Warren Co. rounds up sex offenders on Halloween

LEBANON, OH (FOX19) - Have you ever wondered where sex offenders are on Halloween? In one community, they're all in the same place.

During trick-or-treat hours between 5:30 and 8 p.m., all sex offenders in Warren County stay at the courthouse.

Officials say it's a way to keep tabs on what these men and women and ensure they don't have any contact with kids going door to door for the holiday.

"We have some officers go out and they're checking the residences of the offenders making sure there's no Halloween decorations out, making sure candy isn't being given out, and porch lights aren't on," said Probation Chief Richard Gilmore.

Gilmore says this program requires every registered sex offender in Warren County to come to a therapy session, regardless of what they're convicted of doing.

"It just takes a look at what's going on and make some good decisions so they can make good pro social decisions from now on," said Gilmore.

Offenders who work during these hours must be cleared by the parole office. If someone doesn't show up, Gilmore says they'll have patrol cars visit the residence to make sure they know about the required meeting.

He says they've received a lot of praise from the community.

"When they see the cars coming through the neighborhoods and slowing down and walking through the neighborhoods with them, it just lets them know that we're concerned," said Gilmore.

There's no Ohio law banning sex offenders from participating in Halloween, but many counties send parole officers to the homes to recommend they don't pass out candy. Warren County simply takes it to the next level.

"The thing that's important about it is everybody benefits from it, including the offender, and that's what we want to do in the rehabilitative process, so yeah it's a good thing," Gilmore stated.

Between 50 and 60 sex offenders were at the courthouse on Halloween this year, and that's 100% compliance.

The program started eight years ago, and since then a handful of other communities have adopted similar protocol.

Find out where sex offenders live in your community here: http://www.alertid.com/

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