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Sex offenders must skip Halloween

POSTED: October 30, 2013 11:18 p.m.

Sex offenders in Hall County will be directed to the probation office in Gainesville during trick-or-treating hours tonight, Chief Parole Officer Matthew Ellison said.

“What we do is we have all of our sex offenders report to the office. I believe they get there at 5 p.m., and we keep them until about 8:30 p.m.,” Ellison said.

The office supervises parolees in Hall and Lumpkin counties.

“It protects the public. Keeps everybody safe; keeps the kids safe, and it gets all our sex offenders in one spot so we know where all of them are,” he added.

For those who fail to show at the Aviation Boulevard building, the office follows up with a home visit, Ellison said.

All over Georgia, persons convicted of sex offenses are subjected to measures such as curfews or attending programming on Halloween. State parole officials said parole officers will team with local law enforcement in making residence checks to ensure sex offenders are not participating in Halloween activities.

“Sex offenders in the community will again be prohibited from decorating for Halloween, having outside lights turned on or answering the door and giving out treats,” said David Morrison, field operations director for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, in a news release.

There are 1,148 sex offenders under parole supervision in Georgia. Morrison says the Parole Board’s efforts are about public safety.

“As a paroling authority, and as parole officers, it’s our job to ensure offenders in the community are in compliance and we want everyone to know we’re providing this measure of public safety during Halloween, so that (the public does) feel safe and have no concerns as they enjoy Halloween activities,” he added.

Dusk-to-dawn curfews will be in place for sex offenders on parole, and compliance sweeps where officers visit the homes of sex offenders will be conducted throughout the evening hours in most areas of the state. Residence searches will be conducted, Morrison said.

Parole officers will attend some community group activities that are planned, conducting surveillance and ensuring sex offenders are not in attendance.


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