Sunday, December 11, 2011
Law enforcement officers in Los Angeles County arrested a number of people who had been convicted of sex offenses, after a sweep during Halloween. The persons were arrested because they allegedly decorated their homes for Halloween, in violation of a rule prohibiting them to make their homes inviting for children.
Under the rule, sex offenders who have been released and are on probation are required to keep their front porch lights off on Halloween to discourage trick-or-treating children from knocking on their door. They are also required to draw the blinds, and keep the curtains drawn during the holiday.
The Los Angeles County Probation Department conducted a sweep to find persons convicted of sex crimes, in violation of the rule. Over a four-day period, they arrested at least 5 people who were on probation for sex crimes. The persons arrested included a married couple. A total of 40 probation officers participated in the sweep that included a total of 251 homes. The sweep also found at least 122 probationers who were in compliance with the rule.
Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers find that there’s little that can interfere with a person's ability to integrate into society after release from prison, like being told that he or she cannot celebrate one of the country’s most popular holidays because of a sex crime conviction on their record. Persons with sex crime convictions already have restrictions on where they can live or work. Alienating persons who have been convicted of any kind of sex crime in this manner, does little to keep children safe, and could actually increases recidivism rates. Besides, there is enough evidence to indicate that children may be at a greater risk of sexual abuse or molestation from people within the family or people they know, than from people who have been registered in the sex offender registry.