Every Halloween, registered sex offenders become prisoners in their own homes. Since 1994, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) works in conjunction with local police and sheriff’s departments to conduct “Operation Boo.”
Under Operation Boo, registered sex offenders who are on parole or probation must follow these rules between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Halloween night:
- Remain in their own home
- Not answer the door for anyone except law enforcement
- Keep all exterior lights off
- Not offer candy
- Not have their house decorated for Halloween
- Place a sign in a visible location outside of the home that states you are a registered sex offender
However, the requirement to leave a sign identifying yourself as a registered sex offender has been eliminated just in time for this year’s holiday.
Eliminating the Sign Requirement of Operation Boo
Requiring registered sex offenders on parole or probation to identify their sex offender status with a sign outside their home had an unintended consequence. Many sex offenders reported that they were targets of vandalism, harassment and criminal threats. Anybody else living in the same house as the registered sex offender was also subject to these threats.
“If you think about it, a lot of older kids go out to trick rather than treat,” Janice Bellucci, an attorney and the president of the organization Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, said. “All you have to do is look for the house with the sign.”1
Bellucci’s organization and two plaintiffs filed a lawsuit regarding the sign requirement of Operation Boo. The court found the requirement to be unconstitutional, and issued a temporary restraining order against the CDCR to stop enforcing this law.2
The CDCR, recognizing the probability that other courts would rule in the same fashion, agreed in court to drop the sign requirement from Operation Boo.
How to Be Removed from the Sex Offender Registry
Although the sign requirement of Operation Boo has been eliminated, there are still laws that greatly restrict the movement and freedom of registered sex offenders. That is why you should find out if you are eligible to have your named removed from the sex offender registry. Our skilled lawyers have been successfully helping our clients in post-conviction matters for more than 35 years. We may be able to help you end your lifetime requirement to register as a sex offender or terminate your probation early.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Victorville, San Diego, Torrance and West Covina, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich sex crimes defense attorney available to help you no matter where you are located.
Contact our offices today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.
1. Adolfo Flores, “O.C. city likely to drop Halloween law aimed at sex offenders,” The Los Angeles Times, September 21, 2013, available at http://articles.latimes.com/2013/sep/21/local/la-me-halloween-sex-offenders-20130922. href=”#ref1″>↩
1. “CDCR Agrees To Drop Halloween Sign Requirement,” Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, September 8, 2016, available at http://all4consolaws.org/2016/09/cdcr-agrees-to-drop-halloween-sign-requirement/. href=”#ref1″>↩