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California Creates High Risk Sex Offender Task Force

By Executive Order S-6-08 (May 15, 2006), California?s Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger created the High Risk Sex Offender Task Force (HRSOTF). Its job was to advise the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on policy upgrades regarding (1) notification of local law enforcement of the release from prison of high risk sex offenders, (2) placement planning for these offenders, (3) monitoring of them, and (4) enforcement of special conditions of parole. The HRSOTF was to be headed by two state legislators and CDCR Secretary James Tilton.

After interim advice from the HRSOTF, Schwarzenegger issued Executive Order S-6-09 on June 16, 2006, directing Secretary Tilton to immediately implement the following new procedures: assess all pending sex offender parolees for ?high risk,? and verify the adequacy of their proposed residence upon release. The order specifically required CDCR to evaluate 1,400 candidates due for release within the next 90 days, but also required CDCR to put in place a non-emergency plan to assess all future candidates at least 45 days prior to their scheduled release.

In its August 15, 2006 report, the HRSOTF made ten recommendations. The first was to have a uniform definition of ?high risk sex offender? (HRSO). Next, they advised pre-screening all incarcerated HRSOs 120 days prior to their scheduled release. Third, all HRSOs should be required to receive treatment while incarcerated. Fourth, community notification prior to release should be planned. Fifth, community supervision should be based upon the ?containment model,? whose four components include parole supervision, therapist treatment, polygraph tests, and victim advocacy. Next, CDCR should partner with local law enforcement to enhance community education on HRSOs. Seventh, the Megan?s Law website should be augmented to highlight HRSOs and those with GPS monitors. The remaining recommendations address administrative achievement of the program.

With the subsequent passage of Jessica?s Law by the voters in November 2006, the freedom of paroled California sex offender registrants will be severely circumscribed. See: California High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, August 15, 2006.

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