Assault and battery; includes certain employees of DBHDS, penalty. (HB1751)

Introduced By

Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Crimes; assault and battery. Includes an employee or other individual who provides control, care, or treatment of sexually violent predators committed to the custody of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services within the enhanced penalty provision of the assault and battery section. Read the Bill »

Status

02/20/2013: Passed the Senate

History

DateAction
01/08/2013Committee
01/08/2013Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13101369D
01/08/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2013Impact statement from VCSC (HB1751)
01/22/2013Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
01/23/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 1-N)
01/23/2013Subcommittee recommends referring to Committee on Appropriations
01/24/2013Impact statement from DPB (HB1751)
01/25/2013Reported from Courts of Justice (17-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2013Referred to Committee on Appropriations
01/29/2013Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
01/31/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
02/01/2013Reported from Appropriations (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/02/2013Read first time
02/04/2013Read second time and engrossed
02/05/2013Read third time and passed House (99-Y 1-N)
02/05/2013VOTE: PASSAGE (99-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2013Constitutional reading dispensed
02/06/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/08/2013Constitutional reading dispensed
02/08/2013Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/13/2013Reported from Courts of Justice (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/13/2013Rereferred to Finance
02/18/2013Reported from Finance with amendment (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/19/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2013Read third time
02/20/2013Reading of amendment waived
02/20/2013Committee amendment agreed to
02/20/2013Engrossed by Senate as amended
02/20/2013Passed Senate with amendment (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/20/2013Placed on Calendar
02/21/2013Senate amendment rejected by House (1-Y 93-N)
02/21/2013VOTE: REJECTED (1-Y 93-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Senate insisted on amendment (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/21/2013Senate requested conference committee
02/21/2013House acceded to request
02/21/2013Conferees appointed by Senate
02/21/2013Senators: Reeves, Garrett, Marsh
02/21/2013Conferees appointed by House
02/21/2013Delegates: Miller, Habeeb, Dance
02/23/2013No further action taken
02/23/2013Failed to pass in House

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 2 minutes.

Comments

Mary Devoy writes:

Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services employees are not judges, law enforcement officers, DOC employees, etc. They are civilians!

If this bill was intended to protect all DBHDS employees then it would not specifically call-out Sexually Violent Predators, it would apply to all facilities which care for children, adults with substance abuse and intellectual disabilities. But, it’s only for employees of the VCBR, hmmmmmm.

SVP’s are NOT prisoners; they are patients per the State and for civil commitment to remain Constitutional.
The Commonwealth goes to great extents to claim these men have a mental disorder and are unable to control themselves. Even though the Psychiatry field does not believe there is a medical condition that needs treatment under the Criminal Justice System’s guise of Sexually Violent Predator civil commitment.

Any young, gay man who hasn’t “lived” with a lover for more than 2 years and has one sexual conviction can be considered an SVP by the state of Virginia, per the Static-99 assessment tool.

To overly charge the SVP’s of the VCBR with an enhanced penalty of assault when the state claims they aren’t able to control themselves and that’s why they need to be “locked up for treatment” is asinine!

In the end the state just wants to keep them locked up for as long as possible, treatment and curing them is NOT the goal. Civil commitment cost 3-4 times that of prison and there are a limited number of beds. The November 2011 JLARC report has been completely ignored by the Virginia Legislature and Governor, none of the recommendations have been done. But bills like this keep rolling in. If the state can claim the SVP assaulted a employee of the VCBR and then charge them with an enhanced penalty so they go back to a VA prison, then the state’s got more time to keep control of them and their saving money, Cha-ching!

If civilian employees of the VCBR get special protection then every employee in Virginia that gets assaulted by a boss, co-worker or customer/client should get the same protection.

Mary Devoy writes:

Marked, registered and transferred to a space outside society but within the law.
In the last 20 years we’ve made our laws harsher and our standards of guilt easier and yet we seem surprised at the increase in our prison population. There aren’t more rapists and molesters than 20 years ago; we continue to lower the threshold of what is defined as a crime. The rapidly expanding population of SVP’s and the Virginia Registry reflects this.

If the Virginia Attorney General’s Office is going to claim in court these men are mentally incapable of controlling themselves then the State cannot now claim these men know better than to assault an employee and charge them with a felony, for doing so. If this is the States position on the residents of the VCBR then the line between mental patient and prisoner is not just blurred but it is being redefined and the Constitutionality of the entire program could be challenged.

Are they unstable and uncontrollable patients that the State needs to treat or are they people whom the State wants to indefinitely incarcerate without additional expense?

If the latter is the goal then civil commitment looses all credibility in Virginia.