BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 110
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          Date of Hearing:   June 29, 2009

                                Jim Beall, Jr., Chair
                      SB 110 (Liu) - As Amended:  June 23, 2010

           SENATE VOTE  :  31-1
          SUBJECT  :  People with disabilities: victims of crime

           SUMMARY  :  Expands the scope of selected provisions related to  
          elders who are victims of crimes, abuse, or neglect to include  
          non-elder dependent adults, including provisions related to law  
          enforcement training and county interagency death review teams.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Provides that local law enforcement agencies, and state law  
            enforcement agencies with jurisdiction, have concurrent  
            jurisdiction to investigate elder and dependent adult abuse  
            and all other crimes against elder victims and victims with  

          2)Provides that adult and child protective services agencies and  
            local long-term care ombudsman programs also have jurisdiction  
            to investigate elder and dependent adult abuse, and may assist  
            local law enforcement agencies in criminal investigations at  
            the law enforcement agencies' request.

          3)Provides that notwithstanding any provision of law to the  
            contrary, law enforcement agencies retain exclusive  
            responsibility for criminal investigations involving elder and  
            dependent abuse.

          4)Provides that investigations of instances of physical and  
            financial abuse in long-term care facilities are the  
            responsibility of the local law enforcement agency in addition  
            to the long-term care ombudsman program.

          5)Provides that investigation of abuse outside of long-term care  
            facilities is the responsibility of local law enforcement in  
            addition to the county adult protective service agency or  
            another public agency with jurisdiction.

          6)Renames "interagency elder death teams" to "elder and  
            dependent adult death review teams" and expands the authority  


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            of those teams to include dependent adult abuse and neglect,  
            as specified. 

          7)Provides that when new materials are developed or updated for  
            law enforcement elder and dependent adult abuse training  
            courses certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards  
            and Training (POST), POST shall consult with the Bureau of  
            Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse and other subject matter  

          8)Requires any new or updated training materials to include:

             a)   The jurisdiction and responsibility of law enforcement  
               agencies pursuant to amended provisions of the Penal Code;

             b)   The fact that the protected classes of "dependent  
               persons" as defined in provisions of the law related to  
               child molestation and "dependent adults" as defined in  
               provisions related to elder abuse include many persons with  
               disabilities, regardless of the fact most of these persons  
               actually live independently; and,

             c)   Other relevant information and laws.  

          9)Requires POST to include in the course of training, as  
            specified, training on the special problems of investigating  
            and prosecuting sexual assault crimes, as specified, when  
            committed against individuals with disabilities.

          10)Provides that when POST offers or provides new or updated  
            training materials, as specified, POST may also inform the law  
            enforcement agencies of other relevant training materials that  
            may be available. 

          11)Requires that the advisory committee to the Office of  
            Criminal Justice Planning established to develop a course of  
            training for district attorneys in the investigation and  
            prosecution of sexual assault cases, child sexual exploitation  
            cases, and child sexual abuse cases include one expert on  
            crimes against persons with disabilities appointed by the  
            Commission on the Status of Women.  Requires that this  
            appointment shall be effective upon the occurrence of the  
            first vacancy for a member appointed by the Commission on or  
            after January 1, 2011, except for a vacancy for a member who  
            represents a rape crisis center or a member who is a medical  


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          12)Clarifies that the appropriate law enforcement agency to  
            which a developmental center for people with developmental  
            disabilities must report resident deaths and serious injuries  
            of unknown origin is the appropriate "local" law enforcement  
            agency, and provides that such reporting requirements are in  
            addition to any reporting requirements of mandated reporters.

          13)Makes other technical changes to include the phrase  
            "dependent adult" or "persons with disabilities." 

           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Defines "dependent adult" as any person who is between the  
            ages of 18 and 64, who has physical or mental limitations  
            which restrict his or her ability to carry out normal  
            activities or to protect his or her rights, including, but not  
            limited to, persons who have physical or developmental  
            disabilities or whose physical or mental abilities have  
            diminished because of age.  "Dependent adult" includes any  
            person between the ages of 18 and 64 who is admitted as an  
            inpatient to a 24-hour health facility.  (Penal Code Section  

          2)Defines "elder" as any person who is 65 years of age or older.  
             (Penal Code Section 368(g).)

          3)Authorizes counties to establish an interagency elder death  
            review team to assist local agencies in identifying and  
            reviewing suspicious elder deaths and facilitating  
            communications among persons who perform autopsies and persons  
            involved in the investigation or reporting of elder abuse or  

          4)Regulates the procedures and practices of long-term care  
            ombudsman programs, adult protective services agencies, and  
            certain state agencies relative to the protection,  
            investigation, and reporting of suspected crimes involving  
            people with disabilities.

          5)Provides for the creation of an advisory committee, consisting  
            of 11 members, six of whom are members of the public appointed  
            by the Commission on the Status of Women, responsible for  
            developing a course of training for district attorneys in the  


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            investigation and prosecution of sexual assault cases, child  
            sexual exploitation cases, and child sexual abuse cases.

          6)Requires that by July 1, 2006, POST shall establish and keep  
            updated a continuing education classroom training course  
            relating to law enforcement interaction with mentally disabled  
            persons.  The training course shall be developed by POST in  
            consultation with appropriate community, local, and state  
            organizations and agencies that have expertise in the area of  
            mental illness and developmental disability, and with  
            appropriate consumer and family advocate groups.  In  
            developing the course, POST shall also examine existing  
            courses certified by POST that relate to mentally disabled  
            persons.  POST shall make the course available to law  
            enforcement agencies in California.  (Penal Code Section  

          7)Requires that a developmental center administered by the  
            Department of Developmental Services immediately report all  
            resident deaths and serious injuries of unknown origin to the  
            appropriate law enforcement agency, which may, at its  
            discretion, conduct an independent investigation.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author:  

               Crime against people with disabilities has been called  
               an "invisible epidemic," comparable to domestic  
               violence before society awakened to the horror and  
               widespread extent of that terrible problem.  Elders  
               including those with age-related disabilities,  
               children with disabilities, homeless people with  
               disabilities, and people with disabilities in care,  
               incarceration, and treatment facilities are among  
               those most often victimized.  Women and men with  
               disabilities are at high risk of sexual assault and  
               domestic violence.  Perpetrators are often caregivers.  
               Lack of adequate training and unclear jurisdiction  
               often make law enforcement ineffective.
               The bill takes various small steps to improve peace  
               officer training and to bring increased knowledge to  
               state agencies and to local law enforcement.


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          People with developmental or intellectual disabilities are  
          a particularly vulnerable group.  The federal Crime Victims  
          with Disabilities Awareness Act (Public Law 105-301)  
          directed the attorney general of the United States to  
          conduct a study to increase knowledge and information about  
          crimes against individuals with developmental disabilities.  
           Pursuant to that mandate, the National Research Council  
          (NRC) of the National Academies of Sciences convened a  
          workshop to discuss the state of research in this area,  
          which resulted in publication of a report, entitled  Crime  
          Victims with Developmental Disabilities:  Report of a  
          Workshop  (National Academy Press 2001), available at  
 (NRC Report).  The  
          NRC Report (p. 11) cites one review of research concluding  
          that people with developmental disabilities are 4 to 10  
          times more likely to be victims of crimes than other  
          people.  One study, for example, found that 83% of women  
          with intellectual disabilities in their sample had been  
          sexually assaulted and that, of those, nearly 50% had been  
          sexually assaulted 10 or more times.   Id  .

          The NRC Report discusses numerous barriers to the  
          participation in the criminal justice system of crime  
          victims with developmental disabilities, including barriers  
          related to the intent of this bill.  For example, "[p]olice  
          and prosecutors may see them as unreliable witnesses and be  
          reluctant to bring charges.  People with developmental  
          disabilities may require support, such as a specialized  
          advocate, to assist them in dealing with the criminal  
          justice system, from dealing with the police investigating  
          the crime through the entire court process. ? The criminal  
          justice system has begun to make changes to accommodate the  
          needs of people with disabilities, but much remains to be  
          done in the areas of training law enforcement and court  
          personnel and in providing advocates and other resources to  
          people with disabilities."   Id  . at 55-6.

          In 2003, Disability Rights California (then called,  
          Protection & Advocacy, Inc.) coauthored a report, entitled  
           Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Developmental  
          Disabilities: A Public Health Priority for the State of  
          California  , available at  
 (DRC Report).  
           The DRC Report (p. 2) cites to studies finding that, for  
          example, 71% of crimes against people with severe mental  


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          retardation go unreported, and 80-85% of criminal abuse of  
          residents in institutions never reach the proper  
          authorities.  Relevant to this bill, the DRC Report notes  
          that rules and regulations on reporting requirements are  
          circuitous and lead to inconsistent outcomes.   Id  . at 15.   
          Also, the DRC Report concludes, many investigators lack  
          expertise in conducting abuse and neglect investigations  
          involving victims with developmental disabilities.   Id  . at  
          17.  Among the DRC Report's recommendations is that "[a]ll  
          agencies involved in the abuse response system must receive  
          mandatory training regarding working with individuals with  
          developmental disabilities.

          Several of the findings and recommendations of the DRC  
          Report related to people with developmental disabilities  
          are relevant to this bill, which more broadly addresses the  
          need to define responsibilities of, and improve training  
          for law enforcement and other agencies involved with  
          reporting, investigating or prosecuting abuse, neglect, and  
          other crimes involving victims who are dependent adults.  

           SECOND COMMITTEE OF REFERENCE  .  This bill was previously heard  
          in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on June 15, 2010, and  
          was approved on a 7-0 vote.


          The Arc of California (sponsor)
          Alliance of California Autism Organizations (ACAO)
          Autism Society of America San Diego Co.
          California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA)
          California Commission on the Status of Women
          California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC)
          California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV)
          California State Council of Developmental Disabilities
          Child Abuse Prevention Center
          Congress of California Seniors
          Crime Victims Action Alliance (CVAA)
          Crime Victims United of California
          Disability Rights California
          Easter Seals
          Housing Alliance 
          Housing Now


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          IBAR Settlement Company, Inc.
          Loaves & Fishes
          Orange County ARC
          Sacramento Housing Organizing Committee
          The Arc Riverside
          The Arc South Bay
          2 individuals
          Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety (TIPS)

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Eric Gelber / HUM. S. / (916) 319-2089