Board of Parole Hearings
Sexually Violent Predator Unit

Pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code ยง6601, the Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) Unit reviews the background and history of inmates to identify those likely to be sexually violent predators. If the SVP Unit determines the inmate has a qualifying conviction of a specific, violent sexual crime, involving at least one victim, the case is referred to the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for clinical evaluations. If DMH determines the inmate is a sexually violent predator, the case is referred to county District Attorneys, who may petition the courts for civil commitment to receive treatment provided by DMH.

If the District Attorney does not petition the court for civil commitment, the inmate is released to parole, where treatment in a community facility is often a condition of parole.

The Jessica's Law Initiative, Proposition 83, titled "The Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act: Jessica's Law" was passed by California voters on November 8, 2006, and went into effect the following day provides crucial enhancement to current laws and policies in detection, tracking, apprehension and increased penalties for specified sex offenses of sexual offenders. Jessica's Law, as it pertains to SVP case screening, modified the commitment criteria, by expanding the number of crimes which qualify and requiring only one conviction and one victim.