what date they were celebrating Halloween or what day in my area I was 5 minutes late and it cause me 7 days in jail as from what I remember or what my sister tells me and when your dealing with the rules for sex offenders there is no excuses. Now my intentions were good to be in at a 5PM curfew but it is what it is.

    I won’t make that mistake this time as I have other things matters which I have shared with Brenda coming up soon which might help in a lot of ways.

  4. Avatarwill

    Hitler passed a similar law against the Jews at Christmas time. Im not saying Jews and sex offenders are the same, I’m just trying to show what extreams people go to when they hate a group of people. In fact, if you check all the laws Hitler passed against the Jews, they are all very similar to laws passed against sex offenders. Looks like as a society, we are going backwards. Hiel Hitler!

    1. FredFred

      Next steps: relocate RSOs to the ghettos, then on to the trains and problem solved.

    2. AvatarJohn M

      well, sex offenders are already fiscally forced into ghettos. Alot end up there because of all the situation they’re in. Cant find work, cant find housing. etc. In ghettors they are believe me.

    3. Avatardavid

      My first years on the registry the Halloween restrictions really p**d me off. Now it just seems funny. It’s so totally absurd. OMG…the threat of 6 years in prison for possessing a…..PUMPKIN!

      Really, compared to the other violations of our rights as human beings (and American citizens) not being able to celebrate Halloween is small potatoes (or pumpkins, if you like). Maybe if i had children it would be a bigger deal for me.

      It is embarrassing, however, to have the small parade of cops and probation agents show up every Halloween. Or funny. Depends how you look at it….

  5. The whole thing is ridiculous . They did all kinds of stuff to me when I was on registry. The bad news is when I got off registry still no one will hire me and I can’t live anywere. I’m still fked just not as bad.

  6. AvatarWill

    This is how pathetic these people are with their laws. I come from Illinois. They have a law that says as a sex offender, you cannot dress up as Santa or the Easter Bunny. Nothing about clowns., and John Wayne Gasy who killd over 33 boys in Illinois used to dress as a clown.

  7. AvatarMatthew

    In Tennessee, we have Halloween curfew for 10 days (6 pm to 6 am). You will be visited by TDOC officers in tactical gear for an indepth search of your home and car at least once during the time. Better not have a smart phone or candy or, of course, alcohol or porn.

    1. Avatarsandy

      Matthew, as far as the searches of homes and cars, that is applicable only to those on parole or probation, isn’t it? How about the curfew and prohibitions against smart phones, alcohol, and legal porn? All on the registry or just P and P?

    2. Avatarsandy

      Matthew, as far as the searches of homes and cars, that is applicable only to those on parole or probation, isn’t it? How about the curfew and prohibitions against smart phones, alcohol, and legal porn? All on the registry or just P and P?

  8. AvatarWill

    I live in Florida now and checked with the registration officer, and if you are not on parole or community supervision, which I am not, you have no restrictions. If you are on parole or comunity supervision, you have to be in by 5pm, have your lights off, no decorations, cannot hand out candy, and in some cities you have to put up a sign thats says no candy here. And I believe they come and check to make sure your in compliance.

  9. Halloween or All Saints Day. Will brought up a good point. Having a pumpkin around the house. I wonder if that’s like having a six pack in your house? Maybe displaying the American flag would be offensive or a child endangerment no, no.

    A lot of this is offensive and hurts those who don’t understand and seem to have their own “religism” over the other. In other words a lot of you people are being psyched out by a lot of these laws that are man made. So if we can all say Happy Halloween why can’t we all say Stand up for America.

    I don’t think any of you people on here are wissy’s. Look at this election its either a grouper or a liar and some people are not even gonna vote any but its the duty for all American’s to vote for Justice.

  10. In Texas you have to sign a compliance form that states you will be in your home by 6:00 pm have no decorations out, lights out, cant give out candy and you cant dress up in costumes. also you are subject to a compliance check by police officers or probation department officers. I had my first check last year after not having any the previous eight and thank god I come off probation next may these people are idiots and they are brutal they treat you like shit and disrespect you every chance they get it doesn’t matter if you are low risk or not.

  11. AvatarJan

    Here’s how ludicrous this can be. My son was convicted of possessing child pornography in a county which is over 100 miles from where he now lives and works. The original county which still supervises his probation requires all individuals on the sex offender registry to report to the probation office from 6 pm to 9 pm on Halloween. My son currently lives with me in my rural home where I have lived for 21 years and I have never had anyone at my country door to Trick of Treat in all that time. So he must drive a total of five hours to be present in a city for three hours when he would be safely supervised in my rural home with no access to anyone but me. This makes absolutely no sense to me.

  12. AvatarJohn W

    I committed a sex offense in 1980. I was released from probation in 1986. In 1996 I had to register. Every year after that, there has been a pile on of laws, statutes, ordinances, and even constitutional amendments by Federal, State, and City governments, regulating everything, and I mean everything, that I do, everything of what I possess, (which also includes my wife’s possessions for we share the same address), There are laws regulating of where I can walk, run, drive, sit, stand, lay, sleep, worship, celebrate, eat, shop, visit family and friends, interstate travel as well as international travel, where I work, receive training or instruction, to what electronic sites I join, read, contact, receive or send data to, and to top it all off, the laws specifically requires me to know where all parks, swimming pools, schools, day care centers, bus stops, and any place that children congregate, within 500 ft, 1000 ft, and 2500 ft of myself at all times, because the laws declare that having “NO KNOWLEDGE OF PROXIMITY” to convicted sex offenders restricted areas, will be allowed as a defense. In other words, if I was standing on the sidewalk “without apparent purpose” and there were a group of children congregated 500 ft away, clearly out of sight, I am guilty of a crime which has no defense. Really? There is no doubt in my mind that a registered sex offender has a far greater chance of going to prison for violation of a registry law.

    In 2010, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the “Halloween” statute cannot be applied to people who were convicted before the statute was written because it created “new duties”, a new punishment, therefore making it unconstitutional. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The Supreme Court of Missouri declares that I was being punished a second time because of a law that would put me in prison if I, or any member of my household were to give a neighborhood kid a piece of candy between 5:00 PM and 10:30 PM on Oct. 31 of every year. Yet all of the other laws that have doomed me to failure are declared, regulatory, civil duties, and non-punitive.
    It’s like being in a world where people know how to write words, but it doesn’t matter, because no one there can read.

  13. AvatarWill

    The truth of the matter is, this country if full of spineless politicians and judges that are more concerned with getting re-elected than following the constitution. Passing a new law against sex offenders is almost sure to get you re-elected. What needs to happen is there is enough of us to change the outcome of an election. We need to all get together and start putting pressure on these numb-nuts and get the laws changed instead of just sitting around complaining about it. I know people are worried about putting themselves out there but its time to riot. Enough is enough. We are being singled out with no proof that any of these laws protect children, and they just make our lives and our families’ lives a living hell.

    1. AvatarWill

      Who would have thought that on a site that fights for human rights that you would change the wording in my post. Thats not how I stated it. I would have rather you refused to post it, than edit it and change my wording. I will not post here again if thats what you people are about.

    2. Avatarrwvnral

      Fighting for human rights doesn’t require us to abandon sensibilities. There are a small number of words we simply will not publish. Your posting used one of them and was therefore replaced. Just like any other website, we reserve the right to edit comments. That’s the reason nobody’s comment is automatically published.

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