SAN DIEGO, KUSI — Two local state senators co-authored a bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday that would prevent the state from placing sexually violent predators in unsuspecting communities.
On Good Evening San Diego, KUSI’s Ginger Jeffries spoke with Senators Brian Jones about the bipartisan measure to place SPVs in unsuspecting communities.
Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee, and Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, along with Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove, drafted the Accountability, Fairness, and enforcement of violent sexual predators following high profile California incidents. state hospitals attempting to place SVPs in eastern and northern San Diego County.
“The recent cases of Douglas Badger and Merle Wakefield fit an ongoing pattern of deception and deception by the Department of State Hospitals,” Jones said. “The families of Mt. Helix, Ranchita, Borrego Springs and Rancho Bernardo have been rocked by the state’s attempt to put an SVP in their neighborhoods.
“Fortunately, in these cases, judges stepped in and prevented forced and unsafe placements of SVPs in unsuitable neighborhoods,” he said.
If passed, Senate Bill 841:
— Place a strict limit on placement of SVPs in a county to no more than 40% in a supervisory district;
– Mandate that the Director of the Department of State Hospitals report publicly annually on the number of SVPs in each county and in which supervisory district;
— Make public safety the highest criterion for any potential placement of an SVP;
— Require DSH to take ownership of the process by approving any placement before the seller can sign leases for placement locations; and
– Require the DSH, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to report to the Governor and State Legislature any inventory of facilities that may accommodate SVPs.
“For too long the state has snuck in trying to release or parole dangerous sexually violent predators and rapists in residential neighborhoods,” Jones said. “State hospital officials have often tried to shirk responsibility by giving their providers, such as Liberty Health Care, too much leeway to target areas such as the east and north county.
“Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to San Diego,” he said. “The SAFE Act will mandate transparency in the SVP placement process, hold state officials accountable for their decisions, and make public safety the top priority.”
On Good Evening San Diego, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, who introduced Assembly Bill 1641 to enact places for the placement of sexually violent predators while on parole, spoke with Ginger Jeffries from KUSI on the bill.