BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1279|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 1279
          Author:   Pavley (D), et al
          Amended:  4/20/10
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 4/13/10
          AYES:  Leno, Cogdill, Cedillo, Hancock, Huff, Steinberg,  
            Wright


           SUBJECT  :    Sexually exploited minors pilot project  Los  
          Angeles 
                      County

           SOURCE  :     Childrens Advocacy Institute, Inc.


           DIGEST  :    This bill, until January 1, 2014, authorizes 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.

          ANALYSIS  :    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  
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          have been arrested or detained by local law enforcement  
          for" prostitution crimes, as specified.  These provisions  
          sunset January 1, 2010.

          This bill authorizes an identical pilot project for the  
          County of Los Angeles, the provisions of the bill sunset on  
          January 1, 2014.

           Prior Legislation
           
          AB 499 (Swanson), 36-0, 8/5/08, Chapter 359, Statutes of  
          2008.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  4/20/10)

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


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The author's office 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 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  







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          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 needs.  

          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 authorizes 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 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.


          RJG:do  4/21/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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