RD623 - Sexually Violent Predator Screening Protocol Report 2020 – December 1, 2020
Pursuant to the Code of Virginia §37.2-903, staff from the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services (DBHDS) and the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC) have collaborated to develop a report that reviews data related to the screening of Sexually Violent Predators (SVPs) in Virginia. This report includes data for calendar year 2020 and the six calendar years prior. The information included in this report is based on historical data collected by the Department of Corrections (DOC) Sex Offender Screening and Assessment (SOSA) Unit and reflects the number of offenders screened by the SOSA Unit, determined by the DOC to be SVP eligible, forwarded to the Commitment Review Committee (CRC) for further review and adjudicated as SVPs.
On July 1, 2018, an updated screening protocol went into effect to identify DOC offenders who may be found by the court to meet SVP criteria. This protocol, approved by both the Director and the Commissioner, uses the Static 99R actuarial assessment tool and individualized mitigating and aggravating characteristics identified in current research as relative to the risk of sexually violent re-offending.
Overall, a review of the data for the past six years appears to show that the protocol has been successful in reducing the percentage of offenders who are referred to the CRC and has improved the DOC’s accuracy in identifying individuals who may meet the criteria for SVP. This is evidenced by a decrease in the percentage of offenders referred to the CRC and an increase in the percentage of offenders evaluated who were ultimately adjudicated as SVPs when compared to the previous protocol. While there has been a reduction in the overall number of individuals who have been found SVP, that appears to be due to a reduction in the number of SVP eligible individuals being released from the DOC and is not related to the protocol.