BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”







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

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          AB 799 (Swanson)                                            
          As Amended April 11, 2011 
          Hearing date:  June 7, 2011
          Welfare and Institutions Code
          AA:mc

                       SEXUALLY EXPLOITED MINORS PILOT PROJECT:

                                   ALAMEDA COUNTY  


                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Author

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

          Support: California District Attorneys Association; Junior 
          Leagues of California; Alameda                         County 
          Board of Supervisors; California State Sheriffs' Association; 
          Child Abuse                                            
          Prevention Center; California Probation Parole and Correctional 
          Association; AFSCME, AFL-CIO; Eta Nu Omega Chapter of Alpha 
          Kappa Alpha Sorority                                   
          Incorporation; City of Oakland

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes  62 - Noes  0


                                      KEY ISSUES
           




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          SHOULD THE ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY BE REQUIRED TO 
          SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE LEGISLATURE REGARDING ALAMEDA'S SEXUALLY 
          EXPLOITED MINORS PILOT PROJECT SUBJECT TO LOCAL FUNDING, AS 
          SPECIFIED?

                                                                (CONTINUED)



          SHOULD THE SUNSET ON THE STATUTE DESCRIBING THE ALAMEDA COUNTY PILOT 
          PROJECT RELATING TO SEXUALLY EXPLOITED MINORS BE EXTENDED FIVE 
          YEARS?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to extend the sunset of the existing 
          Alameda County pilot project relating to sexually exploited 
          minors five years, and to require the Alameda County district 
          attorney to provide a report to the Legislature on the pilot 
          contingent upon local funding and operation of the pilot, 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, 2012.  (Welfare and 
          Institutions Code ß 18259 et seq.)

           This bill  would extend the sunset on these statutory provisions 
          five years, until January 1, 2017.

           This bill  additionally would require the District Attorney for 
          the County of Alameda, on or before April 1, 2016, to "submit a 
          report to the Legislature that summarizes the activities 
          performed by the district attorney pursuant to this section, so 
          that the Legislature may determine whether the pilot project 




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          should be extended or expanded to other counties prior to the 
          repeal of this chapter.  . . .  The report shall, at a minimum, 
          include the number of sexually exploited minors, if any, 
          diverted by the program . . .  and a summary of the types of 
          services and alternate treatments provided to those minors."

           This bill  would provide that the report required by its 
          provisions "shall be contingent upon local funding, and shall be 
          required only if the County of Alameda establishes a pilot 
          project and the district attorney performs any of the activities 
          of the pilot project authorized by this chapter.  The report 
          shall not include any information that would reveal the identity 
          of a specific sexually exploited minor."


                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
          
          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 




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                                                           AB 799 (Swanson)
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          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.     

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


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Stated Need for This Bill    

          The author states:

               The pilot project established by AB 499 will sunset on 
               January 1, 2012.  AB 799 will extend the sunset by 
               five years to maintain the integrity and continuity of 
               this important diversion program.

          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, now codified, contains the following 
          discretionary features for a pilot in Alameda County:






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                 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<1> or loitering with the intent to commit 
               prostitution.<2> 

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

                 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.  
           



          This bill would require the Alameda District Attorney to submit 
          ---------------------------
          <1>   Specifically, a violation of subdivision (a) or (b) of 
          Section 647.
          <2>   Specifically, a violation of subdivision (a) of Section 
          653.22.



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          a report on this pilot, subject to local funding, as specified.  
          The bill also extends the sunset on the statutory language for 
          five years to 2017.  

          2.  Status of Pilot


           As explained in the Assembly Public Safety Committee analysis of 
          this bill:


               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 




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               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 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. 





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               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.


          3.  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, 
          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."<3>  Similarly, an Oakland Tribune article from 2008 
          described efforts to address child prostitutes as victims rather 
          than criminal offenders:
          ---------------------------

          <3>   Dunlap, Kamika, Cops Treating Child Prostitutes as 
          Victims, Contra Costa Times, April 23, 2008.  



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               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 
               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 












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               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."<4> 


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          ---------------------------
          <4>  Barbara Grady, Many Child Prostitutes Seeking Shelter, 
          Oakland Tribune, April 22, 2008.