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Hall sets 6 p.m. curfew for sex offenders
Department of Corrections says it could prevent further problems with offenders
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School-aged children aren't the only people who must abide by a curfew.

A new policy requires Hall County registered sex offenders on probation to be home by 6 p.m. unless they are at work.

Superior Court Judges for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit imposed the new curfew, which was previously 7 p.m.

"Judges throughout the state may impose curfews or authorize probation officers to do so in order to have more offender accountability and for protection of the public," said Kristen Stancil, public information specialist for the Georgia Department of Corrections.

A judge can place any conditions or limitations on an offender to ensure the probationer doesn't commit further offenses.

Such requirements can include reporting to the probation office when instructed, limiting certain activities, supervised visits to the probationer's home, mandatory drug tests, community service and a curfew.

Under the curfew, offenders have to remain at home from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. It is adjusted to accommodate the offender's work schedule. In that case, probation officers verify work attendance through the employer.

But the new curfew doesn't sit well with some offenders.

The Times spoke with a registered sex offender currently on probation who wished to remain anonymous. He said the curfew, as well as other stipulations imposed by the Gainesville Probation Office, hinder offenders from completing everyday tasks.

"It's taking an hour away from peoples' lives," he said. "It really takes away from any possible freedom."

The man said he will soon move to a different county because Hall County's probation requirements have become too stringent.

Another registered sex offender currently serving probation agrees the new curfew doesn't allow him to lead a normal life.

"Once you're a sex offender you're always a sex offender," the second man said.

"It doesn't change it just becomes more of a pain," he added.

The Department of Corrections justifies the curfew, though, by saying it could prevent further problems with offenders.

The reason for the change, Stancil said, is "To allow for more accountability of high-risk offenders."

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