Trick-or-Treat: Department of Corrections working with police to monitor sex offenders, keep kids safe

MADISON (WITI) – In an effort to keep children safe during Halloween Trick-or-Treat activities, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections will work with local law enforcement agencies across the state to closely monitor sex offenders on probation or parole.

DOC probation and parole agents will team up with law enforcement officers across the state, to conduct random home visits on high risk sex offenders to ensure they are abiding by Halloween restrictions. Halloween restrictions include no Halloween decorations inside or outside the residence, no candy distribution or participation in trick-or-treating activities, and porch lights must stay off during trick-or-treating time. If a sex offender violates any of the restrictions, law enforcement will take them into custody.

“Halloween is a perfect opportunity for children to learn safety tips that can be practiced throughout the entire year. A parent or trusted adult should always accompany children while trick-or-treating, and children should learn to never enter homes of other people without their parent’s permission. Lastly, parents should use the Sex Offender Registry website to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood before going out,"  Grace Roberts, Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Director of Sex Offender Programs said.

The public is encouraged to familiarize themselves with neighborhoods by visiting the Sex Offender Registry website  . The website provides the public with the ability to locate registered sex offenders by name, zip code, or geographically within a 1, 2 or 3 mile radius of a specific address. Users can also sign up to receive e-mail notification alerts when a sex offender registrant provides a home address that is near an address of interest to the user.

If the public sees any possible sex offender violations, they may call in the tip at 1-877-234-0085.

As always, the DOC recommends the public contact local law enforcement if the situation is an emergency.