LANCASTER – On Halloween night, parole agents and local law enforcement will be keeping a watchful eye on sex offenders who are actively on parole in the Antelope Valley as part of Operation Boo, an annual children’s safety initiative conducted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
State-supervised sex offenders must abide by special parole conditions on Oct. 31, such as:
- Staying indoors during a 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, and only opening the door to respond to law enforcement.
- Turning off all exterior lights of their homes, which discourages children from approaching.
- Refraining from offering Halloween candy or putting up Halloween decorations.
As part of Operation Boo’s 26th annual child safety project, CDCR has released a free, downloadable parent guide titled Boo Tips. [Get it here.]
Raising awareness is key to helping keep kids safe, according to a CDCR news release, which states:
- 30 percent of all child molesters are the children’s own family members.
- Twice that many, about 60 percent, aren’t family members — but they are known to the child. They’re family friends, babysitters, child care providers, or neighbors.
- 23 percent of reported cases are committed by people younger than 18 years of age.
“Please help us spread the word about how parents and guardians can teach children to spot and avoid molestation by using Boo Tips, a parent empowerment brochure,” the CDCR news release states.
Boo Tips will help parents:
- Talk to their children about setting personal boundaries.
- Explain to them that certain parts of their bodies are private.
- Reinforce to children that they should feel comfortable telling their parents, or someone they trust, if someone touches them in a way that makes them uncomfortable.
- Learn to identify warning signs from children.
- Identify signs that someone is paying an unusual amount of attention to a child.
For more information, contact CDCR’s Luis Patino at Luis.Patino@cdcr.ca.gov.