Like all other law-abiding residents of East County, State Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) today rejoiced that a second San Diego County Superior Court Judge has prohibited the state from placing sexually violent predator (SVP) Douglas Badger in a residential neighborhood in Mt. Helix. Ten days ago, another judge ruled that another sexually violent predator, Merle Wakefield, also would not be allowed to be placed in that same house in Mt. Helix.
“The families of Mt. Helix can breathe a sigh of relief today,” said Senator Brian Jones. “For now, Badger and Wakefield will not be forced into a residential neighborhood but the concern is where will the Newsom Administration try this next? This game of ‘Hide the Predator” needs to stop. It’s unfair and upsetting to unsuspecting communities.”
Jones recently announced that in addition to supporting efforts by San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and Supervisor Joel Anderson to get the county involved earlier in potential SVP placements, he is also drafting state legislation to stop the state’s “Hide the Predator” game and it’s pattern of dumping SVPs in the same regions over and over again.
Specifically, Jones’ bill would:
- Place a hard limit on the placement of SVP’s within a county to no more 40% in any one supervisorial district;
- Mandate that the Director of the Department of State Hospitals publicly report annually how many SVPs are in each county, and in which supervisorial district;
- Make the highest criteria of any potential placement of an SVP be that of public safety;
- Put the burden squarely on the Director of State Hospitals to ensure that these new policies are followed; and
- Require the Department of State Hospitals, the Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, and CAL-FIRE to inventory which of their facilities have trailers that can house SVPs.
“For decades state has been sneaking around trying to release or parole dangerous sexually violent predators and rapists in residential neighborhoods,” continued Jones. “Administration officials have often tried to deflect their responsibility by allowing their vendors, such as Liberty Health Care, too much freedom in targeting regions such as East County. Our legislation will require transparency in the SVP placement process, force state officials own up for their decisions and make public safety the highest priority.”