By Sandra McNeill

DETROIT (WWJ) – Before you head out with your kids for Halloween trick or treating — you may want to know who’s in your neighborhood.

Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard recommends that parents check the state’s sex offender registry ahead of their walk around the block.

Bouchard says it’s an important part of Halloween preparations — to know the houses in which the offenders live.

“I think it’s a little worse because there’s a much greater degree of doing the kinds of things that pedophiles do anonymously via the internet – they actually create chat groups; ‘how to avoid police, how to find kids, how to share pictures’ how to do things — there was no such thing – so maybe some of that behavior was repressed back in the day because the only way to look for kids was to go sit outside a playground,” says Bouchard.

The registry has a list of the offenses as well as the addresses of those convicted.

Bouchard says with a click of the button you’ll be able to see what a sex offender has been convicted of … “so if it’s, what they call, a Romeo and Juliet kind of thing or whether it’s first degree forcible rape – the information then empowers you to know where that threat is.”

He says it’s happened on Halloween before: “Oh absolutely, we’ve seen in the past sex offenders put out candy and try to draw kids … to their house.”

Margarette Browne doesn’t have children but checked the registry and was surprised to find four registered sex offenders on her street.

“You know, you’ve got to give people a chance too I think — because, I guess, some people can be rehabilitated,” said Browne tentatively, “I would be careful, I would be cautious.”

You can find more information here: Search for Registered Sex Offenders In Your Area.

Comments (2)
  1. TNF 13 says:

    These warnings ignore the facts on this issue:

    A study published in Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment (DOI: 10.1177/1079063209340143) analyzed data from 67,307 sexual offenses committed against 67,045 victims and found no significance between Halloween and the rest of the year in regards to sexual offenses.

    The average sexual offender repeats their sexual crimes at a rate around 11.5% (Hanson and Morton-Bourgon, 2009: DOI: 10.1037/a001442 : Sample size: 45,398 offenders across 16 countries).

    A 2008 study looking at 21 years of arrest data (“Does a watched pot boil? A time-series analysis of New York State’s sexual offender registration and notification law.” Sandler et al, 2008) found that over 95% of sexual offense arrests were of first-time offenders with no criminal history on no registry.

    90% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by those known to the victim, not strangers (Characteristics of Crimes Against Juveniles, Finkelhor and Shattuck, 2012).

    Go to Stop It Now! to learn practical prevention tips that are based in fact rather than relying on unproven methods like the sexual offender registry which ignores facts. Our children are safer when we watch for behavioral signs and acknowledge that 90-95% of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by people trusted in the community that have no criminal record.

    TNF 13
    Advocate for the Primary Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse

  2. Al Cackowski says:

    How do I know if the people on the list are really perverts, or just some drunk college that got caught peeing in the alley?

    …a once good idea made useless by the bureaucracy

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