The Tennessee Board of Probation & Parole has sent letters to sex offenders it supervises, advising them that they are prohibited from participating in Halloween activities. Board Executive Director Bo Irvin said, “Protecting the safety and welfare of the public, especially children, is our primary goal. We put these restrictions in writing so there can be no misunderstanding about what is and is not an appropriate activity for a sex offender under our supervision.”
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.
Curfews are another tool probation and parole officers can use in supervising sex offenders. During the rest of the Halloween season, officers will also be making extended visits, both announced and unannounced, to verify compliance.
The Board of Probation and Parole (http://www2.state.tn.us/bopp/home.htm) 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.