The Tennessee Department of Correction is working to keep your children safe this Halloween season.
NASHVILLE – Every day across this great state, the staff of the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) supervises more than 20-thousand incarcerated offenders and nearly 80-thousand offenders on community supervision. Nearly 3,300 of those under community supervision are registered sex offenders. TDOC’s mission is to enhance public safety for all Tennesseans including our most vulnerable citizens – our children. That’s why every October the Department launches a special operation entitled Operation Blackout.
While Operation Blackout is an extra layer of accountability during the Halloween season, TDOC has strict rules regarding sex offenders that must be enforced daily. According to Correctional Administrator Sue Siedentop, “Our officers do a great job ensuring that offenders adhere to the conditions of their supervision. But during Halloween, when thousands of children are going to be going door to door, our officers will be out in the community to make sure that these kids have a safe night.”
During Halloween sex offenders under TDOC supervision are informed of a very specific set of rules they must follow. Those include:
• Being in their homes by 6 pm.
• Not having any Halloween decorations.
• Keeping their porch light off.
• Not distributing Halloween candy.
• Not attending any Halloween functions (Hallelujah Night, Harvest Festivals, etc.).
In addition to following those rules, officers will canvas the area and visit more than 3,300 offenders who have been determined to be high risk. Each of these offenders will be visited Halloween night to ensure compliance.
While TDOC officers will be out enhancing public safety, there are some things that you can do to ensure that your child has a safe night full of treats and not tricks.
• Go with your child on Halloween night. This is not only a good way to keep your child safe but is a prime time to get to know your neighbors better.
• If you choose to let your child go out without adult supervision, make sure you know where your child will be trick or treating.
• Before you go out on Halloween night, check the TBI Sex Offender Registry to know which houses you should avoid.
• If you see any suspicious activity, please contact your local law enforcement agency.
• If you see a TDOC offender at a Halloween event or with holiday décor, please call 1-844-TDC-FIND and report it.
According to Assistant Commissioner Community Supervision Alisha James, “I am a parent of two school-aged children and I rest better knowing that TDOC is doing this added function.” She goes on to add, “Many of our officers give up trick or treating with their own families to protect the children of this state. I’m proud of their dedication and their service to public safety.”
Media wanting to cover the event should call Faith Seifuddin at the number listed above, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.