While most people were out celebrating Halloween by attending costume parties, a handful of parole officers with the California Department of Corrections spent the night knocking on the doors of registered sex offenders. For parole officers in California, this Halloween represented the 25th annual execution of "Operation Boo".
Operation Boo 2018 offers a parents' guide which says to keep eyes open for strange behavior and contains some disturbing statistics:
<i>Welcome Parents and Guardians! Thanks for your interest. We at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation offer this resource to further help you keep your kids safe from molestation. First, let’s dispel a popular myth about those who commit sexual abuse against children. Years ago, the main message to combat child sex abuse was about "Stranger Danger."</i>
<i>But that’s changed because, even though just one such case is too many, research shows that only a small percentage (10%) of molestation cases involves strangers abducting and abusing children. The U.S. Department of Justice says most sex-abuse against kids is committed by people they know and trust.<i>
<i>-30% of all child molesters are the children’s own family members.</i>
<i>-Twice that many, about 60%, aren’t family members – but they are known to the child. They’re family friends, babysitters, child care providers, or neighbors.</i>
<i>- And it’s not just adults - 23% of reported cases are committed by people younger than 18 years of age.</i>
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One parole officer named Dan Silva said he has spent the last 20 years with the California Department of Corrections. Silva has spent nearly half of that time checking up on sex offenders in violation on the spooky holiday. Registered sex offenders are not allowed contact with children and decorating for trick-or-treaters is not allowed.
"They’re given advanced notice but for whatever reason, we still find them with their lights on, with Halloween decorations, with candy," Silva said. The first few sex offenders that officers checked up on were given the "all clear" after a full search of their homes. But on their last stop in an apartment complex, officers found a parolee who had failed to register as a sex offender and was also convicted of assault on a peace officer.
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While the parole officers searched the parolee's home, local news reporters with Fox 40 managed to get a few questions answered by the man. He told Fox 40, "I tried to be in compliance of everything." Apparently, he thought he could get around the law restricting felons from owning firearms because officers found two BB guns in a back room.
A parole officer said, "He acknowledged he knew those BB guns were in his room." He was taken to jail for violation of his parole by failing to register as a sex offender. If you are a parent and interested in learning more about Operation Boo <a href="https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Parole/docs/Operation-Boo-Parents-Guide.pdf">you can visit this link.</a>
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HappyHalloween?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HappyHalloween</a> CDCR Parole and local law enforcement will be checking in with parolee sex offenders tonight to help keep children safe as part of the annual <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OperationBoo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#OperationBoo</a>. Check out our parent guide to learn how to talk to your kids about sexual assault: <a href="https://t.co/t1gsfLWdYi">https://t.co/t1gsfLWdYi</a>” <a href="https://t.co/5RwIuhxS4x">pic.twitter.com/5RwIuhxS4x</a></p>— CA Corrections (@CACorrections) <a href="https://twitter.com/CACorrections/status/1057662204311289856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 31, 2018</a></blockquote>
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This year's Operation Boo netted 110 arrests out of 1252 paroled sex offenders state-wide with 8 of those offenders picking up new charges. Additionally, 30 of those sex offenders were found with pornography, and another 31 were found with drugs or violated parole some other way.
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