Rules for sex offenders on Halloween

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

It's the one night of the year when ghosts, goblins and everything in between haunt the town. Many of Arkansas' neighboring states are regulating who can open their doors to them on Halloween night.

In Missouri,  sex offenders are required to stay indoors from 5 P.M.- 10:30 P.M Halloween night.  They must also turn off their home's exterior lights and put "no candy or treats at this residence" signs on their doors.

Tennessee has similar laws in place for Halloween.  These are the restrictions state supervised sex offenders get in a document--which apply to any halloween celebration, festival or other fall/harvest activity.

  • Neither they, nor anyone in their home, can answer the door to trick or treaters on halloween
  • they cannot pass out candy
  • their homes cannot be decorated for halloween, either inside or outside
  • they cannot host halloween parties at their homes
  • they cannot go to haunted houses, corn mazes, hay rides or any other seasonal activity;
  • they cannot be at any function where children are gathered, including private residences;
  • they cannot give any halloween treats to children
  • they cannot wear costumes and
  • they cannot take any child trick or treating

In Arkansas, there are no state laws specific to sex offender participation in Halloween festivities.  Jonesboro Police Sergeant Steve McDaniel, says it's something Arkansas residents can bring attention to.

"We only have the law that the state gives us and the law comes from the state legislature.   I think that if parents thought that there weren't enough laws to protect their children, they should contact their state representative," said McDaniel.

In the meantime, McDaniel says there are things parents can do to keep kids safe--first and foremost--stay with them at all times when they're trick or treating and consider going to organized events.

"You wouldn't let your children go from house to house on any other night of the year.   You would think that it's dangerous.   We know that it's just as dangerous on Halloween," said McDaniel.

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