Sen. Jones’ Bill Restricting Sexual Predator Placements Passes Committee | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

Sen. Jones’ measure to protect communities from sexually violent predators unanimously passed the Senate Public Safety Committee Tuesday. Photo via @SenBrianJones X

A bill to increase transparency when state hospitals attempt to place sexually violent predators in California communities unanimously passed the state Senate’s Public Safety Committee Tuesday.

The Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness and Enforcement Act was authored by Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones, R-San Diego.

“The SAFE Act is designed to protect our neighborhoods and families from dangerous sexually violent predators, perpetrators of some of the most horrendous and violent sex crimes,” Jones said. “We are thankful that the Senate Public Safety Committee understands the need to protect our communities from these predators. Today is the first step towards fixing this broken and alarming sexually violent predator release program.”

Specifically, SB 1074 would “make public safety the highest criterion of any potential placement of an SVP,” and “require the Department of State Hospitals to take ownership in the placement process by approving any placements before the vendor can sign any leases for placement locations,” a statement from Jones office read.

Sexually violent predators are a designation for those convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with a mental disorder that makes a person likely to re-offend.

After serving their prison sentences, SVPs undergo treatment at state hospitals, but may also petition courts to continue treatment in outpatient locations, where they are monitored via GPS, among other measures.

Jones’ bill would make the placement of such offenders without public scrutiny more difficult by the state’s vendor for placing SVPs, Liberty Healthcare.

The bill passed the committee 4-0 and features some bipartisan support.

“This bill not only prioritizes public safety as the paramount concern in deciding the placement of Sexually Violent Predators — it also ensures accountability by mandating the Department of State Hospitals’ approval before any placement occurs,” said Sen. Marie Alvarado-Gil, D-Jackson. “We cannot allow secrecy to jeopardize the safety of our neighborhoods. SB 1074 is a vital step towards transparency and responsible governance.”

SB 1074 is the third bipartisan SVP bill Jones has authored in the last three years. A bill to prevent the state from placing SVPs on tribal land stalled last year and another bill similar to SB 1074 died in committee in 2022.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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