(Media ride-along registration deadline is today, October 23.)
Sacramento – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Division of Adult Parole Operations – aided by law enforcement partners statewide – is preparing to conduct the 19th annual Halloween children’s safety project, “Operation Boo.”
This year, it features CDCR’s online parent empowerment brochure. Beginning today, the media is invited to partner with CDCR in spreading the word about how parents and guardians can help keep kids safe by using this online resource. The Operation Boo Parent Patrol Online Guide gives suggestions for non-threatening ways to teach children how to spot and avoid potential sexual predators. The brochure also offers links to help parents pin point sex offender residences and avoid those homes while plotting their children’s trick-or-treat paths.
CDCR has been conducting and expanding the Operation Boo Project since 1994. Operation Boo is held throughout California on Halloween night. State-supervised sex offenders* are monitored closely to ensure that they don’t attempt to attract children to their homes. The special conditions of parole imposed on sex offenders for Halloween night include:
o A 5 p.m.-to-5 a.m. curfew during which parolees must remain indoors;
o No exterior lights may be on at their homes (to discourage children from approaching);
o No offering of Halloween candy and no Halloween decorations;
o Sex-offender parolees can open the door only to respond to law enforcement, such as parole agents checking compliance.
*There are almost 92,000 sex offenders in California. CDCR is responsible for supervising about 10,395 or 11 percent of them. For more information, please visit: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/Sex Offender_Facts/index.html
In addition to the traditional compliance checks, Operation Boo will include two features added statewide last year.
• Parent Empowerment: Since only a small percent of sex offenders are under CDCR supervision so parental empowerment is key to protecting California children from sexual predators year round. That’s why CDCR is again promoting a free downloadable brochure with helpful information and links for parents including:
o How to share a fun and non-threatening Halloween activity with their children to allow discussion of dangerous behavior in adults.
o Tips by well known organizations and experts for discussing personal safety for children.
o Internet links to help survey the community and learn where sex offenders may live so parents and children can steer clear and report any illegal activity observed.
o Operation Boo Parent Patrol badges for Halloween night to send a message to predators that they’re being watched, and to let everyone on the trick-or-treat trail know that parent awareness is key to keeping children safe.
• Halloween Night Transient Sex Offender Monitoring: Since a significant number of sex offenders are homeless, special reporting centers will be set up in parole regions in areas where such offenders typically congregate. Transient sex offenders will be ordered to report to a center to spend the curfew under supervision. The centers will be part of the Halloween night media tours. Per a prior news advisory, the deadline for media registration is today, October 23, (availabilities are limited and vary by region).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2012
CONTACT: Luis Patino