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