The Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) filed a lawsuit today challenging treatment requirements for registrants on parole. Specifically, the lawsuit claims that the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requires all registrants on parole to undergo treatment the entire time they are on parole and that this requirement violates state law.
The lawsuit was filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court and includes five individual plaintiffs as well as ACSOL. The lawsuit could bring relief to more than 6,800 registrants who are currently on parole.
According to the lawsuit, state law requires registrants on parole to complete one treatment program that must last at least one year. The same state law requires CDCR to consult with treatment providers in order to extend the length of the treatment program. Further, that law allows a state judge to terminate treatment for a registrant on parole at any time beyond the first year.
Plaintiffs in this case include registrants on parole who have been required to undergo treatment for up to seven years. Some of the plaintiffs have been required to continue treatment even after being told by a treatment provider that they completed a treatment program.
“The fact that a registrant is required to undergo treatment is often used to keep a registrant on parole,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “That is, they are told that they cannot be released from parole because they are still undergoing treatment.”
Treatment programs for registrants on parole can include group counseling and individual counseling on a weekly basis as well as polygraph examinations. These requirements can and often do interfere with an individual’s ability to find or keep a job for the entire time they are on parole. Parole periods last from three to 20 years.
The lawsuit requests the court to order CDCR to terminate the agency’s requirement that all registrants on parole continue treatment the entire time they are on parole. The lawsuit also requests the court to issue a writ of mandate that requires CDCR to modify its existing regulations.
A state judge in San Mateo County ordered the termination of a treatment program for a registrant on parole in March 2023. In the court order, the judge noted that the registrant on parole completed a three-year treatment program and was then told he must start treatment again because he was still on parole. A copy of that court order is an exhibit to the lawsuit filed today.
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