Halloween & Operation Boo: Everything You Need to Know

Carved pumpkins, bats and spiders on stairs and bench near modern house with black front door and black walls.

Understanding the Limitations on Registered Sex Offenders

“Stranger danger” is a real threat to children’s safety, especially on Halloween night. According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), research shows that 10% of molestation cases involve strangers committing abducting and abusing children, while the US Department of Justice sex many sex crimes against children is committed by those they know and trust. In addition:

  • 30% of all child molesters are the children’s own family members
  • About 60% of all child molesters aren’t family members, but they know the child. They include family friends, babysitters, childcare providers, and neighbors
  • 23% of reported cases are committed by people younger than 18 years of age

These statistics demonstrate how widespread sex crimes can be, which is why Operation Boo works to reduce the likelihood of children being victims of sex crimes on Halloween.

What Is Operation Boo?

This year marks the 27th annual Operation Boo, a child safety project under the CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations. Its mission is to help keep kids safe not only on Halloween but all year and aims to do so by raising awareness in parents and children about identifying dangerous behavior in others, including sex offenders.

Further, police officers aim to fulfill this mission by closely monitoring sex offenders who are actively on parole during the days before Halloween and on the holiday itself. In 2019, CDCR parole agents arrested 82 people, demonstrating their commitment to public safety on Halloween night in particular. State-supervised sex offenders are required to comply with several conditions on Halloween, including but not limited to:

  • A 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew during which parolees must remain indoors
  • All exterior lights of their homes must be turned off so that it looks as if no one is home, which discourages children from approaching
  • No offering of Halloween candy and no Halloween decorations are allowed
  • During the curfew, sex offender parolees can only open the door to respond to law enforcement, such as parole agents who are patrolling their caseload to ensure compliance

Parole agents and local law enforcement agencies will be vigilant of sex offenders to ensure they are complying with the conditions of their parole. The CDCR advises parents to teach their kids about spotting “red flags” and learning how to best avoid getting into a dangerous situation.

As such, if you are a registered sex offender who is actively on parole, you should ensure you are up-to-date on the rules and regulations imposed on Halloween. You may unfortunately end up in a bad situation if you are perceived as a threat by trick-or-treaters, parents and law enforcement. If you are facing criminal charges, our Fresno sex crimes lawyer is committed to working to minimize the repercussions of your accusations.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (559) 484-2112!

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