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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update: Halloween in Habersham County

On Monday I reported that Habersham County Sheriff DeRay Fincher has ordered his county's sex offenders to shun all Halloween-related activities. Habersham's sex offenders are not allowed to take their kids trick-or-treating, decorate their homes, don a costume, or even answer their doors.

I spoke to Fincher yesterday and he told me the restrictions he's imposing even extend to sex offenders who were not involved in crimes against children.

"I just do a blanket thing," says Fincher.

He knows of no instances in Habersham County of a sex offender using Halloween to lure a victim, but says "I would rather be proactive than reactive."

Additionally, Fincher says he has ordered all sex offenders in Habersham who are on parole or probation to attend a meeting on Halloween night between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting, he says, is to sequester sex offenders on a night when there are lots of children out at night. The sex offenders will be provided with food and a television.

When I mentioned to Fincher that his "no-decorations-for-sex-offenders" decree might compel innocent county residents to decorate their homes just so they don't look like sex offenders, he laughed and said he hadn't considered that.

"I don't have my house decorated," he said, noting he lives in an out-of-the-way community with few, if any, trick-or-treaters.

"If I lived in town, though, I'd probably decorate."

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