Borrego Sun - Since 1949

SVP Martinez Placed in Borrego

 

Last updated 10/4/2022 at 10:43am



Sexually Violent Predator Martinez is now living on Running M Road in Borrego Springs.

Liberty Healthcare staff were visible for several days, but are no longer present. The known code violations for the property were not corrected, despite the statement by Judge David Gill that those needed to be addressed prior to the placement. County Code Enforcement representatives feel that the State placement makes their rules void, despite the verbiage in the contract Liberty Healthcare has with homeowners that states that the home must comply with all local codes.

SVP Martinez has been out in his yard, which the community can only assume is within the Terms and Conditions of his release. As reported earlier, Judge Gill will not allow the community to know the Terms and Conditions of the placement.

No decision has been issued by Judge Theodore Weathers about the proposed placement of SVP Douglas Badger on Zuni Trail.

The SVP Task Force was informed that we will be able to attend the Santa Cruz County court hearing regarding SVP Michael Cheek. The outcome of the hearing may impact the potential placement of an SVP on Zuni Trail, and is scheduled in October. The Santa Cruz County issue regarding SVP placement centers on the status of home schools as private schools. California Education Code makes no distinction between private schools, whether run in a “school” facility or in a private home. Liberty Healthcare has stated to the Court that following California laws would make their job more difficult, and has asked the court to nullify the protections given to homeschools by the Legislature.

SVP Task Force are in direct contact with the District Attorney’s office, San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond, Assemblyman (District 75) Randy Voepel, and 38th District Senator Brian Jones and their staffs.

The SVP Task Force is continuing to look for better options for placement of SVPs – including the current location of SVP Martinez. As reported earlier, and read into court hearings for the most recent SVP placements, other states use locations much more amenable to continued therapy and treatment of their SVP population, and significantly better for assisting in their eventual transition back into communities once the court has fully released them. Those locations are nearer psychiatric treatment facilities, public transportation and job opportunities. The Task Force has been working with Liberty Healthcare to ensure types of living arrangements and locations meet their guidelines.

San Diego County staffs feel that one element that will assist them in taking more direct action regarding placements is the adoption of California Senate Bill 1035. That Bill is with the Governor for signature, and adoption will modify Section 5346 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health. The bill would authorize the court to conduct status hearings with the and the treatment team to receive information regarding progress related to the treatment plan and authorize the court to inquire about medication adherence. The bill would also require the director of the outpatient treatment program to report to the court on adherence to prescribed medication. Court supported assistance to CA Counties has a history at least as far back as 2002, when the Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) Demonstration Project Act of 2002, known as Laura’s Law, provided for court-ordered community treatment for individuals with a history of violence and repeated hospitalizations. That legislation established an option for counties to utilize courts, probation, and mental health systems to address the needs of individuals unable to participate in community mental health treatment programs without supervision. In September 2020, Assembly Bill (AB) 1976 amended the legislation associated with AOT, becoming effective July 1, 2021. AB 1976 added a Superior Court judge as an authorized requestor of an AOT petition.

Additionally, AB 1976 repealed the AOT sunset date, extending the program indefinitely, and prohibits a county from reducing existing voluntary mental health programs as a result of implementation of AOT. While County staffs feel the new laws will provide them greater ability within the placement process, the past actions by County staffs and Superior Court Judges show they do not use their current ability to support community safety, or to require treatment.

The Borrego Springs SVP Task Force thanks the community for supporting the Go Fund Me effort. $34,495 has been raised, the bulk of the funds covering legal fees. The SVP Task Force is looking at the next steps and the possibility of support from a lobbyist from San Diego to assist development of better county policy and state legislation.

Supervisor Desmond received word that the State of California plans to propose the placement of five more Sexually Violent Predators in San Diego County, by the end of the year. His office started an online petition opposing the placement of any Sexually Violent Predator in San Diego County. Community members can sign the petition at SupervisorJimDesmond.com. He will submit the signatures to the Governor and State representatives.

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