The primary job of elected officials is to protect our community’s health, safety, and welfare.
But some California politicians are turning a blind eye to public safety when releasing sexually violent predators into our communities.
It happens more often than you think. One example is the case of Douglas Badger, a sexual deviant convicted of child molestation and kidnapping. Despite outcries from the community, led by Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones (R-Santee), a court has decided that Badger will be placed in San Diego County later this year.
How dangerous is this sexual predator who has been housed at state hospitals since 1997? He is currently diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and sexual sadism disorder.
State Senator Jones began leading the change to stop the dumping of sexual predators into unsuspecting neighborhoods. This year he introduced Senate Bill 832 that aimed at preventing the secret dumping of predators like Badger in communities throughout the state.
Like similar legislation last year, Jones got bi-partisan support from Democrats. “Coauthoring SB832 is a no-brainer,” said Senator Maria Alvarado-Gill. “Many communities in our state, including those living on rural and Indian lands, may not have the adequate police enforcement to ensure the safety of their community from these violent sexual predators.”
Currently, the Department of State Hospitals allows a hired vendor to determine the location and timing of Sexually Violent Predator releases. The information is kept secret from neighbors, school officials, and local law enforcement.
SB 832 would have given the power back to local communities by:
- Establishing public safety as the highest criteria for any potential placement of a Sexually Violent Predator;
- Require the Department of State Hospitals to approve all placements before the vendor can sign any leases for placement locations;
- Mandate the Director of DSH to publicly report annually on the number of SVPs in each county and supervisorial district;
- Require DSH, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and CAL FIRE to assess all land under their control and report any facilities that could be used to house Sexually Violent Predators to the Governor and Legislature, as previous administrations have done historically; and
- Prohibit the placement of Sexually Violent Predators within 5 miles of a federally recognized “Indian country.”
It seems like common sense that victims, law enforcement, and the impacted community should be informed when a person convicted of sexually violent offenses and diagnosed with mental disorders is being released in their community.
Despite getting bi-partisan support, some out-of-touch-with-reality elected officials on the Public Safety Committee stalled the legislation when it was considered earlier this month. SB 832 was granted “reconsideration,” so it can be brought up again for a second vote before April 28.
We will keep you informed on the progress of this legislation.
*Sexually Violent Predator Definition*
“A Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) is a person (almost all are men) who has been convicted of a qualifying sex crime and who has a mental disorder which makes him dangerous to the community after a court commitment proceeding under Welfare & Institutions Code 6600.”
“A sexually violent predator is someone who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense against one or more victims and has a diagnosed mental illness that puts the individual a threat to others’ health and safety by increasing the likelihood of sexually violent criminal activity.” https://www.chamberslawfirmca.com/what-does-it-mean-to-be-qualified-as-a-sexually-violent-predator-in-california/