Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
2017 Wisconsin Act 184 modified the procedure for determining the placement of a sexually violent person on supervised release. One change eliminated the ability of the court to choose a county other than the person’s county of residence to prepare a report identifying appropriate residential options for the person. Prior law had allowed the court, with good cause, to choose another county. The effect of this change was that the person could not be placed in a county that was not his or her county of residence. The changes made in 2017 Wisconsin Act 184 applied to any petition for supervised release pending as of March 30, 2018. This bill clarifies that a petition for supervised release was pending if the person had not been physically placed in a residence on supervised release.
This bill also requires the Department of Health Services to identify any person on supervised release whose residence is not in his or her county of residence and who had been physically placed in a residence on supervised release on or after March 30, 2018. If DHS identifies any such person, DHS must notify the court, and the court must revoke the person’s supervised release and order the person’s county of residence to prepare a new report.
Under 2017 Wisconsin Act 184, a county was required to prepare its report for the court within 180 days of the court order if the order was made on or after March 30, 2018, and before April 1, 2019, and within 120 days if the order was made on or after April 1, 2019. If the county failed to prepare its report in that time frame, the county would violate the person’s rights as a patient and would be subject to enforcement and damages for each violation. This bill eliminates the shortening of the time frame beginning on April 1, 2019, so that a county is required to prepare its report for the court within 180 days of the court order. This bill also allows a county, if it fails to prepare its report within 180 days, to request that the court make a finding that the county is making a good faith effort to prepare the report, and, if the court makes such a finding, the county is not subject to enforcement and damages.
Under current law, when a sexually violent person is placed on supervised
release, he or she may not be placed within 1,500 feet of a school, child care facility, place of worship, park, youth center, or other specified places. Under the bill, the county must consider the proximity of the placement to the places specified under current law, but the bill removes the exact distance.