federal probation agents plan to keep a close eye this Halloween on registered
sex offenders - at least those still under their supervision.
offenders living in Chesapeake, Hampton
and Newport News
will have to attend special meetings during prime trick-or-treating hours.
Under threat of jail, others must stay indoors with their front porch lights
dark while local and state police conduct random visits.
Department of Corrections officials cast the initiative - now in its 15th year
- as a way to protect children from possible sexual abuse. A spokeswoman for
probation office said it's meant to "reduce risk to the children of the
community on Halloween night."
for reforming the nation's laws governing sex offenders, however, decry the
special meetings and home visits as a waste of resources. They cite a 2009
academic study to claim there is no evidence children are more at risk of being
molested by a stranger on Halloween than on any other night.