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Jones's measure to protect communities from sexually violent predators unanimously passes

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Public Safety Committee unanimously approved Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones’s (R-San Diego) bipartisan Senate Bill 1074, called the “Sexually Violent Predator Accountability, Fairness, and Enforcement Act” (SAFE Act), April 9.

“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,” said Jones. “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.”

The SAFE Act aims to prevent the state from secretly dumping sexually violent predators (SVPs) into family-friendly neighborhoods throughout the state with no regard for public safety. SB 1074 is the third bipartisan SVP bill Leader Jones has authored in the last three years.

Specifically, SB 1074 would:

1. Make public safety the highest criterion of any potential placement of an SVP; and

2. Require the Department of State Hospitals (DSH) to take ownership in the placement process by approving any placements BEFORE the vendor can sign any leases for placement locations

Sexually violent predators are convicted of a sexually violent offense and diagnosed with a mental disorder that predisposes them to be a danger to others with a high likelihood to reoffend. When a court orders their conditional release, DSH allows their vendor Liberty Healthcare the freedom to house SVPs in unsuspecting communities across California. A new report indicates that housing a single SVP costs taxpayers over $456,000 annually.

Jones has been a trailblazer in fighting SVP placements in San Diego County for years. Last year, Leader Jones secured an audit of Liberty Healthcare, the state contractor responsible for overseeing placements of SVPs. The audit results are expected to be released in Fall 2024.

The bill is co-authored by Senators Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson), Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Janet Nguyen (R-Huntington Beach), Roger W. Niello (R-Fair Oaks), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), and Assemblymembers Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin), and Marie Waldron (R-Valley Center).

SB 1074 passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 4-0 vote. The measure is similar to Leader Jones’s bipartisan SB 832 from last year, and the bipartisan SB 841 from two years ago. Hundreds of Californians have signed the petition to support SB 1074.

Senator Brian W. Jones represents the 40th Senate District which includes the cities of Escondido, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, the communities of Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley, and University City, along with the unincorporated communities of 4S Ranch, Alpine, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, and Valley Center.

 

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