HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) – South Carolina officials will be enforcing a curfew again this Halloween for sex offenders on probation, parole, or under supervision.
The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (SCDPPPS) said it will enforce the curfew on 782 sex offenders currently under supervision in the state.
There will be seven agents monitoring 72 sex offenders in Horry County on Halloween night. The department says hundreds of home visits will be made across the state Saturday as agents make sure these sex offenders are following curfew guidance.
Sex offenders won’t be allowed to leave their homes, or in some cases work, from 5:30 until 9:00 p.m. Halloween night. They have received instructions to keep all outside lights off, not to answer the door, and will not be allowed to hand out candy.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, offenders won’t be meeting at a central location for accountability purposes as in years past. Instead, they’ve been told to stay at home, where local agents will make their rounds to ensure compliance during home visits to every offender under curfew in the state.
“Horry County, Charleston, Richland, Greenville, and Spartanburg are the biggest counties in the state as far as offender population,” Taylor Cox, SCDPPPS’s Sex Offender Program Manager, said.
Department officials say 53 agents will be conducting all home visits across the South Carolina’s 46 counties on Halloween night.
“It’s our goal to protect our children, there was nothing specific that occurred but it’s just one more safety measure that we felt like we could put in place to keep our communities a little bit safer,” Jennifer Brice, Director of Emergency Management and Field Programs, said.
Horry County is among the top five counties in South Carolina with the highest sex offender population, according to the department officials.
Parents may want to warn their trick-or-treaters while bouncing door to door to skip the home with no outdoor lights on.
“This population, they know this is going to happen every year, that we are going to enforce this curfew so we have gained a lot of compliance with them. It looks like last year we had one arrest in the state for someone who is in non-compliance,” Brice said.
The number people can call if any issues arise or you believe a sex offender is not in compliance is 800-263-7191. That is the GPS monitoring program at the department and is available 24 hours a day.