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Legislative Actions Directed at SVP Placements

 

Last updated 4/28/2023 at 10:22am



Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego), Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson), Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), and Assemblymember Megan Dahle (R-Bieber) have introduced the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act), a measure aimed at preventing the state from continuing to try to secretly dump Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) in unsuspecting communities throughout California.

Specifically, Jones’s Senate Bill 832 would:

- Make the highest criteria of any potential placement of an SVP be that of public safety;

- Require the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to take ownership in the placement process by approving any placements BEFORE the vendor can sign any leases for placement locations;

- Mandate the Director of DSH to publicly report annually how many SVPs are in each county, and in which supervisorial district;

- Require DSH, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) to assess all land under their control and report to the Governor AND Legislature any inventory of facilities that could be used to house SVPs, as previous administrations have done historically; and

- Prevent an SVP from being placed within 5 miles of a federally recognized “Indian country.”

Prior to introducing Senate Bill 832, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) announced a request that the Joint Legislative Audit Committee authorize an audit of Liberty Healthcare’s long-running exclusive contract to manage the Sexually Violent Predator Conditional Release Program (SVP CONREP) currently overseen by the Department of State Hospitals (DSH).

“East Coast based-Liberty Healthcare sneaks into unsuspecting communities up and down California and employs a disturbing placement strategy known as ‘Hide the Predator,’ in which full details of where they are leasing homes for SVPs are kept secret from neighbors, school officials, and even local law enforcement,” said Senator Jones.

The Audit Request:

How many SVPs have actually been successfully placed (never getting arrested again, not violating regulations, not having to be recommitted back to DSH in Coalinga) under the exclusive agreement between DSH and Liberty Healthcare since 2003?

How much has California paid in total to Liberty Healthcare and all other vendors/contractors over the last twenty years to place SVPs through the CONREP program?

Direct the Auditor to evaluate the contracts that Liberty Healthcare has had with the state for the last twenty years and determine if they met the DSH standard of “Community Safety is the top priority”?

Direct the Auditor to review past legislation on SVPs (including SB 1034 from last session that, while well intentioned, is full of loopholes) and make policy and regulatory recommendations that would further tighten-up the SVP placement program and further protect communities from placement of SVPs in inappropriate neighborhoods.

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