About 1,200 violent or child sex offenders on probation or parole in Maryland have been ordered to hang orange pumpkin signs saying “no candy at this residence” or plain ones reading, “No candy” — at their residences today, reports the Los Angeles Times. If they don’t, the knock at the door will be from an officer of the law. Maryland is one of a growing number of states that are expanding restrictions on sex offenders for Halloween, including required signage and curfews. Louisiana lawmakers prohibited some convicted sex offenders from wearing masks at Halloween and during Carnival just before Mardi Gras. In California — where the program is known as Operation Boo — and other states, officials will conduct nighttime checks on sex offenders to ensure that they are in their homes, without costume and candy and with the outside lights turned off to discourage trick-or-treaters.
In Texas, some sex offenders will be rounded up and detained. In some cases, these expanded efforts have provoked lawsuits; in others, laughter. In Missouri, the American Civil Liberties Union and four unidentified sex offenders sued state officials this year over Halloween restrictions that cover registered sex offenders, including those no longer on probation or parole. Yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit allowed officials to enforce the law in its entirety today. “Saturday Night Live” mocked some of the restrictions.