Report 2010-116 Recommendations and Responses in 2012-041

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

Department Number of Years Reported As Not Fully Implemented Total Recommendations to Department Not Implemented After One Year Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 1 2 2 2
Department of Mental Health 1 5 4 3

Recommendation 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.

Response

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: Unknown
  • Response Date: November 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: November 2012
  • Response Date: November 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2013
  • Response Date: November 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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 Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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 Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Recommendation 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.

Response

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 Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: September 2012

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2012-041