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New Jersey Imposes Halloween Curfew on Registered Sex Offenders

Statistically, it has not been shown that sex crimes against children are more likely to occur on Halloween or on the days surrounding the holiday than on other days during the year. Despite this, many states around the country placed extra restrictions on the movements of registered sex offenders over the holiday weekend.

In Georgia, sex offenders were told they could not decorate their houses, turn on their porch lights or answer their doors to anyone other than an emergency responder or law enforcement officer. Probation officers were also scheduled to visit sex offenders' houses at random to make sure they were complying with the Halloween curfews and restrictions. Some sex offenders were also required to attend educational sessions on Sunday night. New Jersey's 2,200 sex offenders also had a curfew imposed on them over the Halloween weekend requiring them to be inside by 7 p.m. and prohibiting them from opening the door to any trick-or-treaters.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a study published in 2009 by the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers found that sex offenders are not more likely to commit sex crimes near Halloween. The study looked at 67,045 sex crimes committed against children by someone outside their family between 1997 and 2005.

The study authors concluded that since there was not an increase in sex crimes against children around Halloween, that maybe law enforcement and probation officer resources could be put to better use. Law enforcement officials interviewed by the AJC noted that parents should be more concerned about traffic safety than sex offenders on Halloween.

Sources:

Communities Plan Halloween Crackdowns on Sex Offenders (KTLA)

Georgia restricts sex offenders on Halloween (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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