Friday, January 22, 2016 The CSAC Bulletin
Administration of Justice
For more information, contact Darby Kernan at 916-327-7500, ext. 537, Stanicia Boatner at 916-327-7500, ext. 503 or Amalia Mejia at 916-327-7500, ext. 514.

CDCR Releases Report on the Future of Corrections

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) released, “An Update to the Future of California Corrections,” a follow-up to the Blueprint that CDCR published in 2012. The report addresses the various commitments made in the initial Blueprint. In addition, it reports progress on CDCR meeting its commitments to address realignment efforts, inmate population, the challenges involved, and the Department’s plan for operating the prison system in the coming years.

Commission on Future of California’s Court System Holds Public Comment Session – February 8-9

The Commission on the Future of California’s Court System has posted concepts it will explore during its February 8-9 public comment session in San Francisco.

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye appointed commission members last February to propose recommendations for a more efficient and effective court system. The importance of the commission’s work was underscored in the Governor’s proposed January state budget.

Key topics on the agenda:

  • Increasing online access in all case types.
  • Improving services to juveniles and their families by consolidating dependency and delinquency cases into one unified juvenile court.
  • Reducing continuances in criminal cases.
  • Reducing time-consuming, but less serious misdemeanors to infractions.
  • Ensuring access to the court record for all litigants.
  • Adding an intermediate tier for jurisdictional amounts for unlimited civil cases.
  • Ensuring that court labor costs and negotiations are both equitable and efficient.

Comment Procedures: Members of the public can request to speak at the comment session or submit written comments either before or after the session. A link to the live audiocast of the public comment session—posted approximately 15 minutes before the session?will be available on the Futures Commission webpage. For more information, view the comment procedures.

The commission held a similar comment session on December 8, 2015 to solicit input on proposed concepts related to judgeships, trial court funding, court-ordered debt, and traffic infractions. The Futures Commission plans to hold a second public comment session later this year.

Legislation

The following information reflects legislation that was introduced in the 2015/16 legislative session. Bills introduced in the 2015 session must pass out of the house of origin by January 30, 2016. The following are Administration of Justice bills CSAC is tracking.

Parole Suitability: Notice

AB 898 (Gonzalez) – Support
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 898 would require the Board of Parole Hearings, in the case of an inmate who is convicted of the murder of a firefighter, to provide notice of the parole suitability hearing to the fire department that employed the firefighter at the time of the incident. AB 898 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is now on the Assembly Floor.

Criminal Procedure: Trial Schedule Conflicts

AB 1272 (Grove) – Watch
As Amended January 13, 2016

AB 1272 would require the court to make reasonable efforts to avoid scheduling a case involving a crime committed against a person with a developmental disability when the prosecutor has another trial set. AB 1272 passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee and is now on the Assembly Floor.

Child Witnesses: Human Trafficking

AB 1276 (Santiago) – Watch
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 1276 adds human trafficking to the list of offenses which permits a child witness to testify at trial out of the presence of the defendant and jury by way of closed-circuit television and increases the permissible age of the child witness from 13 years old and under to 17 years old and under. AB 1276 passed off of the Assembly Floor and is awaiting committee assignment in the Senate.

Money Laundering

AB 1395 (Salas) – Watch
As Amended January 4, 2016

AB 1395 would provide law enforcement with the ability to use criminal remedies when combatting nefarious cases of organized, illegal gambling. AB 1395 incorporates violations of gambling laws into organized crime and money laundering statutes. AB 1395 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee and is now on the Assembly Floor.

Crimes

SB 617 (Block) - Watch
As Amended January 14, 2016

SB 617 would allow a crime punishable as a misdemeanor, to be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney. SB 617 was amended in the Senate Public Safety Committee to add exemptions so corporations cannot benefit from this new process, added a 3-year sunset and additional reporting requirements. SB 617 failed to pass out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure is dead.