CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Craighead County Sheriff's Department is urging parents to be cautious while their children are out trick-or-treating.
According to Jeania Burns, the sex offender coordinator, there is not a specific law written that states sex offenders cannot participate in Halloween or trick-or-treating.
However, Burns did say the offenders must abide by regulations.
Level 3 and 4 registered sex offenders, by law, cannot participate in community or nonprofit events that could affect the health, safety or well-being of a minor, according to Burns.
"Halloween does fall under that category," Burns said.
Therefore, she said those high-risk offenders cannot participate.
If a registered offender is on probation or parole, they cannot turn their outdoor light on, inviting children to their door on Halloween night.
"This goes for any level offender," Burns said. "They have to be in at dark and cannot come out until dawn the next morning."
Samantha Humphrey, a mother of two toddlers,avoids door-to-door trick-or-treating because of this very issue.
"It's terrifying," Humphrey said. "That's why we don't go. You just never know. We went to a festival."
Humphrey hopes other parents will also be mindful of the dangers of door-to-door candy grabbing.
She said it could only take one second for an offender to offend your child.
"As a parent, that is one of my biggest fears for me to turn my back for a second and one of my girls be gone, so if there's anything I can do not to put them in that situation, I'll do it," Humphrey said. "That's why we are just going to go visit family and go to the grandparents and hang out with them tonight."
Burns said parents should avoid houses altogether that do not have lights on.
She also encourages families who are door-to-door trick-or-treating go to neighborhoods near daycares and schools because high-risk offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of those facilities.
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