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Making Trick-or-Treating safe this Halloween weekend
DOC agents working with local authorities for holiday enforcement

WAUPUN — The Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) is partnering with Wisconsin law enforcement this Halloween to conduct random home visits of registered sex offenders on DOC supervision. These annual checks take place in communities across the state during local trick-or-treating hours.

Each year, DOC probation and parole agents remind those on the state’s Sex Offender Registry of Halloween-specific restrictions, and then work with law enforcement to ensure they are following the rules.

Restrictions for registered sex offenders are intended to protect children out trick-or-treating. The restrictions include:

●  Having any Halloween decorations, either inside or outside the residence

●  Handing out candy or participating in any trick-or-treating activities

●  Wearing a Halloween costume

●  Turning on the porch light during their local trick-or-treating hours  

DOC suggests parents develop a trick-or-treating strategy so their kids know what to do if they get separated, and also remind them of safety tips, including:

●  A parent or trusted adult should always accompany children

●  Stay on well-lit streets and stick to neighborhoods you know

●  Only stop at homes where the porch light is on

●  Never enter a home or car for a treat

●  Trick-or-treaters should bring a cell phone to allow for quick communication

●  Activate location services on the phone prior to trick-or-treating

●  Call 911 if you see any suspicious or illegal activity

●  Children should yell “No!” and run from any stranger who tries to take them somewhere

●  Have a responsible adult check treats at the end of the night

The Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry website lets users check for registered sex offenders within three miles of a specific address, and search for all registered offenders in a certain municipality, ZIP code or county. People can also call the Sex Offender Safe Tip Line at 1-877-234-0085 if they have any questions or want to report violations of Halloween restrictions. Again, they should call 911 if they see unlawful activity or feel threatened.

The Wisconsin DOC supervises nearly 63,000 people on community supervision, probation or parole, including 6,240 registered sex offenders.