Psychiatrists say people who fear or have anxiety surrounding Halloween are suffering from samhainophobia. If you are a California registered sex offender, you will likely fall into this category, but for different reasons than run-of-the-mill samhainophobics. This is because California, like most states, has seemed to spare no creativity in attempting to place unreasonable restrictions on those who are convicted of California sex offenses.
For instance, every year since 1994, California Sex Offenders who are on parole become virtual prisoners in their own homes from 5 pm on October 31 until 5 am on November 1. This is under the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations’ (DAPO) program called “Operation Boo.”
During these times, California sex offenders who are on parole must remain in their homes with exterior lights turned off, they may not put up any Halloween decorations or hand out candy to trick-or-treaters, and they may not answer their doors for anyone except for law enforcement officers. Homeless sex offenders on parole are required to report to special “monitoring centers” set up by law enforcement officers to monitor such offenders during these hours.
Last year, local and state officials visited 1,525 registered sex offender parolees and arrested 110 of them for parole violations ranging from drug and weapons possession to possession of pornography. Even though the CDCR’s own website acknowledges that this “stranger danger” approach to combating sex offenses against children is misplaced, given the research that shows that most people who sexually molest children are people who are known to the child, it doesn’t seem that 2019 will see any meaningful changes to Operation Boo – or other approaches geared toward “monitoring” sex offenders that are of dubious value.
If you are no longer on probation or parole for a California sex offense, there is a little bit of good news for you. In the past few years, numerous California cities have attempted to enact ordinances placing restrictions on those required to register as California sex offenders under California Penal Code section 290. Violation of these ordinances would be a California misdemeanor crime.
Cities such as Lancaster, Temecula, Simi Valley, and the City of Orange attempted to enact laws requiring those registered as California sex offenders to put up a sign outside their home on Halloween indicating that they were not offering candy to trick-or-treaters, and/or to not answer the door to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. These ordinances would have applied to all registered California sex offenders living in the city limits – even those whose convictions were decades old. Under threats of lawsuits from affected offenders, these cities have backed away – repealing these ordinances.
While that may provide some good news, this has not stopped other attempts to needlessly stigmatize registered sex offenders on Halloween.
Contact Wallin & Klarich for Help from an Experienced Sex Crimes Attorney
At Wallin & Klarich, we have more than 35 years of experience fighting for people who have been accused of sex crimes. We know that any charge involving a sex crime can have devastating consequences. We fight tirelessly, with all of our skills and knowledge to deliver the best outcome possible in our clients’ cases. We can help you, too.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, San Diego, West Covina, Torrance, and Victorville, there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney experienced in sex crimes defense near you, no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.