California Welfare and Institutions Code § 6601




<Section operative until execution of specified declaration by director or Jan. 1, 2013, whichever occurs first.  See, also, section operative upon execution of specified declaration by director or Jan. 1, 2013, whichever occurs first.>

(a)(1) Whenever the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation determines that an individual who is in custody under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and who is either serving a determinate prison sentence or whose parole has been revoked, may be a sexually violent predator, the secretary shall, at least six months prior to that individual's scheduled date for release from prison, refer the person for evaluation in accordance with this section.  However, if the inmate was received by the department with less than nine months of his or her sentence to serve, or if the inmate's release date is modified by judicial or administrative action, the secretary may refer the person for evaluation in accordance with this section at a date that is less than six months prior to the inmate's scheduled release date.

(2) A petition may be filed under this section if the individual was in custody pursuant to his or her determinate prison term, parole revocation term, or a hold placed pursuant to Section 6601.3, at the time the petition is filed.  A petition shall not be dismissed on the basis of a later judicial or administrative determination that the individual's custody was unlawful, if the unlawful custody was the result of a good faith mistake of fact or law.  This paragraph shall apply to any petition filed on or after January 1, 1996.

(b) The person shall be screened by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of Parole Hearings based on whether the person has committed a sexually violent predatory offense and on a review of the person's social, criminal, and institutional history.  This screening shall be conducted in accordance with a structured screening instrument developed and updated by the State Department of State Hospitals in consultation with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  If as a result of this screening it is determined that the person is likely to be a sexually violent predator, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall refer the person to the State Department of State Hospitals for a full evaluation of whether the person meets the criteria in Section 6600.

(c) The State Department of State Hospitals shall evaluate the person in accordance with a standardized assessment protocol, developed and updated by the State Department of State Hospitals, to determine whether the person is a sexually violent predator as defined in this article.  The standardized assessment protocol shall require assessment of diagnosable mental disorders, as well as various factors known to be associated with the risk of reoffense among sex offenders.  Risk factors to be considered shall include criminal and psychosexual history, type, degree, and duration of sexual deviance, and severity of mental disorder.

(d) Pursuant to subdivision (c), the person shall be evaluated by two practicing psychiatrists or psychologists, or one practicing psychiatrist and one practicing psychologist, designated by the Director of State Hospitals, one or both of whom may be independent professionals as defined in subdivision (g).  If both evaluators concur that the person has a diagnosed mental disorder so that he or she is likely to engage in acts of sexual violence without appropriate treatment and custody, the Director of State Hospitals shall forward a request for a petition for commitment under Section 6602 to the county designated in subdivision (i).  Copies of the evaluation reports and any other supporting documents shall be made available to the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) who may file a petition for commitment.

(e) If one of the professionals performing the evaluation pursuant to subdivision (d) does not concur that the person meets the criteria specified in subdivision (d), but the other professional concludes that the person meets those criteria, the Director of State Hospitals shall arrange for further examination of the person by two independent professionals selected in accordance with subdivision (g).

(f) If an examination by independent professionals pursuant to subdivision (e) is conducted, a petition to request commitment under this article shall only be filed if both independent professionals who evaluate the person pursuant to subdivision (e) concur that the person meets the criteria for commitment specified in subdivision (d).  The professionals selected to evaluate the person pursuant to subdivision (g) shall inform the person that the purpose of their examination is not treatment but to determine if the person meets certain criteria to be involuntarily committed pursuant to this article.  It is not required that the person appreciate or understand that information.

(g) Any independent professional who is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Director of State Hospitals for purposes of this section shall not be a state government employee, shall have at least five years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and shall include psychiatrists and licensed psychologists who have a doctoral degree in psychology.  The requirements set forth in this section also shall apply to any professionals appointed by the court to evaluate the person for purposes of any other proceedings under this article.

(h) If the State Department of State Hospitals determines that the person is a sexually violent predator as defined in this article, the Director of State Hospitals shall forward a request for a petition to be filed for commitment under this article to the county designated in subdivision (i).  Copies of the evaluation reports and any other supporting documents shall be made available to the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) who may file a petition for commitment in the superior court.

(i) If the county's designated counsel concurs with the recommendation, a petition for commitment shall be filed in the superior court of the county in which the person was convicted of the offense for which he or she was committed to the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.  The petition shall be filed, and the proceedings shall be handled, by either the district attorney or the county counsel of that county.  The county board of supervisors shall designate either the district attorney or the county counsel to assume responsibility for proceedings under this article.

(j) The time limits set forth in this section shall not apply during the first year that this article is operative.

(k) An order issued by a judge pursuant to Section 6601.5, finding that the petition, on its face, supports a finding of probable cause to believe that the individual named in the petition is likely to engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior upon his or her release, shall toll that person's parole pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 3000 of the Penal Code, if that individual is determined to be a sexually violent predator.

(l) Pursuant to subdivision (d), the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) shall notify the State Department of State Hospitals of its decision regarding the filing of a petition for commitment within 15 days of making that decision.

(m)(1) The department shall provide the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, including the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and the Department of Finance, with a semiannual update on the progress made to hire qualified state employees to conduct the evaluation required pursuant to subdivision (d).  The first update shall be provided no later than July 10, 2009.

(2) On or before January 2, 2010, the department shall report to the Legislature on all of the following:

(A) The costs to the department for the sexual offender commitment program attributable to the provisions in Proposition 83 of the November 2006 general election, otherwise known as Jessica's Law.

(B) The number and proportion of inmates evaluated by the department for commitment to the program as a result of the expanded evaluation and commitment criteria in Jessica's Law.

(C) The number and proportion of those inmates who have actually been committed for treatment in the program.

(3) This section shall remain in effect and be repealed on the date that the director executes a declaration, which shall be provided to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, including the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and the Department of Finance, specifying that sufficient qualified state employees have been hired to conduct the evaluations required pursuant to subdivision (d), or January 1, 2013, whichever occurs first.



FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of WestlawNext, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit WestlawNext.

FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via WestlawNext before relying on it for your legal needs.