FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Corrections (DOC), Division of Community Correction Sex Offender Services, coordinated a comprehensive, statewide Halloween home visit effort on October 30 and 31.

According to a press release from the DOC, over 129 Parole/Probation Officers made unannounced visits to the homes of 567 sex offenders to make sure they were in compliance with state laws prohibiting their activities. Of the 1,643 sex offenders placed under Halloween restrictions, 699 took part in home detention and 873 participated in lock-ins at Area/Satellite offices.

Approved work permits were granted to 71 of the sex offenders. Arkansas families celebrated Halloween during the weekend for the fourth time since the enaction of Act 463, which bars certain sex offenders from participating in Halloween-related activities.

State laws limiting sex offenders from participating in Halloween activities are in effect two weeks before and two weeks after Halloween. Level 3 and 4 sex offenders who violate Act 463 restrictions may be charged with a Class D felony, serve up to six years in jail and be fined up to $10,000.

Act 463 bans these offenders from handing out candy to minors, participating in trick-or-treating and attending events involving wearing costumes or handing out candy to children. Sex offenders identified as high risk must remain at home on Halloween and are required to post signs warning that children are not to trick-or-treat at their residences.

Jennifer Dean, Division Sex Offender Services Manager, reported a 96 percent overall compliance rate from the weekend home visits. A total of 69 violations were reported. The most common violation was failing to report to lock-in as directed.