SAN DIEGO – A California Republican leader is raising the alarm about how sexually violent predators (SVPs) are placed in San Diego County. He is demanding an audit of the company that oversees the placements.
California Senate Minority Leader Brian Jones wants answers.
Jones is asking the California Legislative Audit Committee to investigate Liberty Healthcare’s exclusive contract that manages California’s sexually violent predator conditional release program.
“This sexually violent predator process in California that’s just unbelievable that the state is actually releasing sexually violent predators into neighborhoods with families and the elderly. They’ve had it, I’ve had it!” Jones said.
According to Jones, Liberty Healthcare is budgeted to get $6.75 million from the state in the current fiscal year and he said the company gets on average $34,000 for services per client.
“The annual cost on some of these SVPs is up to $350,000 a year and we want to know what the state is getting for its money. What are the taxpayers actually getting for their money that we’re paying to Liberty Health?” Jones said.
In a letter to the state auditor, Jones calls the program “rogue” coming under increasing public scrutiny and criticism for its “lack of accountability and transparency.”
He also cites what he calls a complete disregard for public safety.
Jones used the case of Douglass Badger as an example. The 79-year-old SVP has twice been denied in East County neighborhoods due to public outcry over placement with proximity to children.
“It’s unfair for California citizens in our neighborhood to do the state’s job and watch these sexually violent predators to make sure that they don’t misbehave or get in trouble again,” Jones explained.
In lieu of legislation, Jones hopes an audit will reveal more about the program and even if in fact it even works.
“Seventy percent of them recommit and have to go back into prison and that’s another thing we want to state auditor to look is what is the actual rate of recidivism of these SVPs in California? It’s very high,” Jones said.
If anyone would like to access a petition in support of Jones’ petition, they can visit his website.
On the webpage, people can also fill out the petition as well.