October 29, 2018 -- When it comes time for trick-or-treaters to knock on doors this Halloween night, local sex offenders will once again be attending an anti-sexual abuse victim impact program, designed to keep sex offenders off the streets. The annual program is run by the Westchester County Probation Department, and is joined by the Putnam County Probation Department and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.

Over 150 registered and non-registered sex offenders on probation in Westchester County, as well as a dozen from Putnam County Probation have received special “invitations,” requiring them to attend the educational program. The program is being held at Westchester County Courthouse between 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 31.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “We are doing everything we can to ensure our children are safe when they go trick-or-treating on Halloween night. Parents should remind their kids to travel in groups and come home at a reasonable hour, but they shouldn’t have to worry about the potential dangers of sex offenders. This program guarantees that all local sex offenders will be accounted for in Westchester County.”

Commissioner of the Westchester County Probation Department Rocco Pozzi said: “While your kids are out trick-or-treating, registered sex offenders will be required to stay indoors. The Probation Department will also be stepping up patrols in our communities, tracking down any offenders who fail to attend the program. Parents should feel comfortable allowing their children to go out on Halloween without worrying about their safety.”

The offenders will hear compelling accounts of devastation perpetrated on children and adult victims, and hopefully gain insight into how these acts can reverberate through a victim’s life. Two survivors of sexual abuse will share their own personal stories and experiences regarding the impact of abuse, as well as their road to recovery.  Also, Carol Amaranth of Victims Assistance Services/WESTCOP, will share her experiences in working with victims of abuse, and the impact of sexual assault and trauma.  Victims Assistance Services is a non-profit agency with a long history of providing services and support for victims in Westchester.

Additionally, while the program is taking place, numerous Probation Officers and Police Officers from the Westchester County Department of Public Safety will be in the community to track down offenders who fail to report to the event.  At the end of the event, sex offenders will not be allowed to use public transportation.  To provide an added measure of safety to the community, any offender needing a ride home following the program will be escorted by probation officers and County police.