Senate Democrats reject amendment to protect communities from sexually violent predators — again

On the Senate floor today, Senator Brian Dahle presented an amendment to stop the dangerous practice of releasing sexually violent predators into communities on transient status. This was his second attempt proposing the solution and Senate Democrats’ second time blocking it.

Brian Dahle

“California Democrats continue to allow SVPs to be dumped in communities on transient status regardless of the known dangers they pose,” Dahle said. “Three-quarters of transient releases fail to transition successfully. These are not your average criminals; they’ve committed serious sexual crimes and pose significant risk of reoffending. Minimizing that risk is paramount.”

Dahle’s proposed amendment is in response to the alarming statistics surrounding the state’s SVP-Conditional Release Program, which began in 1996. Data from state contractor Liberty Healthcare finds a staggering 75 percent of SVPs released on transient status have had their release revoked or have been rehospitalized due to “serious violations.”

Last year Liberty Healthcare proposed dumping an SVP in an RV with transient status in Placer County. Transient placements could become more common in communities where children and families reside because of the worsening housing shortage in California.

The proposed amendment would have prohibited transient release, instead proposing to place SVPs on state property and subjecting them to closely monitored supervision by state personnel.

“Our proposal today was a solution to safeguard communities from the dangers of sexually violent predators,” said Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones. “SVPs have committed crimes so heinous, I argue they should never be released from prison. If the state is ordered by a court to release SVPs and has no choice but to do so, the state has the responsibility to do it in a manner that best protects the people. Buying an RV for the SVP and then turning them loose in a different county is not responsible and our proposed amendment today would have stopped this unconscionable practice. Once again, it is disappointing to see Senate Democrats shoot this proposal down without any consideration for the safety of the people.”

The placement of SVP William Stephenson in Placer County is ongoing. The county’s next hearing on housing SVPs is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. For more info or for a Zoom link to the hearing click here.

Click here to view the vote on the amendment.