Senate Bill 832 Stalled
Last updated 5/10/2023 at 11:08am
Bipartisan legislation by Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones, which aimed at preventing the state from continuing to secretly dump Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) in unsuspecting communities, was stalled on April 11 in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
Senate Bill 832, the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act), was drafted in response to the California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) and its contractor repeatedly trying to dump SVPs in East and North San Diego County, as well as other unsuspecting communities throughout the state. SB 832 is the second SVP bill Leader Jones has authored in the last two years. Over 1,000 Californians have signed a petition in support of SB 832.
“Families in San Diego County and across California are being jolted by the state’s secret attempts to place a Sexually Violent Predator in their neighborhoods,” said Senator Jones. “State Hospital officials have often tried to duck their responsibility by giving their vendors, such as East Coast-based Liberty Healthcare, too much secrecy in targeting regions that range from rural to urban to tribal lands. Our bipartisan SAFE Act would require transparency in the SVP placement process, force state officials to own up to these decisions, and make public safety the highest priority.”
Specifically, Jones’ 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 (CDCR), 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 secure 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.”
The 1 – 2 vote that stalled SB 832 fell along party lines with Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) voting in favor of the measure, while Senators Aisha Wahab (D-Hayward) and Scott Weiner (D-San Francisco) voted no. Senators Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) did not vote.
SB 832 was granted “reconsideration,” so it can be brought up again for a second vote before April 28.