Massachusetts Has Few Laws to Keep Kids Safe From Sex Offenders on Halloween

Massachusetts has few targeted laws that protect children from sex offenders as they wander dark streets trick or treating on Halloween.

With that in mind, the Office of the Commission of Probation is running several initiatives to monitor and restrict sex offenders this Halloween.

"We don't have the blanket laws other states have," former Suffolk County prosecutor Phillip A. Tracy Jr. said.

In Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas, "NO CANDY" laws prohibit sex offenders from luring trick or treaters by offering candy.

"Those states have good foresight into this issue because … this was not an issue 30 to 40 years ago. There was no Sex Offender Registry Board," Tracy said.

Here in the Bay State, this legal loophole is leaving some parents concerned.

“You're ringing the doorbells to strangers and you don't know who's going be on the other side of that door," said Kristen Guavin, a mother of three.

NBC Boston asked the Office of the Commission of Probation about the risk and learned they’re watching sex offenders deemed likely to reoffend.

“We pay them a visit on Halloween night to make sure their lights are out and they're not handing out candy to children," said Mark Costa, assistant chief probation officer for Fall River District Court Adult Probation.

Costa said his office sifts through court paperwork to pinpoint potential problems, following up on court orders which forbid contact with children.

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