LAKE HAVASU CITY - Probation officers will go to the homes of sex offenders in Mohave County in northwestern Arizona on Halloween to make sure they're not handing candy out to children.
The probation officers will be conducting compliance checks at the homes of about 100 registered sex offenders in the county, said Friend Walker, Mohave County's chief probation officer.
"We want to make sure they're not associating with small children," he said. "We want to make sure that they're following the terms of their probation."
He said sex offenders have been warned to keep their lights off on Halloween and to not open their doors to children. Although they know their probation officer will stop by, they "don't know what time we're coming," he said.
In some cases, officers will do repeat visits to prevent anyone from trying to cheat the system.
If anyone is caught giving out candy to children, that person could be sent back to jail, probation officer Ann Rooney said.
Other punishments could include forcing the offenders to wear electronic-monitoring bracelets, depending on the nature of possible encounters.
In addition to making sure the sex offenders don't lure unsuspecting trick-or-treaters into their homes, the compliance checks are meant to keep an eye on the convicted criminals.
Rooney said that's perhaps the greatest deterrent. "Problems occur more often when they're not supervised," she said.
She said this is the first year the checks will be done countywide. No parolees have been caught handing out candy to children in past years.