BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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

          SB 1279 (Pavley)                                           9
          As Introduced February 19, 2010 
          Hearing date:  April 13, 2010
          Welfare and Institutions Code



          Source:  Children's Advocacy Institute, Inc.

          Prior Legislation: AB 499 (Swanson) - Ch. 359, Statutes of 2008

          Support: California Teachers Association; American Congress of  
          Obstetricians and                                 Gynecologists,  
          District IX (California); California Communities United  
          Institute;                                        Los Angeles  
          District Attorney's Office; Crittenton Services for Children and  
                   Families; California District Attorneys Association

          Opposition:None known


                                         KEY ISSUE
          AUTHORIZED IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY to encourage the development of a  
          comprehensive, multidisciplinary model reflecting the best practices  
          for the response of law enforcement and the criminal and juvenile  
          justice systems to identify, assess and address the needs of  



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

          commercially sexually exploited children who have been arrested or  
          detained by local law enforcement FOR PROSTITUTION CRIMES, AS  


          The purpose of this bill is to statutorily authorize a  
          discretionary pilot project in Los Angeles County to encourage  
          the development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary model  
          reflecting the best practices for the response of law  
          enforcement and the criminal and juvenile justice systems to  
          identify, assess and address the needs of commercially sexually  
          exploited children who have been arrested or detained by local  
          law enforcement for prostitution crimes, as specified.

           Existing law  expressly authorizes Alameda County, contingent  
          upon local funding, to "establish a pilot project . . .  to  
          develop a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary model to  
          address the needs and effective treatment of commercially  
          sexually exploited minors who have been arrested or detained by  
          local law enforcement for" prostitution crimes, as specified.   
          These provisions sunset January 1, 2010.

           This bill  would authorize an identical pilot project for the  
          County of Los Angeles, without a sunset.

          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.   



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

          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, .  
               . .  (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  



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

               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  
               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.  That appeal, and the final outcome of this litigation,  
          is not anticipated until later this year or 2011.

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


          1.  Stated Need for This Bill

           The author states:

               Under current law, when an adult has consensual sexual  
               relations with a minor, the adult is subject to  
               criminal prosecution, and as a matter of law, the  
               minor is deemed too young to consent to such  
               relations.  They are considered a victim under the  
               law.  This is not the case when money is exchanged for  
               sexual activity however.  In a case where an adult  
          <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).



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

               pays a minor in exchange for sexual activities, that  
               minor is eligible for charges of prostitution . . . .   

               This is a grave injustice in many cases where minors  
               are forcibly coerced and manipulated, often by an  
               adult, into selling their bodies for the benefit of  
               their pimps.  Untold numbers of children fall victim  
               to predatory adults who sexually exploit them for  
               commercial gain in this manner, and who very often  
               abuse these minors in unspeakably brutal ways.   
               Currently, exploited minors often go through the  
               juvenile justice system with little opportunity for  
               rehabilitation and healing that is specific to their  

               Following the collaborative diversion efforts which  
               were spurred in Alameda County by AB 499 (Swanson)  
               from 2008, and are currently set to be fully  
               integrated in that county this summer, this bill seeks  
               to address the specialized needs of commercially  
               sexually exploited minors in a manner which focuses on  
               rehabilitation rather than criminalization.  This bill  
               would authorize a similar pilot project specific to  
               the needs and capacity of Los Angeles County, and  
               contingent upon local funding.  

               Additionally, in light of the fact that Federal Grants  
               are made available through the Department of Justice  
               and other Departments to local governments and  
               entities for the purposes of combating human  
               trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of  
               minors, it is the intent and hope of this legislation  
               that Los Angeles County will be competitive for any  
               such grants or other sources of funding in the future.  

               In California it is a crime to recruit children, pimp  
               children or pander children for the purpose of  
               prostitution . . . .  However, with the exception of  



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

               the pilot program in Alameda County, California does  
               not treat children involved in these acts of  
               prostitution as victims.  It is imperative that  
               California change that approach, and using Alameda  
               County's efforts as a very effective beginning, this  
               bill seeks to expand and build upon that approach in  
               Los Angeles County.  It is imperative that as many  
               exploited children as possible are given the chance to  
               have a normal life in California, and this bill seeks  
               to increase those chances.

          2.  What This Bill Would Do  

          As explained above, in 2008 the Legislature passed AB 499  
          (Swanson) to authorize a pilot project in Alameda County  
          intended "to encourage the development of a comprehensive,  
          multidisciplinary model reflecting the best practices for the  
          response of law enforcement and the criminal and juvenile  
          justice systems to identify and assess commercially sexually  
          exploited children who have been arrested or detained by local  
          law enforcement."  AB 499 and this bill share the following  
          identical, discretionary features:

                 Development of a comprehensive, multidisciplinary model  
               to address the needs and effective treatment of  
               commercially sexually exploited minors who have been  
               arrested or detained by local law enforcement for  
               solicitation<2> or loitering with the intent to commit  

                 Development of protocols for identifying and assessing  
               minors, upon arrest or detention by law enforcement, who  
               may be victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

          <2>   Specifically, a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of  
          Section 647.
          <3>   Specifically, a violation of subdivision (a) of Section  



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

                 Development of a diversion program reflecting the best  
               practices to address the needs and requirements of arrested  
               or detained minors who have been determined to be victims  
               of commercial sexual exploitation.

                 Formation of a multidisciplinary team to (1) develop a  
               training curriculum reflecting the best practices for  
               identifying and assessing minors who may be victims of  
               commercial sexual exploitation, and (2) offer and provide  
               this training curriculum through multidisciplinary teams to  
               law enforcement, child protective services, and others who  
               are required to respond to arrested or detained minors who  
               may be victims of commercial sexual exploitation.

          "Commercially sexually exploited minor" means a person under 18  
          years of age who has been detained for a violation of the law or  
          placed in civil protective custody on a safety hold based only  
          on a violation of prostitution or pimping crimes, as specified.   
          3.  Sunset  

          As contemplated and passed by the Legislature in 2008, AB 499  
          was a pilot project with a sunset of January 1, 2012.  SB 1279  
          is likewise presented as a pilot project, but contains no  
          sunset.  Members may wish to consider whether a sunset should be  
          added to this bill.


          4.   Sexually Exploited Minors and the Criminal Justice System

           News articles over the last few years have highlighted the  
          problem of child and teen prostitutes.  For example, the Contra  
          Costa Times in 2008 reported, "last year, of the 443 females  
          arrested for prostitution in Oakland, 29 were juvenile cases. ?   
          Meanwhile, police have only just started to quantify the problem  
          and have been working to nail down firm numbers. ?  Technology,  



                                                           SB 1279 (Pavley)

          the Internet, and cell phones have all changed the game.  Pimps  
          now use technology to sell girls as young as 11 or 12 on the  
          street."<4>  Similarly, an Oakland Tribune article from earlier  
          this year described efforts to address child prostitutes as  
          victims rather than criminal offenders:


          <4>   Dunlap, Kamika, Cops Treating Child Prostitutes as  
          Victims, Contra Costa Times, April 23, 2008.  

               The majority of youngsters involved in the sex trade  
               have been abused or neglected.  Almost all the  
               youngsters on the streets have run away from a home  
               situation they find untenable. 

               "A lot of these young girls are foster care youth and  
               kids not connected to any family system," said Brian  
               Bob, outreach coordinator for Covenant House, a  
               nonprofit homeless shelter for youth that drives a van  
               around Oakland five nights a week to provide food and,  
               if they'll accept it, shelter to homeless youngsters.  
               The vast majority of homeless girls Covenant House  
               finds are prostitutes, he said. 

               . . .   

               Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Sharmin  
               Eshraghi Bock, who prosecutes human exploitation and  
               trafficking cases, said many young girls who fall into  
               prostitution have never known a loving family, so they  
               mistake a pimp's affection and promises of material  
               things for love. 

               . . .   

               Sexually Abused and Commercially Exploited Youth, an  
               Oakland- based counseling program, last year surveyed 100  
               children ages 11 to 17 who had been peddled on the  



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               streets and referred for counseling. 

               They found that 75 percent of the children had been  
               raped at some time in their lives, 48 percent had been  
               physically or sexually abused, and 70 percent had been  
               assaulted while working the streets.

               Most respondents were runaways: Eighty-eight percent  
               said they had run away from their family home or a  
               foster care home.  . . .

               Nola Brantley, coordinator of the SACEY counseling program,  
               said the child prostitution epidemic in Oakland can be  
               partially blamed on an overtaxed police system. 

               "There are cases of severe child abuse in Oakland that  
               will go uninvestigated and not prosecuted because of  
               lack of manpower," Brantley said.  "Some of these same  
               children who were abused and nobody intervened will go  
               on to become sexually exploited minors."<5> 


          <5>   Barbara Grady, Many Child Prostitutes Seeking Shelter,  
          Oakland Tribune, April 22, 2008.