"No Candy Here" Signs Required for Sex Offenders

Another idiotic policy by fear-mongerers: requiring sex offenders to post "No Candy Here" signs. Others: requiring sex offenders to attend counseling sessions on Halloween evening, ordering them not to answer the door and keep the lights turned off.

A Georgia lawmakers hopes his state will join several others – including Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, and Louisiana – and dozens of cities, towns, and counties across the US that now order registered sex offenders to put out a "NO CANDY HERE" sign. It's a gambit to warn trick or treaters against possible molesters. But it also raises constitutional and societal questions over identifying America's more than 500,000 registered sex offenders by where they live.

There's no evidence sex offenders pose a threat on Halloween: [More...]

Most sexual assaults, including those involving kids, aren't between strangers, experts note, but between people who know one another.

"We don't have evidence of higher incidence of sexual offenses against children on Halloween than other times," says Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va. "And because there are offenders who don't have prior history, it's important that communities don't feel a sense of security because sex offenders are required to stay in the house with the porch lights off."

I guess a "no candy here" sign is better than the alternative: requiring the posting of a sign that says "sex offender lives here" -- but what about all the people who want to avoid Halloween, keep their lights out and pretend they aren't home to avoid trick or treaters? Will they be disinclined to do so fearing they will be mistaken for a sex offender? People have a right to celebrate or not celebrate a holiday. These regulations are unnecessary and infringe on personal liberties.

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    Oh gawd. Glad I have a symphony ticket (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 01:02:10 PM EST
    for tonight.  But maybe I should stay home to protect my reputation in the neighborhood.

    As a parent (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:05:31 PM EST
    I agree with the policy.

    I'll see if I can find some propaganda to back up my view and write a post about it.

    See if you can find anything saying (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:09:07 PM EST
    registered sex offenders are more or less likely to re-offend on Halloween.  Seems like an opportune time.  Little kiddies at the door.  Not always accompanied by parents.

    I am peeved about something else (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:11:32 PM EST
    But, the game hasn't even started yet. (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:12:58 PM EST
    Answering own question: No. (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:12:31 PM EST
    Why take a chance? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:16:22 PM EST
    As long as we are going to be knee jerk about issues.

    Pumpkin sign is a farce. Kids out w/o adult (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:21:19 PM EST
    won't know what it means.  Put a sign on the house:  beware of the registered sex offender living here.  

    Zactly (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:22:36 PM EST
    I bet I can find an AP story with some parent quotes and maybe even some think tanker supporting our view here.

    This is interesting. City and County of SF (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:28:41 PM EST
    conducts "Operation Boo," which requires registered sex offenders who are homeless to be rounded during prime trick or treating hours.  link

    Paging Mr. Hawthorne.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 02:17:55 PM EST
    Mr. Nathaniel Hawthorne...your message is needed at TL.

    Mr. Hawthorne...

    Forget the signs and be responsible for your kids for god's sake...


    disgusts me (none / 0) (#33)
    by agota on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 09:15:28 PM EST
    so now people are trying to be politically correct with the signs? like the wording matter, now everyone knows this phrase = sex offenders.

    why isn't the offenders in jail in first place, and after they are out, why do they have to have the sign. just strange laws

    sig: i enjoy my life with sex toys, so i won't go out and make trouble


    DUI (none / 0) (#27)
    by mmc9431 on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 09:48:21 PM EST
    Our local radio had a blurb about this in Chicago. They said kids were more at risk with all the drunken drivers on Halloween than sex offenders.

    Feelin Ornery tonight? (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:03:08 PM EST
    I'm about to take Josh and Zoey out...one is a bloodied corpse eating thing and one is Tinkerbell.  I haven't ever let my kids go out alone, and for some reason when my daughter should have wanted to she chose to stay with her baby brother and not even ask.  Kids alone are who worry me when it comes to sexual predators, and this is one of those nights when unwatched kids are every place.  I fear no sexual predator because I have one of those serious flashlights with knock you out battery weight in it, and I'm also going as NaNa the grumpy ole witch (I got a hat this year, and I think I can recycle it into a PMS indicator for self absorbed husband's after tonight).  But if you mess with us tonight NaNa will knock you out.

    please do not (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:22:21 PM EST
    post that view, it is contrary to this site's mission. You may opine in comments.

    this is in response to (none / 0) (#21)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:25:35 PM EST
    ahh, just got his point (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:29:16 PM EST
    he's sarcastically comparing this post to the post I wrote about the AP article that discussed numbers on the public option, filled with propoganda. BTD, unfortunately, people don't read all posts and wouldn't get that.

    Agreed (none / 0) (#13)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:45:44 PM EST
    These are people who victimize children in a most brutal fashion.

    I'd love (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 03:05:59 PM EST
    if there was a formal, civil, opt-out of trick or treating policy for EVERYONE, not just sex offenders.

    At my house, some years I have 2 and other years I have 50 or more trick or treaters.  Thus, I have to buy candy for the larger number+, which means I end up with candy.  We both are trying to lose our mid-40's weight. I don't need that junk crap food in my house that I bought "just in case".

    The past couple of years, I have opted out of Halloween informally, which means we have to LEAVE our house on Halloween night between the hours of 5 and 9.  We shouldn't have to leave.  There should be a way to communicate to people that we aren't participating.  Maybe I need one of those sex offender signs...nahhhh.

    I always take an unlit porch light (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:05:31 PM EST
    as in indication that this house is not participating.

    who's going to be (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jen M on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 03:48:27 PM EST
    checking all the houses?

    no, (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 05:13:46 PM EST
    It's a gambit to warn trick or treaters against possible molesters.

    it's a gambit to raise his public profile, prior to running for higher office. if it actually stops a registered sex offender from, um, sexually offending anyone, that would be strictly by accident.

    BTD, i'm a parent also. up until the last couple of years my kids went trick or treating, we went as a group, with a couple of other families from the neighborhood. kept me from going bonkers, and the kids wore themselves out running around.

    never had a problem, or even a sense of an issue, at any house in neighborhood. never had any real concern, when they got old enough to go out by themselves (though usually with a group of their friends), this sign probably wouldn't have made any difference.

    it's nothing but a political ploy.

    Those signs (none / 0) (#2)
    by Spamlet on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 01:22:30 PM EST
    are also an open invitation to vandalism and/or violence against the people required to post them.

    The people concerned about Halloween as an occasion for crime might do better to think about their mothers, wives, sisters, and women friends, who can never, day or night, completely forget about the ever-present threat of rape, perhaps especially on the night when masked men roam the streets without raising suspicion.

    I have been thinking (none / 0) (#9)
    by JamesTX on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 02:20:23 PM EST
    of the little things rational citizens could do to start counteracting this nonsense. Nothing is going to happen politically because the pols are afraid and can't get any mileage out of it. The courts are a lost cause for the same reason. The reason wingnuts like this stuff is that it destroys people's lives, and it comes with its own psychological armor that keeps it from being criticized rationally. According to them, if you do criticize it, you are "supporting child rape".

    We could all start collecting the signs, warnings, and trappings of the scarlet letter. We could all put "no candy here" bumper stickers on our cars and signs in front of our houses warning children to stay away, as well as the other signs and symbols that have been imposed on listed people. We could make being on the list, or at least displaying the signs of being listed, "stylish". My only question is if that would be legal, or could it be construed as contempt or obstruction of justice? The more I think about it, the more it looks like fun. Of course, all would be well until some little one-eyed freak from the community watch church decided to pop a cap in me or set my house on fire.

    There are sex offenders nearby us (none / 0) (#15)
    by Cream City on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 03:40:55 PM EST
    including pedophiles on probation.  And right now, there are dozens of children in the neighborhood, too.  Our neighbors are walking their children from house to house, which is good.

    But there also are kids coming to our doors without adults -- children from other areas that are very unsafe.  I think it's great that the parents send them here  -- maybe dropping them off on the way to work, maybe sending them on the bus?  I don't know why parents are not with them, but there could be many reasons, such as smaller children at home, too.

    But bottom line is that there are children without parents going to strangers' doors right now, and I hope that those are not the doors of pedophiles.  And not just for the children's sake -- as if the people on probation are trying to stay straight, why make it harder for them, too?

    utility, if any, of the ban (none / 0) (#23)
    by diogenes on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 07:17:42 PM EST
    It is indeed unlikely that a child will be snatched on Halloween night.  It is somewhat possible that the nice neighborly pedophile will somewhat groom the local neighbors by being very nice to them, especially if as you suggest there is no way for anyone to know who they are.  There are very few natural ways to meet young children except for Halloween.  It may be relapse prevention, too.  What GOOD does it do for a pedophile to see one hundred children in various sometimes revealing costumes on Halloween?  Next you'll say that it's a good idea for alcoholics on probation for multiple DWI's to hang out in bars.

    well diogenes, (none / 0) (#25)
    by cpinva on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 08:56:31 PM EST
    let's just take that to the next logical progression:

    rent devil's island, and move all sex offenders there. it's really the only way to be sure. ok, the dry tortugas are available, but someone probably has plans to develop that into a tourist site.

    for myself, adult pedophiles are the one group i would advocate the death penalty for, and yes, i will pull the switch/push the plunger. i'll settle for life with absolutely no possibility of parole.

    sorry jeralyn, but pedophiles are the lowest of the low, scum of the earth, who prey on the most vulnerable members of society, and deserve no mercy at all.

    that said, we, as a society, have decided that sex offenders shouldn't all be sentenced to life imprisonment (talk to your state legislator, not me). so why are they singled out, out of all other criminals, for extra-judicial punishment?

    if they continue to be a danger to the community, because they're mentally ill, they should be involuntarily committed, until they aren't any more. otherwise, treat them like any other convicted felon, who's done their time. this whole "sex offender list", etc. thing is just the lazy politician's way of doing nothing, while appearing to do something.

    it offends me, from a constitutional perspective.


    DWI offender on probation (none / 0) (#28)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 02:25:36 PM EST
    A DWI offender on probation can't go to a bar without being violated.  Their freedom is constricted.  Their names go on police blotters.
    Leaving aside the stigmatizing "no candy here" signs, what is the problem with having pedophiles on probation being mandated to go to special group therapy on Halloween night?
    If there are liberals who want to express solidarity, maybe they can also put "No Candy Here" signs on their doors, thus undoing the stigma.  
    The problem is that we lump pedophiles with someone who has sex with a sixteen year old when the dynamics are very different.

    Ideally... (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 07:48:47 PM EST
    ... there would be a standardized way of opting out of trick-or-treating. If there was, I'd be 100% behind requiring sex offenders to participate in it. Without that, it is more stigmatizing than I would like, but I do tend to come down more on the protecting children side than the protecting sex offenders side.

    A standardized way wouldn't bother me (none / 0) (#26)
    by nycstray on Sat Oct 31, 2009 at 09:21:19 PM EST
    as a single woman, I'm not really keen on opening the door to strangers. Never know what kid has a creepy father/uncle/etc. They can always come back another time . . .   ;)

    A People Gets the Laws it Deserves (none / 0) (#29)
    by 1980Ford on Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 04:38:00 PM EST
    The only trickle down that really works is the trickle down of lost liberties. Already there are more and more registries for more and more crimes. Drunk driving causes far, far more child death and mayhem than sex offenders, and since alcoholics cannot be cured, people like Jane Valdez-Mitchell should be on a GPS monitoring device for life that detects alcohol. It is coming to that.

    Halloween Display Sends Message To Child Predators

    Everyone who drives by Grove Street near Ward Avenue in Eustis sees what looks like a bloody person hanging from a tree. There is a sign next to the display that reads "Child Molester...What He Deserves."

    This will go on until words more often become actions, which they will. Defending "child molesters" or "having sympathy" not is not the core of the greater issue. But then, The People do punish themselves, even torture themselves, already with their fear and paranoia.

    The gorilla in the room (none / 0) (#31)
    by jefered on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 09:23:08 AM EST
    Why - if child molesters are show to have high rates of recidivism - are they out of jail in the first place? That's the only question to ask here.

    Imagine a world in which an adult who rapes or molests a child went to prison for the rest of his or her life: No sex-offender registries, no public notification of sex offender addresses, no inanities like the measure discussed here. Most importantly, there would be no chance for another child to get hurt.

    Again, why are these people out in the first place?

    If you need a clue... (none / 0) (#32)
    by jefered on Wed Nov 04, 2009 at 09:24:44 AM EST