How one county is protecting your kids from sex offenders this Halloween

How one county is protecting your kids from sex offenders this Halloween
Posted at 5:12 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 18:08:29-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- One county is making sure the hundreds of Tri-State trick-or-treaters are also treated with an extra layer of safety this Halloween.

Registered sex offenders under the control of the court system in Warren County are required to be either at work or the courthouse for programming during the hours of trick-or-treating.

RELATED: Map: Before trick-or-treating this Halloween, see where local sex offenders live

Warren County prosecutor David Fornshell said Warren County Court Services are requiring registered sex offenders under the control of the court system to attend programming on Halloween.

"I think it gives a level of reassurance to parents out there that you're not going to have hopefully registered sex offenders passing out candy on trick-or-treat," Fornshell said.

With young children trick-or-treating this Halloween, Krystal Curtis, of Lebanon, said she appreciates the initiative. 

"I appreciate it because it ends up helping out with our kids to us as parents being able to feel safer with our kids walking up to strangers and learning not all strangers are going to hurt you," Curtis said.

Warren County’s Court Services Program is unique.

Butler, Clermont and Dearborn counties will have extra patrol on Halloween, but officials have advised parents to check the sex offender registry so they’ll know where sex offenders live.

Tom Lankford, associate director of the Warren County Common Pleas Court Services, said the program on Halloween will facilitate discussion.

"They talk about the implications of their offense, how to integrate back into society, how to ensure that things don't happen in the future, and it's just an interactive group with a licensed doctor in the area," Lankford said.

Fornshell emphasized that only sex offenders under the supervision of the court are required to attend the program.

"It's not going to necessarily cover every single person who is a registered sex offender,” Fornshell said. “The court has limited jurisdiction over sex offenders in terms of what they're able to impose. Those that are under some form of community control, the court can require them to undergo this type of programming and to not participate in trick-or-treat."

Public officials said parents should be aware of sex offenders in their community before heading out Monday night.