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Sex offenders under strict rules for Halloween

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida sex offenders under felony supervision have been given explicit instruction on what they cannot do this Halloween, in an effort to ensure they aren’t coming into contact with minors.

Sex offenders are not allowed to give out candy or answer their door to trick-or-treaters. They’ve been instructed to keep porch lights off and blinds closed. Also, they cannot decorate the outside of their homes, dress in costumes or masks or attend Halloween parties where children may be present.

If offenders are found in violation of any of those rules, they will be arrested.

Florida Department of Corrections probation officers are partnering with local law enforcement agencies to increase personal contact with offenders during designated trick-or-treat hours and conduct surveillance.

Offenders may receive surprise visits from probations officers and can expect a drive-by from law enforcement officers ensuring they are in compliance. The increased surveillance includes motels and treatment facilities known to attract sex offenders.

“The FDC Office of Community Corrections’ top priority is the safety of Florida’s communities,” said Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections Julie Jones. “Our officer’s increased vigilance and collaboration with local law enforcement will ensure that Florida’s children and their parents are able to enjoy a safe and peaceful Halloween.”

Parents interested in adding an additional layer of security for their children can view a list of offenders in their area at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s offender search Web page.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email [email protected]

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