LEGISLATIVE UPDATE August & September 2017

Important Dates & Deadlines

 
October 15th             Governor’s Last Day to Sign or Veto Bills
January 1st               2017 Statutes Take Effect 
January 3rd               Legislature Reconvenes – 2018 Session Called to Order
 
End of Legislative Session – Wrap Up
 
As is common in California politics, the end of session characteristically concludes with a whirlwind of activity and this year was no exception.  With many hot button issues on the table, there were many hard-fought victories as well as a few matters that were determined to need more time as two-year bills.  This year’s hallmark clearly was a collection of bills reacting to recent federal actions.  Some of them were criticized by Republicans as being merely symbolic and fraught with impracticality – a distraction when there was legitimate work to be done.  Nevertheless, Democratic lawmakers pushed forward looking to resist some of the initiatives from the Trump administration by passing measures to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation, protect climate data from federal censorship, make California a “Sanctuary State,” guard against a Muslim registry, protect persons who may be subject to deportation from the phasing out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and block future presidential candidates from the California primary ballot unless they release their tax returns.  
 
However, some resistance proposals faced significant scrutiny and were held, presumably with details to be worked out in the interim and tackled when legislators comes back at the beginning of 2018.  Facing strong stakeholder concerns as well as skepticism from the moderate, business friendly Democratic legislators, measures concerning bail reform, mental health and veteran diversion programs, internet privacy, single-payer health care and environmental protections lacked the support to advance to the Governor’s desk for signature.  
 
All of that said, over 700 bills passed the Legislature and have yet to be considered by the Governor.  He has until October 15th to sign or veto each of them otherwise they go into law automatically without any action by the Governor.  Stay tuned….
 
Senate Leadership Positioning Heating Up
 
With Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León set to term out at the end of 2018, the positioning for the top leadership spot is intensifying.  Towards the end of session the first contender, Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) officially threw her hat in the ring.  Notably, the leadership spot has never been held by a female Senator.  
 
The role of pro tem comes with many responsibilities with the most important being quarterbacking elections for Senate Democrats.  The Pro Tem also sits as the Chair of the powerful Senate Rules Committee, which is charged with vetting Governor’s appointments to high level posts throughout the state.  Additionally, the post includes delegating chairmanships and vice chairmanships to all Senate Committees.  Other Democrats being considered as possible successors to de León include Senators Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) – both former Speakers of the Assembly.  Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) have also been mentioned.  Without a clear successor, it is likely de León will hold on to the post longer and given that the legislators are now in interim recess, they will not return to the Capitol until early next year.   Stay tuned…
 
Newsom Continues Early Lead in California Governor’s Race
 
According to a new poll released by UC Berkeley this week, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom (D-San Francisco) remains the early favorite.  Nine months away from the primary, results show that the Democrat, a former San Francisco mayor, is favored by 26% of likely voters.  According to the polling the race for second place includes former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, San Diego businessman John Cox and Orange County Assemblyman Travis Allen.  Of note, the Gubernatorial election remains fourteen months away, making it hard to tell who could realistically reach the top two primary.  Name recognition and early fundraising advantages, however, are big factors – both of which Newsom has going for him.  
 
The survey polled 1,000 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4% for the candidates.
 
Special Election Declared for 51st Assembly District
 
Governor Brown has issued a proclamation declaring a special election for the 51st Assembly District on December 5th with the primary set for October 3rd.  As you’ll recall, the seat was left vacant as a result of the election of former Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez to Congress, replacing Xavier Becerra in the U.S. House of Representatives a seat which Becerra vacated to become California's Attorney General.
 
Supreme Court Rules in Three-Strike Offenders Sentencing Case
 
In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court recently ruled that judges may freely decline to decrease sentences for inmates who qualify for reductions under a 2012 ballot measure intended to reform the state’s tough three-strikes sentencing law. The decision aimed to resolve questions posed by two ballot measures in recent years to reduce the population of the state’s overburdened prison system. 
 
Proposition 36 of 2012, allowed “three strike” inmates to obtain sentence reductions if their third strike was neither serious nor violent.  In 2014, voters passed Proposition 47 that created a definition of “safety risk”, in which inmates could only be denied sentence reduction if they were deemed to pose an unreasonable risk of committing certain crimes, including a killing, a sexually violent offense, child molestation or other serious or violent felony punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.  With the required application of the newly defined safety risk, judges could no longer refuse a reduction by considering inmate’s history, disciplinary record in prison or other evidence, as they were allowed to use before.  
 
However, with its most recent ruling, the court majority, led by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, said that the definition did not apply to three-strikers who have been sentenced to 25 years to life for repeated crimes.  According to the Chief Justice, based upon the summary and analysis that was prepared, there is no indication that the Legislative Analyst or the Attorney General were aware that the measure might amend the resentencing criteria governing the “Three Strikes Reform Act”. 
 
AG Becerra Releases Hate Crime Report
 
Attorney General (AG) Xavier Becerra recently released its 2016 Department of Justice (DOJ) Hate Crime in California report.  The report provides statistics on crimes in which the victim is targeted because of their race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender or sexual orientation.  The DOJ, in collaboration with law enforcement agencies, district attorneys, and elected city attorney’s offices in California, developed local data collection programs and submitted hate crime statistics for this edition of Hate Crime in California. 
 
The report provides statistics on hate crimes that occurred statewide during 2016, including the number of hate crime events and both the number of victims and suspects of those crimes. While over the last ten years, the total number of hate crime events has decreased, hate crime events increased from 2015 to 2016 by 11.2%.  Hate crime events with a race/ethnicity/national origin bias are consistently the most common type of hate crime over the past ten years and hate crimes with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the same period.  Anti-Jewish crimes continue to be the most common with a religion bias.
 
For more information, please see https://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/resources/publications
 
Proposed Initiative would Allow Felons in Prison to Vote
 
Initiate Justice, an Oakland organization working towards criminal justice reforms for inmates, recently filed a constitutional amendment that would allow felons in state prison the right to vote in California elections.  In order to qualify the measure for the ballot proponents must gather 585,407 valid voter signatures.
 
Of note, under AB 2466 (Weber, 2016) provided felons serving time in county jails can vote in California elections and went into effect January 1st of this year.  The measure was characterized as a means to help speed offenders’ transition back to society.  The bill was ultimately passed and signed by the Governor despite widespread law enforcement opposition.
 
 
Elderly Parole Ballot Measure Filed; Legislation Pending Governor’s Action
 
Under a ballot initiative currently in the signature gathering stage and sponsored by Pasadena attorney Charles W. Funaro II, some elderly inmates over the age of 80 could become eligible for parole.  The measure would require parole consideration for inmates 80 years and older who have served at least ten years of their current sentence and who have not previously been denied parole.  It would exclude inmates serving life sentences without possibility of parole or inmates facing the death penalty.  It would not apply to inmates serving sentences for first or second degree murder, prior to serving minimum prison term or inmates whose parole rights are restricted under any initiative statute, such as inmates serving sentences under the three strikes law.   
 
Under a 2014 federal court order to reduce the prison population, California does already have an existing elderly parole process.  Inmates 60 or older, who have served at least 25 years of their sentences, are eligible. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the state held 658 elderly parole hearings and granted parole to 154 inmates.  However, the federal process is not permanent and also not in state law.  Should the federal order expire, the existing parole process would end.  In an analysis of the proposal by the Department of Finance and the Legislative Analyst’s Office, this measure would lead to less than 100 parole hearings for eligible inmates, but could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings annually.  To qualify for the ballot, 365,880 signatures must be gathered by late January.  
 
 
Also of note, AB 1448 (Weber) that would provide for elderly parole at age 60 is awaiting the Governor’s action.  CVUC strongly opposes the measure, arguing 60 years of age is an arbitrary number that would undermine lawfully imposed sentences and the sense of justice victims of the associated crimes believed was provided in under such sentences. 
 
While CVUC recognizes the recidivism rate associated with many criminal offenders may drop off as they age, the likelihood of reoffending is not the sole basis to that should be considered in determining whether someone should be eligible for parole. CVUC thinks providing for mandatory parole consideration for all offenders that simply reach the age of 60 and who have served at least 25 years would undermine the criminal justice system and adversely impact victims’ lives.  Further, although the bill specifies the Board of Parole Hearings give special consideration to the age, time served and diminished physical condition of the offender, the bill fails to provide special consideration be given to an offender’s demonstration of remorse for their crime, restitution to their victim(s), and etc.  
 
For more information, please see
 
Governor’s Appointments
 
Charles Callahan, of Blythe, has been appointed warden at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, where he has been acting warden since 2017 and served as chief deputy warden from 2013 to 2016. Callahan was chief deputy warden at Valley State Prison for Women from 2012 to 2013, where he was an associate warden from 2008 to 2013 and correctional business manager from 2005 to 2007. He held several positions at Centinela State Prison from 2007 to 2008 and from 1995 to 2005, including associate warden, correctional business manager, procurement and services officer and vocational instructor. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Callahan is a Democrat.
 
John Garza, of Bakersfield, has been appointed warden at California City Correctional Facility, where he has been acting warden since 2017. Garza served in several positions at California Correctional Institution from 2016 to 2017 and from 1998 to 2004, including acting warden, chief deputy warden and sergeant. He was associate warden at Wasco State Prison from 2015 to 2016 and from 2013 to 2015 and acting chief deputy warden at Deuel Vocational Institution in 2015. Garza was facility captain at Kern Valley State Prison from 2009 to 2013, where he was a lieutenant from 2005 to 2009. He was a lieutenant at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison from 2004 to 2005 and a correctional officer at North Kern State Prison from 1994 to 1998. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Garza is a Republican.
 
Roy Wesley, of Carmichael, has been appointed Inspector General, responsible for overseeing various activities specified in statute at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Wesley has been chief deputy inspector general at the Office of the Inspector General since 2007. He was a partner at Pursley, Rush and Wesley LLP from 2002 to 2007 and at Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer and Jensen from 1991 to 2002. Wesley was an associate at Mastagni, Holstedt and Chiurazzi from 1988 to 1991. He was an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1978 to 1988 and an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1990 to 2005. Wesley earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation. Wesley is registered without party preference.
 
Chuck Supple, of Sacramento, has been appointed director of the Division of Juvenile Justice at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Supple has been chair of the Board of Juvenile Hearings since 2016, where he has served as a member since 2014. He was a parole agent at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice from 2010 to 2014, where he served in several positions from 2006 to 2010, including executive officer of the Board of Parole Hearings, Juvenile Division, and youthful offender hearing representative. Supple was executive director of the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism from 2000 to 2003 and chief executive officer at Public Allies Inc. from 1995 to 2000. He was director of nonprofit outreach at the Corporation for National Service from 1994 to 1995 and a senior executive on loan to the White House Office of National Service in 1993. Supple was vice president of youth programs at the Points of Light Foundation from 1991 to 1993 and executive director of the California Campus Compact at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1988 to 1991. He was awarded the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Distinguished Service Medal in 2014. Supple earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University. This position requires Senate confirmation. Supple is a Democrat.
 
Rosalio Castro, of Beaumont, has been appointed to the Board of Parole Hearings. Castro has been a deputy commissioner at the Board of Parole Hearings since 2015.  He was an attorney at California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. from 2012 to 2013 and an attorney in private practice from 2002 to 2015. Castro was a deputy public defender at the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office from 2001 to 2002, a partner at Magnum, Castro and Associates from 1998 to 2001 and an associate at Benninghoff and Ramirez from 1995 to 1998. Castro earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. This position requires Senate confirmation. Castro is a Democrat.
 
Robert Barton, of Rancho Cordova, has been appointed to the Board of Parole Hearings. Barton has served as Inspector General of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2011, where he was senior assistant inspector general from 2005 to 2011. He was supervising deputy district attorney at the Kern County District Attorney’s Office from 2000 to 2005, where he served as a deputy district attorney from 1988 to 2000. Barton earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation. Barton is a Republican.
 
Kevin Chappell, of Elk Grove, has been reappointed to the Board of Parole Hearings, where he has served since 2015. Chappell was a retired annuitant correctional administrator at California Correctional Health Care Services in 2015, warden at San Quentin State Prison from 2012 to 2014 and served in several positions at Folsom State Prison from 2010 to 2012, including chief deputy warden and associate warden. Chappell was chief of the Classification Services Unit at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2009 to 2010, where he was facility captain from 2006 to 2008. He was correctional administrator in the Division of Adult Institutions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2008 to 2009 and a lieutenant at Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center from 2004 to 2006. He served in several positions at the California Medical Facility, Vacaville from 1995 to 2004, including lieutenant, counselor and sergeant. Chappell was a correctional officer at Folsom State Prison from 1987 to 1995. This position requires Senate confirmation. Chappell is a Democrat.
 
Marisela Montes, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the Board of Parole Hearings, where she has served since 2012. Montes was a consultant at the California Prison Industry Authority from 2011 to 2012 and served in several positions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2006 to 2009, including deputy director of the Division of Adult Institutions and chief deputy secretary of adult programs. She was deputy director of administration at the California Department of Transportation from 1999 to 2006 and served in several positions at the California Department of Corrections from 1984 to 1999, including chief of correctional planning and research, deputy director of parole and community services and associate warden at California State Prison, Solano. Montes was an assistant personnel manager at the California Department of Social Services from 1981 to 1984 and an associate personnel analyst at the State Personnel Board from 1980 to 1981. She was a postsecondary education specialist at the California Postsecondary Education Commission from 1977 to 1980 and an assistant director at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Educational Opportunity Program from 1975 to 1977. This position requires Senate confirmation. Montes is registered without party preference.
 
John Peck, of Sutter Creek, has been reappointed to the Board of Parole Hearings, where he has served since 2009 and was a deputy commissioner from 2007 to 2009. Peck served in several positions at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2001 to 2007, including correctional captain and conservation camp liaison. He was correctional captain at Ironwood State Prison from 2000 to 2001 and held several positions at the California Correctional Center from 1998 to 2000, including correctional lieutenant and camp commander. Peck was a correctional lieutenant at Calipatria State Prison from 1991 to 1998 and at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison from 1989 to 1991. He was a correctional sergeant at Deuel Vocational Institution from 1988 to 1989, where he served as a correctional officer from 1983 to 1986, and was a correctional sergeant at Avenal State Prison from 1986 to 1988. This position requires Senate confirmation. Peck is a Democrat.
 
Brian Roberts, of Santee, has been reappointed to the Board of Parole Hearings, where he has served since 2012 and was a deputy commissioner from 2006 to 2012. Roberts served in several positions at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department from 1975 to 2006, including commander, captain, lieutenant, sergeant and deputy. This position requires Senate confirmation. Roberts is a Republican.
 
Francine Tournour, of Sacramento, has been reappointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections, where she has served since 2016. Tournour has been director of the City of Sacramento Office of Public Safety Accountability since 2008, where she was deputy director from 2006 to 2008. She served as a deputy sheriff at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office from 1997 to 2003. Tournour earned a Master of Science degree in emergency services administration from California State University, Long Beach. This position requires Senate confirmation. Tournour is a Democrat.
 
Michael Ertola, of Auburn, has been reappointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections, where he has served since 2014. Ertola has been chief probation officer of Nevada County since 2012 and has served in several positions at the Nevada County Probation Department since 2001, including probation program manager for adult services. He was a deputy probation officer at the San Mateo County Probation Department from 1988 to 2001. This position requires Senate confirmation. Ertola is a Democrat.
 
Dean Growdon, of Susanville, has been reappointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections, where he has served since 2012. Growdon has been sheriff-coroner for Lassen County since 2011 and has served in several positions at the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department since 1994, including assistant sheriff, lieutenant, sergeant, deputy sheriff and correctional officer. This position requires Senate confirmation. Growdon is a Republican.
 
2017 End of Session Wrap Up
 
AB 41 (Chiu): DNA Evidence PENDING
Would require law enforcement agencies to report information regarding rape kit evidence, within 120 days of the collection of the kit, to the Department of Justice through a database established by the department. The bill would require that information to include, among other things, whether biological evidence samples were submitted to a DNA laboratory for analysis and if a probative DNA profile was generated. The bill would additionally require a public DNA laboratory, or a law enforcement agency contracting with a private laboratory, to provide a reason for not testing a sample every 120 days the sample is untested, except as specified.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 42 (Bonta): Bail: pretrial release.      2-YEAR BILL
Would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Location: Assembly, Failed Passage, Reconsideration Granted; Two-year Bill
 
AB 194 (Patterson): Victim restitution: probation: jurisdiction.             2-YEAR BILL
Current law requires a court to impose a separate and additional restitution fine in each case in which a person is convicted of a crime. Two state appellate court decisions have held that under state law a court acts in excess of its jurisdiction by ordering restitution or modifying a restitution order after the expiration of a defendant’s probation. This bill would expressly abrogate the holdings in those decisions by requiring the court, in cases in which probation has been granted, to retain jurisdiction over a defendant for purposes of imposing or modifying restitution for a period of 5 years following sentencing, or until the expiration of probation or mandatory supervision, whichever is later.
Location: Senate Public Safety, Failed Passage, Reconsideration Granted; Two-year Bill
 
AB 264 (Low): Protective orders    SIGNED
Under current law, the court is required to consider, at the time of sentencing, issuing a protective order, which may be valid for up to 10 years, in a case in which a defendant has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence or of specified sex offenses, restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim. Under current law, contempt of a court order is a misdemeanor, as specified. This bill would require the court to consider issuing a protective order restraining the defendant from any contact with a percipient witness to a crime involving domestic violence, a violation of specified sex offenses, or a violation of laws relating to criminal gangs, if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the witness has been harassed, as specified.
Location: Signed by the Governor
 
AB 335 (Kiley): Parole: Placement at Release PENDING
Current law provides that an inmate who has committed certain specified offenses and is released on parole shall not be returned to a location within 35 of miles of the residence of a victim of or witness to that offense if the victim or witness makes such a request and the Board of Parole Hearings or the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation finds that the placement is necessary to protect the victim or witness. This bill would add certain sexual penetration offenses as well as several sexual assault offenses in which the victim is unconscious or unable to give consent to the list of offenses to which this release restriction applies.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 368 (Muratsuchi): Criminal Procedures: Jurisdiction of Public Offenses PENDING
Current law provides that when more than one violation of certain specified offenses occurs in more than one jurisdictional territory, jurisdiction for any of those offenses and any other properly joinable offenses may be in any jurisdiction where at least one of the offenses occurred if all district attorneys in the counties with jurisdiction over any of the offenses agree to the venue. This bill would add the offense of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years of age or younger to the list of specified offenses to which the above jurisdictional provisions apply.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 411 (Bloom): Witness Testimony: Therapy and Facility Dogs PENDING
Current law authorizes a prosecuting witness in specified cases to have up to 2 persons of his or her own choosing for support at the preliminary hearing and at trial, or at a juvenile court proceeding, during the testimony of the prosecuting witness, as specified. This bill would authorize these witnesses, as well as certain child witnesses, to be accompanied by a dog, trained in providing emotional support, while testifying. This bill would set minimum training requirements for these dogs and their handlers and would require a party requesting the use of such a dog to file a motion with the court, specifying the qualifications of and need for the dog.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 459 (Chau): Public Records: Video or Audio Recordings: Crime PENDING
The California Public Records Act requires state and local agencies to make their records available for public inspection, unless an exemption from disclosure applies. This bill would specify that the act does not require disclosure of a video or audio recording that was created during the commission or investigation of the crime of rape, incest, sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse that depicts the face, intimate body part, or voice of a victim of the incident depicted in the recording.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 484 (Cunningham): Sex Offenses: Registration PENDING
Current law, as amended by Proposition 35 as approved by the voters at the November 6, 2012, statewide general election, requires persons convicted of specified sex offenses, or attempts to commit those offenses, to register with local law enforcement agencies while residing in the state or while attending school or working in the state. This bill would add to the list of offenses requiring registration, the offense of rape in cases where the victim submits to an act of sexual intercourse under the belief that the person committing the act is someone known to the victim other than the accused and the offense of rape in cases where the act is accomplished against the victim’s will by threatening the use of the authority of a public official to incarcerate, arrest, or deport the victim or another.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 953 (Baker): Protective Orders: Personal Information of Minors PENDING
The existing Domestic Violence Protection Act authorizes a judicial officer to issue a protective order after notice and a hearing for the purpose of preventing acts of domestic violence, abuse, and sexual abuse and ensuring a period of separation of the persons involved in the domestic violence. This bill would authorize a minor or a minor’s guardian to petition the court to keep all information regarding the minor obtained when issuing a protective order under either of the above provisions, including, but not limited to, the minor’s name, address, and the circumstances surrounding the protective order with respect to that minor, in a confidential case file.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 993 (Baker): Examination of Victims of Sex Crimes PENDING
Current law authorizes, the prosecution to apply for an order that a victim’s testimony at the preliminary hearing be video recorded and the video recording preserved when the defendant has been charged with certain sex crimes, including rape and sodomy, and the victim is a person 15 years of age or less or is developmentally disabled as a result of an intellectual disability. This bill would also authorize the prosecution to apply for an order that a victim’s testimony at the preliminary hearing be video recorded and preserved when the defendant has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years of age or charged with sexual intercourse, sodomy, sexual penetration, or oral copulation with a child under 10 years of age.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 1312 (Gonzalez-Fletcher): Sexual Assault Victims: Rights PENDING
Current law grants the victim of sexual assault, as specified, the right to have a victim advocate and a support person of the victim’s choosing at any interview by law enforcement authorities, district attorneys, or defense attorneys. Current law requires the law enforcement authority or district attorney, before commencing the initial interview, to notify a victim that he or she has this right. This bill would require a law enforcement authority or district attorney to also notify the victim that he or she has the right to request to have a person of the same gender or opposite gender as the victim present in the room during any interview with a law enforcement official or district attorney, unless no such person is reasonably available.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 1408 (Calderon): Crimes: Supervised Release PENDING
Current law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide specified information to local law enforcement agencies regarding an inmate released by the department to the agency’s jurisdiction on parole or postrelease community supervision, including a record of the offense for which the inmate was convicted that resulted in parole or postrelease community supervision. This bill would require the department to also provide the local law enforcement agency with copies of the record of supervision during any prior period of parole.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
AB 1448 (Weber): Elderly Parole Program. PENDING
Would establish the Elderly Parole Program, for the purpose of reviewing the parole suitability of inmates who are 60 years of age or older and who have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration, as defined, on their sentence. When considering the release of an inmate who meets this criteria, the bill would require the board to consider whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly inmate’s risk for future violence.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
SB 10 (Hertzberg): Bail: pretrial release      2-YEAR BILL
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, and to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Location: Assembly Appropriations Committee
 
SB 312 (Skinner): Juveniles: Sealing of Records PENDING
 Current law requires the juvenile court to order the petition of a minor who is subject to the jurisdiction of the court dismissed if the minor satisfactorily completes a term of probation or an informal program of supervision, as specified, and requires the court to seal all records pertaining to that dismissed petition in the custody of the juvenile court and in the custody of law enforcement agencies, the probation department, or the Department of Justice in accordance with a specified procedure. Current law prohibits the court from sealing a record or dismissing a petition under this provision if the petition was sustained based on the commission of any specified serious or violent offense. This bill would expand the exception described in (1) to require the court to seal a record or dismiss a petition under the provisions described in (1) if the finding on that serious or violent offense was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
SB 384 (Weiner): Sex Offenders: Registration PENDING
Current law requires the Department of Justice to make available to the public information concerning registered sex offenders on an Internet Web site, as specified. Current law requires that information to include, among other things, whether the offender was subsequently incarcerated for another felony. Existing law also authorizes a person to file an application for exclusion from the Internet Web site and establishes the requirements for exclusion. This bill would, commencing January 1, 2021, instead establish 3 tiers of registration based on specified criteria, for periods of at least 10 years, at least 20 years, and life, respectively, for a conviction of specified sex offenses, and 5 years and 10 years for tiers one and two, respectively, for an adjudication as a ward of the juvenile court for specified sex offenses, as specified.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
SB 394 (Lara): Parole: Youth Offender Parole Hearings           PENDING
Would make a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for which a life sentence without the possibility of parole has been imposed eligible for release on parole by the board during his or her 25th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing. The bill would require the board to complete, by July 1, 2020, all hearings for individuals who are or will be entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing by these provisions before July 1, 2020. The bill would make other technical, nonsubstantive changes.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
SB 620 (Bradford): Firearms: Crimes: Enhancements PENDING
Current law requires a person who personally uses a firearm to commit certain specified felonies to be punished by an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in the state prison for 10 years, or for 20 years if he or she discharged the firearm, or for 25 years to life if he or she discharges the firearm and proximately causes great bodily harm. Current law prohibits the court from striking an allegation or finding that would make a crime punishable pursuant to these provisions. This bill would delete the prohibition on striking an allegation or finding and, instead, would allow a court, in the interest of justice and at the time of sentencing or resentencing, to strike or dismiss an enhancement otherwise required to be imposed by the above provisions of law.
Location: Awaiting the Governor’s Action
 
SB 756 (Stern): Restitution: Noneconomic Losses: Child Sexual Abuse   SIGNED
Restitution fines are deposited in the Restitution Fund, which is continuously appropriated, to the extent that a victim has been compensated by that fund. This bill would include in the required restitution order amount noneconomic losses for psychological harm stemming from felony incidents of repeated or recurring incidents of sexual abuse of a child under 14 years of age or from felony incidents of sexual contact with a child under 10 years of age. By sending additional money to a continuously appropriated fund, this bill makes an appropriation.
Location: Signed by the Governor
 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE May & June 2017

 
IMportant Dates & Deadlines
July 14th                         Policy Committee Deadline, Fiscal Bills
July 21st - August 20th  Summer Recess
September 1st                Policy Committee Deadline, Non-Fiscal Bills
September 5th – 15th     End of Session, Floor Session Only
October 15th                  Governor’s Signature/Veto Deadline
 
California Legislature Approves On-Time Budget
 
In accordance with the constitutionally mandated June 15th budget deadline for the Legislature to approve the state budget, the Legislature worked feverishly last Thursday to meet the deadline passing a $183.2 billion package on a 28-10 vote in the Senate and 59-20 vote in the Assembly.  The package is focused on increasing school funding, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the working poor, and more.  In addition to the main budget bill, the Legislature approved a few of the “trailer bills” that provide greater detail and direction on the budget expenditures and at times even putting forth unrelated policy that is often controversial.  
 
In terms of the criminal justice portions of the FY 17-18 budget, the approved plan includes, among other details, the following:
 
- Continues $5.5 million, ongoing, for restorative justice and offender responsibility programming targeted at long-term offenders. 
- Provides $6.7 million General Fund to implement Proposition 57 for additional case records staff to review and make various changes to inmate classification files related to the new credit earning structure and parole process, parole workload due to additional releases from prison, and Board of Parole Hearings workload for the increased number of inmates considered for release. 
- Reflects the accelerated implementation dates proposed in the emergency regulations of Proposition 57, which results in a revised estimated population impact of 2,675 inmates in 2017-18, growing to an inmate reduction of approximately 11,500 in 2020-21. 
- Increases the number of Commissioners for the Board of Parole Hearings from 14 to 15 and revises the term of office for existing commissioners.
- Authorizes a person who is committed to a state hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity to petition the court to have the maximum term of commitment reduced to what it would have been had Proposition 36 or Proposition 47 been in effect at the time of the original determination. That said, it would require the petitioner to show that he or she would have been eligible to have his or her sentence reduced under the relevant proposition and to file the petition prior to January 1, 3031, or at a later date with a showing of good cause.
- Includes an increase of $4.4 million (for a total of $15.4 million) for county probation departments to supervise the temporary increase in the average daily population of offenders on Post Release Community Supervision as a result of the implementation of court-ordered measures and Proposition 57.
- Prohibits a person who has an outstanding warrant for a felony from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm, and would make a violation of this prohibition punishable as a felony. Also prohibits a person who has an outstanding warrant for certain misdemeanors from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm within 10 years of the issuance date of the outstanding warrant.
- Revises the structure of the State Penalty Fund to work within limits of current revenues and maintain funding for vital programs, including but not limited to:
o POST – $46.5 million 
o BSCC – $17.2 million 
o Victims’ Compensation – $9.1 million 
o OES Victims’ Programs – $11.8 million 
o Internet Crimes Against Children – $1 million
 
The Governor has until June 30th to sign the budget.  More to come….
 
 
Assemblyman Gomez Wins LA Congressional Seat
 
In a hard fought contest, Los Angeles’ 34th District Congressional race was won by state Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) who edged out his competitor, Robert Lee Ahn. Gomez will replace Xavier Becerra who was appointed by Governor Brown as Attorney General earlier this year.  Ahn criticized Gomez for being backed by the Democratic Party, attempting to capitalize on the anti-establishment movement.  Gomez refuted that argument, however, pointing out that he was endorsed by progressive groups and highlighting his voting record, which includes support for bills expanding family leave and single-payer healthcare.  Ahn and Gomez seemed to be in a dead heat early, a sign that Ahn’s aggressive early vote program strategy may have paid off.  Both campaigns targeted their cultural base, with Ahn focused on registering Korean American voters and Gomez concentrating on the Latino vote.  In the end, Ahn called and conceded to Gomez, but not before promising his supporters that this is just the beginning and there is much to be hopeful for in the future.  
 
Gomez will now head to Washington, DC, leaving an open seat in his 51st Assembly District.  The Governor has yet to call a special election to replace Gomez.
    
Supreme Court Implications for California’s Death Penalty
 
As you’ll recall, Proposition 66 that sought to reform the death penalty process in California was approved last November by a 51% majority of voters. Despite its passage, it has yet to go into effect as a result of a legal challenge brought forth as soon as its passage was announced.  Now, the case is before the California Supreme Court which has a momentous task before them that will ultimately determine the fate of the death penalty in the state.  
 
If upheld, Proposition 66 could allow for executions to begin again in California – a state that has not seen a death row inmate executed since 2006.  The court, which has traditionally upheld the will of the voters, must rule on the provisions of the measure, which include lifting a moratorium currently in place on capital punishment, speeding up of the process for future cases – mandating that the state’s high court to decide all death-penalty appeals within five years of sentencing –  and expanding the pool of defense lawyers by requiring attorneys to take capital cases if they already accept court appointments to represent defendants in other criminal cases.  Heard by the Court this week, a ruling is due within the next three months.  
 
Among the objections raised, opponents argue the speeding up the process by forcing the courts to prioritize a certain type of cases at the expense of all other types of cases, which would happen if death penalty cases were arranged to comply with the five year deadline imposed by the law, is unconstitutional.  The proponents of the measure, however, argue that the measure would actually relieve the state Supreme Court of some of its current death-penalty workload by transferring some hearings to trial courts.  Both sides intently await a ruling on this high stakes issue…  
 
Assembly Democrats Form Progressive Caucus
 
In an effort to bolster the party’s left flank in the California Legislature, nearly two dozen Assembly Democrats have signed on to form a Progressive Caucus.  The ideology, according to the group, is that the members “value people more than money.”  The caucus hopes to be a divergence from the informal group of centrist, business-aligned Democrats known as the Mod Caucus, that have been a pivotal bloc of votes on bills on taxes and environmental regulation. Identified among the group's top issues are mass incarceration, climate change, women's and civil rights, and immigration issues.  The group hopes to prove its members’ dedication to progressive legislation and expunge the image of “establishment.” The group has not decided whether it will designate priority legislation or other trappings of traditional caucuses, but one thing is clear – members are planning to band together in one key way to boost their influence: fundraising as a group.  Led by Chairman Reginald Jones-Sawyer (AD 59 – Los Angeles), the members of the caucus include: 
 
 
Kevin McCarty (AD 7 - Sacramento)
Marc Levine (AD 10 – Marin County)
Tony Thurmond (AD 15 - Richmond)
David Chiu (AD 17 –San Francisco)
Rob Bonta (AD 18 – Alameda)
Phil Ting (AD 19 – San Francisco)
Bill Quirk (AD 20 - Hayward)
Marc Berman (AD 24 – Menlo Park)
Kansen Chu (AD 25 –San Jose)
Ash Kalra (AD 27 – San Jose)
Evan Low (AD 28 - Campbell)
Mark Stone (AD 29 – Scotts Valley)
Monique Limon (AD 37 – Santa Barbara)
Laura Friedman (AD 43 – Glendale)
Eloise Reyes (AD 47 – San Bernardino)
Richard Bloom (AD 50 – Santa Monica)
Jimmy Gomez (AD 51 – Los Angeles)
Miguel Santiago (AD 53 – Los Angeles)
Eduardo Garcia (AD 56 - Coachella)
Todd Gloria (AD 78 – San Diego)
Shirley Weber (AD 79 – San Diego)
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (AD 80 – San Diego)
 
 
Governor’s Appointments
 
Joseph Galvan, of West Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of the Office of Internal Affairs at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, where he has been acting deputy director since 2016 and has served in several positions since 2005, including chief of field operations, special agent in charge, supervising special agent and special agent. He has been an adjunct professor at Los Rios Community College since 1998. Galvan served in several positions at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control from 1993 to 2005, including supervising investigator and investigator. He was a special agent at the California Department of Justice from 1999 to 2000. This position does not require Senate. Galvan is a Democrat.
 
Molly Hill, of San Dimas, has been appointed warden at California Institution for Women, where she has been acting warden since 2016 and served as chief deputy administrator in 2016. Hill served in several positions at California Institution for Men from 2005 to 2016, including associate warden, chief deputy administrator, correctional administrator, captain and lieutenant. She served in several positions at California State Prison, Los Angeles from 1992 to 2005, including lieutenant, sergeant and correctional officer. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Hill is a Republican.
 
William “Joe” Sullivan, of Tehachapi, has been appointed warden at California Correctional Institution, where he has been acting warden since 2017. Sullivan was retired annuitant chief deputy warden at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from 2011 to 2017, where he was associate director of general population from 2008 to 2010 and correctional administrator from 1994 to 1997. He served in several positions at California Correctional Institution from 1997 to 2008, including warden and chief deputy warden. Sullivan served as supervisor of correctional education programs at California State Prison, Los Angeles from 1993 to 1994 and at Preston School of Industry from 1992 to 1993. He was administrative assistant to the warden at California Correctional Institution from 1990 to 1992, where he was supervisor of vocational instruction from 1988 to 1990. Sullivan served as vocational instructor at California Rehabilitation Center from 1984 to 1988. He earned a Master of Arts degree in educational administration from California State University, Los Angeles. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Sullivan is a Democrat.
 
2017 Legislation
 
AB 42 (Bonta): Bail: pretrial release. Defeated, 2-Year Bill
Would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Position: Oppose
Location: Assembly, Failed Passage, Two-year Bill
Notes: CVUC worked tirelessly with law enforcement representatives, bail agents and others to defeat this measure on the Assembly Floor.  While CVUC indicated to the legislature it wasn’t opposed to discussing bail reform, AB 42 as currently drafted was not bail reform, but instead virtual elimination of bail as a tool available to the criminal justice system to ensure the appearance and accountability of perpetrators in the process.  While this measure was defeated, its mirror – SB 10 (Hertzberg) – passed out of the Senate and is now pending hearing in the Assembly.  CVUC is also opposed to SB 10 and is working to ensure major revisions to the bill.  Absent major amendments that ensure bail remains an upfront option and that victims’ rights are protected, CVUC will remain oppose and work to defeat the measure in the Assembly.
 
AB 194 (Patterson): Victim restitution: probation: jurisdiction.      
Current law requires a court to impose a separate and additional restitution fine in each case in which a person is convicted of a crime. Two state appellate court decisions have held that under state law a court acts in excess of its jurisdiction by ordering restitution or modifying a restitution order after the expiration of a defendant’s probation. This bill would expressly abrogate the holdings in those decisions by requiring the court, in cases in which probation has been granted, to retain jurisdiction over a defendant for purposes of imposing or modifying restitution for a period of 5 years following sentencing, or until the expiration of probation or mandatory supervision, whichever is later.
Position: Support
Location: Senate Public Safety, Failed Passage, Reconsideration Granted
Notes: Despite widespread, bipartisan support from the Assembly, AB 194 faced opposition from the ACLU and others in the Senate Public Safety Committee and failed to pass out of the Committee.  That said, Assemblyman Patterson requested reconsideration, which was granted, and CVUC immediately went to work with the author’s office and the District Attorneys Association in an effort to amend the bill to focus on notification of victims prior to a motion to terminate probation being heard by the court.  CVUC believes such notification could provide the opportunity for victims who may not have received sufficient restitution to cover the costs associated with the crime (i.e. healthcare or mental health counseling associated with the crime) to go back to court to request additional restitution before the ability to modify the restitution order ends with the termination of probation.  CVUC would like to thank Advisory Board member Tony Sarabia for his assistance with the legal and technical aspects of the bill and work on the proposed amendments.
 
AB 264 (Low): Protective orders        
Under current law, the court is required to consider, at the time of sentencing, issuing a protective order, which may be valid for up to 10 years, in a case in which a defendant has been convicted of a crime of domestic violence or of specified sex offenses, restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim. Under current law, contempt of a court order is a misdemeanor, as specified. This bill would require the court to consider issuing a protective order restraining the defendant from any contact with a percipient witness to a crime involving domestic violence, a violation of specified sex offenses, or a violation of laws relating to criminal gangs, if it is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the witness has been harassed, as specified.
Position: Support
Location: Senate Appropriations Committee
 
AB 789 (Rubio): Criminal procedure: release on own recognizance.
Existing law prohibits the release of any person on his or her own recognizance who is arrested for a new offense and who is currently on felony probation or felony parole or who has failed to appear in court as ordered, resulting in a warrant being issued, 3 or more times over the 3 years preceding the current arrest, and who is arrested for any felony offense or other specified crimes, until a hearing is held in open court before the magistrate or judge. This bill would allow a court to approve, without a hearing in open court, own recognizance releases under a court-operated or court-approved pretrial release program for arrestees with 3 or more prior failures to appear.
Position: Neutral as Amended
Location: Senate Appropriations Committee
Notes: CVUC thanks Assemblymember Rubio for listening to CVUC’s concerns regarding the lack of consideration for victims’ rights associated with the original version of the bill.  Based on our work with her office, CVUC was able to secure amendments that not only narrowed the scope of the bill but also explicit reference Marsy’s Law and ensure that the provisions of the bill are in no way intended to infringe upon the rights afforded to victims under the Constitution.
 
AB 1448 (Weber): Elderly Parole Program. 
Would establish the Elderly Parole Program, for the purpose of reviewing the parole suitability of inmates who are 60 years of age or older and who have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration, as defined, on their sentence. When considering the release of an inmate who meets this criteria, the bill would require the board to consider whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly inmate’s risk for future violence.
Position: Oppose
Location: Senate Public Safety Committee, pending hearing
 
SB 8 (Beall): Diversion: mental disorders.
Would authorize a court, with the consent of the defendant and a waiver of the defendant’s speedy trial right, to postpone prosecution of a misdemeanor or a felony punishable in a county jail, and place the defendant in a pretrial diversion program if the court is satisfied the defendant suffers from a mental disorder, that the defendant’s mental disorder played a significant role in the commission of the charged offense, and that the defendant would benefit from mental health treatment.
Position: Oppose Unless Amended
Location: Assembly Public Safety, pending hearing
 
SB 10 (Hertzberg): Bail: pretrial release.
Would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, and to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of their inability to afford money bail. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.
Position: Oppose
Location: Assembly, pending committee referral
 
SB 394 (Lara): Parole: youth offender parole hearings. 
Would make a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for which a life sentence without the possibility of parole has been imposed eligible for release on parole by the board during his or her 25th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing. The bill would require the Board of Parole Hearings to complete, by July 1, 2020, all hearings for individuals who are or will be entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing by this bill before July 1, 2020. 
Position: Concerns
Location: Assembly, pending committee referral
 
 
***NOTE: These measures are just a few of the measures CVUC is tracking.  For the full list of bills, please see www.crimevictimsunited.com.
 
 
 

 

 

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE April 2017

Important Dates & Deadlines

 
May 12th - Policy Committee Deadline, Non-Fiscal Bills
May 19th - Policy Committee Hearing Deadline
May 30th – June 2nd - House of Origin Deadline, Floor Session
June 15th - Budget Deadline
July 14th - Policy Committee Deadline, Fiscal Bills
July 21st – August 20th - Summer Recess
September 1st - Policy Committee Deadline, Non-Fiscal Bills
September 5th – 15th - End of Session, Floor Session Only
October 15th - Governor’s Signature/Veto Deadline
 
 

Mod Caucus Elects New Leadership

 
This week, the Assembly Legislative Moderate Caucus shook up its leadership structure in an effort to reassert its influence over key policy debates in the Capitol that largely focus on taxes, regulation and the environment. The “mods” typically align with business interests and have been highly influential in a number of high-profile debates over the past decade. Under the new structure, Assemblyman Adam Gray (D-Merced) will be the convener, but will have to consult with an executive mod leadership team. Most notably on the near horizon for the mods’ agenda includes the state’s Cap-and-Trade program that will sunset in the next year absent a legislative extension.
 
Gray takes the helm from Assemblymen Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove) and Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) who have jointly led the caucus the last couple of years. Gray currently chairs the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, a powerful committee overseeing alcohol, tobacco and gambling issues and largely seen as a prime fundraising post.
 
 
 

Senator Bates Takes Helm of Senate Republican Caucus

 
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) officially took the helm as Senate Republican Leader on April 12th during the Legislative Spring Recess. Succeeding Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Bates is only the second woman in the history of the California State Senate to serve in the top leadership post of a party caucus on either side of the aisle. Bates vowed to continue to embrace California taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected.
 
 
 

Arrests Down Statewide, Causes Questions, Concern

 
Some startling numbers have recently come out of the California Attorney General's Office related to arrest statistics in the state. Police recorded the fewest number of arrests in nearly 50 years, with about 1.1 million in 2016, compared to 2.5 million in 2006. The cause of the drop is uncertain. Some in law enforcement believe diminished manpower and changes in employment strategies could be the cause. Others say that increased scrutiny from both the public has slowed arrests. And with the implementation of Proposition 47, a November 2014 ballot measure that downgraded some drug and property offenses to misdemeanors, many police officers say that an arrest isn't worth the time to process when the offender will, at most, spend a few months in jail.
 
With highly publicized incidents of violence and backlash towards police in recent years, many officers are more hesitant than they have been in the past. In a nationwide survey, 72% of the law enforcement officers questioned said they and their colleagues are less likely to stop and question suspicious people as a result of high profile incidents involving law enforcement. Some officials and activists have suggested the decline in arrests is a positive development because police may be diffusing situations in other ways, possibly fostering relationships within communities and residents.
 
 

PPIC Releases California Pretrial Release Report

 
This month, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) released a report on pretrial release in California. The report uses newly available data, analyzing jail bookings in 11 counties from 2011 to 2015, to give policymakers a better understanding of the defendants who tend to be released and the form of pretrial release they secure, as they consider reforming California’s pretrial release system. Pretrial risk assessment has been identified as a potential tool to help law enforcement and the courts recognize defendants who pose a low risk to public safety, are likely to appear for their appointed court date and consequently can await trial while still in the community, freeing up space in a severely overcrowded jail system. Concerns over the state’s reliance on pretrial release and the equity of the bail system have led legislators to introduce two bills this year – SB 10 (Hertzberg) and AB 42 (Bonta) – to reform pretrial practices in California.
 
In California, after a subject has been booked for an offense, there are two options: either the defendant may be held in jail, which is known as pretrial detention, or they may be released by law enforcement or the courts, known as pretrial release. For those who are released pending trial, there are several ways in which this may occur. The law enforcement officer involved may offer cite and release on site. The Sheriff may also cite and release, or for jail facilities operation under a court imposed population cap, the sheriff is authorized to make capacity releases when the jail exceeds its mandated population threshold. The court may also release a defendant on their own recognizance, which is nonfinancial, or a judge may set bail based on a variety of factors, including seriousness of offense, active warrants, prior failure to appear offenses, or supervision violations for example.
 
Overall, 41.5% of individuals booked on misdemeanors or felonies are released pretrial. There is a strong correlation between pretrial release and offense severity. For individuals charged with a low level misdemeanor, such as driving on a suspended license, shoplifting or driving under the influence, a pretrial release is offered 53.9% of the time. In contrast, high level felonies such a rape, murder, arson and sex crimes have a pretrial release rate of only 21.7%. Additionally, specific classes of offenses also warrant lower than average pretrial release rates. Domestic violence offenses secure pretrial release only 36.6% of the time, as compared to the total average of 41.5%. Sex offenses secure pretrial release 21% of the time and violent offenses just 16%.
 
As victims well know, Proposition 47, passed in 2014, reduced penalties associated with specific lower level drug and property offense and was expected to reduce the number of individuals detained pretrial both because law enforcement could simply cite and release in field more often rather than booking into jail and those who were booked would be more likely to secure release. However, the PPIC has found that the rates have not in fact changed under Prop 47. The total number of individuals booked was reduced, because fewer were booked for Prop 47 offenses, but pretrial release rated remained steady at 41.5%. Notably, unsentenced capacity releases dropped noticeably, indicating a reduction in jail population pressure.
 
Concerns about potential racial and socioeconomic disparities have risen in recent years; however, data describing the demographic and economic characteristics of California’s pretrial detainees are limited. According to the PPIC report, by raw numbers, Asian Americans and whites have higher rates of pretrial release (54.6% and 48.9% respectively) compared to Latinos (38%) and African Americans (33.7%). This data does not take into account criminal history, which is unavailable at this time. The PPIC plans further research to clarify the relationship among demographic characteristics and pretrial release.
 
The PPIC report ultimately concludes that counties may benefit from additional resources to invest in pretrial risk assessments and other tools that would allow them to explore pretrial decision making options that result in resolutions that ease the burdens on jails and prisons while maintaining comparable and equitable judgements across demographic groups.
 
 
 

Senators Introduce Juvenile Justice System Reform Bills

 
In a series of bills introduced this year, Senators Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) are supporting a plan that would significantly reform the criminal justice systems. The lawmakers introduced four bills modifying how children are treated in California’s justice system. If passed, these bills could do away with incarceration for children under 12 years old and ban life sentences without parole for anyone under 18.
 
- SB 190 ends the practice of charging administrative fees to families when children are held in detention (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB190)
- SB 394 makes juvenile offenders sentenced to life terms eligible for parole consideration after 25 years (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB394)
- SB 395 requires a lawyer to be present before a child waives his/her Miranda rights during a law enforcement interrogation (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB395)
- SB 439 sets a minimum age for the juvenile court system, removing anyone under 12 years old from its jurisdiction (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB439)
 
The authors argue these changes will reverse the racial inequities they believe exist in these cases, particularly for young offenders. In terms of similar bills affecting the adult criminal justice system, they include the following:
 
- SB 180 sets some limits on enhanced sentences for prior drug convictions (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB180)
- SB 355 does away with court fees for defendants unless they are convicted (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB355)
- SB 393 allows arrest records to be sealed if the defendant was not convicted of the crime (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB393)
- SB 695 creates a tiered system for the state sex offender registry and allow lower-level offenders to petition to remove themselves from the list (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180SB695)
 
 

Governor’s Appointments

 
Jerry Powers, of Modesto, has been appointed director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Powers served as chief probation officer at the Los Angeles County Probation Department from 2011 to 2015. He served in several positions at the Stanislaus County Probation Department from 2000 to 2011, including chief probation officer, chief deputy probation officer and juvenile hall superintendent. Powers held several positions at the San Diego County Probation Department from 1985 and 2000, including probation supervisor, senior probation officer, deputy probation officer and assistant deputy probation officer. He was a member of the California Sex Offender Management Board from 2005 to 2015 and the California Council on Criminal Justice from 2005 to 2009. This position requires Senate confirmation. Powers is a Republican.
 
Shawn Hatton, of King City, has been appointed warden at Correctional Training Facility, Soledad, where he has been acting warden since 2016. Hatton served in several positions at Salinas Valley State Prison from 2001 to 2016, including chief correctional administrator, captain, lieutenant and sergeant. He was a correctional officer at Sierra Conservation Center from 1988 to 2001. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Hatton is a Democrat.
 
John Sutton, of Oceano, has been appointed warden at Wasco State Prison, where he has been acting warden since 2016. Sutton was chief deputy warden at North Kern State Prison in 2016. He held several positions at Wasco State Prison from 2000 to 2016, including acting chief deputy warden, correctional administrator, facility captain and correctional counselor. He was a sergeant at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility from 1999 to 2000 and a correctional officer at Ironwood State Prison from 1994 to 1999. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Sutton is a Republican.
 
Michelle Basso Reynolds, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director in the Office of Legislation and Communications at the California Department of Rehabilitation, where she has served as a public information officer since 2013. Reynolds was a public information officer at the California Public Employees' Retirement System from 2011 to 2013, where she was a change management analyst from 2008 to 2011. She was product manager at the Sacramento Bee from 2006 to 2008 and administrative director at Phil Giarrizzo Campaign Consulting in 2006. Reynolds was an independent communications and event consultant at Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications and at Local Initiatives Support Corporation from 2004 to 2006. She was an independent communications and event consultant at the Center for Rural Strategies from 2004 to 2006, where she was co-founder from 2001 to 2004. Reynolds was program administrator at the Letcher County Action Team from 1999 to 2001 and a therapist at Logan-Mingo Area Mental Health from 1995 to 1999. This position does not require Senate confirmation. Reynolds is a Democrat.