BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  SB 557
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:  June 21, 2011
          Counsel:       Stella Choe


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                     SB 557 (Kehoe) - As Amended:  June 15, 2011
           
           
           SUMMARY  :  Authorizes the Cities of San Diego and Anaheim, and 
          the Counties of Alameda and Sonoma, to create a two-year pilot 
          project to establish family justice centers to assist victims of 
          domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, cyberstalking, 
          cyberbullying, human trafficking, and elder or dependent adult 
          abuse, as defined by law.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Defines a "family justice center" as a multiagency, 
            multidisciplinary service center where public and private 
            agencies assign staff members to provide services to victims 
            of crime from one location in order to reduce the number of 
            times victims must tell their story, reduce the number of 
            places victims must go to for help, and increase access to 
            services and support for victims and their children.

          2)Defines "victims of crime," "crime victim," or "victim" as a 
            victim of domestic violence, officer-involved domestic 
            violence, sexual assault, elder or dependent adult abuse, 
            stalking, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, or human trafficking.

          3)Provides that staff members at a family justice center may be 
            either full-time or part-time and may be comprised of, but are 
            not limited to, the following:

             a)   Law enforcement personnel;

             b)   Medical personnel;

             c)   Victim-witness program personnel;

             d)   Domestic violence shelter staff;

             e)   Community-based rape crisis, domestic violence, and 
               human trafficking advocates;









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             f)   Social service agency staff members;

             g)   Child welfare agency social workers;

             h)   County health department staff;

             i)   City or county welfare and public assistance workers;

             j)   Nonprofit agency counseling professionals;

             aa)  Civil legal service providers;

             bb)  Supervised volunteers from partner agencies; and,

             cc)  Other professionals providing services

          4)States that victims of crime shall not be required to 
            participate in the criminal justice system or cooperate with 
            law enforcement in order to receive counseling, medical care, 
            or other services at a family justice center.

          5)States that victims of crime shall not be denied services on 
            the grounds of criminal history.  No criminal history search 
            shall be conducted of a victim at a family justice center as a 
            condition of receiving services within a family justice center 
            without the victim's written consent, unless the criminal 
            history search is pursuant to an active criminal 
            investigation.

          6)Requires each family justice center to develop policies and 
            procedures, in collaboration with local community-based crime 
            victim service providers and local survivors of violence or 
            abuse, to ensure coordinated services are provided to victims 
            and to enhance the safety of victims and professionals at a 
            family justice center who participate in affiliated 
            survivor-centered support or advocacy groups.

          7)Requires each family justice center to maintain a formal 
            client feedback, complaint, and input process to address 
            client concerns about services provided or the conduct of any 
            family justice center professionals, agency partners, or 
            volunteers providing services in a family justice center.

          8)Requires each family justice center to maintain an informed 
            client consent policy that must be in compliance with all 








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            state and federal laws protecting the confidentiality of the 
            types of information and documents that may be in a victim's 
            file, including, but not limited to, medical and legal 
            records.

          9)States that each family justice center must have a designated 
            privacy officer to develop and oversee privacy policies and 
            procedures consistent with state and federal privacy laws and 
            the Fair Information Practice Principles.  At no time shall a 
            victim be required to sign a client consent form to share 
            information in order to access services.

          10)States that a victim's consent to share information pursuant 
            to a consent policy shall not be construed as a waiver of 
            confidentiality or any privilege held by the victim or family 
            justice center professionals.

          11)Requires the family justice centers, the National Family 
            Justice Center Alliance, and relevant stakeholders, under the 
            advisement of the Office of Privacy Protection, to provide an 
            evaluation report that includes outcomes and evaluation data 
            from the family justice centers, recommended best practices to 
            ensure privacy of clients and recommendations for future state 
            legislation.  The report must be submitted to the Office of 
            Privacy Protection for review and comment, and then to the 
            Assembly Committee on Judiciary, the Senate Committee on 
            Judiciary, the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, and the 
            Senate Committee on Public Safety no later than January 1, 
            2013.

          12)Requires each family justice center to maintain a formal 
            training program with mandatory training for all staff 
            members, volunteers, and agency professionals of not less than 
            eight hours per year on subjects including, but not limited 
            to, confidentiality, information sharing, risk assessment, 
            safety planning, victim advocacy, and high-risk cause 
            response.

          13)Establishes a sunset date of January 1, 2014.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Authorizes a program for interagency domestic violence death 
            review teams, composed of professionals such as coroners, 
            forensic pathologists, prosecutors, domestic violence center 








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            staff members, county health department staff, county health 
            department staff, child abuse agency staff members and others. 
             Allows each organization to share with other members of the 
            team information in its possession concerning the victim who 
            is the subject of the review or any person who was in contact 
            with the victim and any other information deemed by the 
            organization to be pertinent to the review. States that any 
            information shared by an organization with other members of a 
            team is confidential, but permits the disclosure to members of 
            the team of any information deemed confidential, privileged, 
            or prohibited from disclosure by any other statute, as 
            specified.  (Penal Code Section 11163.3.)

          2)Mandates the Attorney General, subject to available funding, 
            to work with the state domestic violence coalition to develop 
            a protocol for the development and implementation of 
            interagency domestic violence death review teams for use by 
            counties, which shall include relevant procedures for both 
            urban and rural counties.  The protocol shall be designed to 
            facilitate communication among persons who perform autopsies 
            and the various persons and agencies involved in domestic 
            violence cases so that incidents of domestic violence and 
            deaths related to domestic violence are recognized and 
            surviving nonoffending family and household members and 
            domestic partners receive the appropriate services.  (Penal 
            Code Section 11163.5.)

          3)Authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ), with the 
            cooperation of specified organizations and agencies, to 
            coordinate and integrate state and local efforts to address 
            fatal child abuse and neglect, and to create a body of 
            information to prevent child abuse.  (Penal Code Section 
            11174.34.)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "The Family 
            Justice Center statute defines family justice centers for the 
            first time in California law.  Family Justice Centers have 
            been identified as a 'best practice' by the U.S. Department of 
            Justice and involved collaboration among public and private, 
            non-profit agencies providing intervention and prevention 
            services to address domestic violence, sexual assault, and 








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            other forms of abuse.  While the composition of Centers vary 
            by community, the general concept of providing all the 
            services for victims under one roof has been identified as an 
            effective approach to increase safety and offender 
            accountability by avoiding the need for victims to travel from 
            agency to agency, telling their story over and over in order 
            to receive help.  There are now fifteen such Centers in 
            California and fifteen more in early stages of planning.  The 
            Family Justice Center Alliance is the umbrella organization 
            for Family Justice Centers in California and around the United 
            States and gathers non-identifying, aggregate data from 
            existing Centers to document outcomes and impacts of this 
            multi-disciplinary model.  In order to ensure that victims 
            receive the same level of service and privacy protections, 
            there need to be statewide standards for the Family Justice 
            Center model."

           2)Fair Information Practice Principals  :  This bill requires each 
            family justice center to develop policies consistent with 
            state and federal privacy laws as well as the "Fair 
            Information Practice Principals."  According to the California 
            Office of Privacy Protection's Web site, the following 
            principals, known as the "Fair Information Practice 
            Principals", are the basis for many privacy laws in the United 
            States, Canada, Europe and other parts of the world.  

          "Openness.  There should be a general policy of openness about 
            developments, practices and policies with respect to personal 
            data.  Means should be readily available for establishing the 
            existence and nature of personal data, and the main purposes 
            of their use, as well as the identity and usual residence of 
            the data controller.

          "Collection Limitation.  There should be limits to the 
            collection of personal data and any such data should be obtain 
            by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the 
            knowledge or consent of the data subject.

          "Purpose Specification.  The purpose for which personal data are 
            collected should be specified not later than at the time of 
            data collection and the subsequent use limited to the 
            fulfillment of those purposes or such others as are not 
            incompatible with those purposes and as are specified on each 
            occasion of change of purpose.









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          "Use Limitation.  Personal data should not be disclosed, made 
            available or otherwise used for purposes other than those 
            specified as described above, except with the consent of the 
            data subject or by the authority of law.

          "Data Quality.  Personal data should be relevant to the purposes 
            for which they are to be used, and, to the extent necessary 
            for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, relevant and 
            kept up-to-date.

          "Individual Participation.  An individual should have the right: 
            a) to obtain from a data controller, or otherwise, 
            confirmation of whether or not the data controller has data 
            relating to him; b) to have communicated to him, data relating 
            to him within a reasonable time; at a charge, if any, that is 
            not excessive; in a reasonable manner; and in a form that is 
            readily intelligible to him; c) to be given reasons if a 
            request is denied and to be able to challenge such denial; and 
            d) to challenge data relating to him and, if the challenge is 
            successful, to have the data erased, rectified, completed or 
            amended.

          "Security Safeguards.  Personal data should be protected by 
            reasonable security safeguards against such risks as loss or 
            unauthorized access, destruction, use, modification or 
            disclosure of data.

          "Accountability.  A data controller should be accountable for 
            complying with measures which give effect to the principles 
            stated above."  ›Fair Information Practice Principals, found 
            at  (as of 
            June 14, 2011).]

           3)Confidentiality Issues and Privacy Laws  :  This bill allows for 
            the sharing of crime victims' information with and by staff 
            members and other family justice center professionals.  
            Victims of sexual assault and other victims of crime serviced 
            by family justice centers will often provide personal health 
            information or undergo counseling or medical examinations 
            which would fall under medical privacy laws and privilege 
            laws.

          California law provides that confidential communications between 
            victims and sexual assault counselors, domestic violence 
            counselors, and human trafficking case workers are privileged 








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            communications that may be disclosed upon consent by the 
            victim, or under circumstances where a court orders disclosure 
            of information as relevant evidence for a related criminal 
            proceeding if the court determines that the probative value 
            outweighs the effect on the victim, the counseling 
            relationship, and the counseling services.  (Evidence Code 
            Sections 1035 to 1038, et seq.)

          Under federal law, the Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996 
            (HIPAA) provides that medical records and other personal 
            health information shall be confidential, subject to specified 
            exceptions and procedures.  (Pub. Law 104-191; 45 C.F.R. Pts. 
            160, 164.)  Under HIPAA, covered entities may disclose 
            protected health information to law enforcement officials for 
            specified law enforcement purposes, such as court orders, to 
            identify suspects or witnesses, to find missing persons, 
            information about a crime victim, notice of death and related 
            matters.

          This bill addresses confidentiality and privacy issues by 
            requiring each family justice center to maintain an informed 
            client consent policy that is in compliance with all state and 
            federal laws protecting the victim's confidentiality, develop 
            and oversee privacy policies and procedures consistent with 
            state and federal privacy laws and the Fair Information 
            Practice Principals.  This bill requires each family justice 
            center to maintain a formal mandatory training program for all 
            staff members, volunteers, and agency professionals on 
            confidentiality and information sharing.  Additionally, this 
            bill prohibits searching a victim's criminal history without 
            the written consent of the victim, unless the search is 
            pursuant to an active criminal investigation which would most 
            likely involve a domestic violence investigation of the 
            victim's abuser.

           4)Argument in Support  :  According to the  Community Resource 
            Center  , "The Community Resource Center is a strong supporter 
            of the San Diego Family Justice Center - one of the pilot 
            sites.

          "It is time to gather study data and consider statewide Family 
            Justice Center legislation at the conclusion of the study.

          "President Obama's Director of the Office on Violence Against 
            Women, The Honorable Susan B. Carbon greeted over 550 








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            attendees at the International Family Justice Center 
            Conference in San Diego a few weeks ago and provided the 
            necessary background to support this legislation:  ' . . . I 
            want to recognize the national Family Justice Center Alliance 
            for their vision, their extraordinary leadership, and their 
            ongoing partnership in the journey to end domestic violence 
            and all other forms of violence against women.  The Family 
            Justice Center model is the natural progression of the 
            coordinated community response to violence against women which 
            is at the very foundation of the Violence Against Women Act.  
            At its core, the Family Justice Center model is about 
            providing the most effective, efficient, meaningful, and 
            compassionate services possible to victims of domestic 
            violence, their children, as well as their families.  In many 
            circumstances, Family Justice Centers are now expanding to 
            include services for victims of child abuse, sexual assault, 
            teen dating violence and elder abuse.  The Family Justice 
            center model is a victim-centered model, one that transforms 
            the delivery of victim services by bringing together 
            advocates, law enforcement, prosecutors and other intervention 
            professionals in one location to work together to serve 
            victims and their children and hold offenders accountable.'

          "It is time for the Family Justice Center model to be recognized 
            in state law and for standards to be set to ensure the best 
            possible services to victims and their children in 
            California." 

           5)Argument in Opposition  :  According to the  American Civil 
            Liberties Union  , "SB 557 would authorize the establishment of 
            multidisciplinary centers to assist victims of domestic 
            violence, human trafficking and other crimes, and would 
            involve the sharing of victims' information among people from 
            various disciplines, including law enforcement. 

          "›O]ur concern is that when the victim is talking to a law 
            enforcement officer s/he knows that information provided may 
            be used in a criminal proceeding; however, when the victim is 
            sitting in front of an intake worker, social worker in the 
            hopes of receiving services, s/he is not on notice that the 
            information may be shared with law enforcement officers. 

          "We're hoping there's some way to address our concern and remain 
            consistent with the mission of family justice centers."









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           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          National Family Justice Center Alliance (Sponsor)
          Alameda County District Attorney 
          California Catholic Conference
          California National Organization for Women
          California Peace Officers' Association
          California Probation Parole and Correctional Association
          California Protective Parents Association
          City of Anaheim Police Department
          City of San Diego, Family Justice Center
          Community Resource Center
          Community Service Programs, Victim Assistance Program
          County of Shasta District Attorney
          Crime Victims United of California
          Disability Rights California
          Family Justice Center Sonoma County
          Inter-Tribal Council of California, Inc.
          San Diego City Attorney
          San Diego County District Attorney
          Sonoma County Board of Supervisors
          Stanislaus County Office of the District Attorney
          State Public Affairs Committee of the Junior Leagues of 
          California
          One private individual

           Opposition 
           
          American Civil Liberties Union 
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Stella Choe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744