BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                             Senator Mark Leno, Chair                A
                             2009-2010 Regular Session               B

          AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)                                    2
          As Amended May 18, 2010 
          Hearing date:  June 22, 2010
          Penal Code

                                   MISSING CHILDREN:


                              THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE  


          Source:  More Kids

          Prior Legislation: None

          Support: Crime Victims United of California

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Not Relevant

                                         KEY ISSUE



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)


          The purpose of this bill is to create the California Missing  
          Children Rapid Response Team within the California Department of  
          Justice, as specified.

           Current law  requires the Attorney General to "establish and  
          maintain the Violent Crime Information Center to assist in the  
          identification and the apprehension of persons responsible for  
          specific violent crimes and for the disappearance and  
          exploitation of persons, particularly
          children and dependent adults.  The center shall establish and  
          maintain programs which include, but are not limited to, all of  
          the following: developing violent offender profiles; assisting  
          local law enforcement agencies and county district attorneys by  
          providing investigative information on persons responsible for  
          specific violent crimes and missing person cases; providing  
          physical description information and photographs, if available,  
          of missing persons to county district attorneys, nonprofit  
          missing persons organizations, and schools; and providing  
          statistics on missing dependent adults and on missing children,  
          including, as may be applicable, family
          abductions, nonfamily abductions, voluntary missing, and lost  
          children or lost dependent adults."  (Penal Code  14200.)

           Current law  further requires the Attorney General to establish  
          within the center and maintain "an online, automated computer  
          system designed to effect an immediate law enforcement response  
          to reports of missing persons," and requires the Attorney  
          General to make information available to law enforcement  
          agencies regarding active files maintained pursuant to these  
          provisions, as specified.  (Penal Code  14201.)

           This bill  would create within the Department of Justice ("DOJ")  
          the California Missing Children Rapid Response Team, which is  
          hereby established for all of the following purposes:



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               (1) To assist law enforcement agencies, at their request,  
          with the timely search and                                   
          recovery of at-risk abducted children.

               (2) To maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise of those  
          protocols, best practices,                                  and  
          technologies that are most effective for recovering missing  
          children in a timely                                         

           This bill  would require that the team "utilize existing  
          resources and expertise within the Attorney General's office to  
          the maximum extent possible to accomplish its purposes."

          The severe prison overcrowding problem California has  
          experienced for the last several years has not been solved.  In  
          December of 2006 plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against the  
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sought a  
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the  
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a  
          federal three-judge panel issued an order requiring the state to  
          reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design capacity  
          -- a reduction of roughly 40,000 inmates -- within two years.   
          In a prior, related 184-page Opinion and Order dated August 4,  
          2009, that court stated in part:

               "California's correctional system is in a tailspin,"  
               the state's independent oversight agency has reported.  
               . . .  (Jan. 2007 Little Hoover Commission Report,  
               "Solving California's Corrections Crisis: Time Is  
               Running Out").  Tough-on-crime politics have increased  
               the population of California's prisons dramatically  
               while making necessary reforms impossible. . . .  As a  
               result, the state's prisons have become places "of  
               extreme peril to the safety of persons" they house, .  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               . .  (Governor Schwarzenegger's Oct. 4, 2006 Prison  
               Overcrowding State of Emergency Declaration), while  
               contributing little to the safety of California's  
               residents, . . . .   California "spends more on  
               corrections than most countries in the world," but the  
               state "reaps fewer public safety benefits." . . .  .   
               Although California's existing prison system serves  
               neither the public nor the inmates well, the state has  
               for years been unable or unwilling to implement the  
               reforms necessary to reverse its continuing  
               deterioration.  (Some citations omitted.)

               . . .

               The massive 750% increase in the California prison  
               population since the mid-1970s is the result of  
               political decisions made over three decades, including  
               the shift to inflexible determinate sentencing and the  
               passage of harsh mandatory minimum and three-strikes  
               laws, as well as the state's counterproductive parole  
               system.  Unfortunately, as California's prison  
               population has grown, California's political  
               decision-makers have failed to provide the resources  
               and facilities required to meet the additional need  
               for space and for other necessities of prison  
               existence.  Likewise, although state-appointed experts  
               have repeatedly provided numerous methods by which the  
               state could safely reduce its prison population, their  
               recommendations have been ignored, underfunded, or  
               postponed indefinitely.  The convergence of  
               tough-on-crime policies and an unwillingness to expend  
               the necessary funds to support the population growth  
               has brought California's prisons to the breaking  
               point.  The state of emergency declared by Governor  
               Schwarzenegger almost three years ago continues to  
               this day, California's prisons remain severely  
               overcrowded, and inmates in the California prison  
               system continue to languish without constitutionally  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               adequate medical and mental health care.<1>

          The court stayed implementation of its January 12, 2010, ruling  
          pending the state's appeal of the decision to the U.S. Supreme  
          Court.  On Monday, June 14, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed  
          to hear the state's appeal in this case.

           This bill  does not aggravate the prison overcrowding crisis  
          described above.


          1.  Stated Need for This Bill

           The author states:

               Every year an estimated 800,000 children are reported  
               missing, more than 105,000 in California alone.  This  
               equates to more than 2,000 children each day.  A large  
               proportion of those are abducted by non-family members  
               under suspicious or unknown circumstances.  A number  
               of high-profile missing children cases within the last  
               decade have brought to light the need to bring  
               California's laws and processes for missing person  
               response and recovery in the 21st century.

               In 2009 in California, 105,171 children were reported  
               missing, according to the Department of Justice.  Of  
               that number:
               o         47,407 were male;
               o         57,764 were female;
               o         100,043 were determined to be runaways;
          <1>   Three Judge Court Opinion and Order, Coleman v.  
          Schwarzenegger, Plata v. Schwarzenegger, in the United States  
          District Courts for the Eastern District of California and the  
          Northern District of California United States District Court  
          composed of three judges pursuant to Section 2284, Title 28  
          United States Code (August 4, 2009).



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               o         268 were reported "lost;"
               o         45 were abducted by strangers;
               o         1,210 went missing at the hands of a family  
               o         349 were abducted under suspicious  
               circumstances; and
               o         3,244 went missing under unknown  

               According to a 1997 study, Case Management for Missing  
               Children Homicide Investigation, the murder of an  
               abducted child is a rare event ? yet 76.2% of abducted  
               children who are murdered are dead within three hours  
               of the abduction.

               California's AMBER Alert system was established on  
               July 24, 2003 (AB 415, Runner, 2002).  The criteria  
               necessary for the activation of an AMBER Alert in  
               California is very specific.  In fact, only .04% of  
               all missing children qualify for an AMBER Alert.   
               Criteria include the following and must all be met:
               o         Local law enforcement belief that an  
               abduction occurred;
               o         Child must be 17 years of age or younger;
               o         Child must be at risk of serious bodily harm  
               or death;
               o         Sufficient descriptive information about the  
               child and/or abductor must exist to disseminate to the  

               Since 2002, there were a total of 157 AMBER Alert  
               Activations representing 205 victims abducted - all of  
               whom were safely recovered or accounted for (it is  
               assumed that unrecovered children are safe with  
               relatives in a country without an extradition policy).

               The California Child Abduction Task Force, currently  
               under the jurisdiction of the California Emergency  
               Management Agency (CalEMA), has a mission to "reduce  
               the risk and incidence of child abduction, and to  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               increase the effectiveness of a multi-disciplinary  
               response by enhancing skills, knowledge, and awareness  
               of child abduction." . . .  

               Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs) are beginning  
               to take shape nationwide to respond quickly to  
               incidents of missing and abducted children.  CARTs  
               consist of law enforcement investigators, AMBER Alert  
               coordinators, policy makers, search and rescue  
               professionals, crime intelligence analysts, victim  
               service providers, and other inter-agency resources.

               Teams exist within California in the Los Angeles and  
               San Diego areas. While CART Teams are proving to be  
               effective multijurisdictional resources, their  
               establishment across California may prove difficult  
               with the state's ongoing $20 billion budget crises.   
               The creation of one or two similar teams on a  
               statewide level may prove to be a more cost-effective  
               method by which to rapidly recover missing children.   
               With this in mind, AB 1022 establishes the California  
               Missing Child Rapid Response Team within the Attorney  
               General's Office to assist law enforcement agencies,  
               at the request of said agencies, with the timely  
               search and recovery of at-risk abducted children.   
               Under the measure, the Team will be required to  
               maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise of  
               protocols, best practices and technologies that are  
               most effective for recovering missing children in a  
               timely manner.  AB 1022 seeks for the Team to utilize  
               existing resources and expertise within the Attorney  
               General's office to the extent possible. . . .

          2.  What This Bill Would Do

           As explained above, this bill would create the California  
          Missing Children Rapid Response Team within the California  
          Department of Justice.  This team would be established for all  
          of the following purposes:



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               (1) To assist law enforcement agencies, at their request,  
          with the timely search and                                   
          recovery of at-risk abducted children.

               (2) To maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise of those  
          protocols, best practices,                                  and  
          technologies that are most effective for recovering missing  
          children in a timely                                         
          3. Existing DOJ "Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit" and  
          "Child Abduction Response      Teams"

           The Department of Justice provides the following information on  
          its website:

               The  Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit  in the  
               California Department of Justice assists law  
               enforcement and criminal justice agencies in locating  
               missing persons and identifying unknown live and  
               deceased persons through the comparison of physical  
               characteristics, fingerprints and dental/body X-rays.

                Subscribe  to receive Missing Persons Bulletins in your  
               e-mail inbox.

               In California, a missing person is someone whose  
               whereabouts is unknown to the reporting party.  This  
               includes any child who may have run away, been taken  
               involuntary or may be in need of assistance.  It  
               includes a child illegally taken, held or hidden by a  
               parent or non-parent family member (See  California  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               Penal Code Sections 277-280  ).

               There is NO waiting period for reporting a person  
               missing.  All California police and sheriffs'  
               departments must accept any report, including a report  
               by telephone, of a missing person, including runaways,  
               without delay and will give priority to the handling  
               of the report.

                Schools  are part of the network to help find missing  
               children, not only through notices required to be  
               given to a public school district or private school  
               within 10 days of a child's disappearance but also  
               through use of our Missing Person Bulletin.

               By making photographs of missing persons available, we  
               seek to aid in the identification and recovery of  
               missing persons.  According to the  National Center for  
               Missing and Exploited Children , one in six missing  
               children are recovered as a direct result of someone  
               recognizing their photo and notifying authorities.  We  
               also offer resources on this website for locating  
               missing persons and safeguarding your children.

               The following offers a summary of some of our  
               programs.  Further information is available by  
               selecting the program categories on the left menu.

               Missing Persons Search.  A searchable database of  
               missing persons allows you to look for a missing  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               person by name, description, county and several other  

               Missing Children Clearinghouse.  The  Clearinghouse   
               provides a nationwide, toll-free hotline to receive  
               tips on the whereabouts of missing persons.  Call  
               toll-free: 1-800-222-FIND (1-800-222-3463)

               Featured Missing Children and Adult Cases.  The number  
               of active missing person cases averages around 25,000  
               in California.  The Featured Missing Children and  
               Featured Missing Adults highlight cases where  
               photographs have been submitted by law enforcement for  
               use in accordance with laws and policies for sharing  
               the image of the missing person.  To have a photograph  
               added, family members of a missing person should  
               submit their photographs to the law enforcement agency  
               taking the missing person report.

               Featured Unidentified Person.  There are currently  
               over 2,100 reports of unidentified persons in our  
               automated database.  Periodically, we will be  
               providing photographs or drawings of selected  

          The author and/or members of the Committee may wish to discuss  
          how the team proposed by this bill would differ from the  
          existing Missing and Unidentified Persons Unit in DOJ.  

          As noted by the author, regional "Child Abduction Response  




                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

          Teams" also have been created in California.<3>  California also  
          has a Child Abduction Task Force, originally under the Office of  
          Emergency Services and now under CalEMA  pursuant to a  
          consolidation of OES and Homeland Security.  CalEMA also appears  
          to be the state's lead agency for federal Children's Justice Act  
          funds, and has administered child abduction training requests  
          for applications.<4>  

          While not an issue directly raised by this bill, in light of its  
          goals, the authors may wish to consider whether the goals of  
          this bill could be furthered by consolidating the state's  
          efforts relating to missing persons and child abduction under  
          one state entity.

          4.    FBI "CARD" Teams

           According to its website, the Federal Bureau of Investigation  
          ("FBI") has established "Child Abduction Rapid Deployment" teams  
          which appear to be similar to the teams proposed by this bill.   
          The website describes in part:

              Child abductions by strangers are often complex and  
              high-profile cases.  And time is of the essence. 

              That's why we've added another tool in our Crimes  
              Against Children program that helps our local field  
              offices in these cases: our Child Abduction Rapid  
              Deployment, or CARD, teams. 


              Here's the "who, what, when, and where" of these teams: 
          <3>   See California Child Abduction Task Force Summary Report  
          Fourth Edition (2008), available online at:  
          <4>   See  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

              WHO makes up a CARD team?  FBI agents with in-depth  
              experience and a proven track record in crimes against  
              children investigations, especially cases where a child  
              has been abducted by someone other than a family member.  
               Once selected, team members go through extensive  
              training.  Each team has a designated leader.  The teams  
              work closely with behavioral analysts, National Center  
              for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) coordinators,  
              and Crimes Against Children coordinators. 



              WHAT do the CARD teams do?  Relying on their expertise  
              and experience, team members make sure the investigation  
              moves quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly. They provide  
              our field divisions running the investigations with  
              on-site investigative, technical, and resource  
              assistance during the initial critical period after a  
              child is kidnapped. 

              WHEN are the teams deployed?  Soon after an abduction  
              has been reported to a  local FBI field office  , to  FBI  
              Headquarters  , or to the  National Center for Missing and  
              Exploited Children  , or in other cases when the FBI  
              determines an investigation is warranted.

              WHERE are the teams located and WHERE have they been  
              deployed?  We've created ten regional teams nationwide:  
              two each in the northeast, southeast, north central,  
              south central, and west.  With the whole nation covered,  
              we can send a team anywhere in the U.S. within hours. 

              In addition to their unique expertise, CARD teams can  
              quickly establish an on-site command post to centralize  
              investigative efforts and operations.  Other assets they  
              bring to the table include a new mapping tool to  
              identify and locate registered sex offenders in the  
              area, national and international lead coverage, and the  
              Child Abduction Response Plan to guide investigative  

          In a January 2009 audit report entitled, "The Federal Bureau of  
          <5> (emphasis in  



                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

          Investigation's Efforts to Combat Crimes Against the Children,"  
          the federal Office of the Inspector General stated in its  
          Executive Summary with respect to CARD teams:

               In the area of child abductions, the FBI created the  
               Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) program to  
               respond to the disappearance of minors. According to  
               FBI officials, the FBI's unwritten policy is to  
               elevate its child abduction response to a top  
               priority.  At the same time, FBI written policies  
               emphasize the importance of a coordinated and timely  
               response to reports of child abductions.  However, the  
               FBI did not track and evaluate the timeliness of its  
               response to child abductions, including those cases  
               where its CARD teams were involved.  Given the  
               importance of an immediate response to the safety of  
               an abducted child, we recommend that the FBI develop  
               response timeframe requirements and a mechanism for  
               tracking and analyzing FBI responsiveness to reports  
               of child abductions.

               We reviewed nine CARD team deployments and found  
               evidence in FBI files that the FBI coordinated with  
               local law enforcement and that local law enforcement  
               officials were satisfied with the FBI's assistance.   
               However, we believe that the FBI can enhance its  
               overall efforts to combat child abductions through  
               better coordination with other major nationwide  
               programs addressing missing children investigations,  
               particularly programs at the Office of Justice  
               Programs (OJP) and NCMEC.

               We also found that coordination could be improved in  
               the FBI's efforts in international parental abduction  
               by implementing a 2000 U.S. Government Accountability  
               Office (GAO) recommendation to develop a shared  
               database among the FBI, Department of State, and  
               NCMEC.  In addition, FBI Legat personnel suggested  
               more specific training on international parental  
               kidnapping to enhance the FBI's effectiveness in  


                                                    AB 1022 (Nava and Cook)

               addressing this complex crime.<6>

          The authors and/or members of the Committee may wish to discuss  
          how the teams proposed by this bill differ or conform to the FBI  
          "CARD" teams.  In addition, the authors may wish to describe if  
          and how the "CARD" teams have assisted in California cases.