A bill was signed into law that will allow law enforcement to track certain sexually violent offenders through GPS system while on conditional release.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1641 on Tuesday which was introduced by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego).
AB 1641 seeks to strengthen the safety of communities by preventing a sexually violent predator (SVP) from being housed within ¼ mile of a school, daycare, park, or community center where youth activities are regularly held. The legislation also requires SVPs to be GPS monitored, allows for an extended conditional release duration, and ensures that law enforcement are an active participant in the selection process of housing for the SVP. Finally, AB 1641 protects victims by allowing previous statements and other forms of evidence to be used in preliminary phases of the SVP hearing process.
AB 1641 was introduced by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein earlier this year as part of his legislative package for 2022, including focuses on public safety, porch piracy, conservatorship misuse, and reducing single-use plastic waste in California.
“The safety and wellbeing of our neighborhoods is my top priority,” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “This year, I am focusing on strengthening safeguards in our communities, expanding protections for victims of domestic violence, and ensuring the welfare of California’s animals.”
The bill passed the State Assembly in a 77-0 vote and out of the State Senate in a 37-0 vote.
According to the Bill:
Maienschein Introduces Legislation to Limit Community Placements of Sexually Violent Predators
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Brian Maienschein introduced Assembly Bill 1641 to enact restrictions on placement locations of sexually violent predators during conditional release. The bill will require law enforcement to be involved in the selection of placement locations and will prioritize community safety.
“Sexually violent predators have committed some of the most heinous crimes imaginable,” said Maienschein. “More safeguards need to be in place to prevent these individuals, who are still under the jurisdiction of the court and receiving treatment, from being housed in areas that can pose a danger to public safety.”
A sexually violent predator (SVP) is an individual convicted of a sexual offense that the court deems likely to reoffend, making them a danger to the health and safety of others. SVPs are committed to a state hospital until the court determines their qualification for conditional or unconditional release. Those who qualify for a conditional release program (CONREP) are placed in the community while receiving ongoing treatment. Despite this oversight, there are very few limitations on where these offenders can be placed.
AB 1641 will strengthen the safety of our communities by preventing a SVP from being housed within ¼ mile of a school, daycare, park, or community center where youth activities are regularly held. The legislation also requires SVPs to be GPS monitored, allows for an extended conditional release duration, and ensures that law enforcement are an active participant in the selection process of housing for the SVP. Finally, AB 1641 protects victims by allowing previous statements and other forms of evidence to be used in preliminary phases of the SVP hearing process.
Maienschein introduced AB 1641 in response to the State of California’s proposal last year to place sexually violent predator Douglas Badger in a home adjacent to the Rancho Bernardo County Club golf course. Badger had been convicted of numerous counts of sexual assault dating back to 1981.
“The case of Douglas Badger defied logic and highlighted the flaws in the system,” Maienschein continued. “I am pleased that we were able to join together as a community to fight the proposed placement, but there is still work be done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
Maienschein’s letter urging the court to reject placing Badger in Rancho Bernardo can be viewed below.