Department of Corrections and Community Supervision

Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Anthony J. Annucci, Acting Commissioner (DOCCS)

DOCCS Contact: Thomas W. Mailey, 518-457-8182 Thomas.Mailey@doccs.ny.gov

Monday, November 4, 2013

ANNUAL OPERATION HALLOWEEN STATEWIDE DRIVE ACHIEVES GOALS

DOCCS Parole Officers monitor sex offenders to keep trick-or-treaters safe

To ensure the safety of children and their parents on Halloween night, the New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision closely monitored sex offenders who are currently under supervision. This is the eighth consecutive year for the statewide program, which imposes special conditions on sex offenders for Halloween each year.

“We manage and supervise sex offenders at an intensive level everyday and especially during Operation Halloween,” said DOCCS Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci. “Once again I am proud of all of our staff for their professionalism and hard work, making sure all New York families had a safe and enjoyable evening of trick or treating.”

During Operation Halloween 2013, the Department conducted 15 ride-alongs with media outlets across the state. Of the 2,052 home visits made by parole officers, 25 parolees were cited for curfew violations and 18 offenders were taken into custody. Throughout the evening, 128 telephone calls were made, 232 DVDs reviewed, 119 surveillances occurred and 320 drug tests conducted. In some regions 59 offenders were transported to a reporting station for access to program services for the evening.

The 18 offenders taken into custody for parole violations will be held in county jail facilities until their scheduled parole violation hearing, which generally occurs within one month of their violation. If found guilty of violating their parole, an offender may be returned to a DOCCS facility or to a treatment program for up to the remainder of their original sentence.

The agency’s Community Supervision staff is responsible for the supervision of 2,474 sex offenders on parole statewide. As part of the Operation Halloween, the Department imposed the following special restrictions on sex offenders:

  • Beginning in the early afternoon on Halloween, or immediately following the end of their work day or completion of an approved community program, all sex offender parolees were to remain in their residence until 6 a.m. the following morning.
  • Parolees could not distribute candy or partake in the act of “trick or treating.”
  • Parolees could not to wear any costume, mask or other disguises.
  • Parolees could not to wear any costume, mask or other disguises.
  • Parolees could not open doors to minors.

The state Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) reminds parents that they can use Facebook to access information about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in their community with just a few clicks, and without leaving the popular social networking site. The Sex Offender Locator Application is accessible via the New York State Public Safety Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nyspublicsafety.

Facebook users also can share the application by posting this link as their Status update: www.facebook.com/NYSPublicSafety/app_244298272262448.

DCJS maintains the state’s Sex Offender Registry and a Registry subdirectory on the agency’s website (www.criminaljustice.ny.gov) that by law provides information about Level 2 (medium risk of re-offense) and Level 3 (high risk of re-offense) sex offenders to the public.

As of November 4, there were 36,336 registered sex offenders on the state’s Sex Offender Registry: 13,921 Level 1 offenders; 12,773 Level 2 offenders; 8,874 Level 3 offenders; and 768 offenders whose risk level is pending.

A sex offender’s risk level determines what information is available about an offender, and how that information can be accessed. By law, the state can only provide information about Level 1 (low risk of re-offense) offenders or those with a pending risk level through a toll-free number (1-800-262-3257); callers must have an individual’s name and at least one other identifier (an exact address, date of birth, driver's license number or Social Security number) to learn if that person is a registered sex offender in New York.

Home address information about a Level 1 offender is limited to zip code. Complete home and work addresses – street number and name, as well as municipality and zip code – are available for Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. For more information, check out these Frequently Asked Questions. (Note: this would link here: www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/faq.htm)

In addition to providing information about Level 2 and 3 offenders via Facebook and the DCJS website, the state allows New Yorkers to sign up to receive alerts via e-mail, text, fax or telephone whenever those sex offenders move to, or from, a community of interest – their home, work or child’s school, for example. DCJS offers the sex offender relocation notices through the state’s NY-ALERT system; visit www.nyalert.gov and click on the “Sign up for NY-Alerts” link in the left menu to learn more and register.

DOCCS’ Mission is to improve public safety by providing a continuity of appropriate treatment services in safe and secure facilities where offenders’ needs are addressed and they are prepared for release, followed by supportive services under Community Supervision to facilitate a successful completion of their sentence.