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Protect kids from sex offenders this Halloween

If you are an Atlanta parent, you undoubtedly want your kids to be safe during Halloween trick-or-treating activities. That includes being safe from registered sex offenders who may live along the trick-or-treating route.

Yet one group here in Georgia takes exception to the extra surveillance directed their way on this autumn holiday.

A local media outlet recently interviewed the spokeswoman for the Georgia chapter of the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL). She argued that stepping up monitoring of those in this demographic group wastes taxpayer dollars that could better be spent on traffic safety.

As such, she cited a study done in 2009 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that indicated kids between the ages of 5 and 14 have four times the risk of being killed in a pedestrian-auto accident on Halloween as they do during other days of the year.

Armed with those statistics, her group challenges the current laws and guidelines regarding the extra supervision of registered sex offenders on Halloween. NARSOL seeks to keep the public safe while preserving the civil liberties of the offenders.

Since 2013, those who are on parole from prison for sex offenses must either attend special programs on Halloween or abide by strict curfews. Some locales go farther than that and do residence checks or mandate that offenders spend the trick-or-treat hours in specific facilities.

The spokeswoman claims that, statistically speaking, sex offenders have lower recidivism rates that almost all other offenders. She feels the fearmongering unduly harasses sex offenders. According to results from one research study, trick-or-treating children being sexually assaulted makes up just 1 percent of all of the crimes on Halloween.

If you are the parent of a child, however, that is 1 percent too many. Sex offenders can and do pose dangers to children's safety and welfare. If your child is harmed by a sex offender on Halloween, learn about all of your legal options.

Source: WXIA, "Trick-or-treat threat? Group says extra monitoring of sex offenders on Halloween unnecessary," Adrianne Honey, Oct. 24, 2017

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