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TN: Operation Blackout To Crack Down On Sex Offenders During Halloween Season

[ – 10/20/20]

The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) is responsible for the supervision of more than 3,800 registered sex offenders. TDOC’s mission is to enhance public safety for all Tennesseans including our most vulnerable citizens – our children. That’s why the department launches a special operation this time of year called, Operation Blackout.

According to Assistant Commissioner of Community Supervision Lisa Helton, “Operation Blackout provides all registered sex offenders under the supervision of the Tennessee Department of Correction with additional restrictions during a time when families and children might be out in the community enjoying festivals and activities.  This operation is part of our commitment to public safety and ensuring that all Tennesseans can enjoy a happy and safe Halloween.”

During Halloween, sex offenders under TDOC supervision are informed of a specific set of rules that must be followed:

Must be at home by 6pm
No Halloween décor
Porch lights must be off
No distributing Halloween candy
May not attend Halloween functions (Hallelujah Night, Harvest Festivals, etc.)
TDOC officers will canvas areas and visit more than 3,800 offenders to ensure compliance.  According to Correctional Administrator Sue Siedentop, “While we are aware that the majority of offenders we supervise are compliant with the rules of their supervision, TDOC is committed to public safety and takes this extra step to monitor offenders under our care.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, TDOC has continued to monitor offenders using virtual reporting, virtual home visits, in-person residence verifications, and in person sex offender treatment verifications. This year, TDOC has taken extra safety precautions including wearing KN-95 masks underneath cloth masks, wearing double layered disposable gloves that are changed out after each encounter, wearing CDC recommended outerwear, social distancing, and sanitizing between visits.

Read the full article

Related: Livingston County Sheriff’s Department checks sex offender to ensure compliance of “Halloween Law” [and finds no serious violations]


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What has man wrot? What a stigmatism. My ole grandmother didn’t believe in halloween and many in the early 20’s that had any reliegon background didn’t either. Since this sex offender ordeal things have gotten a bit loose if thats the right word to say about what a person can do and can’t.

Sure all this is a lesson but authorities take it to extreme. Isn’t getting killed in a car wreck extreme enough with the kids in the back seat. Whats wrong with going out treck or treating with one’s own kids or if they want to pass out candy. Oh… Oh its all about public safety! Sounds to me like some maharaja guru from the peoples temple are trying to handcuff with monitor touching.

Guess one can’t carve a pig out of a punkin these days. Maybe we all should go back to Three’s Company and start doing toilet training for halloween or who is training who today. I’m sure everyone is sick of this mess. If much of this offender ordeal isn’t a deep throat undercut than how do you spell computer data with a cyber geek on the other end trying to trip someone up, which is basically what it is in many instances. Government know’ exactlly what they are doing and their is no database to figure out the mind of another or would some still say its all in the database.

Facts and figures don’t lie but who is lying to who in these encounters. Sure we all could turn the other cheek so to speak or hit them with your best shot. Janet has brought up some very interesting issues and understandings which should of been discusses several years ago which I’m sure they were but its funny how things come to light our of a dark and gloomy ordeal such as this.

Many of you all should have never went to prison or are we still like David and still using their thinking as arguments to try and stump the database of human behavior or why do people go to war if they don’t kill anyone? Either one resolves something or they just let it go. I am sure this whole issue is a constitutional issue that has so man abuses that it needs to be re-slated to make sound doctrine in American government ro we might as well go back to the civil war days in this age. One wonders about slave trade today or prison reform, even the prison riots of the past have gotten a bit out of touch. Now Halloween seems like a nightmare on elm street in many respects to the offender. So how vain is your government.

Just once I’d like to see one of these articles state how many sex offenses occurred on Halloween during trick-or-treating or at some festival, and then how many of those were committed by someone with prior sex offenses. I would think that pertinent information.

If there were any that would clearly be stated in the article. To my knowledge there has never been a tric-or-treater accosted by a person on the registry as they went door to door.

Eric, your DUI comparison makes total sense. And let’s extend that absurd LEO line of thinking beyond Halloween. Clearly, bank robbers have an issue with banks; therefore, no more contact with banks for those individuals all throughout the year. Clearly, car thieves have an issue with cars; therefore, no more contact with cars for those individuals all throughout the year. Clearly, murderers have an issue with humans; therefore no more contact with humans all throughout the year. And, all of these conditions will take place AFTER those individuals have already finished their prison sentences. Makes total sense.

The last time a child was hurt/molested by an offender on Halloween was in 1973

@eric- Your use of “on the registry” regarding crimes committed on Halloween is such an essential component to combating this Registry lunacy.

Below is the link to an article that a member of “The Patch” printed in 2017; and has been recently updated. The point of the article is to explain why posting the name of Registrants is so crucial to the protection of children, especially on Halloween. It uses the heinous crime committed by Gerald Turner against nine-year old Lisa French in 1973. There is no doubt that Turner’s actions were vile, sick, and depraved. However, the article is soaked with emotional rhetoric that is designed to frighten the bejesus out of every waking soul, especially on Halloween. The most crucial aspect, as it pertains to the hypocrisy of Halloween Registrant Posting, is that Lisa French knew Gerald Turner when she knocked on his door in 1973. Turner was described as a “friend of the family” in subsequent articles after Turner was arrested. Again, what happened to Lisa French is deplorable and inhumane. But posting the names of Registrants does nothing for protecting those that one may already know. We all know what those “postings” actually do; they make life insufferable for those that are posted.

Underdog, yes, certainly a tragedy, but I don’t have to go back nearly 50 years, two years ago in our community on Halloween night three children were run down by a drunk driver as they crossed in a crosswalk. So following their line of reasoning, nobody that has ever been arrested for DUI in the past should be allowed to drive on Halloween. No one with a DUI should be allowed to go in a bar or purchase any liquor on Halloween. Makes perfect sense, right, and if they are caught in violation they should go to prison fro five years. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

Both you and the article are correct, but overlook a couple of major details:

1. Gerald Turner had NO PRIORS OF ANY KIND before Halloween 1973, meaning that even if the laws/rules imposed on registrants were in effect at the time, it would not have changed the outcome.

2. Lisa French was NOT trick-or-treating. Though still in costume, she went to Turner’s house at 11:00 that night, long after trick-or-treating was over, again indicating that the current Halloween laws/rules regarding registrants wouldn’t have prevented that crime had they been in effect.

3. Roughly 30 Halloweens have passed between French’s murder and the first Halloween restrictions imposed on registrants, during which not one single sex crime against a trick-or-treater was ever reported, indicating said laws/rules were never necessary in the first place.

4. Admittedly a minor point, but I personally find it very disturbing that the focus on the sexual assaults of Lisa French, Megan Kanka, et. al, completely overshadows their deaths. I’ve never heard of such restrictions (or comparable ones) imposed on paroled murderers.

Operation Harassment and Fear mongering at it’s finest; while other crimes go unattended because cops have to keep tabs on people who paid their price. They know people are compliant than why have these operations. Never have operation Redemptions, wait that’s against the agenda.

This is just the cops seeking validation and trying to stay relevant while doing absolutely nothing. It’s a LAZY and easy win for them that the willfully ignorant community will believe is “necessary” and will fully support.without question.

LEOs want all the praise, glory and credit from doing a “GOOD JOB” in front of the ignorant populous from the least amount of actual work. Also, this is a damage control campaign to repair their image from the “de-fund the police” fallout.

They are not fooling anyone.

They are being reactive, not proactive.

I am impressed that at the end of the article they actually state some truths that actually debunk the entire thinking of the black out. They clearly state most children abused are abused by someone they know, most abused children have developed trust in the person who abuses them and so on. So the stranger in the house down the street is the most unlikely person to violate a child. Besides, I thought the whole purpose of the public registry is so that individuals could know where a person on the registry lives, so why is this necessary? Is there a surge of trick-or-treaters being violated on Halloween?

@ Eric
Please don’t be impressed by the inclusion of facts that are buried deep in the article that debunk the HEADLINE in BIG BLOCK LETTERS. It’s a classic exercise in rhetorical CYA: Lead with emotional scare-tactics filled with mumbo-jumbo and end with a few nuggets that can double as credibility. Most people don’t read entire articles; and for those that do, their minds have already been tainted by the agenda-driven headline. And if anyone ever questions the headline, the author/editor can always declare that both sides were given space. It’s the same as when the front page declares someone’s guilt, and then when that person is proven innocent, the article which recants the front-page headline is interred on page 27…or 32…or 39. But, it certainly won’t be another headline.

My wife and I live in Los Angeles; and I am on the registry. Two days ago my parole agent visited our home (apartment) to deliver my Halloween instructions; my parole agent remained in the hallway while I signed the Halloween “contract.” After I returned the paperwork to her, she looked up and down the hallway that is OUTSIDE of our apartment and at the light fixtures overhead and then unleashed this mind-numbing question: “On Halloween, will it be possible for you to turn off these hallway lights?” I responded, “You mean the lights that are outside of our apartment?” She nodded. I simply said, “No, we have no control over those lights.” Her final comment was, “Well, OK. Make sure every light in your apartment is turned off.” At best, LEOs that follow these protocols are box-checking lemmings who live to collect another paycheck. At worst, these over-reaching LEOs are power-hungry bullies who do unmitigated damage to society; a society they purportedly want to keep safe. Here’s what My Grandma Mae would have said to these outlandish individuals, “Go sh*t in your hat!” I concur.

Another fear mongering public Safety sweep to harrass sex offenders and there families on Halloween. Its so obvious they pull these stunts to continue receiving funding from the federal government.
Whenever police departments wanna buy some kool new sexofender tracking technology or kool new tactical gear or more souped up vehicles for their flet all they have to do is place their boot on the necks of sexofenders and squeeze till their eyes pop out.
We all know Fear mongering is LE #1 tactic with the help of the media they stereotype every sexofender as child predator the real scary monsters who will snatch up your kids and devour them BUT only on Halloween night after October 31 they turn back into the normal productive member of society that has been liveing peacefully in the neighborhood for over 15 years.

Good luck

Tennessee oh Tennessee,
Halloween is no different Most han any other day. The efforts by LEO are purely for public perception that something CAN be done by Cops to prevent domestic violence. Naturally If a registered person is on paper or serving a sentence then not much can be done to stop them. As much violence as goes on in our towns, cities proves just how ineffective law itself can be as deterrent.
Fact is cops rarely prevent crime before hand. Naturally however one can run a bluff in the media to give or lend credibility to the effort. Machiavelli had something to discuss to that end.

(As Quoted from the Article) … “This year, TDOC has taken extra safety precautions including wearing KN-95 masks underneath cloth masks, wearing double layered disposable gloves that are changed out after each encounter, wearing CDC recommended outerwear, social distancing, and sanitizing between visits.

O.M.G. I knew that the Government is “all-in” on this whole wearing-a-mask thing …. so its not surprising that I would have read in the story that the officers are practicing Covid protection methods during their “operation”. I would have just (mumbled to myself) “Whatever !!!”

Everyone is entitled to their Opinion; just like I am. With that said; … my Opinion is the handkerchiefs (and other cloth fabric coverings) is a “ridiculous” and waste-of-time illusion. Their is those “people” who Believe whatever they hear; whether it Fact or Fiction, and are hard-core mask Believers (just like those “people” are who adamant and fight-for / believe-in the Registry and its purpose).

This OPERATION that they are conducting is a total “Smoke & Mirrors” operation that they are doing; specifically for those “people” who Think its Important and Necessary ; … Publicity Stunt to appear they are “protecting the Children” ; … and to ensure they can continue to get their precious Fundings ; … etc.

BUT …. to my Original Point ; it doesn’t surprise me that the story would mention they’ll be practicing COVID precautions, etc. …. B U T; with the EXTREME EXTRA protection of N95 masks under regular face coverings ; Double Gloves ; Outwear protection ; and all the other intense protections. WOW !!! … I knew being a Sex Offender was disgraceful and everything ; but I never realized I was spewing all of this “special sex offender” Virus that the officers need to take all these Extra Drastic Precautions. W O W !!!!

You know I try not to think as thinking can at times overload one’s brain. Sure we all should use common sense. For instance if your cutting with a power saw one know’s what happens if one sticks his or her finger in the saw blade. Thats common sense. Many of these theories on here don’t add up.

Sure Tim in WI has his database theory, or How does a sex offender spend his or her Halloween. Even John Doe’s thing about rules and his leglislation view and stance. As far as the database thing one doesn’t know where one cames up with that one. Suppose it is all about database than what, guess its back to square one for an other question and answer.

One thing Tim in WI said that makes sense was about the First Admendment or do they still have flower Children out in Calfornia shaking their tamborines and asking for money. Guess an exchange of minds would be one flew over the cookoo’s nest or a here’s Johnny attack for halloween. Someone once said … nobody tells me what to do… wonder who that was or is chuckie in charge Mr. President. While most believe and respect God and he is the supreme authority. Yes something is deeply wrong with much of this black and white offender issue.
If one wants to celebrate Halloween thats their choice or decision. So whos’ respecting who?

I’m sure one would have no problem going o church on their own or would that be offensive in this situation? Now Janet these authorities have been running people around with this and that when one should say let God be true and everyone a liar. Congress is no supreme authority. Sure when the damage is done its to late to speak up or could you speak up after you sliced your finger off with a buzz saw.

The whole point is everybody is getting screwed in so many wsays by this “female persuasion” of this sex offender issue. So were’s the victim? Yes their is good and bad in everyone and we all still have a thorn in the flesh but authorities are betraying and using this ruse by internet means. One can preach all day about facts and figures but truth is still truth and that balances the scales of Justice.

Seems nothing’s really changed much with this ordeal maybe a small victory here and their. And remember who gets the victory. well God of course.

While not completely obvious, it does state that this is only for offenders “under the supervision of TDOC.” So, these are probationers and parolees. Not that the public will pick up on that cue.

In 2018 there were roughly 28,000 registered sex offenders in TN, this only applies to ~3,800.

I wanted to post a comment at the article that said exactly that. But I did not see an easy way to do it. I was in a hurry and didn’t know TN’s numbers, etc.

Georgia provides an easy way to download an Excel spreadsheet of its Registry. All governments should be required to provide that. I took a quick look at TN’s Registry and didn’t see any easy way. A long time ago I used Georgia’s to print out mailing labels and mailed over 500 random people on the Hit List. It should be easy to mail everyone on the Hit List. I wish they would provide the e-mail addresses so it would really be easy to contact all 900K+ people.

But yeah, 3,800 out of their total is completely useless. It is the exact equivalent of doing absolutely nothing. But it’s just a PR stunt, just like the Hit Lists in general. Nothing but security theater to make dumb and/or hateful people feel a little better.

Every year on Halloween, I leave my home and disappear. Big government and their law enforcement criminals have no idea where I go or what I do. I do different things different years but it nearly always includes driving around neighborhoods and checking out the decorations and trick-or-treating. I expect I’ll do that this year.

Last year, there was a county in Georgia somewhat near to me that was trying to force the PFRs there to put “warning” signs in their yards. I planned to go down there on Halloween with a few other PFRs. I even discussed it with their mayor, although he never knew who I was. But a court smacked their faces and they weren’t able to proceed with their signs. So I didn’t go down there. I know another local county is having a “lock in” this year. Perhaps I’ll go down there. I need to check where I should go.

@Will Allen, if you need to get email addresses for many of these registrants even if not published online, you may be able to put in a data request to get it from the state.

It would certainly be useful for those against the registry to have that information if only to communicate with fellow registrants to organize better against it.

I do certainly wonder if just any citizen could get a list of the e-mail addresses. What would the criminal regimes say if I told them I wanted to retrieve that automatically every day?

From what I understand, they do provide such a list to Facebook. Anyone know anything about that? So why couldn’t ACSOL get the same thing every day? Or me? Or will the criminal regimes decide which organizations are deserving of it and which aren’t? Where is their written criteria for those decisions?

It would be great if we could just e-mail all the nearly 1,000,000 PFRs and simply tell them to go to the websites of ACSOL and other civil rights organizations. We need all PFRs and millions more to fight the criminal regimes. But frankly, I feel that anyone who might actually step up and do anything useful, can easily find all of these organizations on their own. Most people simply aren’t going to do anything.

Many, many years back, I used to download Georgia’s Hit List every day and process it. I kept my own database and recorded the changes made each day. That was right when Georgia first started committing their crimes of “residency restrictions”. I wanted to see how many people were being forced to move, compared to Georgia’s less-criminal periods. It was quite ridiculous and illegal. Georgia hasn’t stopped committing crimes yet. They deserve everything that happens to them.

Will we get blamed for other types of crimes that occur on Halloween because the cops were to busy harassing registrants? Hit lists won’t keep your community safe on Halloween or any other day of the year; yet the sheeple believe what the almighty government tells them. Every time a politician talks I know they are lying.

Not in Utah. My lawsuit, Doe v Shurtleff, made emails in Utah a private record. You can’t get them without a subpoena or warrant.

@Will Allen, it depends on the state and how the information is classified. If it’s classified as public usually the state has some laws similar to federal FOIA that outline the process to request things like that. There are also usually rules about how to force a government entity into providing that info if they refuse to do so via the courts.

Why dont these restrictions have to be approved by a judge again? Just saying I’m not signing that, and the time it would take to get ordered would make it useless. So many questions…

Oh, best time to rob a bank then. Or maybe other crimes will happen instead that will make them say “Gee, registered citizens aren’t really doing anything but we have lot’s of other crimes happening instead. Jeez, these guys are dumb!

I know it’s a constant struggle to find some positive, so in that spirit at least you can laugh knowing they wasted time money and manpower and will be faced with the bill when they see a rise in taxes. And then they’ll complain why the streets and roads aren’t getting fixed.

“Nope, let’s have ourselves a useless parade of Halloween hot-air instead!”

I saw a news headline earlier today that said that Orange County, CA would likely have to declare bankruptcy again soon. That is just a darn shame. But I’ll do what I can to always ensure that the Sex Offense Registries (Hit Lists) cost as much as they possibly can. In time, money, goodwill, respect, and all other limited resources.

All criminal regimes that have Hit Lists need war. Same with Registry Supporters/Terrorists.

“…To Crack Down On Sex Offenders…”

This part of the title is so misleading to the public. It insinuates that sex offenders are doing something wrong to start with when in fact they are not.

All this is doing is making it look like the “persons” in charge of the “sex offenders” (as they are a very dangerous group of people) are doing “something” to protect the community.

Articles like this make me sick!! People actually fall for this bullsh*t.

Hey parents – wake up!!! you kiddies have a much higher chance of being hit by a car (even with you holding their hands) than being assaulted by a sex offender on Halloween.

Here we go again. The dreaded halloween when everyone on the public hit list will be out abducting and raping children as usual. Give me a freaking break.

Something tells me these convenient “Holliday” operations are just about timing. They try to make a cadence of events line up near elections or the passing of some bill to put sex offenders on the brain and cause people to vote accordingly.

When all else fails politicians (like Joe) and officials know how to keep an ace in the hole. They’ll keep a couple cases laying around so they can have a move when needed. Or like a month back they’ll look for some story of someone being “released into the community” to push the narrative and stir up the public.

Yeah they know how bad it is and there’s almost no limit as to how much worse they can make it. So your job is to fight the tide and find that limit.

I like the title, but let’s apply it to a better target: DUI Drivers during the holiday season…..
Because, yeah, some really do blackout behind the wheel. 😒 Oh, and can we please create the public website DUI Registry??

@David (with a fleur de lis)

There already is a proposed TN DUI registry from earlier this year ( Cannot find anything saying it has passed into law.

A public registry for drunk drivers will carry a tiny fraction of the stigma reserved for “sex offenders.” There will be few real consequences for being on it and nothing compared to our appearance on the Registry. We should always fight this injustice by denouncing neo-puritanical impulses of public shaming for any reason. To argue in support of registries for people we don’t like would be a very bad tactic for our movement.

Don’t sign that crap from the probation dpt!!! They are not the judge. That are not the court!! If the judge wants to ADD A RESTRICTION, then the judge has to add it. Don’t sign anything!!! Been there done that.

Anonymous you have a very good point. All that work of the probation officer is crafty and demeaning. Its intimidation at best and wanting to get more brownie points so to speak. Hey I’m still in denial because they wanted me to say I was talking to a teenager when the proof is in the pudding.
Guess people are listing to too many Cheats and Cong moves of Ms. Ball breaker. Much of this via the internet thing is an up in smoke issue.

Yeah, probation became a way to circumvent the courts. Like that Michele Scranton Brown in San Bernardino county, she had her POs threaten probationers if they didn’t go in to register after being released from jail. When that didn’t work they went to assemblyman James C Ramos to work on AB 433 which Gavin Newsom signed last year.

How did Ramos do it? He played the perpetual “indian victim card” and bent Newsom to pressure. Funny, these guys are all about that “victim agenda”. Even in cases where is NO victim! Or an alleged one who lied to help the da score the conviction. Yeah it’s easy to lie now with “prosecutorial immunity” I mean “victim protections”.

Here’s a great opinion piece about Patch’s spooky annual wank-fest:

“Public mapping and shaming of sex offenders has no redeeming social value” “Patch, a local electronic news outlet, has continued its annual, indefensible, fear-mongering practice of publishing the names and addresses of people in the communities they cover who are on the sexual offender registry. Ostensibly pushed as a public safety courtesy in preparation for Halloween, after being called on the inadequacies in their promotion by the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) and Connecticut’s One Standard of Justice, it is now simply an October shaming exercise with no redeeming value.”

Awesome commentary. The only thing I would have added is Patch’s response to NARSOL that their readers want those maps every year.

I have checked out those maps of several different zip codes (some of my old ones and a few at random) and NEVER, not one single time, did I ever see a post in the comment section thanking Patch for publishing it. Quite the opposite – all comments were either berating, ridiculing, or questioning the reasoning or utility of the red dot maps Patch insists on publishing every Halloween, often with a very heavily edited retelling of the unfortunate Lisa Marie French story. Ironic that these maps would not have changed the outcome of that sad crime.

I have always maintained that the sex offender registry was created NOT to protect children, but to provide the government with a petri dish on how to control human social interactions. Having 20 years of operation to delve from, governments have now migrated such controls to that of controlling the population via Covid-19 restrictions, in their quest to destroy the US Constitutional protections of citizens, and to facilitate the move from individual liberty to oppressive, communist totalitarianism. And the first people to be terminated with extreme prejudice?

“First, they came for the sex offenders…”

A complete lack of surprise that this symbolic “Halloween bust” apparently found nothing to do with Halloween sex offenses:

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