For the 10th consecutive Halloween, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision said it will keep a tight rein on supervised sex offenders "to ensure the safety of children."
The agency's acting commissioner said in a news release Friday that known sex offenders will be visited by their parole officers on Halloween and several special conditions will be imposed.
"The Department is committed to keeping the streets of each community safe and free of sex offenders so families can enjoy the festive holiday without fear," said Anthony J. Annucci, the agency's acting commissioner.
Approximately 2,375 sex offenders under supervision will be visited by parole officers as part of the Operation Halloween, officials said.
The department's restrictions include:
** Beginning in the early afternoon on Halloween, or immediately following the end of their work day or completion of an approved community program, all sex offender parolees are to remain in their residence until 6 a.m. the following morning.
** Parolees cannot open their doors, distribute candy or partake in the act of "trick-or-treating."
** Parolees cannot wear any costume, mask or other disguises.
In addition, county probation departments, which monitor approximately 5,000 sex offenders under probation supervision, also may have programs in place to monitor those offenders on Halloween, officials said.
Also on Friday, East Hampton Town police said they have started intensified monitoring of registered sex offenders for Halloween.
The initiative began on Wednesday and will continue through Halloween night, police said.
The initiative includes detectives visiting the homes of registered sex offenders and conducting random surveillance to ensure compliance with state and local laws, the release said.
Information on level 2 and 3 sex offenders can be found at the state Division of Criminal Justice website (criminaljustice.ny.gov). By law, the agency is prohibited from posting information on Level 1 (low-level) sex offenders, or those with a pending risk level, on its site.
Parents are reminded to monitor their children's activity on Halloween and discuss with them safety precautions regarding trick-or-treating and interaction with strangers, the release said.
In addition, all candy and treats should be examined before consumption, and suspicious activity or suspected tampering of treats should be reported to town police.
Police also urged that trick-or-treaters stay in groups and that parents never send younger children out alone.