The latest audit from the non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau examined the state’s supervised release program, which allows sexually violent individuals who have been civilly committed to live in the community under the custody of the Department of Health Services. The LAB audit found DHS was spending more money administering the program than the Department of Corrections was spending on a similar program, and identified additional procedures that could be put in place to ensure DHS is able to find suitable housing for persons in the supervised release program that is not near victims.
The Joint Audit Committee discussed the results of the audit at its most recent hearing. It also voted to audit the GAB.
In the audit, LAB makes several recommendations to reduce the cost of supervised release and improve the placement and victim notification processes:
- Establish written policies to identify potential residences for individuals authorized for supervised release and the factors that should be considered;
- Contact the DOJ Office or the relevant victim and witness coordinator before an individual is placed on supervised release to attempt to obtain contact information for the individual’s victim or the victim’s family;
- Take steps to reduce the cost of housing individuals on supervised release, including attempting to identify additional firms willing to purchase and rent residences and attempting to negotiate leases;
- Take steps to reduce the cost of monitoring and transporting individuals on supervised release;
- Report on options for facilitating the discharge of individuals on supervised release who may no longer meet the statutory criteria for civil commitment but who are unwilling to file discharge petitions with circuit courts.