BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  AB 799
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          Date of Hearing:   April 5, 2011
          Consultant:           Stefani Salt


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                 AB 799 (Swanson) - As Introduced:  February 17, 2011
           

          SUMMARY  :   Extends the repeal date of a provision in existing 
          law that authorizes the Alameda County District Attorney to 
          create a pilot project, contingent upon local funding, for the 
          purposes of developing a comprehensive, replicative, 
          multidisciplinary model to address the needs and effective 
          treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors, as 
          specified.  Specifically,  this bill  changes the repeal date from 
          January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2017.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Allows the Alameda County District Attorney to create a pilot 
            project, contingent on local funding, for the purposes of 
            developing a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary 
            model to address the needs and effective treatment of 
            commercially sexually exploited minors.  ›Welfare and 
            Institutions Code (WIC) Section 18259.]

          2)Defines "commercially sexually exploited minor" for purposes 
            of the Alameda County pilot project as a person under the age 
            of 18 who has been abused, as specified, and who has been 
            detained for a violation of the law or placed in a civil hold 
            for specified offenses.  (WIC Section 18259.3.)

          3)Creates a sunset date for the Alameda County pilot project of 
            January 1, 2012.  (WIC Section 18259.5.)

          4)States that "sexual exploitation" refers to a person who 
            knowingly promotes, aids, or assists, employs, uses, 
            persuades, induces,  or coerces a child, or a person 
            responsible for the welfare of a child, who knowingly permits 
            or encourages a child to engage in, or assist others to engage 
            in, prostitution or a live performance involving obscene 
            sexual conduct, or to either pose or model alone or with 
            others for purposes of preparing a film, photograph, negative, 








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            slide, drawing, painting or other pictorial depiction 
            involving obscene sexual conduct.  ›Penal Code Section 
            11165.1(c)(2).]

          5)Defines the following as "disorderly conduct," a misdemeanor 
            (Penal Code Section 647):

               a)     Solicitation of any person to engage in or who 
                 engages in lewd or dissolute conduct in a public place or 
                 in any place open to the public or exposed to public 
                 view; and, 

               b)     Solicitation or agreement to engage in or engagement 
                 in an act of prostitution.  A person agrees to engage in 
                 an act of prostitution when, with specific intent to so 
                 engage, he or she manifests an acceptance of an offer or 
                 solicitation to so engage, regardless of whether the 
                 offer or solicitation was made by a person who also 
                 possessed the specific intent to engage in prostitution.  
                 No agreement to engage in an act of prostitution shall 
                 constitute a violation of this subdivision unless some 
                 act, in addition to the agreement, is done within this 
                 state in furtherance of the commission of an act of 
                 prostitution by the person agreeing to engage in that 
                 act.  As used in this subdivision, "prostitution" 
                 includes a lewd act between persons for money or other 
                 consideration.

          6)Prohibits loitering in any public place with the intent to 
            commit prostitution.  (Penal Code Section 653.22.)  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "AB 499 opened a 
            very important door for commercially sexually exploited 
            children (CSEC) in Alameda County as well as other children 
            trafficked from other counties and states into Oakland, which 
            is widely recognized as an epicenter of child sex trafficking. 
             As a result of the passage of AB 499, the Alameda County 
            District Attorney's Office (A.C.D.A.O.) has been able to 
            develop a comprehensive system response that directs CSEC away 
            from the criminal justice system and into programs offering 
            specialized services essential for the stabilization, safety, 








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            and recovery of these vulnerable children. 

            "By acknowledging that commercially sexually exploited 
            children (CSEC) are victims, and not criminals, AB 499 sends 
            an important message that brings our entire state one step 
            closer towards combating one of the most serious epidemics 
            threatening our youth -- the sale of children for sex.  AB 499 
            codifies what is considered a "Best Practice" in Alameda 
            County and now in other parts of our state as well, directing 
            minors away from prosecution and incarceration and into a 
            diversion program that: acknowledges their victimization, 
            responds to their specific experience, involves them in 
            programs designed to empower and heal them, and offers them 
            services designed to meet their specialized needs.  

            "As a result of the passage of AB 499, other jurisdictions are 
            now also implementing the best practices codified in this 
            pilot program, which is now considered a model throughout our 
            State.  Most recently, Los Angeles County spearheaded SB 1279, 
            which passed and replicates AB 499.  Los Angeles County 
            officials have also requested technical assistance from 
            Alameda County to implement a compatible model for responding 
            to CSEC cases in their jurisdiction.  The extension of AB 499 
            will provide continued inspiration for other jurisdictions to 
            codify and implement this best practice."

           2)Background  :  According to background provided by the author, 
            "The pilot project established by AB 499 will sunset on 
            January 1, 2012.  ›This bill] will extend the sunset by five 
            years to maintain the integrity and continuity of this 
            important diversion program."

          According to the author, "There is currently no protocol within 
            California's Juvenile Justice System to assess and determine 
            if a minor has been a victim of sexual exploitation.  Without 
            appropriate assessment by the juvenile courts and social 
            services agencies, these youth continue to live in cycles of 
            abuse leading to a lifetime of crime.

          "Currently, state laws do not specifically address minors who 
            have been sexually exploited as victims.  Instead, law 
            requires authorities to release the minor within 48 hours of a 
            minor who is suspected of abuse or neglect, unless a petition 
            to declare him or her a dependent child has been filed.  No 
            allowance is made for the delivery of specialized services 








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            that meet the needs of sexually exploited children.  . . .

          "The pilot project, which has succeeded to generate reliable 
            data specifically designed to identify Sexually Commercially 
            Exploited Minors within the juvenile justice system is being 
            used as a model program throughout the state.  The program is 
            an instructive resource to demonstrate and document the nature 
            of sexual exploitation of minors and shift our state policy 
            toward protecting and identifying these children as victims, 
            rather than criminals."

           3)Status of Alameda County Pilot Project  :  The pilot project 
            authorized under AB 499 (Swanson), Chapter 359, Statutes of 
            2008, is part of a larger project called "H.E.A.T (Human 
            Exploitation and Trafficking) Watch."  H.E.A.T Watch is "an 
            innovative, multi-level blueprint designed to combat the 
            H.E.A.T. epidemic victimizing our youth, plaguing our 
            communities, and impacting our businesses."  ›A.C.D.A.O, 
            Alameda County District Attorney's Office Unveils H.E.A.T. 
            Watch,  (as of March 31, 2011).]  

          In a March 23, 2011 progress report on the AB 499 Diversion 
            Program, the A.C.D.A.O stated:  "As a result of the passage of 
            AB 499, the ›A.C.D.A.O.] has been able to develop a 
            comprehensive system response that directs CSEC away from the 
            criminal justice system and into programs offering specialized 
            services essential for the stabilization, safety, and recovery 
            of these vulnerable children.  . . . 

          "Raising awareness and creating the infrastructure necessary to 
            respond to this epidemic is an important first step.  Though 
            funding has until recently been lacking for Alameda County to 
            launch a formal diversion program, the passage of AB 499 
            enabled A.C.D.A.O. to officially commence the necessary and 
            important process of collaborating with systems and community 
            based organizations (CBOs) to forge alliances, build 
            infrastructure, and design an effective and responsive 
            program.  Since the passage of AB 499, A.C.D.A.O. staff and 
            Consultant Julie Posadas Guzman convened working groups to 
            assess the existing response and discuss the design and 
            implementation of a Diversion Program acceptable to all key 
            partners . . .  After much productive discussion and 
            thoughtful deliberation, Julie Guzman of JPG Consultants 
            produced a Concept Paper setting forth the design and 








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            recommendations for the AB 499 Diversion Program.  . . .

          "In partnership with Child Abuse Interviewing, Listening and 
            Coordination Center (CALICO), A.C.D.A.O. recently applied for 
            and obtained a federal grant to pilot the program for a 1 year 
            run starting in April 2011.  CSEC girls have been identified 
            for the program and Alameda County Presiding Juvenile Judge 
            Trina Thompson and Judge Tara Desautels, who have taken a 
            leadership role in facilitating and implementing the Diversion 
            Program, will be handling all AB 499 Diversion Court cases in 
            another new model program underway in Alameda County - Girls 
            Court.  AB 499 provided the impetus for Girls Court, which 
            will prove to be an ideal forum for the identification, 
            recovery, and decriminalization of CSEC in the Diversion 
            Program.  The extension of AB 499 will support the success of 
            the Diversion Program and Girl's Court.

          "Despite the absence of funding and a formalized Diversion 
            Program, the existence of AB 499 strongly supported the 
            A.C.D.A.O.'s ongoing commitment to ensure CSEC receive 
            necessary supports and programs that address their 
            individualized needs.  A.C.D.A.O.'s partnership with the City 
            of Oakland's Measure Y Initiative has enabled hundreds of 
            identified CSEC to be referred to CBOs . . .  2008-2010 data 
            from the City of Oakland showed over 400 identified CSEC were 
            referred to community based services in the county. 

            "Even with the Diversion Program 'under construction,' AB 499 
            produced impressive results. A.C.D.A.O. Deputy District 
            Attorney Ursula Dixon, who was in charge of launching the AB 
            499 Program, estimates that from February 2009 to October 
            2010, she saw close to 100 CSEC and half of those children 
            were amenable to diversion, meaning they were willing to 
            receive services and did not have a juvenile history or other 
            pending cases which would preclude their participation in a 
            services only response.  Quantifying the results of AB 499 
            beyond this number has been a challenge due to lack of data 
            compilation and information sharing between agencies such as 
            Probation and Social Services.  Since AB 499 enabled agencies 
            to start sharing aggregate data on this population, the 
            extension of the legislation will enable more in depth and 
            accurate numbers related to CSEC who interface with multiple 
            systems and agencies within both the ›jurisdiction] and the 
            region.









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            "The existence of AB 499 has also supported A.C.D.A.O.'s 
            efforts to bring together key stakeholders to develop a 
            comprehensive system response that diverts CSEC away from 
            criminalization while decreasing their continued risk of 
            re-victimization and recidivism.  For example, AB 499 enabled 
            the A.C.D.A.O. to convene county agencies such as law 
            enforcement, Probation, Social Services, Public Defender, and 
            CSEC specific CBOs to review all cases ›where] CSECs have been 
            identified by law enforcement in the jurisdiction.  "These 
            'Safety Net' meetings commenced in January of 2011.  To date, 
            over 50 CSEC cases have been assessed through this innovative 
            multi-disciplinary team (MDT) model and CSEC are currently 
            being identified in Safety as appropriate candidates for the 
            Diversion Program. Since many of the youth identified in 
            Safety Net are not residents of Alameda County, A.C.D.A.O. has 
            also utilized information attained from these weekly meetings 
            to develop strategic partnerships and share best practices 
            with neighboring counties for CSEC cases that are 
            multi-jurisdictional in nature."

           4)Lack of Pretrial Diversion for Juvenile Offenses without 
            Programs such as AB 499  :  For violations of certain specified 
            crimes, an adult defendant may be eligible to participate in a 
            diversion program.  (Penal Code Sections 1001 to 1001.9.)  
            Diversion is the suspension of criminal proceedings for a 
            prescribed time period with certain conditions which must be 
            met.  If the defendant is unsuccessful, criminal proceedings 
            resume.  If diversion is successfully completed, the criminal 
            charges are dismissed and the defendant may, with certain 
            exceptions, legally answer that he or she has never been 
            arrested for or charged with the diverted offense.  (Penal 
            Code Section 1001.9.)  A fee to the court and a separate fee 
            to the program are usually required.  The benefits and 
            protections of a successful diversion are to be given broad 
            application.  ›B.W. v. Board of Medical Quality Assurance 
            (1985) 169 Cal.App.3d 219.]  

          Without programs such as those established by AB 499 and SB 1279 
            (Pavley), Chapter 116, Statutes of 2010, juveniles are not 
            afforded an opportunity to participate in pretrial diversion 
            programs.  Alternatively, juveniles are afforded the 
            opportunity to participate in supervised informal probation 
            proceedings.  (WIC Section 654 et seq.)  Additionally, 
            juveniles facing petitions may participate in deferred entry 
            of judgment proceedings.  (WIC Section 790.)  For deferred 








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            entry of judgment, the juvenile must actually enter a plea of 
            guilty.  In place of finding the juvenile guilty, the judge 
            does not enter the guilty finding and instead permits the 
            juvenile to participate in programs as supervised by the 
            probation department.  Upon successful completion of the 
            programs, the matter is dismissed.  Informal probation differs 
            in that the juvenile does not have to plead guilty in order to 
            participate in the program, and upon successful completion the 
            matter is dismissed without a guilty plea ever being entered 
            in the record.  

           5)Previous Legislation  : 

             a)   SB 1279 (Pavley), Chapter 116, Statutes of 2010, 
               replicated AB 499's pilot program in Los Angeles County.

             b)   AB 499 (Swanson), Chapter 359, Statutes of 2008, 
               established a pilot project in Alameda County to create, 
               implement, and deliver standardized training curricula that 
               would provide a protocol for law enforcement and social 
               services to assess and recognize sexually exploited minors 
               within the juvenile justice system. 

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Alameda County Board of Supervisors
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California Probation, Parole and Correctional Association
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Child Abuse Prevention Center
          Junior Leagues of California, State Public Affairs Committee

           Opposition 
           
          None
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Stefani Salt / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 












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