BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                           962 (Liu)
          Hearing Date:  05/03/2010           Amended: 04/20/2010
          Consultant:  Jacqueline Wong-HernandezPolicy Vote: Public Safety  
                                                            Judiciary 4-0

          BILL SUMMARY: This bill allows, at the court's discretion and  
          subject to availability, videoconferencing or teleconferencing  
          for prison inmates to participate in court proceedings relating  
          to the termination of their parental rights or the court-ordered  
          dependency of their child, as specified. This bill authorizes  
          the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to  
          establish a pilot project to allow videoconferencing or  
          teleconferencing participation, and specifies that is shall be  
          implemented only with private donations.
                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2010-11      2011-12       2012-13     Fund
          Authorizes CDCR pilot project        **Unknown, possibly  
          significant**             Private    
                                                 **Likely minor custody  
          costs, if implemented**         General                 
          Inmate transportation           **Potentially significant  
          savings**                        General
          STAFF COMMENTS:  This bill authorizes CDCR to establish a pilot  
          project which would allow inmates who are parents to participate  
          in specified court hearings by video or teleconference, instead  
          of in person. If implemented, this bill could result in  
          significant savings to CDCR to transport inmates to and from  
          dependency hearings.
          Existing law requires that inmates be notified of any judicial  
          proceeding that, where a judicial proceeding concerns the  
          termination of the their parental rights, or the adjudication of  
          the child of a prisoner a dependent child of the court (Penal  


          Code  2625.)
          Existing law further gives an inmate the right to attend any  
          such hearing, unless the inmate waives his or her right to  

          This bill is likely to save CDCR significant costs to transport  
          and guard inmates who wish to attend specified dependency  
          hearings which they are statutorily entitled to attend. To the  
          extent that a parent who would have attended a hearing in person  
          chooses to attend by video or teleconference, CDCR would not  
          have to guard or transport that inmate - each hearing can cost  
          CDCR thousands of dollars to allow the inmate to participate.  
          Inmates may also miss work, educational, or counseling programs  
          that they need (and which may ultimately contribute to  
          additional "good time" credits).

          To the extent that the inmate would have otherwise waived his or  
          her right to attend, and will now participate via  
          videoconference, there may be a minor cost to CDCR to supervise  
          the videoconference. All other aspects of the pilot project must  
          be funded with private donations. Implementing this pilot  
          project is entirely at CDCR's discretion; there is no mandate in  
          this bill.