The sheriff’s office in Dent County, Missouri, wants to make sure local registered sex offenders don’t have any tricks planned this Halloween.
Missouri law doesn’t allow sex offenders to hand out candy on Halloween, according to the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association. “If their crime happened in 2008 or after, they also have to post a sign saying they’re a sex offender and can’t serve candy,” the association says.
So this sheriff is handing out signs.
“From now until Halloween stop by the Sheriff’s Office and pick up your required, ‘No treats or candy at this residence’ sign,” the sheriff’s department posted on its Facebook page.
“They can make their own sign,” Whitney Capps of the sheriff’s department told KY 3 in Springfield. “The statute just says that they have to post a sign and the sign says no treats or candy at this residence. There’s no requirements how this message is presented.”
The back of the sign from the sheriff’s office has other reminders about the Halloween rules Missouri sex offenders must follow, she said.
“They have to be inside their residence from 5 to 10:30 pm on Halloween night. All outside residential lighting has to be turned off,” said Capps, adding that sex offenders risk a class A misdemeanor for breaking these laws.
Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas “all have ‘no candy’ laws that ban sex offenders from handing out treats on Halloween,” the Boston Herald reports. “In Florida, sex offenders out on parole cannot hand out candy or wear costumes on Halloween night.”
Some states, the Herald reports, “also ban offenders from corn mazes and haunted houses.”
Local authorities across the country are using social media to remind parents to check online registries that list where registered sex offenders live before kids go door-to-door.
By Lisa Gutierrez | Kansas City Star