While children are tricking and treating throughout Westchester, area sex offenders on probation will be off the streets this Halloween.
More than 150 registered and non-registered sex offenders on probation in Westchester and Putnam counties have received special “invitations,” requiring them to attend an educational anti-sexual abuse victim impact program.
The program is being held at Westchester County Courthouse between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Wednesday.
According to the Westchester County Probation Department, the offenders will “hear compelling accounts of devastation perpetrated on children and adult victims, and gain insight into how these acts can reverberate through a victim’s life.” Two survivors of sexual abuse will share their personal stories and experiences regarding the impact of abuse, as well as their road to recovery.
Additionally, Carol Amaranth of Victims Assistance Services and WESTCOP, will share her experiences in working with victims of abuse, and the impact of sexual assault and trauma.
“While your kids are out trick-or-treating, registered sex offenders will be required to stay indoors,” Westchester County Probation Department Commissioner Rocco Pozzi stated. “The Probation Department will also be stepping up patrols in our communities, tracking down any offenders who fail to attend the program. Parents should feel comfortable allowing their children to go out on Halloween without worrying about their safety.”
While the program is in progress, several probation and police officers from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety will be out in the community to track down any offenders who fail to appear at the event. At the end of the event, the offenders will be forbidden to use public transportation and will instead by escorted by officers.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure our children are safe when they go trick-or-treating on Halloween night,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer said. “Parents should remind their kids to travel in groups and come home at a reasonable hour, but they shouldn’t have to worry about the potential dangers of sex offenders. This program guarantees that all local sex offenders will be accounted for in Westchester County.”
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