Report 2010-116 All Recommendation Responses

Report 2010-116: Sex Offender Commitment Program: Streamlining the Process for Identifying Potential Sexually Violent Predators Would Reduce Unnecessary or Duplicative Work (Release Date: July 2011)

Recommendation #1 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To enable it to track trends and streamline processes, Mental Health should expand the use of its database to capture more specific information about the offenders whom Corrections refers to it and the outcomes of the screenings and evaluations that it conducts.

1-Year Agency Response

Mental Health has completed database enhancements that will enable it to track more specific information related to victims, offenders, offenses, clinical screening outcomes, and evaluation outcomes. (See 2013-406, p. 215)

  • Response Date: July 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #2 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To eliminate duplicative effort and increase efficiency, Corrections should not make unnecessary referrals to Mental Health. Corrections and Mental Health should jointly revise the structured screening instrument so that the referral process adheres more closely to the law's intent.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2016

With the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), the Department of State Hospitals(DSH), formerly the Department of Mental Health has revised the screening instrument so that the referral process adheres more closely to the law. The process and revisions to the screening instrument will be incorporated into the CDCR/DSH MOU.

  • Completion Date: October 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Resolved

The revisions that State Hospitals refers to include entering a memorandum of understanding with Corrections whereby Corrections delegated authority to State Hospitals to conduct a clinical review and State Hospitals agreed to conduct these reviews. Therefore, we consider this recommendation resolved.


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Previously reported on 10/2/14 that this will not be implemented

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

We believe that through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which CDCR delegated authority to DSH to conduct a part two screening process we are in compliance with the law's intent. I am enclosing the MOU and the Screening Instrument as requested.

  • Estimated Completion Date:

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

As previously reported, the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) has provided the California Department of Corrections (CDCR) with access to the DSH data support system which allows CDCR to directly review referred cases in order to identify the status of cases and eliminates requests by CDCR to DSH on case status. Additionally CDCR, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) and DSH have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to articulate and memorialize the intention and action of CDCR and BPH to collaborate with DSH in the performance of sexually violent predator (SVP) screening functions described in Welfare and Institutions code Section 6601 (b). DSH, BPH and CDCR are currently reviewing the screening process to update this MOU and recognize further efficiencies in this process.

  • Completion Date: July 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented

  • Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2012

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) have realized referral efficiencies since the implementation of Assembly Bill 109 (Committee on Budget, Chapter 15, Statutes of 2011) Criminal Justice Alignment on October 1, 2011, which allows for parole and probation violators to remain under the jurisdiction of the counties unless convicted of a new crime. DSH has provided CDCR with access to the DSH data support system which allows CDCR to directly review referred cases in order to identify the status of cases and eliminates requests by CDCR to DSH on case status. Both departments agree that non-predatory sex offenses can form the basis of a court's determination that an individual is a sexually violent predator and that CDCR must not screen out offenders on this basis.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Recommendation #3 To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

To eliminate duplicative effort and increase efficiency, Corrections should not make unnecessary referrals to Mental Health. For example, Corrections should better leverage the time and work it already conducts by including in its referral process (1) determining whether the offender committed a predatory offense, (2) reviewing results from any previous screenings and evaluations that Mental Health completed and considering whether the most recent parole violation or offense might alter the previous decision, and (3) using STATIC-99R to assess the risk that an offender will reoffend.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

same response as previous years

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

CDCR has not changed our course of action. Our determination remains the same as what has been previously submitted.

The California Supreme Court discussed the SVPA's "predatory" provisions in the case Torres v. Supreme Court (2001) 25 Cal.4th 680. The Court rejected the argument that the SVPA required the Trier of fact at the SVP trial to find that the prior sex offenses were predatory. Because non-predatory offenses can form the basis of a court's ultimate SVP determination, CDCR must not screen out offenders on this basis. CDCR/BPH determined that the DSH clinical assessment is the preferred method to predict future predatory behavior.

Due to the Public Safety Realignment Act, CDCR no longer receives parole violators. CDCR/BPH reviews previous screening results and refers the case to the DSH. CDCR/BPH believes that DSH is better qualified to determine whether the current offense would alter a prior determination based on a clinical evaluation of the current offense and its possible physiological connectedness with the previous sex offense.

Further, CDCR does not agree with the recommendation. With the implementation of Public Safety Re-alignment, referrals to DSH have decreased significantly (reduced by 55 to 60 Percent) due to the loss of the Revocation Cases.

CDCR/BPH/DSH concluded that the collaborative screening between CDCR and DSH is the most efficient method to eliminate duplicative efforts, and to best utilize each agencies resources to best conserve the limited resources of qualified and available mental health clinicians that otherwise would not be a cost savings to the State.

Predicting future sexual dangerousness is an extraordinarily complex undertaking, and there are a limited number of clinicians available; however, since the 2012 Corrective Action Plan response, DSH has increased its pool of available clinicians.

  • Estimated Completion Date:

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2013

The California Supreme Court discussed the SVPA's "predatory" provisions in the case Torres v. Supreme Court (2001) 25 Cal.4th 680. The Court rejected the argument that the SVPA required the Trier of fact at the SVP trial to find that the prior sex offenses were predatory. Because non-predatory offenses can form the basis of a court's ultimate SVP determination, CDCR must not screen out offenders on this basis. CDCR/BPH determined that the DSH clinical assessment is the preferred method to predict future predatory behavior.

Due to the Public Safety Realignment Act, CDCR no longer receives parole violators. CDCR/BPH reviews previous screening results and refers the case to the DSH. CDCR/BPH believes that DSH is better qualified to determine whether the current offense would alter a prior determination based on a clinical evaluation of the current offense and its possible physiological connectedness with the previous sex offense.

Further CDCR does not agree with the recommendation. With the implementation of Public Safety Re-alignment referrals to DSH has decreased significantly (reduced by 55 to 60 Percent) due to the loss of the Revocation Cases.

CDCR/BPH/DSH concluded that the collaborative screening between CDCR and DSH is the most efficient method to eliminate duplicative efforts, and to best utilize each agencies resources to best conserve the limited resources of qualified and available mental health clinicians that otherwise would not be a cost savings to the State.

Predicting future sexual dangerousness is an extraordinarily complex undertaking, and there are a limited number of clinicians available. However, since the 2012 Corrective Action Plan response, DSH has increased its pool of available clinicians.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2012

The California Supreme Court discussed the SVPA's "predatory" provisions in the case Torres v. Supreme Court (2001) 25 Cal.4th 680. The Court rejected the argument that the SVPA required the Trier of fact at the SVP trial to find that the prior sex offenses were predatory. Because non-predatory offenses can form the basis of a court's ultimate SVP determination, CDCR must not screen out offenders on this basis.

Due to the Public Safety Realignment Act, CDCR no longer receives parole violators.

The CDCR, BPH and DSH agree that the STATIC-99R scores should continue to be considered during the clinical evaluation of the review.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Recommendation #4 To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

To eliminate duplicative effort and increase efficiency, Corrections should not make unnecessary referrals to Mental Health. Corrections and Mental Health should jointly revise the structured screening instrument so that the referral process adheres more closely to the law's intent.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2017

same response as previous years

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

A collaborative review of the structured screening instruments by CDCR, BPH and DSH resulted in no change to one of the instruments (CDCR 7377). The CDCR 7377 SVP Screening form was not revised because it was collectively determined that the form currently adheres to the law's intent, pursuant to the January 25, 2011, Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between CDCR, BPH and DSH. A clinical review was also developed of the performance of the sexually violent predator screening functions described in WIC 6601(b). The clinical review served as an update to the structured screening instrument as required by statute.

In accordance with the MOU, it was agreed upon by all entities that DSH will provide the clinical review as to whether the case may meet the statutory requirements commencing with WIC 6600, prior to referring for a full evaluation.

  • Estimated Completion Date:

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

CSA indicated in the email that CDCR is contradicting our position from last year. Specifically, CSA stated that CDCR indicated, "Fully Implemented," in our updated response for item number 4, when in fact, our response was "Partially Implemented," however after reconsideration of the recommendation and discussion with A.D. Tanya Rothchild, we have determined that our response should be "Will Not Implement." The basis for our recommendation is that the CDCR 7377 SVP Screening form was not revised because it was collectively determined that the form currently adheres to the law's intent.

The BSA report of July, 2011 proposed Corrective Action Plan was for CDCR, BPH, and DSH to review the revision of the structured screening instrument. On June, 2012 CDCR, BPH, and DSH reviewed two of the instruments and the collective decision was not to change one of the instruments, (CDCR 7377, SVP Screening form). CDCR, BPH, and DSH agreed that the other instrument, the CDCR/BPH/DMH Collaborative SVP Screening DMH Clinical Review screening instrument, should be revised. The MOU and Attachments are the corresponding documentation that demonstrates that one of the two structured screening instruments was revised. Attached is the January, 2011 MOU which includes the revised screening tool, (CDCR/BPH/DMH Collaborative SVP Screening DMH Clinical Review screening instrument, Attachment A). Attachment B, also included with the MOU, is the CDCR/BPH/DMH Collaborative SVP

  • Estimated Completion Date:

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2012

The collaborative screening between CDCR and DSH is the most efficient method to eliminate duplicative effort, and utilize the limited number of clinicians who are qualified and available for screening. Predicting future sexual dangerousness is an extraordinarily complex undertaking, and there are a limited number of clinicians available.

DSH and CDCR have worked together to conclude that the best way to screen is for CDCR to review the person's social, criminal, and institutional history, and for DSH to determine whether the person has a mental disorder that, coupled with the CDCR material, makes that person "likely to be a sexually violent predator... ". (Welf. & Inst. 6601(b).)

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Recommendation #5 To: Corrections and Rehabilitation, Department of

To allow Mental Health sufficient time to complete its screenings and evaluations, Corrections should improve the timeliness of its referrals. If it does not achieve a reduction in referrals from implementing recommendation 1.2.b, Corrections should begin the referral process earlier than nine months before offenders' scheduled release dates in order to meet its six-month statutory deadline.

1-Year Agency Response

Corrections provided a memorandum issued in August 2011 adjusting its timelines and transmittal methods for SVP cases. Corrections also implemented a new database for tracking SVP cases and indicated that it tracks referral dates to its Board of Parole Hearings and Mental Health. Additionally, Corrections stated that the number of cases referred to Mental Health has decreased significantly as a result of Public Safety Realignment. Corrections provided a report from its tracking system showing a reduction in referrals to Mental Health. (See 2013-406, p. 216)

  • Response Date: August 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #6 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To reduce costs for unnecessary evaluations, Mental Health should either issue a regulation or seek a statutory amendment to clarify that when resolving a difference of opinion between the two initial evaluators of an offender, Mental Health must seek the opinion of a fourth evaluator only when a third evaluator concludes that the offender meets SVP criteria.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From September 2015

Previously reported on 10/2/2014 that this will not be implemented.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

DSH will not seek regulations or a statutory amendment clarifying that when resolving a difference of opinion between two initial evaluations a fourth evaluation will be conducted only when the third is positive. Based on significant reduction in CDCR referrals and the scarcity of cost savings DSH will obtain two independent evaluations to resolve cases where there is a difference of opinion.

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Will Not Implement


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

As previously reported, DSH has begun the approval process for a proposed regulation to seek the opinion of a fourth evaluator only when the third evaluator concludes the offender meets SVP criteria. It is anticipated the proposed regulation will be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) by the end of December 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: December 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) has begun the approval process for a proposed regulation which will be sent to the Office of Administrative Law to seek the opinion of a fourth evaluator only when a third evaluator concludes that the offender meets SVP criteria.

  • Estimated Completion Date: Unknown

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Recommendation #7 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To ensure that it will have enough qualified staff to perform evaluations, Mental Health should continue its efforts to obtain approval for a new position classification for evaluators. If the State Personnel Board approves the new classification, Mental Health should take steps to recruit qualified individuals as quickly as possible. Additionally, Mental Health should continue its efforts to train its consulting psychologists to conduct evaluations.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) obtained approval from SPB in March 2012 for the new Sexually Violent Predator Evaluator (SVP-E) classification and has since filled 13.0 positions. In addition, DSH has hired a total of 20.0 Consulting Psychologist (CP) positions and one Chief Psychologist for a total of 34.0 evaluator positions.

Training of the Consulting Psychologists

DSH expects to complete the training of 20.0 CPs and 13.0 SVP-Es to conduct evaluations by November 2012.

  • Completion Date: November 2012

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Recommendation #8 To: State Hospitals, Department of

To ensure that the Legislature can provide effective oversight of the program, Mental Health should complete and submit as soon as possible its reports to the Legislature about Mental Health's efforts to hire state employees to conduct evaluations and about the impact of Jessica's Law on the program.

Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2014

DSH has hired sufficient civil service evaluators to perform the SVP evaluations. Copy of declaration letter date 9-29-2014 to Honorable Mark Leno and Michael Cohen Director of Finance will be sent electronically.

  • Completion Date: December 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2013

As previously reported DSH has filled 13.0 Sexually Violent Predator Evaluator (SVP-E) positions, 20.0 Consulting Psychologist (CP) positions and one Chief Psychologist position for a total of 34 evaluator positions. In addition DSH is in the process of hiring an additional 12 CP positions and anticipates filling these positions by the end of 2013.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2014

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From November 2012

DSH will be submitting the report to the Legislature about efforts to hire state employees within the next 30 days. (Note: Senate Bill 71 (Leno, Chapter 728, Statutes of 2012) eliminates future reporting requirements on this subject.)

DSH plans to submit the report to the Legislature about the impact of Jessica's Law within 60 days.

  • Estimated Completion Date: January 2013

California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Not Fully Implemented


All Recommendations in 2010-116

Agency responses received after June 2013 are posted verbatim.


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