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State audit faults evaluations of sexually violent predators

The state auditor released a report Thursday criticizing the Department of State Hospitals’ evaluation system for determining whether  prisoners due for parole or psychiatric patients being held at Coalinga State Hospital are sexually violent predators.

The audit found that evaluations of current and potential “SVPs” are inconsistent, and that there is no standard protocol used to determine whether those being assessed meet the criteria for confinement. The audit also found that evaluators lack clinical supervision and training, and that Coalinga has a “significant backlog” of annual evaluations that violates the rights of patients. Full Article

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  1. Anonymous Nobody

    Article in LA Times today (page B4) about state audit highly critical of the Department of State Hospitals’ evaluation system for committing sex offenders to a psychiatric hospital when they are released from prison:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-state-audit-svp-evaluations-20150312-story.html

    It basically says there are no standards, no supervision of the decisions, inadequate training for decision makers and workers, and a huge backlog of annual evaluations that means even if you were ready for release, it could be years before you even get your evaluation.

    This is INTENTIONAL! Every last bit of this keeps these people locked up even longer. If it were not intentional, the results would go both ways.

    On a tangent, I must point out, this is exactly the issue I have been taking about related to the proposal for tiers. The tiers should NOT be linked to an evaluation – that is going to be used down the line to create all kinds of trouble and will be taken over by the hate-mongers. I can’t even imagine all the angles the hate-mongers who take over the tier system will come up with, but I guarantee you they will come up with things, plenty of things, to thwart us. Stop giving them the ammunition to do so. If you give them an inch, they absolutely will be taking a mile (or 100 miles!). If you leave a little hole, they will drive a damn truck through it (or sale a battleship through!). The tiers should be set by the offense, a certain time frame for a certain offense. The only time an evaluation should come into play is when a registrant wants to apply to be put in a lower tier.

    The tiers should be linked only to the number of years since conviction not even to the number of years of actual registration as that, too, is another minefield of trouble. Link the tiers only to how long since conviction.

    And again, do not include any need to apply to the state once you reach your tier level – again, that is another minefield. I guarantee you, the courts eventually are going to say that it is implicit in the requirement for application that it can be denied, as the courts will say there would be no point of an application if it can’t be denied and that there must be a point to it if it is the law.

    The tier proposal CA RSOL has been proposing is one that will only be pulling the wool over our own eyes!

    *** moved from General Comments March 2015 *** Moderator

    • Q

      I do believe your take on the situation is right on the mark. There’s allot of optimists here, and that’s fine; however I think the optimists are ignoring the nasty, downright evil the hatemongers have consistently demonstrated towards registrants and their seeming belief that the laws are bad and they need to fix that with laws they think are needed and right (to them wrong is right and right is wrong), regardless of the constitution and bill of rights (two documents they hate, as evidenced by their actions and statements).

      Every time an opportunity for relief is perused by registrants there is a no holds bared spare no expense (these lesser people usually don’t have to fork out one cent) rush to close every avenue of relief. These evil people refuse to acknowledge the truth, they think their reality is the only reality. I’m equally sure this report will be ignored. If anything meaningful is done (doubtful) you can bank on allot of foot dragging at the expense of the rights of their victims, truth and justice.

      These evil forces are at war with us, the registrants, and will eventually destroy the freedoms so many died for. They must be stopped, and I believe more people should retire their rose colored glasses and get more realistic. There is more at stake here than the rights of registrants and a tiered registry.

      • Q

        And thank you for the edit feature! It’s been needed for a while now. Thank you. 🙂

  2. steve

    You have a point…even CASOMB says “a high risk offender after 17 years offense free is as likely to commit a sex offense as anyone”

  3. David

    Good, valid remarks on Tiered Registry, “Anonymous Nobody”.
    My experience is that these psychologists specializing in sexual offender therapy are practicing a very imprecise art-science and: 1. they’ll make decisions to the benefit of whoever is paying for their services, and; 2. as government employees, their primary concern is always “CYA”, so they’re likely to keep people locked up much longer than necessary.

  4. hannah grace

    Somehow this article doesn’t surprise me. When my loved one was required to attend his sex rehabilitation classes, he would come home with the assignment of completing a task. Often times, the task presented was so deviant to think about doing, that he could not complete it. The therapist put all registered citizens in the same category no matter their offense. It was almost like she was instructing them how to reoffend and earn the label sexually violent predator. She was constantly ridiculing the members of the class by reminding them that they were sex offenders. Never once did she treat them like human beings. If the members of the class admitted to anything about their feelings, they lived in fear of it being reported to their probation/parole officer. Because this is a requirement to complete this class to get off of probation, my loved one trudged through it. Of course, none of the required “therapy” is covered by insurance, our family bore the cost of this mental abuse. What makes you think the state system of determining a sexual violent predator is any different? The powers that be who determine this category and many others are only interested in saving their jobs and the money their employer pays them. Think about how many people would become unemployed if the justice system treated a registered citizen like an actual redeemable individual?? It’s all about the money.

    • td777

      I can relate. When I was in my first “counseling” group while on probation, it was “explained” to us that, no matter our offense, we were sex addicts who would ultimately kidnap, rape, and murder a child if we didn’t get our alleged “addiction” under control. Then, when I was falsely accused of a second crime, the facilitator of the group didn’t hesitate to lie about me to help the prosecution’s case. Then, when I got out of prison and put into another counseling, I got into trouble and threatened with a parole violation for correcting the “therapists” who kept claiming high recidivism rates of 60-70% over and over. Instead of getting a violation, I was put into a group with the head of the “therapy” groups at that parole office so he could “keep an eye” on me because he saw me as trouble. At my last session before being discharged, he announced to the entire group that he had gone through the details of my cases and found enough to say he believed that I should never have been convicted in the first place and that I would have been able to get the charges dismissed if I had a decent lawyer who had been willing to do their job. My though at this point was to wonder why he didn’t acknowledge that before accusing me of being a problem two years earlier…then I remembered that he didn’t because he had nothing more to gain since I was being discharged within a few days.

  5. David

    “hannah grace”, I agree – the SO therapy I had to attend was “psychological abuse”. The therapist refused to answer my questions if they stumped him or pointed out an inconsistency in law or treatment. He would simply stonewall.
    It’s disturbing that our courts put any faith in these snake oil salesmen!

    • td777

      What’s sad is that courts also go the other way, rejecting what the psychologist said about me when he called me less of a threat than over 96% of the general population during my initial court case.

      • Timmr

        I’ve had a couple of psychologists who actually helped me get through the stress of my ordeal, doing their job to heal. I would not make a blanket judgement on all of them. On the other hand there were those who thought it was their job to help punish us by doing the psychological torture you describe. There seems to be a division between those who want to help the individual and those who see no conflict of interest in torture. Just look at the at the American Psychological Association and it’s support of “enhanced interrogation”.
        https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/american-psychological-association-sees-no-evil

  6. Rocky

    I guess I’m pretty fortunate then, because the therapists that we’ve been appointed, here in Solano County, are helpful & resourceful (though we’ve been told of how inadequate some of the Ph.D’s are in some places). The head therapist, which covers my group, has been experienced in this field for over 30 years & has started by working through the prison system.

    Anyhow, they encouraged all participants to think & understand that they are “former sex offenders” rather than sex offenders. There is quite a bit to express of how actually helpful it has been compared to the parole’s P.O.C. shenanigans, with the exception of that they coerced us (the threat of a violation if we were to refuse) into signing a form stating that we must willing surrender our patient to doctor confidentiality privilege.

    Like the polygraphs that we are forced to take, there are some unnecessary flaming hoops that we have to jump through. I failed one & was told I’d be violated if I had failed another. I passed the next one, then my P.O. interrogated me for what I openly honest of. Just like religion: They want to convict you of thought crime if they can, and don’t think from a second that they aren’t working methods to do so (like M.R.I. brain scans).

    Sorry about getting off topic, but I agree with opinions here; I don’t trust the system or what the governing bodies are trying to do with it either.

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