Sexual offenders can hand candy out on Halloween
A growing list of states have laws restricting sexual offenders from participating in Halloween activities like passing out candy to kids trick-or-treating. Currently in Mississippi, there are no restrictions for sexual predators on Halloween night.
Halloween is a night for monsters, witches, and ghosts, but what’s really scary is the possible danger that may only be a doorbell away. States across the nation have enacted laws prohibiting registered sex offenders from handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Mississippi doesn’t have these restrictions on sexual predators on Halloween night. Joey Payne with Biloxi PD said, “If they live in that residence they can set up for trick-or-treating just like anyone else.”
Eleven-year-old Allie Rhodes says she’s excited for Halloween. “I’m going over to my friend’s house to trick-or-treat and I’m going to be Rey from Star Wars.”
Allie says there’s rules she follows every year. “Always be with my parents and my mom usually checks my candy bag.”
According to police, the most important rule to consider while trick-or-treating is to never go alone. Authorities say especially because Mississippi doesn’t have ‘no candy laws’ for sexual predators, parents should accompany kids Halloween night. Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, and Missouri are states that do not allow sexual offenders to pass out candy on Halloween. “It could be nothing happens. They give their candy. They shut the door and they leave. If the parent’s don’t walk with them, they could pull the kid inside the house,” said Payne.
Police says parents should make sure to check their child’s candy and if you plan to trick-or-treat past dark, lighter colored costumes are the safest option for kids. “Some of these costumes are extremely dark and you can’t see them so if you let your child run off they can actually step in the street and the driver won’t see them,” said Payne.
To make sure the neighborhoods in your trick-or-treating routes are safe, check for sexual offenders by doing a geographical search on the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry website.