Probation Officers Hitting the Streets this Halloween to Keep De - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Probation Officers Hitting the Streets This Halloween to Keep Delaware Kids Safe

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DOVER, Del.- Probation and Parole officers are taking an active role in keeping high risk offenders off the streets on Halloween while families are out trick-or-treating, according to the Delaware Department of Correction.

“At the Department of Correction public safety is our top priority,” said DOC Commissioner Claire DeMatteis. “We want Halloween to be a fun and safe activity for families in every neighborhood.  That’s why we are imposing additional restrictions on high risk individuals under our supervision and making additional patrols to ensure they comply with these restrictions while children are celebrating trick-or-treating festivities.”

The department says each Halloween night the DOC imposes special restrictions on all high risk sex offenders and sex offenders with child victims who are under the supervision of Probation and Parole Officers.

These restrictions require designated offenders to remain inside their homes with outside lights turned off beginning at 6 p.m. and prohibit them from distributing candy, participating in Halloween-related activities, or displaying Halloween decorations, according to the department.

Designated homeless sex offenders under Department of Correction supervision are required to report to their local Probation and Parole Office or other location at 5:30 p.m., where they will remain until 9 p.m.

“Not only on trick-or-treat night, but every day of the year, our Probation and Parole Officers are out on the street supporting public safety operations and ensuring that offenders are complying with the terms of their probation,” said Terra Taylor, State Probation and Parole Director.  “I am proud of the hard work, dedication and professionalism they exhibit every day to protect the public and to meet our mission to support successful reentry initiatives.”

To ensure compliance with these restrictions and support public safety during trick-or-treating activities, teams of Probation and Parole Officers will deploy across the state to conduct residence checks at the homes of designated sex offenders, according to the department.

On Halloween night in 2018, the department reports Probation Officers conducted 381 residence checks, made two arrests and issued six violations of probation for violating the terms of their supervision.

Over the past week the department says Probation and Parole Officers participated in multiple Halloween-related festivities, including trunk or treat events, community parades and the Rehoboth – Dewey Beach Sea Witch Festival to support public safety operations and to ensure that high-risk offenders are complying with the terms of their probation.

The DOC’s Bureau of Community Corrections provides community-based supervision, programs and treatment services to approximately 14,000 adult offenders in Delaware.

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