ABILENE, Texas - Halloween falling on Sunday means some trick-or-treaters may be looking to fill up on candy Saturday night. So parents need to be cautious whose door bells their children are ringing both nights.
The last time Halloween fell on a weekend, in 2004, sex offenders in Taylor County only had to turn off their porch lights as a part of the "lights out program."
However some offenders were caught out after checking in with probation officers, so more rules were put in place says Michael Wolfe Director of the Community Supervision & Correction Department, "The next year in '05 we started the lock-down program."
Which is where sex offenders on probation are brought in Halloween night and made to watch educational movies chosen by a licensed sex offender treatment provider during prime trick or treating hours.
An effort to keep the community safe as well as protecting the offenders from false allegations says Staff Therapist for the Community Supervision & Correction Department, Mark Walters, "Because I know where they are."
Lock-down is only mandatory for the 80 or so offenders on probation on Sunday night, meaning hundreds of past offenders are only asked not to decorate and to keep their lights off.
Parents are encouraged to check the registry of sex offenders says Wolfe, "On this night with a lot of children out, yea it'd be a great idea to check."
A database that's open to the public and free to access can be found at Sex Offender Registry
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