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									Chapter 980 - Sexually Violent Person Commitments
Chapter 980 of the Wisconsin Statutes, Sexually Violent Person Commitments, creates a civil commitment procedure to provide treatment and protect the public after a person’s criminal or juvenile commitment ends. The information below is intended to briefly describe the process within the Division of Juvenile Corrections to assess whether a sex offender placed in a state juvenile correctional institution (JCI) should be referred for possible commitment under Ch. 980 prior to the youth’s release or discharge from a JCI, and what happens after a referral is recommended. Initial Identification Process Review of Dispositional Order -- The treatment specialist or social worker reviews the dispositional order to determine if the youth committed an offense listed under Chapter 980 as mandatory offense or if the offense is one that may be determined to have been sexually motivated. [Table: Offenses Requiring DNA, Sex Offender Registry or Ch. 980 Evaluation] Youth identified as being potentially eligible for commitment under Ch. 980 undergo a mandatory review prior to consideration for release or discharge. Programming for Youth -- During the initial assessment period, staff consisting of the treatment specialist, SSOP social worker, A&E social worker and clinical services staff review Chapter 980 youth to determine the appropriate sex offender program for the youth. Sexually Violent Persons Act Committee -- The Sexually Violent Persons Act Committee (SVPC) includes the chief psychologist, section manager, treatment specialist, treatment social workers and primary clinical therapist. Other staff such as education staff, youth counselors and consultants may be added for a more thorough evaluation of the youth’s behavior and progress. Role of OJOR -- The Office of Juvenile Offender Review (OJOR) has the ultimate authority and responsibility for decisions to release youth from JCIs. The OJOR reviewer may request the SVPC to screen a Chapter 980 youth by writing a memorandum indicating that he or she is considering making the youth eligible for release. Also, SVPC screens youth within statutorily-required time frames, making information available to OJOR for decision-making. Review and Recommendation SVPC Review -- All potentially eligible Chapter 980 youth must be reviewed by the SVPC prior to the youth’s departure from the JCI. SVPC generally does not clear a youth for placement on community supervision until he or she has successfully completed sex offender treatment. OJOR may request that SVPC review a youth prior to his or her completion of treatment. Review may be necessary due to the approaching expiration date. The SVPC reviews a case as early as 150 days, but no later than 120 days prior to a youth’s anticipated date of departure from the JCI. SVPC considers the following information among other relevant factors:

DOC/DJC -- 5-10-05

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Committing offense(s) Prior offense(s) Family and social history Prior treatment interventions Risk factors Youth’s progress in SSOP

SVPC Recommendation -- The SVPC assesses whether a youth appears to meet the statutory criteria for a sexually violent person; i.e., whether the youth is dangerous because he or she has a mental disorder making it likely that the youth will engage in future acts of sexual violence. SVPC makes one of the following recommended findings: 1. Youth does not meet criteria In these cases, the chief psychologist prepares a memorandum documenting the recommendation, and a SSOP staff member completes a treatment summary. When OJOR makes the youth eligible for release, DJC informs the district attorney and attorney general by forwarding a notice of release and the Ch. 980 packet that includes the following:  Youth’s name and identifying factors  Anticipated release date and future residence  Offense history  Documentation of treatment  Documentation of institutional adjustment 2. Youth requires further evaluation For these youth, the chief psychologist assigns a clinical staff person to conduct a thorough psychological evaluation. The psychologist must inform the youth of the purpose of the evaluation and the right to refuse to participate. The evaluation includes a review of all available data such as police reports, victim statements, prior offenses, input from SSOP staff and other pertinent information. The evaluation generally includes the use of screening tools and also relies on clinical judgement. The psychologist sends the report to the OJOR reviewer as many as 120 days, but no later than 45 days, prior to the youth’s possible release, transfer, expiration or discharge. After the psychological evaluation, the report may reach one of three conclusions. What happens next depends on which conclusion is reached. 2A. Youth has a mental disorder making it likely that he or she will reoffend.  OJOR reviewer forwards the psychological evaluation, the SVPC report and the youth’s file material to DJC Central Office, from which it’s forwarded to the Secretary.  DOC Secretary signs and sends a referral letter to the Attorney General’s office with copies to the district attorney in the committing county and the JCI social worker.

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The Attorney General and/or district attorney may file a motion for commitment under Chapter 980. If a motion is filed, the probable cause hearing is scheduled within 72 hours of the youth’s expiration date.


Youth does not meet the criteria by having a mental disorder making it likely that he or she will re-offend.  OJOR reviewer forwards the psychological evaluation, the SVPC reports and the youth’s file material to OJOR-CO.  OJOR-CO forwards a notice of release letter to the district attorney with a copy of the Ch. 980 packet. It is not possible to determine to a reasonable degree of psychological certainty whether a youth is likely to sexually re-offend in the future.  In cases where release is not imminent, the SVPC members may find that the youth has not yet progressed in the SSOP to a point that permits the SVPC to reach a decision. In such cases, the SVPC writes a memo explaining their concerns to the OJOR reviewer.  The SVPC chairperson consults with the OJOR reviewer and/or assistant administrator regarding the case. OJOR or the SVPC may request further evaluation of the youth.


After Referral to DOJ The Department of Justice or local district attorney files a petition in civil court asking that the youth be committed as a sexually violent person. The petition may be filed in the committing county, the county where the person intends to reside after discharge, or, if filed by DOJ, in Dane County. The court may order the person detained in a DHFS-approved facility or jail pending the probable cause hearing. The law [s. 980.04 (2)] provides that a probable cause hearing be held on the petition within 72 hours after the petition is filed, excluding weekends and holidays, unless the person named in the petition waives the time limit. The youth remains in the custody of the Department of Health and Family Services during the 980 proceedings. Generally a youth who agrees to receive treatment during this time will be transferred to the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston; otherwise he is retained at the Wisconsin Resource Center in Winnebago.

DOC-DJC -- 5-10-05


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