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Crimcast is a virtual resource devoted to critical conversations about criminology and criminal justice issues. Our blogposts, twitter feeds, podcasts and other content provide an overview of trends, research, commentary and events of interest to criminal justice practitioners, academics and the general public. CrimCast is sponsored by The Center for Crime and Popular Culture, St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

Halloween Laws for Sex Offenders

Nickie Phillips

Image by Sylvixinae

Sociologist Emily Horowitz on Manufacturing Fear: Halloween Laws for Sex Offenders:

In North Carolina, a sheriff tells parents to check the online sex offender registry before allowing children to trick-or-treat. In Montana, a town offers a "trunk-or-treat" event where kids can get Halloween candy from trunks of cars in a parking lot to avoid potential danger. In New York, "Operation Halloween: Zero Tolerance" prohibits sex offenders from wearing masks or costumes or answering their doors on Halloween…

Sex offender laws on Halloween are a natural outgrowth of the fear of a night of social disorder and grave danger, rooted in the belief that any law that can potentially protect children, or even one child, is a good one. Unfortunately, these laws don't protect children, nor do they make us feel safer about a child-centric holiday.