Sex offenders on parole in a Georgia town will be rounded up on Halloween to keep kids safe, as ordered by the town’s mayor.
“In order to ensure the safety of our children, all sex offenders (on Probation) in the City of Grovetown (area) will be housed in the Council Chambers on Halloween night from 6pm-9pm.,” the town’s mayor, Gary Jones, announced in a post.
Four officers from the Georgia Department of Community Supervision District and one Grovetown officer will supervise 25-30 offenders. The detainment does not apply to all convicted sex offenders — just those on probation or parole.
While many people questioned the legality of the temporary housing, Jones assured that it is legal.
“This is a joint effort with GA Community Probation Services. They are the one’s with the authority under Special Conditions to require that offenders report. The reporting location is Grovetown City Hall. This is legal..... good grief!” said Jones in a second post.
The announcement gained mixed reactions from users. Some showed praise and support for the decision, and thanked the mayor for his decision.
“This is awesome! Thank you mayor!” user Maryanna McGee commented.
“Thank you sir! I have 4 kids that will be trick or treating and it makes me and my family feel better that we live in a place that really looks after us and our little ones!” Grovetown resident Michael Wright commented.
Although many showed their support for the mayor’s decision, others were critical and noted not all offenders are registered because of crimes against children.
“Why are we only protecting the children on Halloween? What about the other 364 days of the year? Also, why are we only protecting children? Not all of those sex offenders were/are pedophiles. Just sayin,” Victoria Brown said.
Various laws have been passed around the U.S. forbidding sex offenders from handing out treats or dressing up, while other laws instruct offenders to post signs in their yard stating they do not offer treats or report to designated locations on Halloween.
“I don’t question the authority to do this. But if there have been no incidents, and historically there’s no evidence (nationwide) that shows children are at a higher risk on halloween, then why lock a bunch of people in a room for 3 hours? To say that our government is providing a public safety service? Children are out everyday,” user Drew Hawthorne commented.
Despite the laws that have been passed, The Marshall Project noted that in a study done from 1997 to 2005, there was no increase in the kinds of crimes committed on Halloween.