“No increased risk to children on Halloween” says NARSOL

By C.J. Ciaramella . . . A small-town Georgia mayor plans on confining the town’s sex offenders to city hall for Halloween night, despite evidence that there’s no spike in sex crimes against children on the holiday.

“In order to ensure the safety of our children, all sex offenders in the City of Grovetown area will be housed in the Council Chambers on Halloween night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” Grovetown mayor Gary Jones announced on Facebook Monday morning. “There are approximately 25-30 offenders and they will be overseen by 4 officers from Georgia Probation Department and one Grovetown officer.”

The policy will only apply to offenders who are on probation, not all registered sex offenders in the town (a move that would have almost surely been illegal).

In any case, the move is yet another hysterical response to a largely mythical fear: the incurable and irrepressible pedophile who targets random children on Halloween.

The thing is, data just doesn’t back up those fears. Study after study has found that same-crime recidivism rates for sex offenders hover between 3 and 4 percent, lower than other types of crime and nowhere near the 80 percent rate once falsely cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, for instance.

As Reason‘s Lenore Skenazy recently wrote about Patch.com’s regrettable tradition of publishing the addresses of sex offenders on Halloween, there’s also no evidence that sex crimes against children rise on Halloween:

[A] thorough study of 67,000 cases of child molestation found zero increase in sex crimes against children on Halloween.

The vast majority of crimes against children are not committed by strangers, but by people close to the kids. Stranger danger is actually pointing worried parents in the wrong direction.

What’s more, sex offenders are not especially likely to go after kids on Halloween. Contrary to popular belief, “across the board the majority of sexual offenders do not go on to reoffend,” says Jill Levenson, a professor of social work who has studied Halloween crime.

“The research is very clear: There’s no increased risk to children on Halloween,” says Sandy Rozek, communications director for the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws. “Virtually all sexual offenses against children are committed by those in their lives, those they already know or are close to—often family members, peers, and authority figures.”

Read the rest of the piece here at reason.com


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Viewing 11 reply threads
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    • #48107 Reply
      c scarbrough

      So my question is if you are really about keeping children from risk are you rounding up the drug offenders who might be lacing the candy? Are you keeping all the DWI drivers off the streets to protect the kids from being run over? What precautions are you taking from those groups that have a higher recidivism rate? I just want to understand how really concerned you are with keeping kids safe? Are parents also escorting their children? I believe that if you really were concerned you would take real steps that have an impact instead of the obvious folks who are working to stay away from all this hysteria.

      • #48226 Reply

        I am not and or do i no nothing about a sex offender but what i do know is that there treated like a piece of shit and when they get into trouble with this the system lies and is nothing but crooked to keep them in jail or prison and this is injustice and sex offenders need to stand up for them selves just because someone doesn’t like someone doesn’t mean the system should be able to just walk all over these people.there human to.if being a younger person the system leaves you out on the street and could not give a rats ass about you, to me its just plain wrong.theres people car jacking shooting people and killing people, kids and the list goes on and on and people who get lesser penalty than a sex offender just dead wrong.these people killing should have a worse penalty then a sex offender.not all sex offenders are going to reoffend you can give me statistics that say they do reoffend i do not and never will agree this is all about the system making money and people who don’t agree don’t comment on this to me.you are a complete dumb ass and i don’t want to hear about it.

    • #48117 Reply
      Daniel Silverman

      If the sex offender registry is not a form of punishment, then why does it negatively affect those of us on the registry so badly? If we are not being further punished, then why can they demand that those of us on the registry must remain in our homes during Halloween, or must go to a specific location, or cannot turn on a porch light, or cannot do this or that or else face some form of penalty?

    • #48118 Reply

      “Study after study has found that same-crime recidivism rates for sex offenders hover between 3 and 4 percent, lower than other types of crime and nowhere near the 80 percent rate once falsely cited by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, for instance.

      This single statement needs to be repeated over and over again in every venue until everyone has heard it more than once.

    • #48128 Reply

      Maybe everybody can bring a treat like cupcakes, and cups for soda and of coarse the soda or spider juice. If you have to go somewhere for Halloween maybe you can make a party out of it. That way the four officers can see that you are no different from the guy down the street. Oh forget that, he was the one who held up the bank a few years back. He will not have his lights on, no money to buy candy. So maybe the other guy down the street, sorry not him either he is a drug dealer. Wow! and he is allowed to be around kids and even allowed to give candy to kids.

    • #48129 Reply

      That sort of annual Halloween arrest for the night without charges was common practice in Forsyth County, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, for a number of years. Anyone on the registry had to report to the sheriff’s office by 4 or 5 p.m. on Halloween night and remain there under what essentially was arrest without charges, until 10 or 11. Anyone who worked after 4 or 5 had to get off early to report to the sheriff’s office. They abandoned that practice a few years ago when the sheriff’s office apparently got too crowded because of all the sex maniacs in the county (sarcasm intended here). Now, anyone on the registry is required to be at home by 4 p.m. on Halloween. They are not permitted to have any outdoor lights on, not permitted to have any Halloween decorations displayed outdoors, and not permitted to answer the door for anyone but the probation officers when they show up. Those of us not on the registry, but who live with someone on the registry, are not even permitted to have our grandchildren visit in costume because, apparently, children in costumes inflames some sort of sexual deviancy, according to the local sheriff’s department.

    • #48131 Reply
      MARK S.

      Looks mighty good on paper – doesn’t it? And now in “small-Town” Georgia all will be safe. Wait, wait! Only probationers????????? But, but what about all the dozens of others who are free registered citizens??????? Maybe some of them will chase the little hop-goblins instead! But wait! Everyone will be safe from probationers. Good work Mr. Mayor. This has to be the most myopic, stupid political ploy I have read in some time. And actually, I thank you for what you did Mr. Mayor because it is people JUST LIKE YOU who perpetuate hatred, revenge and unforegiveness throughout communities everywhere. In fact, I would venture to guess if you even read this comment, you will lick your lips, smirk sardonically, and pat yourself on your back. No wait! I suspect a number of others will pat you on your back. My hat is of to Mr. Mayor with myopia, a hater with yet another useless city ordinance/regulation/by law, or perhaps just your voice in ordering this stupid inane fiat.

    • #48139 Reply
      Ed from Mars

      Seems to me a good way for the local police to make some overtime. And a way for the town council to ask for more money for the extended budget needed to cover these costs.

    • #48142 Reply

      Historically people have loved ostracism and punishment. Grab the pitchforks and torches!!! This draconian Puritan society hasn’t changed much. We recoil in disbelief when reading about the witch trials in 1692, at that time- rumors led to horrors for some, death for others. Here we are 2018 and still prosecuting /jailing /ostracizing people left and right… some for thought crimes. Jail is not the worst, it’s bad but worse than that is that S.O. label that follows them and their family everywhere by being publicly pointed out. Ridicule is sometimes encouraged and those on the registry are told where to live, have difficulties finding work, are prevented for going to certain places. Which brings me to Halloween and the belief that every sex offender on the registry is the boogeyman just waiting for children. It’s just a day like any other day and I bet it’s safe to say that most on the registry just want to be left alone.
      I find it unbelievable that they must comply and go sit in a town hall or jail on Halloween. That seems criminal. It pains me that humans haven’t evolved much at all -it’s still the unbelievable 1692 mob mentality, although now it’s cool to be a witch.

    • #48147 Reply
      Marlin Scott

      Ive been reading posts by NARSOL for sometime now. Although i agree with most of their blogs, i dont think just opining their opinions in this forum changes the laws as pertaining to the many negative laws that those they blog about. I am a lifetime registration and SBM victim wjo wants to see laws changed, not just read opinions.

      • #48151 Reply

        I assure you NARSOL is doing much more than just opining our opinions on this blog. I wonder how you got the impression that is all we do. If you want the laws changed, I suggest you get involved and help us make that change, instead of just reading opinions that are there to keep people informed. I would hope you want to keep people informed too.

    • #48163 Reply
      Tim Davich

      Well this is no real surprise is it. As persons whom committed a sexual offense we can expect that this would happen, right. Wrong, I believe that this is a punishment, and there for is illegal to do, especially for any offender whom has served there sentence. This is going way too far, I guess the mayor will be locking down all the DWI, OWI, and drug dealers as well. Especially the DWI people as I’m sure there has been a child/adult hit on Halloween. If he wants to keep the trick or treaters safe he might as well just lock up every offender, and we’ll hes at it even the people whom have not offended yet but who he believes might.
      I truly hope that someday things will change, I feel for those that must deal with such rediculess antics be leaders like this that have no clue. Sad, but true

    • #48175 Reply

      I am a former registered sex offender that was on probation and the registry during a time before halloween was under attack and for many years after.

      From my perspective this move is strictly a publicity stunt to appear hard on crime to the community.

      Halloween is the same as any other day for children when it comes to abductions but the most dangerous day for auto/child pedestrian fatalities. For parents that are not a danger to their own children, these tactics are putting children in more danger by removing additional parental supervision.

      There are no children being saved by these tactics but plenty of them that are being emotionally harmed by their parents being unable to enjoy halloween festivities with them.

      I am happy to say that off probation and the registry my four children are no longer being harmed by this needless publicity stunt.

    • #49057 Reply

      I might be several weeks late in comenting about this “Haunted Jail House” tour but I’m sure all have made comments to their extent but on the other hand their are many different issues. One person said a police publicity stunt or to getting recognization, Fred suggested to some to get involved to help put an end or ease up on some of this confusion about the sex offender. The main challange to me is that all this is about others over- loading one’s conscience. Call it scare tatics or invading one’s right by locking others up in jail for the halloween rush.

      Sure our conscience can convict us if we let it. Maybe in simple terms we all should say “who’s afraid of the big bad wolf” Seems to me in this jail house tour that we are all dealing with two types of people. The one’s that actually have victims and the ones via the internet that are set up by police or law enforcement. Now I don’t much like halloween myself. Sure it was nice back in the 80’s and 90’s but when the 2000’s came about and we get older we sometimes lose interest.

      Sure there is always going to be the bogy man or someone wanting to put fear in others but their’s nothing to fear but fear itself and by all mean’s stay off those spicy sites as you never know when deputy dog is around or disquising themself in a lot of this pretend to win game and yes law enforcement will do everything to win. Truth and honesty is a lot better in all situations.

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