California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 68


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

January 9, 2013


An act to amend Section 3550 of the Penal Code, relating to parole.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 68, as introduced, Maienschein. Parole.

Existing law provides that the Board of Parole Hearings or its successor in interest shall be the state’s parole authority. Existing law provides that, except as specified, a prisoner who is found to be permanently medically incapacitated, as specified, shall be granted medical parole, if the Board of Parole Hearings determines that the conditions under which the prisoner would be released would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety. Existing law requires a physician employed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who is the primary care provider for a prisoner to recommend that the prisoner be referred to the Board of Parole Hearings for consideration for medical parole if the physician believes the prisoner meets the medical criteria for medical parole.

This bill would require the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to give notice of any medical parole hearing and any medical parole release to both the county of commitment and the county of proposed release, at least 30 days prior to a medical parole hearing or a medical parole release. This bill would require that the notice include pertinent information regarding the inmate, including his or her plan for residency and medical care.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

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SECTION 1.  

Section 3550 of the Penal Code is amended to
2read:

3

3550.  

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except
4as provided in subdivision (b), any prisoner who the head physician
5of the institution where the prisoner is located determines, as
6provided in this section, is permanently medically incapacitated
7with a medical condition that renders him or her permanently
8unable to perform activities of basic daily living, and results in the
9prisoner requiring 24-hour care, and that incapacitation did not
10exist at the time of sentencing, shall be granted medical parole if
11the Board of Parole Hearings determines that the conditions under
12which the prisoner would be released would not reasonably pose
13a threat to public safety.

14(b) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to any prisoner sentenced to
15death or life in prison without possibility of parole or to any inmate
16who is serving a sentence for which parole, pursuant to subdivision
17(a), is prohibited by any initiative statute. The provisions of this
18section shall not be construed to alter or diminish the rights
19conferred under the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008: Marsy’s
20Law.

21(c) When a physician employed by the Department of
22Corrections and Rehabilitation who is the primary care provider
23for an inmate identifies an inmate that he or she believes meets
24the medical criteria for medical parole specified in subdivision (a)begin insert,end insert
25 the primary care physician shall recommend to the head physician
26of the institution where the prisoner is located that the prisoner be
27referred to the Board of Parole Hearings for consideration for
28medical parole. Within 30 days of receiving that recommendation,
29if the head physician of the institution concurs in the
30recommendation of the primary care physician, he or she shall
31refer the matter to the Board of Parole Hearings using a
32standardized form and format developed by the department, and
33if the head physician of the institution does not concur in the
34recommendation, he or she shall provide the primary care physician
35with a written explanation of the reasons for denying the referral.

36(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the
37prisoner or his or her family member or designee may
38independently request consideration for medical parole by
P3    1contacting the head physician at the prison or the department.
2Within 30 days of receiving the request, the head physician of the
3institution shall, in consultation with the prisoner’s primary care
4physician, make a determination regarding whether the prisoner
5meets the criteria for medical parole as specified in subdivision
6(a) and, if the head physician of the institution determines that the
7prisoner satisfies the criteria set forth in subdivision (a), he or she
8shall refer the matter to the Board of Parole Hearings using a
9standardized form and format developed by the department. If the
10head physician of the institution does not concur in the
11recommendation, he or she shall provide the prisoner or his or her
12family member or designee with a written explanation of the
13reasons for denying the application.

14(e) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall
15complete parole plans for inmates referred to the Board of Parole
16Hearings for medical parole consideration. The parole plans shall
17include, but not be limited to, the inmate’s plan for residency and
18medical care.

19(f) Notwithstanding any other law, medical parole hearings shall
20be conducted by two-person panels consisting of at least one
21commissioner. In the event of a tie vote, the matter shall be referred
22to the full board for a decision. Medical parole hearings may be
23heard in absentia.

24(g) Upon receiving a recommendation from the head physician
25of the institution where a prisoner is located for the prisoner to be
26granted medical parole pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d), the board,
27as specified in subdivision (f), shall make an independent judgment
28regarding whether the conditions under which the inmate would
29be released pose a reasonable threat to public safety, and make
30written findings related thereto.

31(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board or
32the Division of Adult Parole Operations shall have the authority
33to impose any reasonable conditions on prisoners subject to medical
34parole supervision pursuant to subdivision (a), including, but not
35limited to, the requirement that the parolee submit to electronic
36monitoring. As a further condition of medical parole, pursuant to
37subdivision (a), the parolee may be required to submit to an
38examination by a physician selected by the board for the purpose
39of diagnosing the parolee’s current medical condition. In the event
40such an examination takes place, a report of the examination and
P4    1diagnosis shall be submitted to the board by the examining
2physician. If the board determines, based on that medical
3examination, that the person’s medical condition has improved to
4the extent that the person no longer qualifies for medical parole,
5the board shall return the person to the custody of the department.

6(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law establishing
7maximum periods for parole, a prisoner sentenced to a determinate
8term who is placed on medical parole supervision prior to the
9earliest possible release date and who remains eligible for medical
10parole, shall remain on medical parole, pursuant to subdivision
11(a), until that earliest possible release date, at which time the
12parolee shall commence serving that period of parole provided by,
13and under the provisions of, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section
143000) of Title 1.

15(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law establishing
16maximum periods for parole, a prisoner sentenced to an
17indeterminate term who is placed on medical parole supervision
18prior to the prisoner’s minimum eligible parole date, and who
19remains eligible for medical parole, shall remain on medical parole
20pursuant to subdivision (a) until that minimum eligible parole date,
21at which time the parolee shall be eligible for parole consideration
22under all other provisions of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section
233000) of Title 1.

24(i) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall, at
25the time a prisoner is placed on medical parole supervision pursuant
26to subdivision (a), ensure that the prisoner has applied for any
27federal entitlement programs for which the prisoner is eligible,
28and has in his or her possession a discharge medical summary, full
29medical records, parole medications, and all property belonging
30to the prisoner that was under the control of the department. Any
31additional records shall be sent to the prisoner’s forwarding address
32after release to health care-related parole supervision.

33(j) The provisions for medical parole set forth in this title shall
34not affect an inmate’s eligibility for any other form of parole or
35release provided by law.

begin insert

36(k) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department
37of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall give notice to the county
38of commitment and the county of proposed release of any medical
39parole hearing as described in subdivision (f), and of any medical
P5    1parole release as described in subdivision (g), according to the
2following:

end insert
begin insert

3(1) Notice shall be made at least 30 days prior to the time any
4medical parole hearing or medical parole release is scheduled for
5an inmate receiving medical parole consideration, regardless of
6whether the inmate is sentenced either determinately or
7indeterminately.

end insert
begin insert

8(2) Notice shall include all relevant and pertinent information
9about the inmate, including his or her name, criminal history,
10medical and behavioral health needs, plan for residency and
11medical care as described in subdivision (e), and any skilled
12nursing facility location.

end insert


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