BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2011-2012 Regular Session               B

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          AB 44 (Logue)                                               
          As Amended March 24, 2011 
          Hearing date:  July 5, 2011
          Penal Code
          SM:dl

                            NOTIFICATION OF INMATE RELEASE  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Author

          Prior Legislation: SB 1199 (Costa) - Ch. 1199, Stats. of 1999
                       AB 2294 (Sweeney) - Ch. 1103, Stats. of 1996

          Support: California State Association of Counties; California 
                   State Sheriffs' Association; Regional Council of Rural 
                   Counties; Urban Counties Caucus

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes 74 - Noes 0



                                         KEY ISSUE
           
          SHOULD THE PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH BPH OR CDCR MUST NOTIFY LOCAL LAW 
          ENFORCEMENT OF THE SCHEDULED RELEASE OF AN INMATE CONVICTED OF A 
          VIOLENT FELONY BE EXTENDED FROM 45 DAYS TO 60 DAYS?


                                       PURPOSE




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          The purpose of this bill is to extend from 45 days to 60 days 
          the period of time in which BPH or CDCR must notify local law 
          enforcement of the scheduled release of an inmate convicted of a 
          violent felony.

           Existing law  requires that whenever a person is confined in the 
          state prison for a conviction of a violent felony, within 45 
          days of the scheduled release of that person, the California 
          Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) (in the case 
          of determinately sentenced inmates) or the Board of Parole 
          Hearings (BPH) (in the case of indeterminately sentenced 
          inmates) shall notify the sheriff, chief of police, or both, and 
          the district attorney that have jurisdiction over the community 
          in which the person was convicted and that have jurisdiction 
          over the community in which the person is scheduled to be 
          released.  (Penal Code  3058.6.)

           Existing law  provides that the sheriff or the chief of police, 
          when notified as to the pending release of a violent felon may, 
          without incurring any liability, notify any person they deem 
          appropriate of the pending release.  (Penal Code  3058.7(a).)

           Existing law  also requires the CDCR or BPH to send a notice to a 
          victim or witness who has requested notification that a person 
          convicted of a violent felony is scheduled to be released.  
          (Penal Code  3058.8(a).)

           Existing law  requires that, except as specified, an inmate who 
          is released on parole or post release supervision shall be 
          returned to the county that was the last legal residence of the 
          inmate prior to his or her incarceration. Nonetheless, an inmate 
          may be returned to another county if that would be in the best 
          interests of the public. In making its decision, the paroling 
          authority shall consider, among others, specified factors, 
          giving the greatest weight to the protection of the victim and 
          the safety of the community.  (Penal Code  3003(a), (b).)

           Existing law  provides that an inmate who is released on parole 




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          shall not be returned to a location within 35 miles of the 
          actual residence of a victim of, or a witness to, specified 
          violent felonies or a felony in which the defendant inflicts 
          great bodily injury on any person other than an accomplice, as 
          specified, if the victim or witness has requested additional 
          distance in the placement of the inmate on parole, and if the 
          BPH or the CDCR finds that there is a need to protect the life, 
          safety, or well-being of a victim or witness.  (Penal Code  
          3003(f).)

           Existing law  provides that an inmate who is released on parole 
          for specified sex crimes whom the CDCR determines poses a high 
          risk to the public shall not be placed or reside, for the 
          duration of his or her parole, within one-half mile of any 
          public or private school including any or all of kindergarten 
          and grades 1 to 12, inclusive. (Penal Code  3003(g).)

           Existing law  provides that an inmate who is released on parole 
          for an offense involving stalking shall not be returned to a 
          location within 35 miles of the victim's actual residence or 
          place of employment if the victim or witness has requested 
          additional distance in the placement of the inmate on parole, 
          and if the BPH or the CDCR finds that there is a need to protect 
          the life, safety, or well-being of the victim.  (Penal Code  
          3003(h).)

           Existing law  provides that the authority shall give 
          consideration to the equitable distribution of parolees and the 
          proportion of out-of-county commitments from a county compared 
          to the number of commitments from that county when making parole 
          decisions.  (Penal Code  3003(i).)

           This bill  would extend from 45 days to 60 days the period of 
          time in which BPH or CDCR must notify local law enforcement of 
          the scheduled release of an inmate convicted of a violent 
          felony.
          

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION




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          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's 
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation. 
           As these cases have progressed, prison conditions have 
          continued to be assailed, and the scrutiny of the federal courts 
          over California's prisons has intensified.  

          On June 30, 2005, in a class action lawsuit filed four years 
          earlier, the United States District Court for the Northern 
          District of California established a Receivership to take 
          control of the delivery of medical services to all California 
          state prisoners confined by the California Department of 
          Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR").  In December of 2006, 
          plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against CDCR sought a 
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the 
          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a 
          three-judge federal panel issued an order requiring California 
          to reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design 
          capacity -- a reduction at that time of roughly 40,000 inmates 
          -- within two years.  The court stayed implementation of its 
          ruling pending the state's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

          On May 23, 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld the 
          decision of the three-judge panel in its entirety, giving 
          California two years from the date of its ruling to reduce its 
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity, subject 
          to the right of the state to seek modifications in appropriate 
          circumstances.  
            
          In response to the unresolved prison capacity crisis, in early 
          2007 the Senate Committee on Public Safety began holding 
          legislative proposals which could further exacerbate prison 
          overcrowding through new or expanded felony prosecutions. 










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


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for the Bill  

          According to the author:

               The current timeline that CDCR follows to notify 
               counties of the release of a parolee is problematic. 
               The recent high profile release of Loren Herzog, a 
               convicted serial killer, into Lassen County in my 
               district caused a great deal of anxiety in the 
               community and gave law enforcement very little time to 
               prepare for Herzog's release. This is a perfect 
               example of the need for CDCR to think further ahead 
               than the current 45-day timeline. The solution 
               proposed by AB 44 is to extend the required 
               notification date from 45 days to 60 days before the 
               release date. While not a perfect solution, this will 
               give counties and law enforcement additional notice 
          and reduce the likelihood of a short notice release.
          2.  Current Notification Procedures at CDCR  

          CDCR summarized their current notification process as follows:

               The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation 
               (CDCR) sends release notifications 90 days prior to 
               parole to those victims/witnesses who have requested a 
               notice.  This will give victims adequate time to 
               challenge the residential placement in accordance with 
               established CDCR procedures.
                
               The CDCR also provides notification of release 60 days 
               prior to parole to law enforcement agencies, district 
               attorneys and family members pursuant to Penal Code 
               (PC) Sections 3058.6, 3058.9, 3060.6, 3058.61 and 




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               3058.65.  

          CDCR informed Committee staff that, whenever possible, they 
          provide notice 90 days prior to the release of a person 
          convicted of a violent felony to victims and witnesses who have 
          requested such notice.  

          SHOULD THIS NOTICE PERIOD BE EXTENDED?



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