Sex Offenders, Narcotics Convicts Working As California Drug Counselors?
la vaca vegetariana / Flickr
A look at California's substance abuse counselors found that at least 23 of them were convicted sex offenders, with many having rape or child molestation on their records.
That's according to a California Senate Rules Committee study of our lack of oversight for drug counselors in the Golden State:
In fact, according to the report titled "Suspect Treatment," California is a rare large state in the union that doesn't require background checks when you want to be a drug counselor.
Good news for Lindsay Lohan, perhaps, but do you really want Merv the Perv telling you how to do your steps?
All of America's 15 largest states except us and Pennsylvania run your fingerprints when you apply to become a substance abuse workers, the report says.
And so some counselors have even "racked up" drug convictions while keeping their jobs, the report says:
Some counselors who have had their state credentials revoked have found work-arounds. As many as 52 have failed to earn certification after registering with the state yet kept working.
The committee gives us the example of a man named J.M. who was convicted of sex crimes against a 12 and 15-year-old girls and drug possession, yet kept a gig as a drug counselor.
It would almost make you laugh if it wasn't so horrific. In fact the committee says one of the top complaints among patients at such facilities is "sexual misconduct."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.