Public Comment To Washington State Attorney General’s Office

Supporters of WSPS,

Rep. Kilduff (WA-28th) has formally requested an Attorney General Opinion addressing releases and less restrictive alternative placements of involuntarily committed persons into the community, like the sexually violent predators (SVPs) living on Viking Way in Poulsbo. The formal request letter can be found here and the Office of Attorney General is seeking public input until August 29, 2019.

Please join in providing written comments in writing by:

1. Notifying the Attorney General of your intent to comment by August 29, 2019 by sending a notice of intent to comment to: opinioncomments@atg.wa.gov

2. Send your official comment to: Office of the Attorney General, Solicitor General Division

Attention: Jeff Even, Deputy Solicitor General

P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, Washington 98504-0100;

or emailing opinioncomments@atg.wa.gov.

WSPS intends to file comment and include that:

  • SVPS are excluded from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA ) and do not qualify as a protected class under the fair housing act guidelines
  • Local governments should be afforded involvement in LRA placements for public safety
  • State government should be afforded their right to create laws to enhance public safety and regulate less restrictive alternative placements
  • Assert that the state laws governing the LRAs for SVPs are inadequate and need to be changed
  • Please also take a moment to include personal feelings of safety or lack thereof

The Attorney General’s Opinion will have a narrow focus of responding to Representative Kilduff’s questions, specifically, in providing a legal analysis of existing laws.

The WSPS comments to the Attorney General can be downloaded from the following link: WashingtonStateForPublicSafety_PublicCommentTo-AG.pdf

WSPS Again Covered in Kitsap Daily News

Further coverage of WSPS can be found in a new article in the Kitsap Daily News. Read it here.

Lawsuit Filed March 20, 2019

Donate now to help fund the legal battle. WSPS needs your support!

Cross Sound Law on the behalf of Washington State for Public Safety, filed a lawsuit against Tim and Lisa Calnan (owners of the Sexually Violent Predator residence known as Poulsbo House), Westsound Support Services and Kitsap Tenant Support Services as they are unwilling to comply with the Kitsap County final type 1 decision of violation of current zoning ordinances to cease operations.

The Complaint filed by WSPS can be found here.

WSPS had hoped that West Sound Support Services, Kitsap Tenant Support Services and Tim and Lisa Calnan would, in the best interest of the community, voluntarily comply with the county’s decision. Unfortunately they did not, forcing WSPS and the community members it represents to follow through with litigation to close the Poulsbo House.

The County Needs Your Input!

WSPS representatives recently met with County officials to discuss questions and concerns voiced by the community regarding the new Ordinances. Due to the scope and complexity of these matters (a more expansive briefing can be found here.) the County has asked for public comment online in advance of the March 25th meeting in Port Orchard.

Please share your feelings with the County (be sure to read the FAQ first), and show your support by attending the March 25th meeting. Links are included below.

Additional links to the County Ordinance, the Zoning Map, the FAQ and the Online Comment form can also be found here.

KING 5 Covers WSPS and the Poulsbo House

Some great coverage of WSPS and Poulsbo House from KING 5 News. View the full video here.

A message from Director Benson to local mayors.

Based off the Kitsap County Department of Community Development issuing a final type 1 decision stating that the property used by WSS was in violation of Title 17 of the Kitsap County Zoning Code for un-permitted use in rural residential zoning, it has become imperative that WSPS and citizens work with local officials and their city governments across the county to create similar ordinances. To that end WSPS sent the following to the mayors within Kitsap County.

Kitsap Sun further covers WSPS & the Commissioners’ decision

The Kitsap Sun has covered the County decision in a very good article. Read it here.

Kitsap County Declares Poulsbo House Violates Code!

A huge win for WSPS! The county has stated that the Poulsbo House violates the local Zoning Ordinances and must cease operation. WSS may appeal, but unless they successfully do so, the Poulsbo House must close! Find the entire Kitsap Daily News article here.

We should be cautious in our optimism, though. Here is a statement from Executive Director Benson:

“Many of you may have already heard the news that today the Kitsap County Department of Community Development have notified Timothy and Lisa Calnan, Phil Havers, Westsound Support Services and Alan Frey that the SVP residence known as Poulsbo House on Viking Way is in violation of Title 17 Kitsap County Zoning Code for maintaining an unpermitted use, a LRA facility with enhanced services for sexually violent predators in a real residential zone.
However, we must be cautiously optimistic— Calnan’s, Westsound Support Services and Alan Frey have 14 days to appeal this decision. At this time it is unknown if they will willingly comply. If not, WSPS is still prepared to file suit. If they comply, it will not happen overnight—it will take some time to relocate the SVPs. The county will be working with them to facilitate the process. 
Washington State for Public Safety, and the community thanks the county and the Kitsap County Commissioners and other local officials for listening to, and acting in the best interests of the community as a whole. We are proud that our community and our local elected officials have set a precedence for the entire state. Thank you to all.”

Dori Monson Covers WSPS!

A huge win for raising awareness! MyNorthwest.com and Dori Monson cover the irregularities of the “Poulsbo House” and the costs and dangers of the Level III SVPs.

Listen to Dori’s coverage here. The story starts at 18:33. Additionally the fully story on MyNorthwest.com can be found here.

February 21st, 2019: Kitsap Daily News Covers WSPS

An informative article detailing parts of our ongoing effort was published in the Kitsap Daily News today. Read it here.

January 3, 2019: Sexual Offender Notification Process

Two representatives from WSPS met with Detective Adams from the Kitsap County Sheriff Department to discuss the apparent failure of the notification process the department uses to alert Kitsap County residents to the location of Level III Sex Offenders and to establish an ongoing liaison with the Sheriff Department. Detective Adams was extremely helpful and has the full appreciation of WSPS.

It was explained to Adams that WSPS has systematically contacted residents near the residential home on Viking Way, just outside of Poulsbo city limits and have found not a single residence that received all four notification flyers mailed out about the offenders residing there. Several residents, including one immediately adjacent to the property, have not received even a single notice.

Adams explained the registration and notification process in detail. When a Level III Offender is released he registers his residence with the Sheriff Dept. An offender is required to do so within 72 hours of release. All Level III offenders are required to register their addresses whenever they change residences. The Poulsbo residential home offenders stopped by the Sheriff office with their escorts after leaving the Special Commitment Center (SCC) and typically register on their way to the residence.

Even though the Sheriff Department may know well in advance when an offender from SCC is being released, notification cannot go out until the offender physically registers with the department. This applies to any offender being released from any facility. Once the offender has registered, a flyer on the offender is compiled. Three different staff levels produce and cross-check the information/flyer which is then sent to a sub-contractor who prints the flyer and mails it out to surrounding addresses, 1/2 mile, all directions, from the offenders’ residence.

During the meeting, Detective Adams telephoned the sub-contractor and all parties participated in a conference call to attempt to identify the problem with the notification process. It was determined during the course of the meeting, that the address list generated and compiled by yet another sub-contractor was incomplete, and it was discovered that only actual property owners (not renters in residence) were being notified due to an error on a staffers part. That has been rectified.

However, it is still unclear why some property owners have not received the notifications. Example: one long-time resident/property owner across the street only received two of four notices. This is not the only case. Detective Adams suggested to the sub-contractor that the mailing list should be generated by using the County’s Graphic Information Services—the sub-contractor agreed.

It must be noted that residents utilizing PO Boxes will not receive mailed flyers. Schools, unless they are within 1/2 mile are not notified—even though bus stops may be within 1/2 mile of the residence.

The conclusion is that the best way to make sure one is notified is to sign up for email notification via Offender Watch http://www.icrimewatch.net/register.php?AgencyID=54474 which manages and monitors the whereabouts of registered sex and kidnapping offenders in Kitsap County, as well as allowing you to see where level II and III registered sex offenders live within a 2 mile distance to your home.

WSPS is going to pursue improved notification especially to nearby schools and affected bus routes as well as inclusion of notification specific to residential group homes.

January 2, 2019:

One question keeps being asked since the Viking Way residential home for Level III Sex Offenders became public knowledge—and that is, why are you so concerned about those particular offenders when there are Level III offenders released into the community all the time? After all, they served their sentences, didn’t they? I am going to explain the difference very simply, without addressing the legal or political arguments surrounding this issue.

There are Level III offenders who have served their criminal sentences, and are working toward rehabilitation via mental health counseling/therapy and are being transitioned back into their community. Jonathan Manuel Margart, who recently registered with the sheriff’s office that he will be residing on the 1900 block of Lincoln Ave. SE in Port Orchard is one such offender. While the public should be cognizant of his status and location, Margart, and other offenders like him, are actively working to be integrated back into society and are not the focus of this issue.

Then there are Level III Sex Offenders who served their criminal sentences, but were found by the courts to be still sexually violent, most likely to re-offend, and unable/unlikely to be rehabilitated. Those offenders were then civilly remanded by the court to the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island in perpetuity as they were considered too violent to reenter society even though they had already served their criminal sentence.  (If there was another category, these offenders would be a Level IV.) Fairly recent legislation now allows these violent offenders to petition the court to be moved out of the Special Commitment Facility, and into an residential home, which the four offenders on Viking Way have done.

The same month the first offender (Deaville) was moved to Viking Way, Dr. Newsome, the Psychologist at the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island stated “My professional opinion is that Mr. Deaville’s mental condition continues to constitute a mental abnormality that causes him to have serious difficulty controlling his sexually violent behavior. It is also my professional opinion that, as a result of his mental abnormality, Mr. Deaville continues to be more likely than not to commit a crime of predatory sexual violence…” *

The state is planning on contracting out the care and supervision of all the offenders housed in the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island to corporations such as Westsound Support Services (a subsidiary of Kitsap Tenant Support Services) principal Michael Closser, and Program Manager Alan Frey.  The Viking Way property owners Timothy and Lisa Calnan leased the property to Westsound Support Services for this purpose and WSS plans to house the maximum possible number of offenders at this location. In other words, Westsound Support Services is operating an annex to the McNeil Island Special Commitment Center in a residential neighborhood. While this type of home is legal, in the initial and court approved siting report, which allowed the opening of this home, the closest school bus stop—a mere 75 feet away from the property—was omitted from the report. This alone would have prevented the siting under the law as the location and vicinity to the school bus stop poses an imminent threat to the most vulnerable in our community.

This is not just a Poulsbo/Viking Way concern—this can and will happen elsewhere in Kitsap County and throughout the state. Corporations such as Westsound Support Services (a subsidiary of Kitsap Tenant Support Services) stand to make a healthy profit off of housing these offenders. Properties purchased by individuals such as Tim and Lisa Calan, and then leased to corporations like WSS who cover all expenses on the property—are a good (but ethically controversial) investment for the property owners.  

When concentrating a number of the most violent, likely to re-offend sexual predators in a residential neighborhood, the motive is profit, pure and simple—not concern for the welfare of the offenders and certainly no concern for the security of our neighborhoods, our children or the mental well-being/welfare of survivor/victims.

* In re Detention of William Deaville, Kitsap Superior Court Case No. 97-2-02778-2, Order on Less Restrictive Alternative, Exhibit A

December 28, 2018: Preliminary Report from Washington State for Public Safety

(The effect on property values from the siting of the Level III Sex Offender residential home on Viking way, which now houses four offenders.)

Research clearly shows that proximity to the home of a registered sex offender causes local home values to decline—in some cases, quite sharply.

For most people, equity in their home represents their single largest asset. Therefore, it is completely reasonable that they should be concerned with anything that lessens the value of this asset.  Several academic and governmental studies have documented the fact that proximity to the home of a registered sex offender causes local home values to decline – in some cases quite sharply. The negative effect is greatest for properties that are closest to the sex offender and the negative effect increases if multiple sex offenders are housed in an area.  The negative effect is greater for more serious sex offenses. Also, there is a suggestion that locating four or more sex offenders in an area may create a “tipping point” that accelerates negative effects on home values. Excerpts from two of these studies (along with links to where they can be found on the internet) are presented below.

These results suggest that relocating the house on Viking Way where level III sex offenders are currently living to a less densely populated area would benefit Kitsap residents.  Also, because the sex offenders do not leave the house without supervision, relocating them to a less densely developed area should not result in any harm to the quality of their life.  

More research on how the presence of a register Sex Offender affects home values.

Location: The Impact Of Registered Sex Offenders On Home Sale Prices:

A Case Study Of Mclean County, Illinois

John C. Navarro  Illinois State University

https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/48841227.pdf

From the abstract:

“The results indicate that as registered sex offender and sexual predator concentrations increased, home selling prices decreased by $6,586 for each registered sex offender and $9,098 for each sexual predator within the buffer.  In regards of distance, registered sex offenders and sexual predators negatively impacted home selling prices the closer they were to a home sale transaction.”

Washington State findings of sex offender board

https://sgc.wa.gov/sites/default/files/public/sopb/documents/sex_offender_housing_201412.pdf

 See, especially, pages 15-16:

“Research indicates a significant relationship between the number of sex offenders and real estate outcomes, namely price and liquidity (as measured by days on market). If a neighborhood tips toward a critical mass of sex offenders, we would expect this to be reflected by the pricing of these homes. Interestingly, research demonstrated that the balance appears to break down once the fourth sex offender moves in. In some areas the cluster of four or more sex offenders coincides with a large discount on sale price. Specifically, a cluster of four or more offenders’ leads to a sharp $25,099 (or 16%) drop in price of nearby homes. As a neighborhood tips, we would expect additional sex offender clustering around areas with multiple sex offenders as a result of the sharp discount associated with this clustering. In other words, a further implication of these pricing dynamics is that the large discount associated with clustering might lead to sorting/tipping dynamic that involves greater clustering of registered sex offenders over time.”

Kitsap Sun Editorial – 28 December 2018

SunEditorial_28Dec

December 21, 2018:  

There have been many rumors circulating, as well as bits and pieces of information, some factual, some not. Our newly formed, and growing organization Washington State for Public Safety (WSSPS) has been researching hard on this issue and is currently actively pursuing the closing down of the residential home on Viking Way, Poulsbo.

There are currently four Level III Sex Offenders housed, with plans to bring in additional offenders as well as documented plans to expand into a second home on the property to facilitate more offenders.

All of the offenders housed there were civilly remanded to the Special Corrections Center on McNeil Island in perpetuity, after serving their criminal sentences, due to the fact that they were deemed violent sexual predators most likely to re-offend and could not be returned into the community. State legislative changes now allow those type of offenders to petition the courts for a conditional release into a residential home.

WestSound Support Services LLC (WSS) is under contract with DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services) to manage this home and provide security. WSS is a subsidiary of Kitsap Tenant Support Services (KTSS).

DOC (Department of Corrections) oversees the sitting of a residential home via visual inspection and reports and oversees the security via GPS and cellphone.

DOC in reports for this residential home stated multiple times that the GPS tracking was inaccurate. One such statement:  “As long as Mr. Deaville remains within the inclusion zone, DOC cannot say with any reasonable amount of certainty that he is actually at his house or in a nearby home.” This includes any location that is within 300 feet—including the school bus stop, and the neighbors living room. The DOC report goes on to tell us “If Mr. Deaville is inside of a retail or grocery store, for example, the GPS device cannot be relied upon to provide information about Mr. Deaville’s whereabouts inside the store itself. It cannot be definitively relied upon to determine if Mr. Deaville even went inside the store. Likewise, whenever Mr. Deaville is inside his own residence, the GPS cannot be definitively relied upon for optimal accuracy.”

There are over 50 public locations that these offenders are allowed to visit. The businesses that are “approved” are not notified. The list is growing.

As per contract between DSHS and WSS: when the offenders are in the community, their escort “…must remain within 20 feet… and they must carry a cell phone.” WSS Program Director, Allen Frey states in a report that those escorts (employees of WSS) are not “…tactically nor medically trained…”

The county was not notified of this group home. There was spotty notification to some adjacent property owners that an individual offender was moving into an unspecified address on the 17300 block of Viking Way NW Poulsbo. No one was notified that this was a residential home being established to house these offenders. WSPS has been unable to locate any property owner that received notification of all four individual offenders.

Kitsap County Sheriff Department sub-contracts out the notification process. They are currently reviewing the process and are making changes and working with WSPS.  KCSD has never had to deal with notification of such a residential home, this is the first in Kitsap County.

The property is owned by Tim & Lisa Calan who leased it to WSS for this purpose with plans to expand housing of offenders.

These are level III offenders, who have served their time, but because they were deemed not able to be rehabilitated, were then civilly remanded to the Special Corrections Facility on McNeil Island in perpetuity. Washington State legislation was pushed through allowing these offenders to petition the court to allow them to be placed in a group home in a community setting with fewer restrictions, including allowing them to have access in public spaces and businesses.