Skip navigation
Disciplinary Self-Help Litigation Manual - Header

Ca State Auditor 07 Repor Impact Sex Offender Placement Has on Communities 2008

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Sex Offender Placement:
State Laws Are Not Always Clear, and No One Formally Assesses
the Impact Sex Offender Placement Has on Local Communities
April 2008 Report 2007-115

CALIFORNIA
S TAT E A U D I T O R

The first five copies of each California State Auditor report are free. Additional copies are $3 each, payable by
check or money order. You can obtain reports by contacting the Bureau of State Audits at the following address:
California State Auditor
Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, California 95814
916.445.0255 or TTY 916.445.0033
OR
This report is also available on the World Wide Web http://www.bsa.ca.gov
The California State Auditor is pleased to announce the availability of an on-line subscription service. For
information on how to subscribe, please contact the Information Technology Unit at 916.445.0255, ext. 456,
or visit our Web site at www.bsa.ca.gov.
Alternate format reports available upon request.
Permission is granted to reproduce reports.
For questions regarding the contents of this report,
please contact Margarita Fernández, Chief of Public Affairs, at 916.445.0255.

Elaine M. Howle
State Auditor

CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR

Doug Cordiner
Chief Deputy

Bureau of State Audits

555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300

S a c r a m e n t o, C A 9 5 8 1 4

April 17, 2008	

916.445.0255

916.327.0019 fax

w w w. b s a . c a . g o v

2007-115

The Governor of California
President pro Tempore of the Senate
Speaker of the Assembly
State Capitol
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Governor and Legislative Leaders:
As requested by the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, the Bureau of State Audits presents its
audit report concerning the State’s process for placing sex offenders in residential facilities.
This report concludes that state laws, regulations, and departmental policies do not require
licensing departments to consider the criminal background of potential clients, including
registered sex offenders, that the licensed facilities plan to serve. State law does not generally
allow sex offenders on parole to reside with other sex offenders in a single-family dwelling that is
not a “residential facility.” However, we found several instances of two or more sex offenders on
parole residing in the same hotel room, which is not permitted according to the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (Corrections) interpretation of the law. Additionally, although
state law allows two or more sex offenders to reside at the same “residential facility,” it does not
clearly define whether residential facilities include those that do not require a license, such as
sober living facilities. We identified several instances in which two or more adult sex offenders
on parole were residing in the same sober living facilities. Furthermore, state law is also unclear
as to whether the residency restriction applies to juvenile offenders. In fact, we found several
instances in which Corrections had placed more than one juvenile sex offender parolee at the
same location.
Moreover, local law enforcement agencies generally told us they have not performed formal
assessments of the impact sex offenders have on their resources and communities. In addition,
state laws generally do not require the departments or their contractors that place registered
sex offenders to consider the impact on local communities when making placement decisions,
and the departments generally do not have policies calling for assessments of the impact
such placements have on local communities. Finally, although Corrections generally followed
its policies when monitoring sex offender parolees, it did not always adhere to its policies
for notifying local law enforcement agencies of the impending release of parolees into their
jurisdictions and it did not always ensure that parolees registered with the appropriate law
enforcement agency within five working days of being released from prison.
Respectfully submitted,

ELAINE M. HOWLE
State Auditor

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Contents
Summary	

1

Introduction	

5

Chapter 1	
State Laws Lack Specific Criteria for Licensing Residential Facilities
That House Sex Offenders	

17

Recommendations	

27

Chapter 2	
Efforts to Assess the Impact Sex Offenders Have on Law Enforcement
and Communities Are Underway	

29

Recommendations	

41

Responses to the Audit	
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation	

43

California State Auditor’s Comments on the Response From the
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation	

49

Department of Justice—Original and Supplemental	

53

California State Auditor’s Comments on the Response From the
Department of Justice	

59

Department of Social Services—Original and Supplemental	

61

California State Auditor’s Comments on the Response From the
Department of Social Services	

65

Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs	

67

Department of Developmental Services	

69

Department of Mental Health	

71

California State Auditor’s Comments on the Response From the
Department of Mental Health	

73

vii

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Summary
Results in Brief

Audit Highlights . . .

The Sex Offender Registration Act requires that all persons found
to have committed certain sexual offenses by any state, federal,
or military court must, for the remainder of their lives, register
with certain regional entities as sex offenders while residing in
California. The individuals subject to this state law (sex offenders)
are required to register with the local law enforcement agency that
has jurisdiction over their place of residence within five working
days of moving there and upon each anniversary of their birth. As
of December 13, 2007, the database of this information maintained
by the Department of Justice (Justice) contained more than
59,000 registered sex offenders living in California communities.
Of these, 8,000 are supervised and monitored by the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (Corrections) until they complete
their parole. The remaining 51,000 who are no longer on parole do
not generally receive any formal supervision.

Our review of the placement of sex
offenders in communities found that:

Three state departments—the Department of Developmental
Services, the Department of Mental Health, and Corrections—provide
treatment or support services to a very small number of registered
sex offenders, about 1 percent, either on a voluntary basis or as
required by law. These three departments may assist some registered
sex offenders by placing them in various housing accommodations,
including licensed residential facilities. As part of their responsibilities,
they may also provide some oversight of the sex offenders they place.
The Department of Social Services (Social Services) and the
Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (Alcohol and Drug) are
responsible for licensing residential facilities, including those that
serve six or fewer individuals. However, state laws and regulations
and departmental policies do not require that these licensing
departments consider the criminal background of potential clients,
including registered sex offenders, that the licensed facilities plan
to serve. Our comparison of the databases from these two licensing
departments with Justice’s database of registered sex offenders
showed that at least 352 licensed residential facilities housed
sex offenders as of December 13, 2007. However, because of the
variations of the same address included in these databases and
the large size of the databases, we were unable to determine
precisely how many sex offenders reside in each licensed facility.
We also found 49 instances in which the registered addresses in
Justice’s database for sex offenders were the same as the official
addresses of facilities licensed by Social Services that serve children
such as family day care homes. State law requires that before
issuing a license to operate or manage certain facilities that serve

»» The Department of Justice’s (Justice)
database contained more than
59,000 registered sex offenders living
in California communities. Of these,
8,000 are supervised and monitored
by the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (Corrections) until they
complete their parole.
»» State laws and regulations and
departmental policies do not require
that licensing departments consider the
criminal background of potential clients,
including registered sex offenders, that
the licensed facilities plan to serve.
»» State law does not generally allow sex
offenders on parole to reside with other
sex offenders in a single‑family dwelling
that is not what it terms a “residential
facility”; however, in several instances
two or more sex offenders on parole were
residing in the same hotel room.
»» The registered addresses in Justice’s
database for 49 sex offenders were the
same as the official addresses of facilities
licensed by the Department of Social
Services that serve children.
»» Although state law does not prohibit
two or more sex offenders from residing
at the same “residential facility,” it does
not clearly define whether residential
facilities include those that do not require
a license, such as sober living facilities.
continued on next page . . .

1

2

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

»» State law is also unclear whether the
residence restriction applies to juvenile
sex offenders; we found several instances
in which Corrections placed juvenile sex
offender parolees at the same location.
»» Local law enforcement agencies generally
told us they have not performed formal
assessments of the impact sex offenders
have on their resources and communities.
»» State laws generally do not require the
departments or their contractors that
place registered sex offenders to consider
the impact on local communities when
making placement decisions.

children, Social Services must review the criminal history of all
applicants seeking licenses, their employees, and all adults residing
at these facilities.
State law does not generally allow sex offenders on parole to reside
with other sex offenders in a single-family dwelling that is not
what it terms a “residential facility.” However, we found several
instances of two or more sex offenders on parole living at the same
hotel. Corrections believes the law does not prohibit such living
arrangements because hotels are not single‑family dwellings. But
we also found several instances in which two or more sex offenders
on parole were residing in the same hotel room. According to
Corrections’ interpretation of the law, a single room within a hotel
is a single-family dwelling, and thus this arrangement would not be
permitted. When we informed Corrections’ staff of the apparent
violations of its policies, they noted that they plan to review all
parolee cases to identify such living arrangements and work
to correct them. Nevertheless, we believe the law is not clear as to
whether a single unit within a multifamily dwelling such as a hotel
is considered a single‑family dwelling.
Although state law does not prohibit two or more sex offenders
from residing at the same “residential facility,” it does not clearly
define whether residential facilities include those that do not
require a license, such as sober living facilities. We identified
several instances in which two or more adult sex offenders on
parole were residing in the same sober living facility. It is also
unclear whether this restriction applies to juvenile sex offenders.
In fact, we identified several instances in which Corrections had
placed juvenile sex offender parolees at the same location, such as
a group home that does not require a license, because it does not
believe that the residence restriction imposed by this law applies
to juveniles.
While we focused our review on identifying instances in which
two or more sex offender parolees listed in Corrections’ database
were living at the same location, the law is even more restrictive
and does not allow a sex offender on parole to live with other sex
offenders regardless of their parole status. Thus, because we did not
compare Corrections’ database with the larger population of sex
offenders that include those no longer on parole, there are likely
more instances than we have identified of paroled sex offenders
residing with other registered sex offenders.
Local law enforcement agencies generally told us they have
not performed formal assessments of the impact sex offenders
have on their resources and communities. Further, state laws
generally do not require the departments or their contractors
that place registered sex offenders to consider the impact on

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

local communities when making placement decisions, and the
departments generally do not have policies calling for assessments
of the impact such placements have on local communities.
The California Sex Offender Management Board, created in
September 2006, is in the process of assessing the current practices
for managing adult sex offenders, with the goal of improving
community safety. It released an initial report in February 2008,
which concluded that most sex offenders in communities are not
under formal supervision and that it is unclear who is responsible
for monitoring them after they are discharged from parole.
Finally, although Corrections generally followed its policies
when monitoring sex offender parolees, it did not always
adhere to policies for notifying local law enforcement agencies
of the impending release of parolees into their jurisdictions.
While Corrections makes this information available to local
law enforcement agencies through its Parole Law Enforcement
Automated Data System—a free Internet‑based service—not all
local agencies have opted to use it. Corrections also did not
always ensure that parolees registered with the appropriate law
enforcement agency within five working days of being released
from prison.
Recommendations
If the Legislature is interested in identifying all sex offenders living
in licensed residential facilities, it will need to require Justice,
Social Services, and Alcohol and Drug to coordinate with one
another and develop an approach that will allow them to generate
such information on an as‑needed basis. For example, with the
assistance of Social Services and Alcohol and Drug, Justice could
assign a unique identifier to each registered address in its database,
such as the license number issued by the respective licensing
department, which would allow it to compute the number of sex
offenders living together in licensed facilities.
To ensure that registered adult sex offenders are not residing
in licensed facilities that serve children, Justice should provide
Social Services with the appropriate identifying information to
enable Social Services to investigate those instances in which the
registered addresses of sex offenders were the same as child care
or foster care facilities. If necessary, Justice and Social Services
should seek statutory changes that would permit Justice to release
identifying information to Social Services so that it may investigate
any matches.

3

4

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

To ensure that state laws are appropriately applied to sex offenders,
the Legislature should consider amending the law that places
limits on the number of paroled sex offenders who may reside at
the same single‑family dwelling to clearly define what constitutes
a single‑family dwelling and a residential facility. Further, the
Legislature should specify whether this statute applies to juvenile
sex offenders.
To ensure that it complies with its policies and interpretation of
state laws, Corrections should continue to monitor the addresses
of paroled sex offenders to ensure that they are not residing
with other sex offenders, including those not on parole, in the same
unit of a multifamily dwelling.
To comply with legal requirements and its own policies,
Corrections should do the following:
•	 Ensure that its parole regions provide prompt notification of the
release of all parolees to the applicable law enforcement agencies.
•	 Ensure that its parole agents review all registration receipts to
make certain that all parolees required to register as sex offenders
do so within five working days of moving into a local jurisdiction.
Agency Comments
Corrections does not agree with the conclusions contained in
this report; however, it noted that it will address the findings and
recommendations through a corrective action plan. Although
Justice does not address our recommendation we made to the
Legislature, Social Services and Alcohol and Drug generally agree
with it. Finally, Social Services, the Department of Mental Health,
and the Department of Developmental Services provided some
additional clarification.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Introduction
Background
The Sex Offender Registration Act requires that all persons found
to have committed certain sexual offenses by any state, federal,
or military court must, for the remainder of their lives, register
with certain regional entities as sex offenders while residing
in California. Sexual offenses that require registration include
rape, kidnapping with intent to commit rape, sexual battery, and
lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. Individuals subject to this
state law (sex offenders) are required to register with the local
law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over their place of
residence within five working days of moving there and upon each
anniversary of their birth. The act requires transient sex offenders to
reregister every 30 days with an appropriate local law enforcement
agency. The law enforcement agencies forward the registration
information to the Department of Justice (Justice), which
maintains a database of sex offenders in California. According
to Justice’s database, 59,000 sex offenders resided in California
communities as of December 13, 2007.
State law generally requires the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (Corrections) to return paroled sex offenders to
their county of last legal residence, unless circumstances call for a
different placement. State law also establishes the Sexual Predator
Punishment Control Act: Jessica’s Law (Jessica’s Law), which
prohibits those sex offenders subject to its requirements from
residing within 2,000 feet of any public or private school or park
where children regularly gather. This law also requires certain sex
offenders to be monitored by the Global Positioning System1 for
life upon release from prison. Further, the California Penal Code
requires sex offenders to notify the chief of police of a campus
if they are residing on a college campus or in any of its facilities.
The California Penal Code further restricts a sex offender who is
on parole from living with another sex offender in a single‑family
dwelling unless legally related by blood or marriage, though it does
permit them to reside in what the code refers to as “residential
facilities” that serve six or fewer individuals.
To address issues, concerns, and problems related to the community
management of adult sex offenders, state law created the California
Sex Offender Management Board (Management Board) in

1	

The Global Positioning System provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing services.
Satellites broadcast signals from space that are picked up and identified by receiving devices.
Each receiving device then provides three‑dimensional location and the time. The Global
Positioning System provides accurate location and time information in all weather, day and night,
anywhere in the world.

5

6

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

September 2006. The Management Board is required to conduct
a thorough assessment of current practices for managing adult
sex offenders residing in California communities, primarily
those under direct criminal justice or other supervision, and to
develop recommendations to improve these practices, with the
goal of improving community safety. The Management Board is
also examining issues related to monitoring certain sex offenders
through the use of the Global Positioning System. The Management
Board’s final report is due to the Legislature and the governor by
January 1, 2010.
Various entities supervise sex offenders living in the community.
Although most sex offenders are responsible for finding their own
place of residence, state departments provide residential placement
to 1 percent of all sex offenders, either on a voluntary basis or as
required by the law. Corrections, the Department of Mental Health
(Mental Health), and the Department of Developmental Services
(Developmental Services) provide some oversight over the sex
offenders they or their contractors may help to place. Based on
their responses to the survey conducted for this audit, local law
enforcement agencies provide varying levels of oversight over sex
offenders living in their communities.
Justice’s Role
State law requires Justice to maintain a registry to track certain
information, including the addresses of all sex offenders required
to register in California. However, it does not require Justice to
monitor sex offenders for compliance with the registration
requirements. Rather, state law holds the sex offender responsible
for ensuring compliance with the registration requirements. Failure
to register is punishable by up to one year in a county jail or up to
three years in a state prison, depending on the severity of the sexual
offense the individual was found to have committed. Only law
enforcement officers have access to the sex offender registry that
Justice maintains. However, California Penal Code, Section 290.46,
also known as Megan’s Law, requires Justice to make the name and
current full address of some sex offenders and only the zip codes
of others who are subject to this law available to the general public
through its Web site. According to Justice’s Web site, it provides
this information for 75 percent of all registered sex offenders.
Information on the remaining 25 percent is not required because
the crimes these sex offenders were found to have committed do
not meet the Megan’s law criteria for disclosure.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Corrections’ Role
State laws require that all individuals leaving a state prison be
placed on parole for as many as 10 years after their release, unless
waived by the Board of Parole Hearings. A state law further requires
Corrections to release a parolee into the county of his or her last
legal residence before incarceration unless circumstances require
otherwise. According to Corrections’ database, its Division of Adult
Parole Operations (Adult Parole) was responsible for supervising
the 8,000 sex offenders on parole as of November 5, 2007. The
law requires Corrections to notify the appropriate local law
enforcement agencies when releasing a sex offender parolee into
their respective jurisdictions. According to Corrections’ policy, it
notifies local law enforcement agencies by fax, e‑mail, or regular
mail of the pending release of a sex offender. In addition to this
notification, state law established the Parole Law Enforcement
Automated Data System in 1997. Corrections noted that it updated
the system in October 2006 to allow law enforcement agencies
to have controlled and secure access to parolee information via
the Internet and to query for selected parolees either within their
jurisdictions or on a statewide basis. According to Corrections, this
service is available to local law enforcement agencies free of charge.
Corrections also told us that while Adult Parole is not responsible
for determining where paroled sex offenders reside, it may help
facilitate placement into a facility under certain circumstances. For
example, a parole agent may refer a parolee who has nowhere to
live to facilities that may have available rooms. Parole agents are
responsible for monitoring sex offenders’ activities, including their
registration status. These monitoring efforts generally include a
number of face‑to‑face and in‑home meetings, depending on the
supervision level determined by Corrections. Further, parole agents
ensure that parolees complete frequent drug tests and comply with
the conditions of their parole.
On the other hand, Corrections’ Division of Juvenile Justice
(Juvenile Division) routinely places juvenile sex offenders in
communities, in addition to monitoring and tracking them.
According to its policies, the Juvenile Division is responsible for
determining a suitable place of residence for juvenile parolees,
supervising them, and ensuring compliance with the terms of their
parole. The Juvenile Division is responsible for offenders committed
to its custody until they reach the age of either 21 or 25, depending
on the nature of the crime committed. Juvenile sex offenders are
still subject to lifetime registration even after being released from
the Juvenile Division’s custody. According to its data, the Juvenile
Division was responsible for 154 sex offenders on parole as of
November 29, 2007.

7

8

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Corrections’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services (Addiction
Recovery) works with contractors to place some adult sex offenders
with substance abuse problems in licensed and unlicensed residential
facilities. It is responsible for reducing substance abuse risks of
adult inmates and parolees and provides substance abuse treatment
programs in correctional facilities that include transitional programs
to prepare inmates for release on parole. According to Addiction
Recovery, it also provides a community‑based continuing
care program for parolees who choose to participate in such a
program after being released on parole. As part of this program,
which offers services for up to 180 days, Addiction Recovery
provides placement services through its contractors to some
parolees. According to the data available from Addiction
Recovery, 33 sex offenders were participating in this program
as of September 30, 2007. Parole agents in Adult Parole are still
responsible for monitoring parolees enrolled in Addiction Recovery’s
community‑based program. According to Addiction Recovery, it
ensures only that parolees are adhering to the program and its
treatment requirements.
Mental Health’s Role
Mental Health provides services to individuals residing within the
State who have mental disorders. The sex offenders who receive
services from Mental Health either are categorized as sexually
violent predators (SVPs) through a screening process performed
several months before their scheduled prison release dates or
are considered sex offenders because they committed a sexual
offense and were committed to Mental Health for other reasons,
such as being found not guilty by reason of insanity or found to
be a mentally disordered offender. According to Mental Health,
these two types of sex offenders are committed to its custody for
appropriate treatment and are, in most cases, initially confined
in a secure facility—typically a state facility such as Coalinga
State Hospital.
To determine whether an inmate who committed a sexually violent
offense should be categorized as an SVP, Corrections and the Board
of Parole Hearings screen the inmate at least six months before the
individual’s scheduled release from prison.2 Inmates are selected for
screening based on whether they have committed a sexually violent
offense and on a review of their social, criminal, and institutional

2	

State law defines sexually violent offenses to include the following acts when committed by
force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or
another person: rape, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, and spousal rape.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

history. State law requires that Corrections refer anyone whose
screening indicates that the individual is likely to be an SVP to
Mental Health for a full evaluation.
Mental Health designates two evaluators—psychiatrists or
psychologists—who must concur that the inmate has a diagnosed
mental disorder that makes him or her likely to engage in acts
of sexual violence without appropriate treatment and custody.
Based on the evaluation, Mental Health makes a recommendation
to commit with the county where the inmate was convicted of
the offense. If the county’s designated counsel concurs with the
recommendation, the county will petition the superior court for
the individual’s commitment. At these proceedings, the court or a
jury will determine whether the inmate is an SVP. Currently, state
law requires SVPs to be committed for an indeterminate term
to the custody of Mental Health for appropriate treatment and
confinement in a secure facility.
SVPs in Mental Health’s custody can eventually be released into
communities, first through Mental Health’s Forensic Conditional
Release Program (Conditional Release Program); later, they may be
unconditionally released following court proceedings. Other sex
offenders may also be placed in the Conditional Release Program
before being unconditionally released. The Conditional Release
Program is Mental Health’s statewide system of community‑based
treatment, evaluation, and supervision services for specified
patients and is administered through contractors. According to
Mental Health’s Web site, the Conditional Release Program was
mandated as a state responsibility by the governor’s Mental Health
Initiative of 1984 and began operations on January 1, 1986. The goal
of the program is to ensure greater public protection through an
effective and standardized community outpatient treatment system.
Mental Health’s data show that its contractors were responsible
for placing and monitoring six SVPs and 61 other sex offenders
in the Conditional Release Program as of December 12, 2007. Its
policies call for the contractors to monitor the living arrangements,
employment status, and support systems of the patients, as well as
their progress and participation in treatment.
Developmental Services’ Role
The Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act requires
Developmental Services to establish an array of services and
support for eligible persons with developmental disabilities
(clients), including sex offenders, to meet their needs and choices,
as well as to facilitate their integration into the mainstream life of
the community. Developmental Services provides these services
through its 21 contracted regional centers. These regional centers

9

10

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

assign service coordinators to work with eligible clients and, where
appropriate, their parents, legal guardians, conservators, or authorized
representatives to develop an individual program plan that considers
each client’s needs, strengths, capabilities, preferences, lifestyle, and
cultural background. Eligibility is based on whether the person has
mental retardation, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or other conditions
requiring treatment similar to that for mental retardation.
Any eligible client, including a sex offender, can receive services
as long as the disability originates before his or her 18th birthday,
continues or can be expected to continue indefinitely, and constitutes
a substantial disability. Based on the identified service and support
needs, the regional centers coordinate the appropriate placement
for the client, which, according to Developmental Services, can
include residential facilities. The regional centers are responsible for
monitoring the services and support clients are receiving as identified
in their individual program plans. According to the databases
from Developmental Services and Justice, as of November 1, 2007,
Developmental Services had 395 clients who were also sex offenders
that were living in a community setting.
The Role of Local Governments
Local governments have a limited role in the placement decisions
for sex offenders. For example, when determining the appropriate
placement for an SVP, the court holds a hearing and considers
comments by certain community agencies related to the placement.
State laws require Corrections to notify local law enforcement
agencies of any pending release of a parolee, including a sex
offender, into their jurisdictions. However, because parolees
may reside anywhere in the county of their last legal residence
as long as they comply with Jessica’s Law if required to do so,
local law enforcement agencies generally become certain that a
sex offender is moving into their jurisdictions only when the sex
offender contacts them to register. According to some local
governments we contacted, their oversight of sex offenders can
range from actively monitoring all known sex offenders’
whereabouts and ensuring that they are in compliance with
applicable laws to merely registering them as such. The level of
oversight appears to be at the discretion of the local governments.
Licensing of Facilities That May House Sex Offenders
State laws do not prohibit sex offenders from residing in
community‑based residential facilities that provide specialized care.
They do require that certain community care facilities have a valid
license or special permit from an appropriate state department.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

The Department of Social Services (Social Services) and the Department
of Alcohol and Drug Programs (Alcohol and Drug) license various
community care facilities, including residential facilities that house six or
fewer individuals. As Table 1 shows, sex offenders have various housing
options, including licensed and unlicensed residential facilities.
Table 1
Sex Offenders Can Reside in a Variety of Housing Options
Housing Options

Details

Inpatient Facilities
State hospital

Secure facility operated by the Department of Mental Health to provide inpatient treatment services
for persons with serious mental illnesses.

State developmental center

Secure facility operated by the Department of Developmental Services to provide habilitation,
training, and medical care to the developmentally disabled.

Health facility

Licensed by the Department of Public Health to provide a variety of medical treatments, such as
those provided by general acute care hospitals or skilled nursing facilities.

Department of Social Services’ Licensed Community Care Residential Facilities
Adult residential facility

Provides 24-hour-a-day nonmedical care and supervision for adults ages 18 through 59 who are
unable to provide for their daily needs. These adults may be physically handicapped, developmentally
disabled, or mentally ill.

Residential care facility for the elderly

Where 75 percent of residents are 60 years of age or older, provides varying levels of care and
supervision as agreed to at time of admission or as determined necessary at times of reappraisal. Any
younger residents must have needs compatible with those of other residents.

Residential care facility for the chronically ill

Provides care and supervision to adults, emancipated minors, or families with adults or children
or both, with a terminal illness, and/or with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus.

Social rehabilitation facility

Provides 24-hour-a-day nonmedical care and supervision in a group setting to adults recovering from
mental illness who temporarily need assistance, guidance, or counseling.

Community treatment facility

Provides mental health treatment services to children in a group setting that has the capacity to
provide a secure environment.

Group home*

Provides 24-hour-a-day nonmedical care and supervision to children in a structured environment. It
provides social, psychological, and behavioral programs for troubled youths.

Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs’ Licensed Residential Facilities
Residential alcohol and substance abuse
treatment facility

Provides 24-hour-a-day residential nonmedical services to adults who are recovering from
problems related to alcohol or drug (or both) misuse or abuse and who need treatment or
detoxification services.

Residential Facilities That Do Not Require a License (Unlicensed Facilities)
Sober living facility †
Supports treatment and recovery services by helping recovering persons maintain an alcohol- and
drug-free lifestyle. By definition, they do not provide alcohol or drug recovery treatment services;
thus, they are not required to be licensed.
Other

Includes, but not limited to, residences such as hotels, apartments, condominiums, and
private homes.

Sources:  Department of Mental Health’s Web site; Department of Developmental Services’ Web site; California Health and Safety Code;
California Penal Code; California Code of Regulations; Department of Social Services’ Web site; Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs’ fact sheet.
*	 According to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s Juvenile Justice Division, it places some of its juvenile sex offenders in facilities it
terms group homes that do not require a license.
†	 Description for this facility is not based on state laws or regulations.

11

12

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Scope and Methodology
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee (audit committee) requested
that the Bureau of State Audits (bureau) examine the State’s process
for placing sex offenders in residential facilities. Specifically, the
audit committee asked that the bureau determine residency options
for sex offenders on parole, identify the departments responsible for
licensing such facilities, and quantify the number of sex offenders
in various facilities. It also requested that the bureau review the
departments’ policies and procedures for licensing facilities and
for identifying, evaluating, placing, and tracking sex offenders in
local communities.
We were further asked to determine how the entities responsible
for placing sex offenders into communities assess whether local law
enforcement is adequately equipped to protect those communities
where such facilities are located. In addition, we were asked to
contact a sample of local law enforcement agencies and determine
whether they have assessed the need for more local control
and oversight over facilities housing sex offenders, whether law
enforcement efforts are diverted from other programs to fulfill the
need for local control and oversight over such facilities, whether
the State provides the local entities assistance to ensure effective
reentry for sex offender parolees, and whether local entities or the
facilities themselves have assessed whether a high concentration
of parolees who are also sex offenders poses a higher risk to the
surrounding neighborhood or to other occupants of the facilities
shared by them.
To identify the processes departments use to license residential
facilities that accept sex offenders, we reviewed laws and
regulations related to facility licensure and interviewed personnel
at Alcohol and Drug and Social Services. To identify departments
that place sex offenders into residential facilities that house six or
fewer individuals, we talked with personnel at Corrections, Mental
Health, and Developmental Services. In addition, we reviewed laws
and regulations related to sex offenders and policies and procedures
at various departments for placing, tracking, and monitoring sex
offenders within their purview. Further, we determined whether
the departments consider the impact on local communities
when placing sex offenders. In addition, to determine whether
placement decisions and monitoring efforts were appropriate, we
selected a sample of sex offenders within the purview of each of
the three divisions within Corrections that place and monitor sex
offenders in local communities to determine whether the divisions
followed all applicable laws, regulations, and departmental policies
and procedures. We did not analyze the placement decisions and
monitoring efforts by Developmental Services or Mental Health
because they generally do not have separate policies for placing and

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

monitoring individuals who are also sex offenders, and they told
us they typically do not consider the impact on local communities
when making such placement decisions.
To identify the number of sober living facilities, residential care
facilities serving six or fewer individuals, and group homes that
operate in the State, we obtained the databases of licensed facilities
from Alcohol and Drug and Social Services. However, sober
living facilities do not require a license and are not tracked by
the departments. As a result, we could not identify the number
of sober living facilities operating in the State. To
determine the number of residential care facilities
Definitions of Data Reliability
that house sex offenders and the number of sex
offenders housed in each residential care facility,
Sufficiently reliable data: Based on audit work, an auditor
we attempted to compare the addresses for all sex
can conclude that using the data would not weaken the
offenders listed in Justice’s sex offender registry with
analysis nor lead to an incorrect or unintentional message.
the addresses of licensed residential care facilities.
Data of undetermined reliability: Based on audit work,
an auditor can conclude that use of the data could lead to
an incorrect or unintentional message and the data have
significant or potentially significant limitations, given the
research question and intended use of the data.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office,
whose standards we follow, requires us to assess
the reliability of computer‑processed data. As
shown in Table 2 on the following page, we
Not sufficiently reliable data: Based on audit work, an
found that the facility licensure data obtained
auditor can conclude that using the data would most likely
from Alcohol and Drug were sufficiently reliable
lead to an incorrect or unintentional message and the data
for our purposes. However, data obtained from
have significant or potentially significant limitations, given
Social Services were of undetermined reliability
the research question and intended use of the data.
for our purposes because we were not able to
Source:  Assessing the Reliability of Computer-Processed Data
verify their completeness. (See the text box for the
from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
definitions of data reliability.) Further, the data from
Justice’s sex offender registry were not sufficiently
reliable for our purposes because 5 percent of
the registrants that may be living in California communities have
unknown addresses. Further, an additional 14 percent of the
registrants identified as possibly living in California communities
were in violation of requirements to update their registration
information annually. Therefore, these records may be outdated and
might not contain accurate address information.
In addition, we attempted to identify the number of sex offenders
whom various departments placed in licensed and unlicensed
facilities by obtaining data on individuals placed by Corrections,
Mental Health, and Developmental Services, and comparing the
addresses for these sex offenders to the addresses of facilities
licensed by Social Services and Alcohol and Drug. We also
identified the number of adult and juvenile sex offenders on parole
residing at the same residence by identifying duplicate addresses
in the databases obtained from Corrections’ Adult Parole and the
Juvenile Division. However, the data provided by Corrections’

13

14

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Addiction Recovery and Adult Parole were not sufficiently reliable
for our purposes because of errors we identified when tracing data
back to a sample of source documents.
Table 2
Reliability of the Databases We Used for the Purposes of This Audit

Agency

Reliability
Determination for the
purposes of this audit

Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs

Sufficiently reliable

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Corrections),
Division of Addiction and Recovery Services

Not sufficiently reliable

Corrections, Division of Adult Parole Operations

Not sufficiently reliable

Corrections, Division of Juvenile Justice

Not sufficiently reliable

Department of Developmental Services

Not sufficiently reliable

Department of Justice

Not sufficiently reliable

Department of Social Services

Undetermined

Sources:  Bureau of State Audits’ analyses of databases obtained from various state departments.

The databases for Developmental Services and the Juvenile Division
do not identify whether the person is registered as a sex offender.
Therefore, to identify the sex offenders who are either receiving
services from Developmental Services or are parolees under the
Juvenile Division’s supervision, we attempted to use Social Security
numbers to identify the sex offenders by comparing Developmental
Services and the Juvenile Division’s data to Justice’s sex offender
registry. However, Developmental Services listed no Social Security
numbers for 16 percent of the individuals in its database, and
the Juvenile Division listed no Social Security numbers for over
22 percent of the active parolees in its database, and therefore
neither database was sufficiently reliable for our purposes. We
attempted to conduct further analysis by comparing the criminal
investigation and identification number in the Juvenile Division’s
database to Justice’s sex offender registry, but 6 percent of the active
parolees included in the Juvenile Division’s database did not have
a criminal investigation and identification number listed. Further,
Justice’s sex offender registry lacked a Social Security number
for more than 4 percent of the registrants that may be living in
California communities.
Lastly, we surveyed all 57 county sheriffs, the city police chief for
the county and city of San Francisco, and a sample of 42 other
city police chiefs to determine the impact of having sex offenders
residing in their communities. We received responses from
52 county sheriffs and 40 city police chiefs. The sheriff ’s offices

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

for the counties of Glenn, Los Angeles, Mendocino, Merced,
and San Joaquin and the police departments for the cities of
Madera, Salinas, and Sunnyvale did not respond to our survey.
We analyzed the 92 responses we received to determine whether
the local entities have assessed the impact sex offenders have on
their communities and resources and what help they receive from
the State to aid in effective reentry of sex offenders while ensuring
community safety.

15

16

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Chapter 1
State Laws Lack Specific Criteria for Licensing
Residential Facilities That House Sex Offenders
Chapter Summary
State laws related to licensing residential facilities do not contain
specific rules or prohibitions for housing sex offenders, and statutes
are not always clear as to whether a sex offender on parole may
reside with another sex offender in certain types of facilities.
When issuing licenses for residential facilities, neither state laws
and regulations nor departmental policies require consideration
of the criminal background of the clients the facilities plan to
serve. Further, departments responsible for licensing facilities are
not required to, nor do they, track whether individuals residing
at these facilities are registered sex offenders. Additionally, while
the database of the Department of Justice (Justice) contains the
addresses of registered sex offenders, it is not currently required
to, nor does it, indicate whether or not the address is a licensed
facility. We attempted to determine the number of sex offenders
residing at licensed facilities by comparing the databases from
the two licensing departments containing the addresses of such
facilities to the Justice database. Because of the variations of the
same addresses included in these databases and their large size,
we were unable to determine the precise number of licensed
facilities that actually house registered sex offenders. Nevertheless,
our comparison showed that at least 352 such facilities appeared
to house sex offenders as of December 13, 2007. We also found
49 instances in which the registered addresses in Justice’s database
for sex offenders were the same as the official addresses of facilities
licensed by the Department of Social Services (Social Services) that
serve children such as family day care homes.
The California Penal Code generally does not allow sex offenders on
parole to reside with other sex offenders in a single‑family dwelling
that is not a “residential facility.” We found several instances in
which two or more sex offenders on parole were residing in the
same room at a hotel. Although the law is unclear as to whether a
single room within a hotel is considered a single‑family dwelling,
the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (Corrections)
has interpreted the law as such; therefore, its policies do not allow
a sex offender on parole to reside with another sex offender in the
same room within a hotel. When we informed Corrections’ staff
of this policy violation, they indicated that they plan to review
all residences of paroled sex offenders to ensure compliance.
Nevertheless, we believe the law is unclear on this matter.

17

18

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

This law also is not clear as to whether a sex offender on parole may
reside with another sex offender at a residential facility that does
not require a license, such as a sober living facility. We identified
several instances in which two or more adult sex offenders on
parole were residing at the same sober living facility. In addition,
it is unclear whether this same restriction applies to juvenile
offenders. We found several instances in which Corrections had
placed more than one juvenile parolee at the same location, such as
a group home, that does not require a license.
State Laws for Licensing Residential Facilities Contain No Specific
Provisions for Housing Sex Offenders

Our review of the data available
found that only a fraction of all
sex offenders in the State reside at
licensed residential facilities.

State laws that govern the licensure of residential facilities do not
contain specific rules or prohibitions for housing sex offenders.
Two state departments are typically responsible for licensing facilities
that could house six or fewer persons, including sex offenders.
Social Services licenses community care residential facilities, and
the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (Alcohol and Drug)
licenses residential alcohol and substance abuse treatment facilities.
Neither state laws nor departmental policies require consideration
of the criminal background of the clients the licensees plan to serve.
However, our review of the data available found that only a fraction of
all sex offenders in the State reside at licensed residential facilities.
Of the 15,461 licensed facilities, 352 housed a total of 562 sex offenders
as of December 13, 2007, or just over 1 percent of all registered sex
offenders residing in California as of that date.
As discussed in the Introduction, Social Services and Alcohol and
Drug license various types of residential facilities that provide
specific kinds of nonmedical care and treatment in a community
setting. The licensing requirements for these facilities are defined
in the California Health and Safety Code. However, the Health
and Safety Code neither specifically allows nor precludes sex
offenders from living in licensed residential facilities. Further,
state laws and regulations, as well as departmental policies and
procedures for licensing residential facilities do not consider the
criminal background of the clients these facilities plan to serve.
According to Social Services, the focus of its licensing process is to
promote the health, safety, and quality of life of its clients. Similarly,
according to an Alcohol and Drug fact sheet, health and safety
concerns are the primary focus of its licensing process.
Further, the two departments told us they have no role in the
specific placement of individuals into facilities they license. State
law does not require that the licensees meet special conditions in
order to house sex offenders, nor does it limit the number of sex
offenders living in a licensed facility. According to department

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

staff, Social Services and Alcohol and Drug are not responsible for
determining the actual location of a proposed facility; however,
according to Social Services’ staff, it ensures that certain residential
facilities are separated by a distance of 300 feet as required by state
law. State law provides that a licensed residential facility that serves
six or fewer persons must be considered a residential property and
that the residents and operators of these facilities are considered
a family for the purposes of any law or zoning ordinance. It also
states that these facilities are not required to obtain conditional
use permits, zoning variances, or other zoning clearances that are
not required of other single‑family residences located in the same
zone. The capacity of the facility is determined by the appropriate
state department based on fire clearances and permitted occupancy
for the building. Social Services and Alcohol and Drug also
license facilities that house more than six individuals, although
these facilities could be subject to local zoning requirements.
When we attempted to determine the number of licensed
residential facilities that house sex offenders, we encountered
several problems. First, the licensing departments were unable
to provide this information because they are not required to,
nor do they, track in their databases the clients who live in their
licensed residential facilities. Further, although Justice’s database
contains addresses of registered sex offenders, the database does
not identify whether the addresses are a private residence or a
licensed residential facility, again because there is no requirement to
report this information. Because none of these databases provided
us this information directly, we tried to estimate the number of sex
offenders residing at licensed facilities by comparing the addresses
of the licensed facilities in the databases from Social Services and
Alcohol and Drug with those of the sex offenders registered in
Justice’s database.
However, because of the variations of the same address included in
these databases and their large size, we were unable to determine
the precise number of facilities that housed sex offenders. For
example, a registered address for a sex offender was captured as
“809 E 5th St” in Justice’s database. Although this address belongs
to a residential facility licensed by Alcohol and Drug, its database
showed the address as “809 East Fifth Street.” Due to slight
variations such as this in how the two databases captured street
addresses, we were unable to match them solely by using electronic
means. Further, as we describe in the Scope and Methodology,
Justice’s database is not sufficiently reliable for this purpose because
it may contain outdated addresses, as sex offenders frequently
fail to register or update their addresses as required. Therefore,
although we attempted to identify sex offenders whose addresses

Although Justice’s database
contains addresses of registered
sex offenders, the database does
not identify whether the addresses
are a private residence or a licensed
residential facility because such
information is not required.

19

20

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

were the same as the addresses of licensed facilities, our efforts were
significantly limited because of the problems inherent in comparing
this information among these databases.
Social Services had 14,555 licensed residential facilities, and
Alcohol and Drug had 906, for a total of 15,461 in the State, as
Table 3 shows. Our comparison of Justice’s database containing
sex offenders’ addresses and the databases from the two licensing
departments indicates that at least 352 licensed residential facilities
housed at least 562 sex offenders as of December 13, 2007, which
represents just over 1 percent of all registered sex offenders in the
State. Specifically, we confirmed that the addresses of 352 licensed
residential care facilities matched the addresses of sex offenders
registered in Justice’s database. Additionally, we identified
1,933 licensed residential facilities that possibly housed sex
offenders by comparing the numeric part of the facilities’ addresses
and cities to those of sex offenders registered in Justice’s database.
Lastly, Table 3 shows that almost 53,000 sex offenders lived in other
residences, including private residences, hotels, facilities licensed
by other departments—such as skilled nursing facilities—and sober
living facilities, which do not require a license.
Table 3
Number of Licensed and Unlicensed Facilities That Housed Sex Offenders

County

Alameda
Alpine
Amador
Butte
Calaveras
Colusa
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Fresno
Glenn
Humboldt
Imperial
Inyo
Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
Los Angeles
Madera
Marin
Mariposa

Number of
Licensed Facilities*

679
1
8 
103
12
2
706
5
71
405
6
62
21
3
277
25
20
11
3,274
45
130
4

Number of Licensed
Facilities Housing
Sex Offenders

Number of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Licensed Facilities

Number of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Other Residences†

Total Number of
Sex Offenders‡

Percent of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Licensed Facilities

18
0
0
1
0
0
9
1
0
7
0
0
1
0
8
2
0
0
101
0
1
0

27
0
0
1
0
0
12
1
0
8
0
0
3
0
35
2
0
0
217
0
1
0

2,170
1
62
626
81
43
1,175
142
314
1,936
63
389
178
46
1,889
312
251
70
12,287
328
139
54

2,197
1
62
627
81
43
1,187
143
314
1,944
63
389
181
46
1,924
314
251
70
12,504
328
140
54

1.2%
0.0
0.0
0.2
0.0
0.0
1.0
0.7
0.0
0.4
0.0
0.0
1.7
0.0
1.8
0.6
0.0
0.0
1.7
0.0
0.7
0.0

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

County

Number of
Licensed Facilities*

Number of Licensed
Facilities Housing
Sex Offenders

Mendocino
Merced
Modoc
Mono
Monterey
Napa
Nevada
Orange
Placer
Plumas
Riverside
Sacramento
San Benito
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Shasta
Sierra
Siskiyou
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
Sutter
Tehama
Trinity
Tulare
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba
Totals

33
58
2
0
119
72
33
1,462
188
2
946
922
14
653
1,275
265
338
132
459
198
707
79
155
0
15
313
309
166
24
38
1
211
17
316
44
25
15,461

0
2
0
0
2
3
0
16
2
0
17
20
0
16
28
11
11
3
3
7
27
3
6
0
0
5
2
8
2
4
0
1
0
3
1
0
352

Number of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Licensed Facilities

Number of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Other Residences†

Total Number of
Sex Offenders‡

Percent of
Sex Offenders
Living in
Licensed Facilities

0
3
0
0
2
3
0
24
2
0
29
22
0
21
33
11
11
3
4
8
31
3
12
0
0
6
2
13
3
4
0
1
0
3
1
0
562

224
606
36
9
532
166
147
2,324
489
40
2,911
3,137
93
2,911
3,200
797
1,548
370
638
596
2,785
306
669
9
167
733
681
1,155
197
246
63
936
149
895
358
228
52,907

224
609
36
9
534
169
147
2,348
491
40
2,940
3,159
93
2,932
3,233
808
1,559
373
642
604
2,816
309
681
9
167
739
683
1,168
200
250
63
937
149
898
359
228
53,469

0.0%
0.5
0.0
0.0
0.4
1.8
0.0
1.0
0.4
0.0
1.0
0.7
0.0
0.7
1.0
1.4
0.7
0.8
0.6
1.3
1.1
1.0
1.8
0.0
0.0
0.8
0.3
1.1
1.5
1.6
0.0
0.1
0.0
0.3
0.3
0.0
1.1%

Sources:  Compiled by the Bureau of State Audits from databases maintained by the Department of Social Services (Social Services) dated
November 28, 2007, the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (Alcohol and Drug) dated November 1, 2007, and the Department of
Justice (Justice) dated December 13, 2007.
Note:  As noted in the Scope and Methodology, the data we obtained from Justice were not sufficiently reliable and the data from Social Services were
of undetermined reliability for the purposes of this audit. Additionally, due to the large sizes of the databases, we used electronic means to match
addresses. However, although we attempted to correct for variations in how databases captured street address information, the electronic process we
used may have excluded valid matches that were recorded differently in the various systems. However, because these were the only sources for this
information, we present them here.
*	 These include adult residential facilities, residential facilities for the elderly, residential facilities for the chronically ill, social rehabilitation facilities,
group homes, and residential alcohol and substance abuse treatment facilities as licensed by Social Services and Alcohol and Drug.
†	 These include private residences, hotels, facilities licensed by other departments, such as skilled nursing facilities and hospitals, or unlicensed
facilities, such as sober living facilities.
‡	 These figures do not include sex offenders registered in Justice’s database as transients or whose addresses are unknown, thus when included
increases the total number of registered sex offenders to more than 59,000.

21

22

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

The registered addresses in Justice’s
database for 49 sex offenders were
the same as the official addresses of
facilities licensed by Social Services
that serve children.

In addition to the information we provided in Table 3, we also
found 49 instances in which the registered addresses in Justice’s
database for 49 sex offenders were the same as the official addresses
of facilities licensed by Social Services that serve children, such as
family day care homes and foster family homes. State law requires
that before issuing a license to operate or manage certain facilities
that serve children, Social Services must review the criminal history
of all applicants seeking licenses, their employees, and all adults
residing at these facilities. State law allows Social Services to reject
an application for a license or suspend or revoke an existing license
if these individuals have ever been convicted of a crime other than
a minor traffic violation. Due to the data limitations we described
previously and the sensitive nature of the information, we requested
that Justice further investigate these instances and report to us the
results of its investigation.
State Law Is Unclear as to Whether More Than One Adult or Juvenile
Sex Offender Parolee May Reside at Certain Types of Facilities
State law is not always clear as to whether a sex offender on
parole may reside with another sex offender in certain types of
facilities. Although most sex offenders may live with other sex
offenders, the California Penal Code states that an individual
released on parole after being imprisoned in state prison for a
sexual offense generally may not reside with another sex offender
in a single‑family dwelling during the period of parole, except in
a residential facility. We found several instances in which two or
more sex offender parolees were listed as living in the same room
of a hotel by reviewing addresses in a database of adult parolees
maintained by Corrections. While Corrections considers hotels
and apartment complexes to be multifamily dwellings, it considers
a single unit within a multifamily dwelling, such as a room within
a hotel, to be a single‑family dwelling. State laws, however, do not
clearly define a single‑family dwelling. Further, the law does not
clearly state whether a facility that does not require a license is
considered a residential facility. We found more than 500 instances
in which two or more sex offenders on parole were listed as residing
at the same location, such as hotels and sober living facilities. It is
also unclear whether this restriction applies to juvenile offenders.
We found several instances in which Corrections placed more than
one juvenile sex offender parolee at the same location, such as a
group home that does not require a license, because it does not
believe the residence restriction imposed by this statute applies
to juveniles.
While we focused our review on identifying instances in which
two or more sex offender parolees listed in Corrections’ database
were living at the same location, the law is even more restrictive

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

and does not allow a sex offender on parole to live with other sex
offenders regardless of their parole status. Thus, because we did not
compare Corrections’ database with the larger population of sex
offenders that include those no longer on parole, there are likely
more instances than we have identified of paroled sex offenders
residing with other registered sex offenders.
In Many Cases Two or More Sex Offender Parolees Were Listed in
Corrections’ Database as Living at the Same Location
State law prohibits a sex offender who is released on parole after
completing a term in state prison from residing in a single‑family
dwelling with another sex offender, unless they are legally related
by blood, marriage, or adoption. However, this prohibition does
not apply to those who are not actively on parole or who are
living in a “residential facility” that serves six or fewer persons.
Furthermore, it does not specifically address those living in
multifamily dwellings, such as hotels. According to Justice’s database
as of December 13, 2007, more than 59,000 sex offenders live in
California. However, according to Corrections’ database, only about
8,000 were on parole as of November 5, 2007, and were generally
restricted from living with other sex offenders in single‑family
dwellings. The remaining 51,000 sex offenders, who were not on
parole, were not subject to such restrictions.
As Table 4 on the following page shows, our review of Corrections’
data found more than 500 instances in which two or more sex
offenders on parole were listed as residing at the same location.
Because Corrections is not required to capture such data, we were
unable to identify the type of residence for some of the addresses.
However, we were able to identify that at least 332 addresses appear
to belong to hotels or apartment complexes, and 2,038 sex offenders
were listed as residing at those addresses. For example, we found
that a hotel in Stockton was the legal residence for 90 sex offenders
on parole as of November 5, 2007. According to Corrections’ policy,
the law restricting sex offenders on parole from living in the same
single‑family dwelling does not apply to facilities designed and
built for occupancy by more than one family, such as multiunit
residential facilities or hotels.
Corrections’ policy also states that multiple sex offender parolees
may not be placed in a single unit of a multiunit facility. Through
our review of Corrections’ database, we identified several instances
in which two or more sex offenders on parole were residing in the
same room at a hotel. For example, of the 90 sex offender parolees
residing at a hotel in Stockton, at least two and as many as four were
listed as living together in one room in 28 different instances (for a
total of 61 sex offenders). In another example, of the 13 sex offender

We identified several instances in
which two or more sex offenders on
parole were residing in the same
room at a hotel.

23

24

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Table 4
Number of Facilities at Which Two or More Sex Offenders on Parole Appeared to Reside

County*

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39

Alameda
Butte
Contra Costa
El Dorado
Fresno
Humboldt
Kern
Kings
Lake
Lassen
Los Angeles
Madera
Merced
Monterey
Orange
Placer
Riverside
Sacramento
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin
San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
Shasta
Siskiyou
Solano
Sonoma
Stanislaus
Sutter
Tehama
Tulare
Tuolumne
Ventura
Yolo
Yuba
Totals

Number of Facilities At
Which Two or More Sex
Offenders on Parole
Are Listed As Residing

15
7
9
2
19
9
23
4
2
1
144
1
6
4
22
7
33
37
48
30
3
11†
2
7
4
33
1
7
1
8
4
11
1
4
4
1
7
3
5
540‡

Number of Sex
Offenders on Parole
Listed As Residing
Together In a Facility

100
23
45
16
161
24
187
19
6
2
927
19
14
47
91
35
134
217
204
170
10
138†
8
18
13
156
2
60
2
33
10
42
3
18
27
2
28
21
12
3,044‡

Number of Facilities
That Appear to be
Hotels or Apartment
Complexes

8
5
7
1
12
6
14
1
2
1
78
1
3
4
18
2
8
27
21
26
3
9
1
7
2
27
1
7
1
7
2
5
1
3
3
1
3
3
1
332

Number of Sex Offenders
on Parole Listed As Residing
Together in What Appear to be
Hotels and Apartment Complexes

71
15
35
14
95
14
98
5
6
2
620
19
8
47
82
4
17
140
108
151
10
132
2
18
7
117
2
60
2
25
6
25
3
15
21
2
17
21
2
2,038

Source:  Compiled by the Bureau of State Audits from the CalParole database obtained from the Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (Corrections) dated November 5, 2007.
Note:  As noted in the Scope and Methodology, the data we obtained from Corrections were not sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this audit.
However, because they were the only source for this information, we present them here.
*	 We excluded from the table those counties that did not have two or more sex offenders on parole listed as residing at the same facility.
†	 Included in these numbers is one parole office with four sex offenders listed as living in this facility.
‡	 Included in these numbers are 178 sex offenders listed as living in 19 sober living facilities that we were able to identify, and 18 sex offenders listed
as living in four licensed residential facilities. Additionally, these numbers include four sex offenders listed as living in two veterans hospitals.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

parolees residing at a hotel in Placerville, at least two and as many
as three were listed as residing in the same room in four different
instances (for a total of 10 sex offenders). Corrections has
interpreted the law to consider each unit within a multifamily
dwelling, such as a room within a hotel, as a single‑family dwelling,
and its policies do not allow a sex offender on parole to reside with
another sex offender in a single room. After we brought this issue to
Corrections’ attention, it told us that it moved some sex offenders
out of the Stockton hotel to ensure compliance with its policy. It
indicated that it plans to review all parolee cases to identify such
living arrangements and work to correct them. It further indicated
that it plans to perform ongoing reviews of all parolee cases on a
monthly basis to ensure continued compliance with all residential
restrictions. Nevertheless, according to our legal counsel, state laws
do not clearly define a single‑family dwelling, and it is not clear
whether a single unit within a multifamily dwelling is considered a
single‑family dwelling subject to this statute.
State Laws Do Not Clearly Define Residential Facilities
Although state law generally restricts sex offenders on parole from
living with other sex offenders in a single‑family dwelling, it allows
them to live with other sex offenders in “residential facilities” that
serve six or fewer persons. However, it is unclear whether the
definition of residential facilities includes facilities that do not
require a license, such as sober living facilities. According to an
Alcohol and Drug fact sheet, sober living facilities are alcohol‑and
drug‑free houses that do not provide treatment but support
recovering persons in maintaining an alcohol‑ and drug‑free
lifestyle. Residents themselves reinforce their recovery through
moral support. These types of facilities do not require a license from
either the State or a local government because they do not provide
treatment. Social Services and Alcohol and Drug do not have a
list of these facilities because they do not track them as part of
their databases of licensed facilities, nor were we able to find a
listing of these facilities from other sources. Corrections’ Division
of Addiction Recovery Services provided us a list of several sober
living facilities that parolees who participate in its community‑based
substance abuse treatment program use, and we also identified
others through our own research. Our review of the addresses of
the adult sex offenders on parole that are included in Table 4 found
that in 19 separate instances, two and as many as 44 sex offenders
were listed as living in the same sober living facility. For example,
according to Corrections, a hotel in Fresno converted to a sober
living facility in June 2007. Corrections’ database shows that this
facility housed as many as 44 sex offenders, some of whom lived in
the same room, as of November 5, 2007.

25

26

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Corrections’ staff explained that
they do not have a policy that
prohibits one sex offender on parole
from living in an unlicensed sober
living facility that houses other
sex offenders.

Corrections’ staff explained that they do not have a policy that
prohibits one sex offender on parole from living in an unlicensed
sober living facility that houses other sex offenders. In 2006
Corrections sought an opinion from the Office of the Attorney
General (attorney general) regarding whether it could place
two or more sex offender parolees in a residential facility that serves
six or fewer persons. The attorney general concluded that
Corrections may place two or more sex offender parolees in a
residential facility serving six or fewer persons that is regulated
under the California Community Care Facilities Act (Act). The Act
establishes a coordinated and comprehensive system of community
care for mentally ill and developmentally and physically disabled
children and adults who require certain care. However, this opinion
did not clarify whether a sober living facility is considered a
residential facility. Further, according to our legal counsel, although
the law does not expressly state that unlicensed facilities serving
six or fewer persons are considered residential facilities, it appears
that the Legislature intended to include them. However, because
there is some ambiguity in the statute, only a court of law can
clarify whether a sex offender on parole can legally reside with
another sex offender at the same unlicensed residential facility, such
as a sober living facility.
State Law Is Also Unclear on Allowing Paroled Juvenile Sex Offenders to
Live With Other Sex Offenders
The state law that restricts a sex offender on parole from living with
another sex offender is also unclear regarding whether it applies
to juvenile sex offenders. Juvenile offenders are not convicted of a
crime unless tried as adults. Rather, under the California Welfare
and Institutions Code, they are deemed wards of the court. They do
not serve time in a state prison for their crimes; instead, they may
be sent to one of the institutions or camps operated by Corrections’
Division of Juvenile Justice (Juvenile Division). The Juvenile Division
is responsible for supervising the juvenile offenders, and its policies
require that it place them in appropriate residences or residential
facilities when released on parole.
We found that Corrections sometimes placed more than one
juvenile sex offender parolee in the same unlicensed facility,
which in some cases were multiunit dwellings and, according to
Corrections, in others were unlicensed group homes. Corrections
staff noted that the legal restriction on residing with other sex
offenders applies only to parolees convicted of a sexual offense who
have served time in state prison. Because juvenile offenders are
not convicted, nor do they serve time in state prison, Corrections
staff pointed out that they are not subject to the law that restricts
residency with other sex offenders. Nevertheless, according to our

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

legal counsel, because the law does not clearly state whether such
restrictions apply to juvenile sex offenders, it is not clear whether
Corrections must restrict the number of juvenile sex offender
parolees that may reside in an unlicensed facility.
Recommendations
If the Legislature is interested in identifying all sex offenders living
in licensed residential facilities, it should require Justice, Social
Services, and Alcohol and Drug to coordinate with one another
and develop an approach that would allow them to generate such
information on an as‑needed basis. For example, with the assistance
of Social Services and Alcohol and Drug, Justice could assign a
unique identifier to each registered address in its database, such as
the license number issued by the respective licensing department,
which would allow it to compute the number of sex offenders living
together in licensed facilities.
To ensure that registered adult sex offenders are not residing
in licensed facilities that serve children, Justice should provide
Social Services with the appropriate identifying information to
enable Social Services to investigate those instances in which the
registered addresses of sex offenders were the same as child care
or foster care facilities. If necessary, Justice and Social Services
should seek statutory changes that would permit Justice to release
identifying information to Social Services so that it may investigate
any matches.
To ensure that state laws are appropriately applied to sex offenders,
the Legislature should consider amending the law that places limits
on the number of paroled sex offenders who may reside at the same
single‑family dwelling to clearly define a single‑family dwelling and
a residential facility. Further, the Legislature should specify whether
this statute applies to juvenile sex offenders.
To ensure that it complies with its policies and interpretation of
state laws, Corrections should continue to monitor the addresses
of paroled sex offenders to ensure that they are not residing with
other sex offenders, including those not on parole, in the same unit
of a multifamily dwelling.

27

28

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Chapter 2
Efforts to Assess the Impact Sex Offenders
Have on Law Enforcement and Communities
Are Underway
Chapter Summary
Local law enforcement agencies told us that generally they have not
formally assessed the impact sex offenders have on their resources
and communities. Further, state departments and their contractors
typically do not consider the impact on local communities when
placing sex offenders in a residence. The Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation (Corrections), the Department of Developmental
Services (Developmental Services), and the Department of Mental
Health (Mental Health) helped to place some of the 649 sex
offenders under their supervision as of late 2007. In most instances,
state laws do not require these departments to consider the impact
on local communities when making placement decisions, and the
departments generally do not have any policies regarding assessing
the impact on local communities. Nevertheless, the California Sex
Offender Management Board (Management Board), created in
September 2006, is in the process of assessing the current practices
for managing adult sex offenders, with the goal of improving
community safety. It released an initial report in February 2008,
which concluded that most sex offenders living in communities are
under no formal supervision and it is unclear who is responsible
for monitoring them using the global positioning system after they
are discharged from parole, as required by the Sexual Predator
Punishment Control Act: Jessica’s Law (Jessica’s Law).
Further, Corrections generally followed its policies when
monitoring its sex offender parolees. However, it did not always
notify local law enforcement agencies of the impending release of
parolees into their jurisdictions, as its policies require. Corrections
also did not always ensure that parolees registered within
five working days of being released from prison as required. In
addition, it did not always monitor juvenile parolees as required by
its policies.
Most Local Law Enforcement Agencies Have Not Formally Assessed
the Impact of Sex Offenders Residing in Their Communities
Local law enforcement agencies indicated that for the most part
they have not performed any formal assessment of the impact sex
offenders have on their resources and the community at large.
Further, most local agencies that responded to our survey noted

29

30

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

that they have specific resources dedicated to monitoring sex
offenders. In addition, 33 of the 92 local law enforcement agencies
(36 percent) that responded to our survey noted that they have
experienced an increased number of complaints in a neighborhood
following placement of a registered sex offender. Moreover,
almost half of them noted that the presence of sex offenders in
their jurisdictions and the efforts to monitor them have diverted
resources and efforts away from other programs. However, most
of the responding agencies said they have not formally assessed
whether higher concentrations of registered sex offenders pose
higher risks to their communities. Although many local law
enforcement agencies have not assessed the need to have greater
oversight over sex offenders in their jurisdictions, some noted
that their governments have adopted local ordinances to provide
additional protection.

Local law enforcement agencies
reported varying levels of staff time
and resources specifically dedicated
to monitoring sex offenders.

While most local agencies indicated they have no role in placing
sex offenders in a residence, they conduct law enforcement
activities related to these offenders once they are placed in
their communities. Of the 92 local law enforcement agencies
responding to our survey, 83 said they have units or personnel
specifically dedicated to monitoring sex offenders, as shown in
Table 5. However, they reported varying levels of staff time and
resources directed toward such monitoring. For example, some law
enforcement agencies mentioned that they participate in the Sexual
Assault Felony Enforcement (SAFE) Team Program. One agency
noted that a grant from the State pays overtime for officers to visit
registered sex offenders and complete compliance checks. The
SAFE Team Program grant is provided to counties by the governor’s
Office of Emergency Services to reduce violent sexual assault
offenses through proactive surveillance and arrest of habitual
sex offenders who violate the terms of their probation or parole and
strict enforcement of registration requirements. Other agencies
indicated that personnel are assigned to specific sexual crime units
that monitor and register sex offenders. Still others noted that
civilian staff rather than police officers register sex offenders.
Of the 92 local law enforcement agencies responding to our survey,
33 noted that they have had to respond to an increased number
of complaints following the placement of a sex offender in their
community. However, they noted that these complaints did not
necessarily stem from a crime, but were initiated by citizens who
became aware that a sex offender was living in their neighborhood
or had questions related to Jessica’s Law. For example, the
Woodland Police Department noted that since the enactment of
Jessica’s Law, several residents have called to complain about sex
offenders living in their neighborhoods, under the assumption that
these individuals were in violation of Jessica’s Law. However, the
Woodland Police Department believes that the majority of those

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

sex offenders were not covered by this law. In a different example,
both the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County
Sheriff ’s Department told us that due to complaints from citizens,
they have had several meetings with the public to discuss issues
related to housing sex offenders.
Table 5
Survey Responses From 92 Local Law Enforcement Agencies
Number
responding
“yes”

Number
responding
“no”

Does your agency have personnel, a unit, or a program
specifically dedicated to monitoring sex offenders within
your jurisdiction?

83

9

Has your agency had to respond to an increased number
of citizen complaints or crime reports in a neighborhood
within your jurisdiction following the placement of a sex
offender in the neighborhood?*

33

50

Have the presence of sex offenders within your jurisdiction
and monitoring them diverted resources and efforts away
from other programs?

43

49

Has your agency (or other agencies within your local
government that you are aware of) formally assessed
whether high concentrations of sex offenders pose a
higher risk to the surrounding neighborhoods or to other
occupants of the facilities shared by them?

8

84

Has your agency (or other agencies within your local
government that you are aware of) formally assessed
whether more local control and oversight over sex
offenders is necessary to ensure greater community safety?

14

78

Has your city or county adopted any ordinances that
provide additional protection to the communities
that house sex offenders?

11

81

Survey Question

Source:  Bureau of State Audits.
*	 Nine local agencies noted that they do not track this information.

Despite the reported increase in complaints and attention
from surrounding neighborhoods, few local law enforcement
agencies reported having formally assessed the impact of sex
offender placements. Almost half of the agencies noted that
they have had to divert some of their resources and efforts away
from other programs to provide more sex offender oversight in
their jurisdictions. Some agencies mentioned that monitoring
compliance with registration requirements took time away from
patrol duties or investigating sexual crimes or other crimes assigned
to the detectives or staff members. However, such impacts were
anecdotal, and these agencies did not quantify any diversion
in resources.

31

32

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Most of the responding agencies indicated that they have not
formally assessed whether high concentrations of registered sex
offenders pose a higher risk to the surrounding neighborhoods or
to the other occupants of the facilities shared by them. Although
eight responded that they have performed formal assessments,
our review of their responses indicated that the assessments were
either limited or informal. For example, the Los Angeles Police
Department told us that their assessments extend only as far as
examining crime reports around facilities housing sex offenders to
determine if any increase in crime has occurred. The Los Angeles
Police Department indicated that at this time it has not found any
instances in which the concentration caused more crime. However,
it also noted that in some neighborhoods, a high level of crime
exists for several reasons, and the direct effect of sex offenders
residing in the area could not be separately determined.
Additionally, most local law enforcement agencies indicated that
they have not formally assessed whether there is a need for more
control and oversight over registered sex offenders, nor have their
cities or counties adopted any ordinances that provide additional
protection to the communities housing registered sex offenders.
However, a few of the agencies surveyed did state that their city
or county has adopted ordinances to further restrict sex offenders’
proximity to schools and parks, as well as their residency options.
For example, a few have adopted proximity ordinances that prohibit
registered sex offenders from loitering within 300 feet of schools
and other places where children gather. Further, San Bernardino
County adopted an ordinance that makes violating Jessica’s
Law a misdemeanor offense. The city of Riverside has adopted
a parolee‑home ordinance that includes limiting the number
of parolees who may live together in hotels. These local ordinances
may also provide agencies a greater enforcement authority by
carrying penalties for violations.
Departments Focus on Treatment and Service and Support Needs of
Sex Offenders Rather Than Local Concerns
State departments and their contractors who are responsible for
placing sex offenders into communities typically do not consider
the impact on local communities when making placement
decisions. While the vast majority of sex offenders are not placed
by and do not receive services from state agencies, Corrections,
Developmental Services, and Mental Health or their contractors
placed some of the 649 sex offenders who were actively under
their supervision, as shown in Table 6. Generally, state laws and
department policies do not require consideration of the impact on
local communities when making placement decisions.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Table 6
Sex Offenders Residing in the Community and Served by State Departments
State Department

Living In
Licensed Facility*

Transient

Unknown

29

1

1

33

4

147

1

2

154

96

295

1

3

395

Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (Corrections), Division
of Addiction and Recovery Services

2

Corrections, Division of Juvenile Justice
Department of Developmental Services
(Developmental Services)
Department of Mental Health
(Mental Health)
Totals

Living In Unlicensed
Facility/Private Home†

Totals

14

51

2

0

67

116

522

5

6

649

Sources:  Compiled by the Bureau of State Audits using information from Mental Health dated December 12, 2007, and databases from Corrections,
Developmental Services, the Department of Social Services (Social Services), Alcohol and Drug Programs (Alcohol and Drug), and the Department of
Justice (Justice).
Note:  As described in the Scope and Methodology, the databases from Social Services were of undetermined reliability. Further, the data from
Corrections’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, Developmental Services, Justice, and Corrections’ Division of Juvenile Justice were not
sufficiently reliable for our purposes. However, because these were the only sources for this information, we present them here.
Note:  Data files for:
Corrections’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services as of September 30, 2007
Alcohol and Drug and Developmental Services as of November 1, 2007
Social Services as of November 28, 2007
Corrections’ Division of Juvenile Justice as of November 29, 2007
Justice as of December 13, 2007
*	 These are facilities licensed by Social Services or Alcohol and Drug as described in Table 1 on page 11.
†	 These include unlicensed residential facilities such as sober living facilities, as well as private residences. Because of limitations in the data available
from state departments, we could not distinguish in all cases unlicensed residential facilities from private residences. Further, the number of sex
offenders these state departments or their contractors placed was not always readily apparent.

Corrections’ Policies for Placing Sex Offenders Do Not Include Assessing
Impact on Local Communities
Corrections’ Division of Addiction and Recovery Services
(Addiction Recovery), through its contractors, and the Division of
Juvenile Justice (Juvenile Division) place some sex offenders into
communities. Addiction Recovery works with private contractors
to place some sex offenders in licensed residential facilities and
unlicensed sober living facilities while they participate in its
treatment program. According to Corrections, it established
Addiction Recovery to reduce substance abuse and the risk factors
for criminal behavior of inmates and parolees. Addiction Recovery
contracts with professional treatment providers that provide
substance abuse treatment programs in correctional facilities to
prepare inmates for release on parole, as well as a community‑based
continuing care program for parolees. According to Addiction
Recovery, the registered sex offenders on parole are in the program
voluntarily. Parolees participating in the program can receive
180 days of continuing care following release. However, according to
Addiction Recovery, the average length of time that parolees receive
continuing care in the community‑based program is 75 days.

33

34

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Addiction Recovery indicated that based on the identified
addiction recovery needs of the sex offender, its contractors
attempt to find a suitable residential facility, or they might provide
only outpatient treatment for sex offenders living in private
residences. Although Addiction Recovery requires its contractors
to ensure compliance with applicable laws, it told us that it
generally does not require them to consider the impact on local
communities. As Table 6 shows, Addiction Recovery had 33 sex
offenders participating in its program as of September 30, 2007.
Its contractors helped place two of them into licensed residential
facilities and another 14 into unlicensed residential facilities. Of the
remaining 17 sex offenders, 15 found their own place of residence,
one was a transient, and the address for another was not known.

Although the Juvenile Division
indicated that it informs
appropriate local law enforcement
agencies of the placement of
juvenile sex offender parolees
within a community, it is not
required to notify the community or
neighborhood where the juvenile is
actually placed.

Similarly, Corrections’ Juvenile Division places juvenile sex offender
parolees with relatives and in foster homes, group homes, and
licensed and unlicensed residential facilities, among others. The
Juvenile Division told us that 30 to 90 days prior to a juvenile’s
release, the institution and the assigned parole agent jointly
assess the needs of the parolee based on a report of progress in
treatment, a relapse prevention plan, a report of history prior
to arrest, and a report of the individual’s behavioral progress
within the institution. The assessment assists the field parole
agent in determining the potential risk and the placement needs
of the juvenile. According to the Juvenile Division, based on this
assessment, the institution and the assigned parole agent provide a
written recommendation to the Juvenile Parole Board, which will
either approve or disapprove the placement. Although the Juvenile
Division indicated that it informs appropriate local law enforcement
agencies of the placement of juvenile sex offender parolees within
a community, it is not required to notify the community or
neighborhood where the juvenile is actually placed. According to
the Juvenile Division’s database as of November 29, 2007, it had an
estimated total of 2,559 juvenile offenders on active parole. Of these
juvenile offenders, at least 154 were sex offenders. Table 6 shows
that most of these sex offenders were placed in unlicensed facilities
or private homes.
However, as we indicated in the Scope and Methodology, when we
developed the information included in Table 6, we found that the
Juvenile Division database was incomplete. Specifically, the database
was missing the Social Security numbers and criminal investigation
and identification numbers for 22 percent and over 6 percent of
the 2,559 juvenile offenders on active parole, respectively. As a
result, we may not have identified all juvenile offenders who were
also sex offenders by matching their Social Security numbers or
criminal investigation and identification numbers with those in
the database from Justice. The Juvenile Division’s policies state
that Social Security numbers are required for identification and

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

to assist juvenile offenders in obtaining employment and benefits.
Moreover, a director in the Juvenile Division told us that the
criminal investigation and identification numbers are required in
order to conduct warrant and historical checks on a timely basis.
According to the director, the division is currently working to
ensure that the missing information is entered into its database for
all juvenile offenders.
Developmental Services and Mental Health Generally Do Not Have
Specific Policies for Placing Sex Offenders Into Communities
Contractors for Developmental Services and Mental Health may
provide placement services to developmentally disabled individuals
(clients) and mentally ill patients (patients) who might also be sex
offenders. State laws govern how the two departments provide
these services. For example, the Lanterman Developmental
Disabilities Act charges Developmental Services with establishing
a service delivery system for eligible persons with developmental
disabilities to meet their needs and choices, as well as to facilitate
their integration into the mainstream life of the community. These
laws and regulations do not mandate a consideration of community
impact or special placement consideration for a sex offender.
Additionally, according to Developmental Services, its clients are
not required to accept all services it provides, nor are they required
to identify themselves as sex offenders to its contractors. The
focus of Developmental Services’ contractors is on the service and
support needs of the clients as identified in their individual program
plans. Therefore, contractors’ monitoring efforts are related only to
ensuring that clients receive adequate care, services, and support.
Further, Developmental Services told us that it does not have access
to the entire sex offender registry maintained by Justice. It is aware
only of sex offenders subject to public disclosure under Megan’s
Law as published on Justice’s Web site and of those who voluntarily
inform its contractors of their criminal history.
Based on our comparison of Developmental Services’ and
Justice’s databases, we identified 395 clients actively served by
Developmental Services in a community‑based environment
who were also sex offenders. This represents less than 1 percent
of the estimated 191,787 clients Developmental Services reported
as active as of November 1, 2007. Further, its contractors do not
necessarily place all the clients Developmental Services serves.
As Table 6 shows, the majority of the 395 sex offenders living in
community‑based settings were not living in licensed residential
facilities but rather in unlicensed facilities or private homes.
Although according to Developmental Services, its contractors
likely played a role in placing the 96 clients living in licensed

Developmental Services told us
that it is only aware of sex offenders
subject to public disclosure under
Megan’s Law as published on
Justice’s Web site and those who
voluntarily inform its contractors of
their criminal history.

35

36

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

facilities, they may not have had a role in placing the 295 registered
sex offenders in unlicensed facilities or private homes. Further, as
shown in Table 6, one client was listed as a transient and addresses
for three clients were unknown.
In contrast to the voluntary nature of the services provided by
Developmental Services, Mental Health oversees sex offenders
and patients committed to its care by the courts or by the Board
of Parole Hearings. As we mentioned in the Introduction,
Mental Health’s patients include those found to be not guilty by
reason of insanity and those found to be mentally disordered
offenders, as well as those found to be sexually violent predators
(SVPs) who were convicted of their crimes and served a term
of imprisonment. According to Mental Health, in most cases,
the sex offenders committed to its care are initially placed in a
state hospital—a secure facility—for inpatient treatment. After
completing this treatment, they may become eligible for its Forensic
Conditional Release Program (Conditional Release Program).
Mental Health contracts with local providers that provide
outpatient services and, according to Mental Health, are involved in
the placement of these sex offenders.
Mental Health indicated that its contractors may place patients in
facilities licensed by other departments, in unlicensed facilities,
in single‑occupancy rooms, or with their families in private homes.
These decisions are based on the patients’ clinical needs, their
community outpatient treatment level, and sometimes directly
by the court. According to Mental Health, patients who require
assistance with medications and more direct supervision and care
are typically placed in a facility licensed by the Department of
Social Services. Those who live in a licensed facility can move to an
unlicensed residence once they demonstrate that they can manage
their own medications and upon the approval of the community
program director. According to Table 6, Mental Health’s contractors
were involved in placing 14 sex offenders in licensed facilities and
51 patients in unlicensed facilities or private homes; two are listed
as transients.
Mental Health’s policies do not
include specific requirements
for placing sex offenders that
are different from those related
to its other patients under the
Conditional Release Program,
except for those classified as
sexually violent predators.

Mental Health’s policies do not include specific requirements
for placing sex offenders that are different from those related
to its other patients under the Conditional Release Program,
except for those classified as SVPs. Mental Health indicated
that its contractors try to place patients so that they can get
to their outpatient services, either by walking or by public
transportation. Its policies also do not require contractors to
inform the surrounding community when they make a residential
placement; however, Mental Health noted that its contractors
ensure that patients who are sex offenders are registered. As of
December 12, 2007, Mental Health identified 67 sex offenders

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

in its Conditional Release Program, 61 of whom were not SVPs.
According to Mental Health, these 61 sex offenders represent less
than 10 percent of the approximately 723 total individuals in its
Conditional Release Program as of December 12, 2007.
SVPs are committed to Mental Health following the completion of
their sentences at Corrections for their crimes. These are offenders
who suffer from a mental disorder and are likely to reoffend
because of the disorder. SVPs have been convicted of a sexually
violent offense against one or more victims they do not know. State
law outlines the process that must be followed before an SVP is
determined eligible for conditional release from a state hospital,
including notifying the sheriff, the chief of police, and the district
attorney or the county’s designated counsel in the community
that will house the offender of the residential placement it is
recommending. These entities can provide written comments to
Mental Health and the court. The court will consider the comments
before it decides whether the SVP can be placed on conditional
release to receive community outpatient treatment.
Mental Health told us that it contracts with a nonprofit
organization to help identify appropriate housing for SVPs.
According to Mental Health and its contractor, six SVPs were in
the Conditional Release Program as of December 2007. Four of
these patients were living in private or unlicensed residences,
while the other two were transients. The courts responsible for
releasing the two transients were aware that Mental Health’s
contractor could not find a placement for these individuals when
they ordered their release. According to Mental Health, 682 SVPs
were committed to state mental hospitals as of December 12, 2007.
The State Recently Took Steps to Assess the Impact Sex Offenders
Have on Local Communities
The Management Board, created in 2006, is in the process of
assessing the current practices for managing adult sex offenders,
primarily those under direct criminal justice or other supervision.
It released an initial report in February 2008. State law requires
the Management Board to develop recommendations, based on the
findings in the assessment, to improve sex offender management, with
the goal of improving community safety. The Management Board’s
scope includes supervision, treatment, housing, transition to the
community, and interagency coordination. Board members are
representatives from local law enforcement agencies; officials
from several state agencies, including Corrections; and individuals
experienced in the field of sexual assault. The Management Board has
been meeting monthly since June 2007 and is required to release a
final report to the Legislature and the governor by January 1, 2010.

State law requires the California
Sex Offender Management Board
to develop recommendations to
improve sex offender management,
with the goal of improving
community safety.

37

38

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

In addition to the statutory requirements imposed on the
Management Board, the secretary of Corrections requested
that the board examine issues related to the implementation
and clarification of Jessica’s Law, which requires that certain sex
offenders released on parole from a state prison be monitored by a
global positioning system for life. The secretary’s request included
clarification of the residency restriction and appropriate offender
housing, as well as maintaining supervision of sex offenders subject
to Jessica’s Law after they complete their parole term and are no
longer under Corrections’ jurisdiction.
In February 2008 the Management
Board released a report indicating
that between 70 percent and
80 percent of all adult sex offenders
are living in the community under
no formal supervision.

In February 2008 the Management Board approved and released
a report on current practices for managing sex offenders in
California. This report indicates that between 70 percent and
80 percent of all adult sex offenders are living in the community
under no formal supervision. It further states that most of the sex
offenders who are on parole and are subject to Jessica’s Law have
found housing compliant with the law’s requirements. However,
it notes that the number of sex offenders declaring themselves
transients has quadrupled since the implementation of Jessica’s
Law. The report points out that Jessica’s Law does not identify who
is responsible for enforcing residency restrictions after the sex
offender is discharged from parole and does not impose a penalty
for violators of residency restrictions who have been discharged
from parole. Additionally, the report indicates that no state agency
or any other entity is charged with leadership responsibility for
conducting key research on topics related to the management of the
State’s sex offenders and that data collection regarding sex offenders
varies from county to county.
Corrections Adequately Supervised Its Sex Offender Parolees but Did
Not Always Follow Its Policies
Our review of 20 adult and 20 juvenile sex offender parolees
found that Corrections’ parole agents generally supervised them in
accordance with department policies. However, in 15 of the 20 adult
cases and one juvenile case, Corrections could not provide evidence
that it informed local law enforcement agencies of the impending
release of the parolee into their jurisdiction as required by its
policies, was late in informing them, or did not inform them of a
change in parole release date. Further, in two of the 20 adult cases
and one juvenile case, Corrections did not ensure that the parolee
registered with local law enforcement within five working days
as required. Finally, Corrections did not always monitor juvenile
parolees as required by its policies.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Corrections Does Not Consistently Notify Local Law Enforcement About
Paroled Sex Offenders
Our review of 20 adult sex offenders found that Corrections
generally followed its policies regarding the monitoring of these
parolees. However, it did not always notify local law enforcement of
the impending release of an adult sex offender parolee. Corrections’
Division of Adult Parole Operations (Adult Parole) is responsible
for establishing parole conditions and for supervising adult
parolees. The level of supervision required is based on the parolee’s
classification. State law requires that from four to 10 months prior
to release, male sex offenders be assessed using the Static‑99 Risk
Assessment tool. This tool is designed to estimate the probability
of sexual and violent recidivism among adult males who have
been convicted of at least one sexual offense against a child or
nonconsenting adult. This assessment tool consists of 10 factors,
each scored as 0 or 1. According to Adult Parole policy, a score of
4 or above will result in a designation as a high‑risk sex offender.
Minimum supervision requirements for a parolee considered to
be high risk include an initial face‑to‑face contact with a parole
agent on the first working day following release from custody.
In addition, the parole agent is required to conduct a home visit
within six working days of release on parole and to have at least
two face‑to‑face contacts each month.
State law requires Corrections to release a parolee into the county
of last legal residence, unless the circumstances call for a different
placement. The law also requires Corrections to notify appropriate
local law enforcement agencies that the parolee will be released
into their jurisdiction, and Adult Parole’s policy requires notice
to the local agencies prior to the date of release. Corrections has
four parole regions that, according to its policies, are responsible
for notifying county sheriff departments, city police departments,
and the affected district attorney’s offices regarding the pending
parole date of an adult sex offender. Its policies require each
region to maintain a notification log to document all contacts with
local agencies.
Our review found that for the period of May 2005 through
October 2007, Corrections could not provide any evidence that it
had informed the applicable local agencies regarding the pending
release dates for 11 of the 20 adult sex offender parolees in our
sample. In one other case, the parole date for a sex offender
was postponed by almost two months. Although Corrections
notified local law enforcement of the initial release date, it failed
to notify these agencies of the changed release date. Further, in
three instances, the notice to local law enforcement occurred after
the parolee was already released into the jurisdiction. In one case
out of 20, we also noted that the Juvenile Division could not provide

For the period of May 2005 through
October 2007, Corrections could
not provide any evidence that it
had informed the applicable local
agencies regarding the pending
release dates for 11 of the 20 adult
sex offender parolees in our sample.

39

40

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

evidence that it had notified the local law enforcement agency
regarding the release date of a juvenile sex offender parolee. The
Juvenile Division’s policy requires that it notify applicable local
agencies of a parolee’s change of residence within 10 working days.
As part of our survey, 20 of the
92 local law enforcement agencies
responding indicated they do not
receive adequate information
from Corrections about registered
sex offenders being released into
their jurisdictions.

As part of our survey, 20 of the 92 local law enforcement agencies
responding indicated that they do not receive adequate information
from Corrections about registered sex offenders being released into
their jurisdictions. For example, a representative of the San Jose
Police Department indicated that notices from Corrections
are not always useful because they sometimes do not include
the release date of the parolee. Similarly, a representative of the
Daly City Police Department noted that his department receives
inadequate information from Corrections about parolees subject to
sex offender registration prior to their release from prison and that
this causes his department to remain unaware of the total number
of sex offenders living within its jurisdiction.
Although Corrections could not completely explain the reasons it
had failed to notify local law enforcement agencies of the pending
release date of some sex offenders, it noted that confusion at one of
its four parole regions might have contributed to this problem for
the parolees released in that region. Specifically, it indicated that
one of its regional parole units believed the notification process
would be replaced by the use of the Parole Law Enforcement
Automated Data System (Parole LEADS), which provides law
enforcement agencies with photos and information about parolees
supervised by Adult Parole. Nevertheless, Adult Parole told us that
despite the existence of an automated system, its policy was never
amended to change the manual process of notification.
Parole LEADS was established by state law in 1997. Although not
required to do so by state law, Corrections indicated that it updated
the system in October 2006 to include more information about
sex offenders to allow law enforcement agencies to access parolee
information via the Internet and query for selected parolees either
within their jurisdictions or on a statewide basis. According to
Corrections, it has taken the initiative to make 521 law enforcement
agencies aware of Parole LEADS, and the system now provides
notification of pending releases of sex offenders into the agencies’
respective jurisdictions. It noted that of these 521 law enforcement
agencies, 145 agencies it contacted have not yet responded with a
decision to enroll, 69 others indicated an interest in enrolling, and
Corrections is still in the process of contacting 59 others.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Corrections Did Not Always Ensure Timely Registration by Parolees
State law requires all sex offenders who must register under the
Sex Offender Registration Act to register with the law enforcement
agency having jurisdiction over their residence within five working
days of moving into the jurisdiction. State law also requires
offenders on parole to provide a proof of registration to their
parole officer within six working days of their release. Corrections’
policy requires its parole agents to ensure that adult sex offenders
on parole comply with this requirement. However, in two of the
20 adult sex offender parolee cases we reviewed, Corrections
failed to ensure this. The earliest registration receipts available
in the parolee files indicate that one parolee registered with local
law enforcement seven days after moving there; the other parolee
registered after 11 days. Similarly, the Juvenile Division requires that
its parole agents ensure that a juvenile parolee registers as a sex
offender with the local law enforcement agency within five working
days. However, of 20 juvenile sex offender parolees we reviewed,
in one instance a juvenile sex offender did not register within the
required five working days.
Corrections Did Not Always Monitor Juvenile Parolees as Required by
Its Policies
The Juvenile Division’s policies require that when a juvenile
offender is released on parole, the assigned parole agent must
meet with the parolee face to face at least once each week
for the first 30 days. The first face‑to‑face contact must occur
within the first two working days after the juvenile offender is
released on parole. Although our review of the cases of 20 juvenile
sex offender parolees found that the assigned parole agents met
with the parolees within the first two working days, they did not
always conduct subsequent face‑to‑face meetings as required.
Specifically, in one case the Juvenile Division did not hold one of
the four meetings required during the first 30 days, in a second case
it did not hold two of the four required meetings, and it could not
provide any evidence that such meetings occurred after the initial
face‑to‑face contact for a third parolee.
Recommendations
To ensure that it maintains all necessary data to carry out its
functions, Corrections’ Juvenile Division should update its database
to include the Social Security numbers and criminal investigation
and identification numbers for all juvenile offenders under
its jurisdiction.

41

42

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

To comply with legal requirements and its own policies,
Corrections should do the following:
•	 Ensure that its parole regions provide timely notification of the
release of all parolees to the applicable law enforcement agencies.
•	 Ensure that its parole agents review all registration receipts to
make certain that all parolees required to register as sex offenders
do so within five working days of moving into a local jurisdiction.
•	 Ensure that the Juvenile Division’s parole agents monitor juvenile
parolees as required and maintain all documents to support its
monitoring efforts.
We conducted this review under the authority vested in the California State Auditor by Section 8543
et seq. of the California Government Code and according to generally accepted government auditing
standards. We limited our review to those areas specified in the audit scope section of the report.
Respectfully submitted,

ELAINE M. HOWLE
State Auditor
Date:	 April 17, 2008
Staff:	

Denise L. Vose, CPA, Audit Principal
Kris D. Patel
Scott A. Baxter, Staff Counsel
Ralph M. Flynn, JD
Sean R. Gill, MPP
Benjamin Ward

For questions regarding the contents of this report, please contact
Margarita Fernández, Chief of Public Affairs, at (916) 445-0255.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

43

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Memorandum
Date: 	

April 7, 2008

To:	
	
	
	

Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor*
Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814

Subject:	RESPONSE TO THE BUREAU OF STATE AUDIT’S DRAFT REPORT ENTITLED SEX OFFENDER PLACEMENT: STATE LAWS ARE NOT
ALWAYS CLEAR, AND NO ONE FORMALLY ASSESSES THE IMPACT SEX OFFENDER PLACMENT HAS ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) is providing a clarification response as
an attachment to this memorandum to the Bureau of State Audits’ (BSA) draft report entitled Sex Offender
Placement: State Laws Are Not Always Clear, and No One Formally Assesses the Impact Sex Offender Placement
Has on Local Communities. The report assesses three divisions within CDCR: Division of Adult Paroles,
Division of Addiction and Recovery Services, and Division of Juvenile Justice relative to the placement and
registration of sex offenders following release as parolees.
The identification of deficiencies by BSA is of great value; however, CDCR does not agree with the
conclusions contained within this report. Specific findings and recommendations will be addressed in a
corrective action plan which will be submitted to BSA within 60 days.
Should you have any questions or concerns, or wish to meet to discuss this response, please contact me
at (916) 323-6001.
(Signed by: James E. Tilton)
JAMES E. TILTON
Secretary
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Attachment

*  California State Auditor’s comments begin on page 49.

1

44

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR
BUREAU OF STATE AUDITS
April 7, 2008
Analysis of Draft Report # 2007-115
SEX OFFENDER PLACEMENT: STATE LAWS ARE NOT ALWAYS CLEAR,
AND NO ONE FORMALLY ASSESSES THE IMPACT
SEX OFFENDER PLACEMENT HAS ON LOCAL COMMUNITIES

2

The Bureau of State Audits (BSA) conducted an audit of the California Department of Corrections and
Rehabilitation (CDCR) relative to residential restrictions for parolees who are required to register as
sex offenders pursuant to Penal Code (PC) Section 290. It appears the BSA relied predominately upon
automated sources as the primary basis for their conclusions. Because parolee field and central files are
the repository of legal documents for individual parolees and contains a host of vital information, some
of the findings contained in the audit was based on incomplete information, as described below.
Division of Adult Parole
Multiple Sex Offenders in 39 Counties
Response:

3

4

Within 39 counties, the BSA report identified 551 separate residences housing a total of 3,080 sex offenders
on parole, inferring there was a possibility multiple sex offenders may be housed together, in violation
of current statutes and Division of Adult Parole (DAPO) policy. However, a subsequent analysis by the
Department of the 3,080 sex offenders revealed 99.98 percent were in full compliance of statutes/policy,
and only 63 parolees or .02 percent were out of compliance with statutes/policy as of the date of the
compilation of the data (November 5, 2007). Those parolees out of compliance with statutes/policy have
since been brought into full compliance.
A review of a compact disk of supporting documentation provided by the BSA indicates in eight separate
counties, (Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Shasta and Los Angeles)
there were multiple sex offenders residing at a single residence. The BSA indicated these addresses were
“unknown.” The Department subsequently conducted a compliance check on these parolees. The review
revealed many of the facilities on the database are not single family dwellings. An Internet Google search,
in fact, determined some of the facilities were county jails, detention facilities, hospitals, and other large
residential facilities.
The report states that in four counties, (Fresno, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles) there were
multiple sex offenders residing at a single residence. The report indicates these addresses were “assumed
hotel/apartments.” An Internet Google search revealed the addresses in question were actually two county
jails and two veterans hospitals. This information was also verified through CalParole.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

45

April 2008

Notification to Law Enforcement
Response:
Page 33, paragraph 2 states: “Our review found that for the period of May 2005 through October 2007, Corrections
could not provide any evidence that it had informed the applicable local agencies regarding the pending release
dates for 11 of the 20 adult sex offender parolees in our sample.”
The BSA’s audit review of notification to local law enforcement of the impending release of a sex offender
to the county of last legal residence covered the period of May 2005 through October 2007. This is
important because prior to June 2006 all sex offender notification to local law enforcement was handled
by records staff within CDCR institutions as required by law. As a result of recommendations from the
Governor’s High Risk Sex Offender Task Force, DAPO, in addition to required notification by CDCR institutions,
also began performing additional notification to local law enforcement. In addition, CDCR has incorporated
information on parolee location in its Parole Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS), which is
available to all local law enforcement and is now the primary electronic method for notification. During the
period covered by the BSA audit, however, there was no identified central repository for physical proof of
notification. Each parole region was allowed to determine its own method for tracking compliance. Since
the completion of this audit, CDCR will have standardized both notification methods as well as storing the
proof of notification.

5

Registration
Response:
The BSA report reviewed 20 parolee field files of the 8,000 sex offenders on parole to ascertain compliance
with PC Section 290 registration requirements. The report cited two cases in which compliance with the
five‑working day registration requirement and the six working days to provide a copy of the registration
receipt to the parole agent, appeared to be in question. Neither of the two cases cited revealed specific
information with regard to the circumstances, so it is difficult to determine if the cases were in compliance.
There are many factors that impact the five-day registration requirement.
Some law enforcement agencies only register offenders on specified days of the week. In such a
circumstance, the offender may have reported to local law enforcement on the fifth working day, which
could have been the date the “sex offender registration unit” for that particular law enforcement agency was
closed. In such a circumstance, the offender would have registered beyond the fifth working day, but not as a
result of any overt or intended action to fail to comply within the applicable time frames. CDCR remind parole
agents of the requirements that parolees comply with all registration requirements, and ensure agents inform
parolees what days law enforcement agencies register sex offenders to prevent parolees from not registering
within five days.

6

46

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Division of Juvenile Justice
“Where 2 or more sex offenders reside in one residence” (pg. 4, 24)
Response:
7

Current law prohibits sex offenders from living together in a single family residence (PC Section 3003.5)
However, CDCR legal staff have opined that this provision does not apply to sex offenders committed to
Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), as juvenile offenders do not “serve a term of imprisonment in a state prison.”
This section was meant to address adult offenders released from prison.
“we found several instances...more than one juvenile sex offender parolee at the same location...that do not require a license...(pg 20).
Response:
Under current law, there is no requirement that DJJ youth be placed in a licensed establishment. State law
and DJJ policy allows for placement in an unlicensed group home as long as the home adheres to our DJJ
group home standards, which are monitored by the local DJJ parole office. Placement of a youth in a group
home is typically for the benefit of providing counseling and 24-hour supervision.

7
8

In addition, current law prohibits sex offenders from living together in a single family residence
(PC Section 3003.5). However, CDCR legal staff have opined this provision does not apply to sex offenders
committed to DJJ, as juvenile offenders do not “serve a term of imprisonment in a state prison.” This section
was meant to address adult offenders released from prison.
“although DJJ ...it is not required to notify the community or neighborhood where the juvenile is actually placed” (pg 29 , 31, 33).
Response:
Although there is no statutory requirement for DJJ to notify local law enforcement when a sex offender
is due to be released, DJJ mail Law Enforcement Notification (LEN) letters to law enforcement where the
parolee is scheduled to reside and the field agent also personally contacts the local law enforcement
agency. Additionally, a LEN letter is mailed to law enforcement each time the parolee moves into an area
from a different city or county.
“...one juvenile case, Corrections did not ensure that the parolee registered with local law enforcement within five working days” (pg.31).
Response:

9

As mentioned previously, some local law enforcement agencies do not register sex offenders every business
day. In the case in question, the parolee was asked by law enforcement to return on the day the office was
open for sex offender registration. This schedule impeded the parolee from registering within the 5-day
registration requirement.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Division of Addiction and Recovery Services
Table 5: Sex Offenders Residing in the Community and Served by the State Departments*
Response:
In reference to Table 5, the title of the third column should be amended to read, “Living in Facilities that do
not require State Licensure/Private Home” instead of the current language which reads “Living in Unlicensed
Facility/Private Home.”

47

48

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Comments
California State Auditor’s Comments on the
Response From the Department of Corrections
and Rehabilitation
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on
the response to our audit report from the Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (Corrections). The numbers
below correspond with the numbers we placed in the margins of
Corrections’ response.
Corrections’ comments are confusing. If Corrections has concerns
with our conclusions, it is difficult to understand why it would be
willing to address our findings and recommendations.

1

Corrections is incorrect when it states that we relied predominately
upon automated sources as the primary basis for our conclusions
and that some of our findings were based on incomplete
information. Our major findings and recommendations were
based on the problems we encountered when comparing the
various databases in our attempt to provide the Legislature with
meaningful information related to the residential placement
of sex offenders, as it requested. In addition, several of the
recommendations specifically directed towards Corrections were
based on our review of the parolee field files of a sample of sex
offender parolees. Although Corrections did not directly address
our recommendations in its response, it does not appear to take
issue with them and, in fact, states that the specific findings and
recommendations will be addressed in a corrective action plan,
which it plans to submit within 60 days.

2

Further, it is unfortunate that Corrections’ response appears to
take issue with the information we are providing the Legislature,
which we believe highlights opportunities for Corrections as well
as other agencies discussed in the report to use these databases
to identify potential problems. For example, as we describe in
the report on page 23, by reviewing the addresses in Corrections’
database of sex offenders on parole, we found instances of more
than one sex offender listed as residing at the same address,
including one instance where 90 paroled sex offenders were all
registered as living at the same hotel as of November 5, 2007. After
we brought this to Corrections’ attention, it agreed that this should
not be occurring and asserted that it corrected the situation. This
is just one example highlighting how the databases could assist
Corrections and other agencies in identifying whether sex offender
parolees’ living arrangements are conforming with state laws. In
fact, as Corrections indicates in the subsequent paragraph of its

49

50

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

response, it apparently used the detailed information we provided
to perform additional research and bring certain parolees back to
compliance with state laws.
3

Corrections’ characterization of its analysis of the 3,080 sex
offenders and the definitive conclusion it presents is misleading.
More specifically, after we requested support for the figures
included in its response, Corrections admitted that it had
conducted only a cursory review of the 3,080 sex offenders. In
fact, Corrections could not provide support for the 63 parolees
or the .02 percent that it asserts were out of compliance because,
according to Corrections, these figures are based on the results of
its analysis of only a sample of the 3,080 sex offenders that it then
used to project to the entire population. We believe that it would be
prudent for Corrections to spend the time reviewing the addresses
of all sex offender parolees, not just a sample, to identify all those
who are in violation of statutes and its policies.

4

It was never our intent to analyze every record in Corrections’
voluminous parolee database, but rather to highlight for the
Legislature risk areas related to compliance with residency
requirements. We believe that further analyzing these risks and
ensuring compliance is Corrections’ responsibility. However, based
on the information Corrections has provided in this paragraph,
we performed additional research and made some minor revisions
to Table 4 on page 24. Specifically, as a result of this additional
work, we eliminated eight facilities that we determined are jails
or detention centers as well as the 21 sex offender parolees listed
as residing in them. Further, we eliminated one state hospital and
the four sex offender parolees listed as residing in them. However,
it is unclear to us what Corrections is referring to as “other large
residential facilities.” Also, our additional research related to
the hotels and apartment complexes prompted us to remove
two facilities and provide additional clarification for two others.
Specifically, we removed two facilities identified as a county jail
and hall of justice and the 11 sex offender parolees listed as residing
in them. We also found two veterans facilities housing four sex
offenders, which we left in Table 4 but noted in a footnote to the
table. Also included in Table 4 and noted in the footnote were
four sex offender parolees whose registered address was the same
as a parole office. In summary, as a result of our additional analysis,
of the 551 facilities in our draft version of Table 4 that we shared
with Corrections, we removed only 11. In addition, of the 3,080 sex
offenders on parole who were identified in Table 4 as residing
together in a facility, we removed only 36. Therefore, contrary to
Corrections’ assertion, it appears that there are more than 3,000 sex
offenders on parole who as of November 5, 2007, may be residing
with other sex offenders on parole in violation of state law.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Although we acknowledge that Corrections views the Parole Law
Enforcement Automated Data System (Parole LEADS) as the
primary electronic method for notification, as we indicated on
page 40 of our report, many agencies do not currently use Parole
LEADS for this purpose.

5

During the course of our audit, we provided Corrections’ staff with
the details related to these two cases to allow them the opportunity
to research whether other factors may have affected the registration
requirement. However, after providing the details regarding these
two cases, Corrections’ staff acknowledged that these two sex
offender parolees had registered late and subsequently issued a
report of violation for each one.

6

Corrections is not entirely accurate when paraphrasing California
Penal Code, Section 3003.5. A more precise statement would
reference a parolee’s status as it relates to this section of the law as
follows: Current law prohibits sex offenders on parole from living
with other sex offenders in a single family residence.

7

We are not taking issue with Corrections’ interpretation that
juvenile sex offenders are not subject to the state law that restricts
sex offender parolees from living with other sex offenders in a
single-family dwelling. Rather, as we clearly state on page 26, we
believe that the law is not clear as to whether this requirement
applies to juveniles and we are recommending that the Legislature
clarify the law.

8

While we recognize that conditions may exist in which a juvenile
sex offender may not register within the required time frame, state
law and Corrections’ own policies clearly require that juvenile
sex offender parolees register with the appropriate local law
enforcement agency within five working days. Further, Corrections’
comments about this particular case fail to disclose that the parolee
in question actually had two prior opportunities to register before
being asked to return to the office on the day the office was open
for registration.

9

51

52

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

53

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Justice
1300 I Street, Suite 125
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244‑2550
April 7, 2008
Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor*
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: 	

Audit of Section 290 Sex Offender Registrants

Dear Ms. Howle:
	
This letter responds to the report of the Bureau of State Audits (BSA) regarding Penal Code
section 290 Registrants (290 Registrants) and facilities licensed by the Department of Social Services (DSS).
Although our response is necessarily constrained because we lacked access to all of the information
examined by the BSA, we comment as follows.
	
To begin with, we believe that the report inaccurately references the time when the BSA accessed
the DOJ’s non‑public database of 290 Registrants as “November 2007.” (For example, the report states that
“[a]s of November 2007, the database . . . contained 59,000 registered sex offenders living in California
communities.”) In fact, the DOJ provided the BSA with access to the database on December 13, 2007. Thus,
the report’s references to database information as of November 2007 are not only inaccurate, but they
may also leave the reader with the false impression that the database is updated monthly, when in fact it is
updated daily.
In addition, we comment on the following matters addressed in sequence by page number:

1

2

1.	

BSA Report, Page 2. The DOJ lacks information to agree or disagree with the preliminary report’s
claim that “at least 357 licensed residential facilities housed sex offenders as of November 2007.” The
report is heavily redacted and fails to identify the information the BSA used to compare with DOJ’s
database to arrive at its conclusions.

3

2.	

BSA Report, Page 6. The report states that “[g]enerally, only law enforcement officers have access
to the sex offender registry that Justice maintains.” This statement minimizes the restrictions that
California law on accessing the database for 290 Registrants. The relevant statutes provide that the
database is inaccessible except to the extent specifically authorized by state law. (Cal. Penal Code,
§§ 11075 et seq., 290.021; Fredenburg v. City of Fremont (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 408, 413 [noting
that California law only provides for “limited disclosure of information regarding sex offenders”].)
California law authorizes only, not generally, law enforcement agencies to fully access registered sex
offender data. (Cal. Penal Code, §§ 290.021 and 290.022, subd. (4).) California law generally defines a
law enforcement agency to be an agency, including the DOJ, “authorized by statute to investigate

4

*  California State Auditor’s comments begin on page 59.

54

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

or prosecute law violators.” (See Cal. Penal Code § 290.45, subd. (f ); see also § 13101, subd. (a‑b)
[defining “criminal justice agencies” as agencies that perform as their principal function “the
apprehension, prosecution, adjudication, incarceration, or correction of criminal offenders” or “the
collection, storage, dissemination or usage of criminal offender record information”].) Additionally,
California law only permits disclosure of sex offender information to non‑law‑enforcement entities
for purposes of protecting members of the public and their children. (Cal. Penal Code, §§ 290.03,
subds. (a)(4)‑(7) and (b); 290.4, subd. (d)(1); 290.45, subd. (a)(2); and 290.46, subd. (l)(1); 82 Ops.Cal.
Atty.Gen. 20, 21‑22 (1999).)
The report also states that “California Penal Code 290.46, also known as Megan’s Law, requires
Justice to make the name and current full address of some sex offenders and only the zip codes
of others, who are subject to this law, available to the general public through its Web site.” This
statement is partially accurate. While it is correct that the law requires only the zip code of some
290 Registrants to be posted, much more than just a name and current full address is required for
those convicted of specified sex offenses. For 290 Registrants convicted of these offenses, the law
requires “the Department of Justice shall make available to the public via the Internet Web site his
or her name and known aliases, a photograph, a physical description, including gender and race,
date of birth, criminal history, prior adjudication as a sexually violent predator, the address at which
the person resides, and any other information that the Department of Justice deems relevant . . . .”
(Cal. Penal Code, § 290.46, subd. (b)(1).) The DOJ complies with this statutory duty.
3. 	

BSA Report, Page 8. In Table 1, the BSA declares that “for purposes of this audit” the DOJ’s database
is “not sufficiently reliable.” The report states that the BSA is purportedly using “U.S. Government
Accountability Office, whose standards we follow” to assess the reliability of the database. But the
database is maintained and operated to satisfy the California Legislature’s purpose as expressed
in Megan’s Law and not for the purpose of necessarily satisfying U.S. Government Accountability
Office standards. From the DOJ’s perspective, the database is reliable because it accomplishes the
purposes for which it was created by California law.

4.	

BSA Report, Page 10. The report states that the BSA “tried to estimate the number of sex offenders
residing at licensed facilities by comparing the addresses of the licensed facilities in the databases
[REDACTED] with those of sex offenders registered in Justice’s database.” In the first sentence of the
next paragraph, BSA concludes, “we were unable to determine the precise number of facilities that
housed sex offenders.” Thus, we believe that the report could be improved with a more detailed
description of how the BSA’s estimates were determined.

7

5.	

BSA Report, Pages 10 and 11. The statement in the BSA Report that, “Justice’s database is not reliable [for
BSA’s purpose] because it contains outdated addresses, as sex offenders frequently fail to register or
update their addresses as required” requires clarification. It is true that some 290 Registrants fail to
comply with the registration and address update requirements of the law, which is in itself a crime.
(Cal. Penal Code, §§ 290.013,290.018.) But there is no information in the DOJ’s database regarding
290 Registrants that the DOJ knows to be outdated. As stated previously, the database is updated
daily and any known outdated information is promptly removed.

8

6.	

BSA Report, Page 11. The report states that “[w]e also identified instances in which the registered
addresses in Justice’s database for 45 sex offenders were the same as the official addresses of child
care facilities licensed by Social Services.” Before, the report states, “we confirmed that the addresses

5

6

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

55

April 2008

of 357 licensed residential care facilities matched the addresses of sex offenders registered in
Justice’s database.” It is unclear whether “child care facilities” is a sub‑set of “licensed residential care
facilities” or is in a completely separate category.
Regardless, the DOJ has examined its records and confirmed that of the 45 “matches” identified by
the BSA, the DOJ has no record that 43 were ever the subject of a DSS pre‑licensing inquiry for state
or national level criminal history search. Under California law, a criminal history search is required
as a condition “to operate or provide direct care services in a community care facility, foster family
home, or a certified family home of a licensed foster family agency.” (Health & Safety Code, § 1522.)
The DOJ promptly performs this search when requested, but the DOJ has no record that these
43 individuals were the subject of such a request. As to the remaining two (of the 45), the DOJ has
examined their specific circumstances and concluded it provided the necessary information to the
DSS as required by law.
	
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the preliminary report. We accept the offer in
your April 1, 2008 letter to have our comments included in the final report. If you have any questions,
please contact me, Bureau Chief Julie Basco at (916) 227‑3854 or Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Bedell
at (916) 322‑6103.
Sincerely,
(Signed by: Robert Alderette)
ROBERT ALDERETTE, Director
Office of Program Review and Audits

9

56

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Department of Justice
1300 I Street, Suite 1360
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
April 15, 2008
Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: 	

Audit of Section 290 Sex Offender Registrants

Dear Ms. Howle:
	
This letter responds to the supplemental draft report and recommendation of the Bureau of
State Audits (BSA) regarding Penal Code section 290 Registrants (290 Registrants) and facilities licensed by
the Department of Social Services (DSS). The statements and disclaimers contained in the Department of
Justice’s (DOJ) April 7, 2008 letter responding to the draft of the preliminary report apply with equal force to
this supplemental draft report. We comment as follows, although – as before - our response is necessarily
constrained because we lack access to all of the information examined by the BSA:

8

9

	
The supplemental report states that the BSA has “found instances in which the registered addresses
in Justice’s database for 49 sex offenders were the same as the official addresses of facilities licensed by
Social Services that serve children, such as family day care homes and foster family homes.” The initial
report states 45 such instances were identified, but the BSA has represented that four additional cases were
overlooked in the initial review because of human error. The BSA has stated that the 49 cases represent its
final conclusion.
	
The DOJ has examined its records and confirmed that of the 49 “matches” identified by the BSA,
the DOJ has no record that 46 were ever the subject of a DSS pre-licensing inquiry for state or national level
criminal history search. Under California law, a criminal history search is required as a condition “to operate
or provide direct care services in a community care facility, foster family home, or a certified family home of
a licensed foster family agency.” (Health & Safety Code, § 1522.) The DOJ promptly performs this search when
requested, but the DOJ has no record that a request was ever made for these 46 cases. As to the remaining
three (of the 49), the DOJ has examined each case’s specific circumstances and concluded it provided the
necessary information to the DSS in a timely manner as required by law.
	
The DOJ has actively worked with the DSS to satisfy the report’s recommendation that “Justice
should consult with Social Services to investigate those instances in which the registered addresses of sex
offenders were the same as these facilities.” The DOJ and DSS continue to cooperate with each other to find
a solution to the issue to protect the public and ensure the safety of every person at risk.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Elaine M. Howle
April 15, 2008
Page 2

	
Thank you again for the opportunity to respond to the supplemental draft report and
recommendation. As with the preliminary report, please include these comments in the final report. If you
have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Bureau Chief Julie Basco at (916) 227-3854 or Deputy
Attorney General Jeffrey Bedell at (916) 322-6103.
						

Sincerely,

						

(Signed by: Robert Alderette)

						
						

ROBERT ALDERETTE, Director
Office of Program Review and Audits

57

58

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Comments
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE
RESPONSE FROM THE Department Of Justice
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the
response to our audit report from the Department of Justice
(Justice). The numbers below correspond with the numbers we
placed in the margins of Justice’s response.
We revised the date to reflect the December 13, 2007 date. However,
we are disappointed that Justice did not take the opportunity to
bring this matter to our attention either during our exit conference
when we shared the related text with its officials or during the
five‑day agency review period.

1

While preparing our draft report for publication, page numbers
shifted. Therefore, the page numbers that Justice cites in
its response do not correspond to the page numbers in our
final report.

2

Our report discusses matters related to six separate state agencies.
As we informed Justice during the exit conference prior to its
agency review period, state law requires that we maintain the
confidentiality of the information related to the other agencies that
are subjects of the audit until the report is made public. Therefore,
we redacted the report to only reflect those areas that concerned
Justice in order to comply with the law.

3

We revised the sentence to remove the word generally.

4

We disagree with Justice’s characterization of our conclusion
related to its database. We do not merely purport to, but do
follow the standards established by the U.S. Government
Accountability Office, which requires us to assess the reliability of
computer‑processed data. Also, as we state on page 13 of the report,
the data from Justice’s sex offender registry were not sufficiently
reliable for our purposes because 5 percent of the registrants that
may be living in California communities have unknown addresses
and an additional 14 percent of the registrants were in violation of
requirements to annually update their registration information. We
did not analyze Justice’s database to determine, nor do we opine
anywhere in the report, whether it is reliable for all the purposes
for which it was created. Also, in completing our quality control
process, we renumbered Table 1, which Justice refers to in its
response as Table 2.

5

59

60

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

6

We are puzzled as to why Justice believes that we need to provide
a more detailed description of how we developed our estimates.
We clearly describe our methodology on page 19 of our report
and provide an example of the problems we encountered when
attempting to compare the addresses. Thus, we believe this clearly
describes why we were unable to determine the precise number of
facilities that housed sex offenders.

7

We made a slight revision to the sentence on page 19. It now
states, “Justice’s database is not sufficiently reliable for this purpose
because it may contain outdated addresses, as sex offenders
frequently fail to register or update their addresses as required.” This
is another instance when Justice did not take the opportunity to
bring this matter to our attention either during our exit conference
when we shared the related text with its officials or during the
agency review period.

8

In completing our quality control process, we identified four
additional sex offenders whose addresses in Justice’s database were
the same as the official addresses of facilities licensed to serve
children. Accordingly, we notified Justice and increased the number
from 45 to 49 in our report. We also added language to page 22 of
the report to clarify that the licensed facilities that serve children
are in addition to, and not a subset of the 352 residential facilities.

9

We appreciate that Justice has performed some research on those
sex offenders we identified as having the same address as a child
care facility. However, Justice did not address our comment that it
further investigate these instances and report to us the results of
its investigation. Accordingly, we have added a recommendation
on page 27 of the report advising Social Services and Justice to
investigate those instances we identified in which the registered
addresses of sex offenders were the same as the addresses of
facilities that serve children.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

61

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Social Services
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
April 7, 2008
Ms. Elaine M. Howle*
California State Auditor
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Ms. Howle:
The Department of Social Services (CDSS) is pleased to respond to the draft audit report, entitled
“Sex Offender Placement: State Laws Are Not Always Clear, and No One Formally Assesses the Impact Sex
Offended Placement Has on Local Communities”.
The Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) of CDSS is responsible for monitoring residential
out‑of‑home care facilities in which children and vulnerable adults who require care and supervision reside.
Residents in these facilities normally require assistance with activities of daily living skills, such as bathing,
grooming, dressing, meal preparation, assistance with medications and protective supervision. These
resident populations are generally aged, mentally disordered, or physically handicapped.
An individual who is a sex offender may be placed in one of these facilities if he or she requires that level of
care. The placement decision is not made by CDSS. It is either made by some other state or local entity or is
self-selected by the individual seeking services. The CCLD maintains data systems which track such things
as facility address, contact information, capacity, and background check information for staff. Our systems
do not track information related to specific residents in placement, including whether or not they are a
sex offender.
The CDSS does have comments on the language on page eleven which indicates: “In addition, although
state law requires Social Services to ensure that certain residential facilities are separated by a distance of
300 feet, according to department staff, neither Social Services nor ___ generally determine the actual
location of a facility.” We understand that sentence to indicate that CCLD is not involved in approving the
actual location of the facility within the local community.
As a clarification, the CCLD does enforce standards related to the 300 or more feet of separation for
certain residential facilities. When the 300 foot rule applies, the CCLD measures the distance between an
existing licensed facility and a proposed facility site to determine their proximity. The CCLD then notifies
the local planning authority of its findings and seeks approval from the local planning authority prior to
issuing a license. The 300 or more feet of separation between certain residential facilities is required by law
regardless of the types of clients served. In addition, local planning authorities have the authority to grant an
exemption to allow these facilities to be located closer than 300 feet of separation based upon local needs
and conditions.

*  California State Auditor’s comments appear on page 65.

1

62

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

2

To better clarify this section of the audit report the CDSS recommends that the Bureau of State Audits
replace this section of the report with the following language:
“In addition, state law requires Social Services to ensure that certain residential facilities are separated
by a distance of 300 feet. The 300 or more feet separation between certain residential facilities is
required by law regardless of the types of clients served. When the 300 foot rule applies, the CCLD
measures the distance between an existing licensed facility and a proposed facility site to determine
their proximity. The CCLD then notifies the local planning authority of their findings and seeks approval
from the local planning authority before issuing a license. Local planning authorities also have the
authority to grant an exemption to allow facilities to be located closer than 300 feet of separation
based upon local needs and conditions.”
The State Auditor recommends that CDSS work with other agencies to develop data base modifications that
will provide better methods for tracking individuals with sex offenses in residential facilities. We are willing to
explore ways that licensing information might be helpful in identifying sex offenders who reside in facilities
licensed by CCLD. However, it should be noted that implementing the auditor’s specific recommendation
may require additional resources depending on the data base enhancements necessary.
If you have any questions, I can be reached at (916) 657-2598 or your staff may contact Jo Frederick, Deputy
Director of the CCLD, at (916) 657-2346.
Sincerely,
(Signed by: John A. Wagner)
JOHN A. WAGNER
Director

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

63

April 2008

Department of Social Services
744 P Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
April 16, 2008
Ms. Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor
Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, California 95814
Dear Ms. Howle:
The Department of Social Services (CDSS) appreciates the opportunity to respond to information provided
in the draft audit report entitled, “Sex Offender Placement: State Laws Are Not Always Clear and No One
Formally Assesses the Impact Sex Offender Placement Has on Local Communities.”
As to our substantive concerns about the audit, a large portion of the audit comments on the fact that state
law lacks specific criteria for placing or housing registered adult sex offenders in the community. Although
the law may not be clear on rules or prohibitions for housing sex offenders in community settings, the law
is clear that an individual who is not a client of a CDSS licensed facility shall be required to obtain either
a criminal record clearance or a criminal record exemption from CDSS before his or her initial presence in a
licensed facility.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for notifying CDSS of the complete criminal record history
information, based on fingerprints submitted for adults working or residing in a facility seeking a license.
If CDSS finds that the license applicant or any individual who works or resides in a licensed facility (other
than the residential facility clients themselves) has been convicted of any crime, other than a minor traffic
violation, the license application shall be denied, unless the director grants an exemption. Subsequent
criminal conviction information may also result in a revocation of the license or exclusion of an individual
from the licensed facility. In addition, upon enrollment of their children in a licensed child day care facility, all
parents are notified by CDSS in the parents’ rights notification form of the sex offender registry website and
the parents may check the registry if they are further concerned with the neighborhood they have selected
for their child care.
The draft audit indicates that in reviewing the addresses of licensed facilities for children, the BSA discovered
46 resident address matches in a DOJ database for 49 registered sex offenders. Pursuant to the definition
provided in the audit draft, this would mean that 46 of the approximately 70,000 licensed facilities serving
children could be compromised. This type of information is always of significant concern to the CDSS and
requires us to take immediate action.
In this instance we were first informed by BSA of the match results on April 9, 2008 during an exit
conference. During the exit conference we requested the names and address that resulted from the
match in order to initiate immediate investigations. We followed this verbal request with a letter dated
April 10, 2008. BSA indicated that they could not release the information to CDSS without the approval of
the DOJ. As soon as the Department was supplied with complete names and addresses by the DOJ of the
49 sex offenders on the morning of April 14th, we immediately identified each facility in question and began
assessing the accuracy of the information provided.

3

4

64

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Ms Elaine M. Howle
Page Two

We visited every facility to determine if in fact the sex offender did reside at the facility location, or if there
was another reason for the address match. If a person convicted of serious sex offenses is determined to be
working or residing in a licensed facility where care is provided to a child, immediate action is being taken to
exclude this individual and potentially revoke the license of the caregiver.

5

The inability for this Department to immediately have access to critical information such as this is of great
concern to CDSS, as I’m sure it is to BSA and DOJ. When anyone determines that there is a high likelihood
that a convicted sex offender is in a position to have access to children in a licensed family day care home, or
other licensed child care facility, every effort should be made to immediately communicate this information
to the CDSS Community Care Licensing Division for investigation. I would like to work with your office and
DOJ to ensure that information of this nature and sensitivity be shared with CDSS immediately in order that
we may undertake the required investigations to ensure child health and safety. To the extent that the law
is vague I suggest we jointly pursue clarifications to ensure that both the BSA and DOJ can provide CDSS
apporopriate and sufficient access to information to undertake investigations.
We also suggest the following changes be made to the audit recommendation:
To ensure that registered adult sex offenders who have been convicted of non-exemptible crimes
are not residing in licensed facilities that serve children, Justice should provide consult with Social
Services with the appropriate identifying information to enable the Department to investigate those
instances in which the registered addresses of sex offenders were the same as child care or foster
care these facilities. If necessary, Justice and Social Services should seek statutory changes that would
permit Justice to release identifying information to Social Services so that the Department may
investigate any matches.
If you have any questions about our comments, please contact me at (916) 657-2598 or your staff may
contact Jo Frederick, Deputy Director, Community Care Licensing Division, at (916) 657-2346.
Sincerely,
(Signed by: John A. Wagner)
JOHN A.WAGNER
Director

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Comments
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE
RESPONSE FROM THE Department of Social Services
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the
response to our audit report from the Department of Social
Services (Social Services). The numbers below correspond with the
numbers we placed in the margins of Social Services’ response.
While preparing our draft report for publication, page numbers
shifted. Therefore, the page number that Social Services cites
in its response does not correspond to the page number in our
final report.

1

We appreciate Social Services’ additional comments and
suggestions. However, we have not altered the related text on
page 19 because we believe that the existing text is clear and this
additional language is not necessary to illustrate our point.

2

Social Services is inaccurate when it states “…the BSA discovered
46 resident address matches in a DOJ database for 49 registered
sex offenders.” In both the draft we shared with Social Services and
on page 22 of the final report, we state, “…the registered addresses
in Justice’s database for 49 sex offenders were the same as the
official addresses of facilities licensed by Social Services that serve
children.” We have no knowledge of the number “46” that Social
Services cites in its response.

3

As of the public issuance date of the report, we have received no
written request from Social Services dated April 10, 2008. Further,
on the advice of our legal counsel, we did not release the details
of the data matches to Social Services because Justice raised
significant concerns about the confidentiality of information in its
database. Instead, because Justice had not given us authority to
release information from its database to Social Services, we referred
the request to Justice.

4

We recognize and support the need for Social Services to
undertake required investigations to ensure child health and safety.
However, if Social Services and the Department of Justice (Justice)
believe it is necessary to clarify the law to allow Social Services
access to the information in Justice’s database at certain times,
they should do so. However, we believe it is the responsibility
of these two departments to determine whether the law needs
clarification and, if so, to obtain that clarification. Finally, we
revised our recommendation to include certain changes Social
Services suggested.

5

65

66

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
1700 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95811-4037
April 7, 2008
Ms. Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor
Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Your Report #2007-115 – Sex Offender Placement
Dear Ms. Howle:
This responds to your draft report, as provided to us through Secretary Belshé’s office.
The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) does not find any material inaccuracies and has no
material disagreements with the substance of your report. The draft we were provided was significantly
redacted. We understand your obligation to do that and trust that the redacted matter does not directly
concern ADP.
ADP is willing to cooperate with other agencies to enhance the compatibility of our data systems, but would
need to assess potential resource needs related to system changes.
ADP would like to thank you for the courteous and professional performance of your staff on this audit, and
for the opportunity to comment on your draft report.
Very truly yours,
(Signed by: Morgan L. Staines)
Morgan L. Staines
Chief Counsel

67

68

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Developmental Services
1600 Ninth Street, Room 240, MS 2-13
Sacramento, CA 95814
April 7, 2008

Ms. Elaine M. Howle
State Auditor
California State Auditor
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Ms. Howle:
Response to April 1, 2008, Draft Bureau of State Audits’ Report
Regarding Sex Offender Placement
Thank you for providing the Department of Developmental Services (Department) with an opportunity
to participate in the above-mentioned audit. The placement of sex offenders in the community is a very
important issue to the Department.
The Department contracts with regional centers which provide services to and collect information
from persons with developmental disabilities (consumers) on a voluntary basis. The regional centers are
contractually obligated to: 1) determine whether each newly eligible consumer over the age of 16 years
is listed on the Megan’s Law Web Site as a sex offender and appropriately reflect that information in the
consumer’s record; and 2) comply with the law as it relates to the placement of sex offenders.
In order to ensure that the Department has the most accurate information that it can legally obtain about
the consumers served by the regional centers, the Department contracted in May 2005 and January 2008
with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to perform data matches between the Megan’s Law public database
and the Department’s database of active consumers over the age of 16 years. The list of names generated
from the data matches were then verified by the regional centers to ensure accuracy. By confirming such
information, the Department acquired the most relevant information in order to most appropriately serve
the State’s interests.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide our comments. Should you have any questions or need additional
information on this subject matter, please contact Rita Walker, Deputy Director, Community Operations
Division, at (916) 654-1958.
Sincerely,
(Signed by: Mark Hutchinson for)
TERRI DELGADILLO
Director

69

70

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

71

April 2008

(Agency response provided as text only.)
Department of Mental Health
1600 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
April 7, 2008

Elaine M. Howle, State Auditor*
Bureau of State Audits
555 Capitol Mall, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Ms. Howle:
Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment in response to your confidential draft report entitled,
“Sex Offender Placement: State Laws Are Not Always Clear, and No One Formally Assesses the Impact Sex
Offender Placement Has On Local Communities.”
We have reviewed the report, and offer the following suggested edit which will clarify the role that
Department of Mental Health evaluators have in community placement.
On page 6 of 16 (last paragraph), your report currently reads, “Based on the evaluation, Mental Health makes
a recommendation to commit with the county where the inmate was convicted of the offense.”

1

To be accurate, the report should read, “The DMH evaluators are responsible for determining if the person
meets the legal criterion of a Sexually Violent Predator under the law. The evaluations and determinations
are then submitted to the local District Attorney for determination of pursing a commitment.”

2

If you have any questions regarding this language, please contact Ms. Cynthia Radavsky, Deputy Director for
Long Term Care Services at (916) 654-2413.
Sincerely,
(Signed by: Sean Tracy)
SEAN TRACY
Special Projects Manager II
Director’s Office

*  California State Auditor’s comments appear on page 73.

72

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Blank page inserted for reproduction purposes only.

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

Comments
CALIFORNIA STATE AUDITOR’S COMMENTS ON THE
RESPONSE FROM THE Department of Mental Health
To provide clarity and perspective, we are commenting on the
response to our audit report from the Department of Mental Health
(Mental Health). The numbers below correspond with the numbers
we placed in the margins of Mental Health’s response.
While preparing our draft report for publication, page numbers
shifted. Therefore, the page numbers that Mental Health cites
in its response do not correspond to the page numbers in our
final report.

1

We do not agree with Mental Health’s suggested text change.
Specifically, the California Welfare and Institutions Code,
Section 6601(h), states that Mental Health’s director shall forward a
request for a petition to be filed for commitment to the designated
county. Further, Section 6601(i) states that if the county’s
designated counsel concurs with the recommendation, a petition
for commitment shall be filed in the superior court of the county.
Therefore, we have not altered the text in our report.

2

73

74

California State Auditor Report 2007-115

April 2008

cc:	
	
	
	
	
	
	
	
	
	
	
	

Members of the Legislature
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Milton Marks Commission on California State
Government Organization and Economy
Department of Finance
Attorney General
State Controller
State Treasurer
Legislative Analyst
Senate Office of Research
California Research Bureau
Capitol Press

 

 

Stop Prison Profiteering Campaign Ad 2
Advertise Here 2nd Ad
Prisoner Education Guide side