The California Legislature has concluded business for the year and Sunday, Sept. 30, 2012 was Governor Brown’s deadline to act on all legislation pending on his desk for the 2012 legislative session. Although the Legislature will convene for organizational session on Dec. 3, 2012, it will largely resume its work in January 2013.
In the wake of 2011 realignment implementation, we saw a significant number of bills introduced pertaining to public safety, many of which sought to make revisions to realignment implementation. A number of bills did not pass the Legislature and we expect to see similar reiterations next year.
Below are several bills of significance that were signed into law as well as several that were vetoed.
• Jails: County Inmate Welfare Funds, CA AB 1445
Extends the operation of the inmate welfare fund program. Adds specified counties to the program. Authorizes the sheriffs of counties in the program or the county officer in a specified county responsible for jail operation, to spend money from the fund for the purpose of assisting indigent inmates with the reentry process after the inmate's release from the county jail or other adult detention facility.
• County Sheriffs: Release of Prisoners: Medical Release, CA SB 1462
Authorizes the release of a prisoner from a county correctional facility after conferring with a physician if the sheriff determines that the prisoner would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety and the prisoner is deemed to have a specified life expectancy. Authorizes the sheriff to request the court to grant medical probation or to resentence a prisoner to medical probation. Requires participating counties to pay the nonfederal share of the Medi-Cal costs.
• Firearms, CA AB 1527
Amends existing law which prohibits a person from possessing a firearm in a school zone. Exempts a security guard and an honorable retired peace officer who are authorized to openly carry an unloaded firearm that is not a handgun from that prohibition. Exempts a person carrying a handgun in an
airport or the open carrying of an unloaded handgun by a licensed hunter while actually engaged in training a hunting dog or while transporting the handgun while going to or from that training. Provides penalties.
• Criminal Procedure: Telephone Calls: Arrested Parents, CA AB 2015
Requires the arresting or booking officer to ask if arrested person is a custodial parent with responsibility for a minor child as soon as practicable upon arrest and, except where physically impossible, not later than a specified time period after arrest. Requires signs to be posted in English and non-English languages informing the custodial parent of the right to additional telephone calls. Provides for the enforcement of these provisions regardless of the arrestee's immigration status.
• Bail Fugitive Recovery Persons Act, CA AB 2029
Provides for the regulation of bail fugitive recovery persons. Requires that such persons be at least 18
years of age and complete classroom education pertinent to the duties and responsibilities of a bail licensee, complete a power of arrest course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training. Prohibits a person convicted of a felony from being recovery person, unless licensed by the Department of Insurance. Requires notification of local law enforcement of apprehension attempts.
• Search Warrants: Tracking Devices, CA AB 2055
Relates to the grounds for a search warrant for the use of an electronic tracking device. Allows a warrant to be issued when the information to be received constitutes evidence that tends to show that either a felony, a misdemeanor violation of the Fish and Game Code or the Public Resources Code has been committed or is being committed, tends to show that a particular person has committed that act or is committing that act or will assist in locating an individual who committed or is committing that act.
• Work Release, CA AB 2127
Authorizes a sheriff to permit a participant in a work release program to receive work release credit for documented participation in educational programs, vocational programs, substance abuse programs, life skills programs or parenting programs. Requires that participation be considered in lieu of performing labor in a work release program. Provides such participation would not limit credit received nor does it require that the participant perform manual labor.
• Inmates In Labor, CA AB 2530
Prohibits a pregnant inmate in labor, in recovery, or after delivery, from being restrained by the use of specified restraints. Provides such restraint is to be used when deemed necessary for the safety and security of the inmate, staff or the public. Requires inmates to be advised of related standards orally or in writing. Requires the adoption of related standards by the Board of State and Community Corrections. Prohibits the use of such restraints on a pregnant ward unless deemed necessary.
• Recall and Resentencing for Certain Prisoners, CA SB 9
Authorizes a prisoner who was under the age of 18 at the time of committing an offense for which the prisoner was sentenced to life without parole to submit a petition for recall and resentencing to the sentencing court and prosecuting agency. Prohibits a prisoner who tortured a victim or whose victim was a public safety official from filing a petition for recall and resentencing. Requires a statement from the defendant that includes their remorse and work towards rehabilitation. Requires a hearing.
• Inmate Welfare Fund, CA SB 542
Authorizes the use of moneys in the Inmate Welfare Fund for education programs, hobby and recreational programs, inmate family visiting services, leisure-time activities and assistance with obtaining photo identification from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Requires each warden of each institution and specified other stakeholders to meet at least biannually to determine how the money is used in that institution.
• Collection of Criminal Fines and Penalties, CA SB 1210
Requires the court to assess an additional postrelease community supervision revocation restitution fine or mandatory supervisions revocation restitution fine in every case where a person is convicted of a crime and is subject to postrelease community supervision or mandatory supervision, for deposit into the Restitution Fund. Relates to victims rights regarding a restitution order. Relates to sheriffs as collectors. Relates to the referral fines and restitution to the Franchise Tax Board.
• Peace Officers: Deputy Sheriffs, CA SB 1254
Amends existing law that establishes categories of peace officers with varying powers and authority to make arrests and carry firearms. Includes deputy sheriffs in the counties of Trinity and Yuba within the definition of peace officers.
• Federal Immigration Policy Enforcement, CA AB 1081
Prohibits a law enforcement official from detaining an individual on the basis of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold after that individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, unless, at the time that the individual becomes eligible for release from criminal custody, certain conditions are met.
• Prisons: Media Access, CA AB 1270
Requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, upon reasonable notice, to permit representatives of the news media to interview prisoners in person. Forbids retaliation against an inmate for participating in a visit by, or communicating with, a representative of the news media.
• Peace Officers, CA AB 1968
Authorizes any probation officer or deputy probation officer to carry firearms as determined by the chief probation officer on a case-by-case basis or unit-by-unit basis and under terms and conditions specified by the chief probation officer. Requires certain chief probation officers to develop a policy for arming probation officers and deputy probation officers who supervise high-risk case loads. Defines high risk case load.
• Probation: Community Corrections Program, CA AB 2031
Adds a rank-and-file deputy sheriff, a rank-and-file probation officer or deputy probation officer, a rank-and-file social worker and a counselor employed by a county alcohol and substance abuse program to the membership of a Community Corrections Partnership. Adds a rank-and-file juvenile probation officer or deputy, a rank-and-file adult probation officer or deputy, a rank-and-file deputy sheriff, and a state parole officer or agent to the membership of the Board of State and Community Corrections.
• Communications: Service Disruptions, CA SB 1160
Recasts provisions of existing law regarding the interruption of communications services for specified purposes without an order by a judicial officer. Provides for a request to cut, reroute or divert lines made by a police officer authorized to use an electronic device in an emergency situation that involves the taking of a hostage or the barricading of a location. Relates to charges for messages instigating treason, unlawful acts or criminal escape.
• Firearms: Lost or Stolen: Reports, CA SB 1366
Requires every person to report the theft or loss of a firearm to a local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction in which the theft or loss occurs within a specified time. Requires persons licensed to sell firearms post a warning within the licensed premises stating the requirement to report a lost firearm. Allows replacement of a lost or stolen handgun within a certain period of time of purchasing another hand gun. Provides law enforcement reporting requirements. Relates to violations and penalties.
• Location Information: Warrants, CA SB 1434
Prohibits a government entity from obtaining the location information of an electronic device without a valid search warrant issued by a duly authorized magistrate. Provides exceptions for an emergency or when requested by the owner of the device. Prohibits the use of such information in a civil or administrative hearing. Prohibits using these provisions to create a cause of action against any foreign or state corporation, officer, employees or agents for providing location information.
Realignment Data Collection
The Board of State Community Corrections is working in concert with local public safety partners to aggregate and analyze data pertaining to the initial six months of implementation. Local public safety organizations, such as the Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC), have also published reports relative to initial data findings based upon the populations in which they supervise.
You can access the CPOC report at: http://www.cpoc.org/php/realign/dashboardinfo/CPOCbrief11.pdf 
Data collection will continue to be important at the state and local levels to ensure that realignment strategies will benefit local communities and the state in ways that improve offender outcomes in a cost-effective way.
Local Jail Construction Update
Last month, the Board of State Community Corrections convened an Executive Steering Committee to work on the parameters and guidelines to distribute the $500 million appropriated in the 2012-13 budget via SB 1022. It will allow new, better beds and program space to aid in successful realignment outcomes.
Consideration will be given to counties that are seeking to replace existing compacted, outdated, or unsafe housing capacity or seeking to renovate existing or build new facilities that provide adequate space for the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services, including mental health treatment. Several counties that have received funding are considering how and if to proceed in light of concerns about ability to support ongoing operations costs. For example, Shasta County relinquished their award due to concerns regarding ongoing costs of operating the proposed facility.
AB900 Phase II Awards — Updated September 13, 2012
Nick Warner is managing partner, and Danielle Higgs is a legislative representative/business consultant, at Warner & Pank LLC. Founded in 1997, the firm effectively influences law and legislation in a broad spectrum of public and private sector issues, including public safety issues, and together with legislative matters, it also specializes in business consulting on matters involving state and local government procurement in California. Warner is member of the Correctional News Editorial Advisory Board.