Report 2010-116 Recommendations and Responses in 2013-041

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 2012-041 Response Not Implemented as of Most Recent Response
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 2 2 2 2 2
Department of State Hospitals 2 5 4 3 3

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

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

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Will Not Implement
  • Completion Date:
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

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.

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

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

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: December 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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

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.

  • California State Auditor's Assessment of Status: Not Fully Implemented
  • Completion Date: January 2014
  • Response Date: November 2013

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. 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 Status: Will Not Implement
  • Response Date: October 2013

Current Status of Recommendations

All Recommendations in 2013-041