California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation parole agents arrested 110 of the 1,252 sex-offender parolees who were contacted during compliance checks or searches as part of the 25th annual Operation Boo Child Safety Project on Halloween night.
Statewide, new charges were filed against eight of the sex-offender parolees contacted. Pornography was confiscated from a total of 30 the parolees checked on Halloween night. Two of those were found with child pornography. A total 31 parolees were found with narcotics, narcotic paraphernalia or were in violation of other conditions of parole. In addition, 13 parolees were caught with weapons.
“Our thanks go to the hundreds of parole agents and our local law enforcement partners who work late hours to help ensure California’s children enjoy a safer Halloween experience,” said Jerry Powers, Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations. “We are hopeful that our refocused parents’ guide will empower parents to talk to their kids in an age-appropriate manner about setting personal boundaries and talking to someone they trust if they are touched in a manner that makes them feel uncomfortable.”
On Halloween, paroled and registered sex offenders must remain indoors from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and not answer the door to anyone except law enforcement. They are not allowed to give out any candy or have Halloween decorations. They also must turn off exterior lights so that it appears no one is at home.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show a staggering need to make parents aware that it isn’t strangers who most often molest children. The vast majority of people who sexually assault children are people well known to the child and their family. Thirty 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. And it’s not just adults; 23 percent of reported cases are committed by people younger than 18 years of age.
Boo Tips, the Operation Boo parents’ guide, has information to help keep children safe throughout the year. It can be accessed and downloaded online at www.TinyURL.com/BooTips. It features the following components:
— Eyes Open to Strange Behavior: Approximately 90 percent of sexual assaults against children are committed by someone they know. Boo Tips provides links to several website locations with recommendations on how to talk to your children about setting personal boundaries and spotting dangerous behaviors by anyone.
— Parent Empowerment: Boo Tips also provides links to important tools to help keep children safe, such as the Megan’s Law website, which helps the public pinpoint where sex-offenders live in their area so children can stay clear of them.