Department of Corrections to monitor sex offenders on Halloween

Virginia Department of Corrections Director Harold Clarke has announced plans to monitor sex offenders under probation and parole supervision throughout the Commonwealth on Halloween night while children are trick-or-treating.

Operation Porch Lights Out represents a collaborative effort between VADOC Community Corrections, State Police, and local law enforcement to further strengthen public safety throughout the state. 

Through Operation Porch Lights Out, offenders are either required to remain at home with their lights out and not answer the door for trick-or-treaters or they are required to attend a meeting at a secure location during the evening hours when children are likely to be trick-or-treating.

Pursuant to the VADOC mission to enhance public safety, the Wednesday, Oct. 31 operation will monitor a high-risk population during a time when children could be vulnerable.

“This operation is a collaborative effort to protect children across the Commonwealth,” said Director Clarke. “We know families remain vigilant while children are having fun trick-or-treating, including watching traffic and checking treats, and we will be vigilant in our efforts to enhance children’s safety.”

To ensure offender compliance, consistent with their supervisory responsibilities, VADOC Probation and Parole Officers along with State Police and local law enforcement will make random home visits. If offenders attend organized meetings, they are required to participate in educational sessions and drug and alcohol screening while law enforcement provides oversight of any existing warrants.

The Virginia State Police will verify and update each offender’s registration on the State Police Sex Offender Registry.

VADOC Community Corrections supervises about 56,900 probationers and parolees across the state. Of those, about 3,500 are sex offenders.

Augusta Health Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press