Virginia State Police Sex Offender Registry Quietly Adds New Search Criteria in 2017 After July 2016 FOIA Inquiry
weeks ago my husbandsnew VSP Trooper stopped by for one of the two (per VA
law) unannounced VSP Residency checks. His original VSP Trooper was promoted
and we were assigned another Trooper instead of a VSP Compliance Officer. I
personally believe he’s assigned Troopers instead of CO’s because of my public
advocacy, but maybe not.
could tell the Trooper was holding back on asking me or rather telling me
something so I invited him inside our house instead of the typical 2-minute simple
chit-chat on the front porch.
the 10 maybe 15 minute conversation about my advocacy, legislative proposals
and yearly battles/barriers with VSP Legislative Liaisons/Representatives at
the VA GA sessions the Trooper made some key comments that I’ve decided he was
instructed to say to me. He also seemed to have established a belief that
nothing I’ve asked for over the years is reasonable or will ever be accomplished.
is about one of the points I discussed with the Trooper.
explaining the 4-Level/Tiered Risk-Based Classification system
proposal to him I pointed out that the public can not decipher who the civilly
committed SVP’s (both past and present) are. That Virginia commits these folks
based on their risk but today’s VSP Registry classification system is based on
their conviction so if they are released back into the community a previously
committed RSO who was convicted of rape is classified exactly the same as
someone who was never committed as an SVP but has a conviction of rape. That’s
when the Trooper told me you can now search the VSP Registry by those who are
currently civilly committed. My reply to him was “that’s because of me”, he
looked at me with serious doubt. He believed that improvement originated within
year ago I filed a FOIA with the Virginia State Police.
On July 6, 2016 I submitted this request
to the VSP:
This email is a FOIA submission
about the State Polices annual “Monitoring
Sex Offenders” Report.
From 2009 to 2016 these VSP
Reports have divided up the Registered Sex Offender totals/counts into 3
2.Under VA-DOC supervision
3.Under VSP supervision
I would like to know:
Which of these 3 groups does the VSP place the civilly committed SVP’s
who are housed at the VirginiaCenter for Behavioral
Rehabilitation (VCBR) in Burkeville?
On July 12, 2016 I received this reply:
residing at the VCBR were included in the “incarcerated” field for purposes of
the report.Please be advised that VSP
is in the process of changing these offenders web page from displaying
“incarcerated” to displaying “civilly committed”.Once this is complete, we may consider adding
a fourth category to the annual report.
I hope this
information has been helpful.
the annual January 1, 2017 VSP SO Monitoring
Report came out I expected to see a new category of civilly
committed but there wasn’t one, I decided to circle back with the VSP.
On January 10, 2017 I sent this email:
Back in July I sent you an
inquiry about the SVP population at the VCBR and the annual VSP Report, where
did this population fall.
Your reply stated that the VSP was currently working
on an update and that the next annual VSP Report might have a 4th category.
1.In the 2017 Report which group do
the civilly committed SVP's fall into?
2.Are there still plans to separate
the SVP's into a 4th category for the 2018 Report or not?
I look forward to hearing from you.
On January 12, 2017 I received this reply:
We recently added
“civilly committed” to the search page and the VCBR offenders web pages now
reflect “civilly committed” rather than “incarcerated”. This
functionality was not complete when we were compiling statistics for the 2016
Annual Report. We do anticipate adding the additional field for those
civilly committed next year.
I trust this
information has been of assistance.
this category now be an option on the VSP Registry if I had not submitted a
FOIA last July?
Virginia needs a 4-Tier/Level Risk Based
Classification system, period.
commitment after an incarceration term has been served, justice? That’s a
debate for another day.
long as Virginia civilly commits some RSO’s as Sexually Violent Predators
(SVP’s) claiming they are the worst-of-the-worst and the most likely to
re-offend then once they are released back into the communities they should be
flagged as an SVP.
risk-assessments perfect or full-proof? No, but they are the best tool we have
currently and they are an additional step that conviction-alone doesn’t
Especially sine more than 94% of criminal cases in VA are settled with a plea to a lesser charge.
I know some
of you and probably every formerly committed SVP is going to disagree with me
on this and that’s your right. But the Sex Offender Registries were originally
supposed to list ONLY the worst-of-the-worst and Virginia’s SVP civil commitment is based on
risk NOT on just the conviction so allowing SVP’s to be mixed in under the
classification of Violent (83% of the entire VSP Registry) makes absolutely no
sense. Mixing SVP’s in with consensual offenses, juveniles and non-contact
offenses is absurd.
advocate for a Smarter Registry based on data-driven practices and that means classifications
based on risk and SVP’s are evaluated by risk (unlike the rest of the VSP
Registry) so SVP’s should be their own category, period.