RD505 - Sexually Violent Predator Referrals, Commitments, and Bed Utilization Forecast for FY 2017 – FY 2022
The six-year census growth forecast is critical to plan for the future resources needed to ensure there is adequate capacity to address census growth at the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation (VCBR). VCBR is currently the only Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) facility designated for the treatment of individuals committed as sexually violent predators (SVPs). The facility has a maximum bed capacity of 450, with 150 single occupancy rooms (as they were originally designed) and 150 double occupancy rooms with bunk beds. Currently, one of the most pressing issues is the availability of beds at VCBR to provide secure confinement and treatment for individuals committed to the custody of DBHDS. The 2016 forecast anticipates that maximum census at VCBR will be reached in FY 2020 (see Table 1).
Through a concerted effort to increase discharges from VCBR to the sexually violent predator (SVP) conditional release program (see Table 2), the date at which VCBR is expected to reach capacity has been delayed approximately 18-24 months later than the 2015 forecast.
However, DBHDS is closely monitoring this trend and is concerned about the sustainability of this rate of census reduction. Chief among the reasons for DBHDS’ caution is that the rate of SVP conditional release failures, resulting in revocation-admissions to VCBR, is also increasing. In Virginia there are two main pathways to conditional release: 1) After having been found by the court to be an SVP, the court can order conditional release if it finds the individual to meet the criteria for being an SVP but also finds the individual does not require secure confinement and treatment; or 2) After having been found by the court to be an SVP and after having been subsequently committed to the custody of VCBR for secure confinement and treatment, the court may subsequently order conditional release when it finds the individual no longer requires secure confinement. When a court finds individuals no longer requires secure confinement, it is often due to having progressed in treatment to the degree they are deemed safe to be released to the community. Data collected on conditional releases are clearly demonstrating some individuals released to conditional release (either from VCBR or directly from the Department of Corrections (DOC) following their sentences) violate the conditions of their release to the degree that the court determines secure confinement and treatment are once again necessary. These revocations and subsequent readmissions contribute to the census demand at VCBR. (See Table 3).
An additional caution concerning the census reduction are clinical decisions made to match new admissions appropriately with the right type of bed. Individuals must be carefully placed in beds and units to best match their physical abilities and risk of institutional sexual violence. For example, individuals with certain physical disabilities are unable to use an upper bunk or climb stairs to second floor rooms. Also, VCBR attempts to avoid placing individuals with a high risk of sexual offending with those of low risk. These factors limit VCBR’s flexibility to assign beds and consequently could result in the facility reaching its maximum capacity before FY 2020.