Assemblyman James Gallagher (R- Yuba City) has introduced AB 255, the Protect our Communities Act, which would limit the placement of Sexually Violent Predators to counties where they have residential, familial, or employment connections when they are conditionally released.
The Department of State Hospitals (DSH) is currently in the process of placing two convicted violent sexual predators in Northern California where they have no community ties.
“These offenders pose a serious risk to our community, and rural counties shouldn’t be the dumping ground for offenders from other areas of the state,” said Gallagher.
On Feb 7, a Santa Clara Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear a request by DSH to place Dariel Shazier into a residence in Placer County. A Monterey County Superior Court judge will hear a similar DSH request on Feb. 10 to place Eldridge Lindsey Chaney Jr. into a Yuba County residence despite the fact that he originates from Monterey County.
“We are a small town where children roam freely. We cannot afford to have convicted sexually violent predators live among our families,” said Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber), a co-author of the bill.
“My community is rightfully concerned that a designated Sexually Violent Predator from Santa Clara, with no ties to our area, could be placed in Lincoln in close proximity to minors,” added Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville), another co-author of AB 255. “This dangerous and arbitrary decision makes clear that the legal process relating to these most deviant of offenders is broken. Our bill will fix the most glaring problems and provide much needed safeguards for fairness and public safety.”
Specifically, AB 255 would require a court to consider where the offender was living prior to being arrested when determining their county of domicile, which will be the preference when determining county of placement. If placement in the county of domicile is not possible, the bill would require the court to place the individual in a county where they have familial, residential, or employment connections.