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in Public Services
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SUPERVISOR BARGER SEEKS MORE TRANSPARENCY TO ENSURE PUBLIC SAFETY IN FUTURE PLACEMENTS OF SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS IN LA COUNTY
LOS ANGELES COUNTY — During today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Kathryn Barger read in a motion asking the District Attorney and Sheriff to begin notifying the Board any time the California Department of State Hospitals makes a recommendation to the Superior Court to send a person committed as a sexually violent predator to outpatient treatment in the community. The motion also asks that the District Attorney and Sheriff notify the Supervisor representing the district where the placement is being considered by the Court.
“I remain steadfast in my commitment to protect and advocate for the residents in my district,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The proposed placement of Mr. Grassmier in a residential, family-oriented neighborhood in La Crescenta has highlighted the need for adequate notice and the opportunity to encourage community input in proposed placement decisions. It is essential that these placements are made with the appropriate input and collaboration of all stakeholders involved to ensure everyone has their voice heard.”
This motion, which will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors at its next meeting on June 22, will result in official and timely notification before a sexually violent predator is released into any Los Angeles County community.
Currently, the Welfare and Institutions code (sections 6609.1(a)(1) and 6609.2) provides for the notification of the Sheriff or Chief of Police (or both), the District Attorney, or the County's designated counsel. Furthermore, the code stipulates that the Sheriff or Chief of Police may notify any person designated as an appropriate recipient of the notice. This motion, authored by Supervisor Barger, would codify that the Board of Supervisors, including the Supervisor whose district is affected, will receive appropriate notification. If passed, this effort will support proactive community engagement and will enable the community to provide essential feedback on any proposed placement.
A copy of the proposed motion, to be placed on the June 22 Board meeting agenda, can be found below.
MOTION BY SUPERVISOR KATHRYN BARGER June 22, 2021
Advance Notification of the Potential Release of Sexually Violent Predators
When the Superior Court sets a hearing to make a determination concerning the conditional release of a sexually violent predator (SVP) into the community and/or to consider a suitable residence for the SVP, it generates a great deal of community concern and requires proactive community engagement. While such matters are rare, Welfare and Institutions Code Sections 6609.1(a)(1) and 6609.2 provide notice to the District Attorney and the Sheriff.
Specifically, Welfare and Institutions Code § 6609.1. (a)(1) states that when the State Department of State Hospitals makes a recommendation to the court for community outpatient treatment for any person committed as a sexually violent predator, or when a person who is committed as a sexually violent predator pursuant to this article has petitioned a court pursuant to Section 6608 for conditional release under supervision and treatment in the community pursuant to a conditional release program, or has petitioned a court pursuant to Section 6608 for subsequent unconditional discharge, and the department is notified, or is aware, of the filing of the petition, and when a community placement location is recommended or proposed, the department shall notify the sheriff or chief of police, or both, the district attorney, or the county's designated counsel, that have jurisdiction over the following locations:
(A) The community in which the person may be released for community outpatient treatment.
(B) The community in which the person maintained his or her last legal residence as defined by Section 3003 of the Penal Code.
(C) The county that filed for the person's civil commitment pursuant to this article.
Welfare and Institutions Code § 6609.2 states that when any sheriff or chief of police is notified by the State Department of State Hospitals of its recommendation to the court concerning the disposition of a sexually violent predator pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 6609.1, that sheriff or chief of police may notify any person designated by the sheriff or chief of police as an appropriate recipient of the notice.
I, THEREFORE, MOVE that the Board of Supervisors request the District Attorney and the Sheriff to:
Notify the Board of Supervisors when the State Department of State Hospitals makes a recommendation to the court for community outpatient treatment for any person committed as a sexually violent predator and the subsequent ruling by the court; and,
Notify the Supervisor representing the district where a suitable placement is going to be considered by the court.