By Sandy . . . I will give Louisiana credit for one thing: They don’t leave anyone guessing as to their cruelty and their ridiculousness. They codify it right into their laws. As we saw during the hurricane crises, a section of their law, RS29:726(i), states, “That a registered sexual offender shall not knowingly be housed or sheltered in shelters, hotels, Federal Emergency Management Agency trailer parks, or any other housing funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency where the general population of evacuees is staying.”
And now, with Halloween a little over a month away, the Hammond Star reminds everyone of the policies regarding those on the registry and Halloween activities:
LA R.S. 14:313(E) every person convicted of or who plead guilty to a sex offense is prohibited from using or wearing a hood, mask, or disguise of any kind with the intent to hide, conceal, or disguise their identity on or concerning Halloween.
LA R.S. 14:313.1 it shall be unlawful for any person convicted of or who pleads guilty to a sex offense to distribute candy or other gifts to persons under 18 years of age on or concerning Halloween.
So that everyone will know just how serious an issue this is, the Star tell us, “Sheriff’s deputies will be out Halloween night to ensure sex offenders in the parish are adhering to the above restrictions and responsibilities, [Sheriff] Edwards said. Additionally, deputies will be on the road patrolling neighborhoods.”
This would be laughable were it not such a waste of time, money, and effort, and were it not such a violation of the rights of those registrants who are no longer under community supervision.
A huge body of research into this issue shows no increased risk of sexual harm to children on Halloween or connected with Halloween, and extensive searching through records has failed to turn up a single instance in the United States of a child being harmed on Halloween by a person on the sex offender registry.
What is shown is that children are at increased risk on Halloween for injury or death by automobile while trick or treating.
Maybe while the Tangipahoa Parish deputies are out on Halloween making sure no child of a registrant is handing out candy from his or her home, they can manage a little time to keep an eye on the traffic.
Sandy, a NARSOL board member, is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.