Amended in Senate August 20, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 11, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 1, 2013

Amended in Assembly February 26, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 68


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Wilk)

January 9, 2013


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

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 68, as amended, 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 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.

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),
25the 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
P3    1if the head physician of the institution does not concur in the
2recommendation, he or she shall provide the primary care physician
3with a written explanation of the reasons for denying the referral.

4(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, the
5prisoner or his or her family member or designee may
6independently request consideration for medical parole by
7contacting the head physician at the prison or the department.
8Within 30 days of receiving the request, the head physician of the
9institution shall, in consultation with the prisoner’s primary care
10 physician, make a determination regarding whether the prisoner
11meets the criteria for medical parole as specified in subdivision
12(a) and, if the head physician of the institution determines that the
13prisoner satisfies the criteria set forth in subdivision (a), he or she
14shall refer the matter to the Board of Parole Hearings using a
15standardized form and format developed by the department. If the
16head physician of the institution does not concur in the
17recommendation, he or she shall provide the prisoner or his or her
18family member or designee with a written explanation of the
19reasons for denying the application.

20(e) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall
21complete parole plans for inmates referred to the Board of Parole
22Hearings for medical parole consideration. The parole plans shall
23include, but not be limited to, the inmate’s plan for residency and
24medical care.

25(f) Notwithstanding any other law, medical parole hearings shall
26be conducted by two-person panels consisting of at least one
27commissioner. In the event of a tie vote, the matter shall be referred
28to the full board for a decision. Medical parole hearings may be
29heard in absentia.

30(g) Upon receiving a recommendation from the head physician
31of the institution where a prisoner is located for the prisoner to be
32granted medical parole pursuant to subdivision (c) or (d), the board,
33as specified in subdivision (f), shall make an independent judgment
34regarding whether the conditions under which the inmate would
35be released pose a reasonable threat to public safety, and make
36written findings related thereto.

37(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the board or
38the Division of Adult Parole Operations shall have the authority
39to impose any reasonable conditions on prisoners subject to medical
40parole supervision pursuant to subdivision (a), including, but not
P4    1limited to, the requirement that the parolee submit to electronic
2monitoring. As a further condition of medical parole, pursuant to
3subdivision (a), the parolee may be required to submit to an
4examination by a physician selected by the board for the purpose
5of diagnosing the parolee’s current medical condition. In the event
6such an examination takes place, a report of the examination and
7diagnosis shall be submitted to the board by the examining
8physician. If the board determines, based on that medical
9examination, that the person’s medical condition has improved to
10the extent that the person no longer qualifies for medical parole,
11the board shall return the person to the custody of the department.

12(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law establishing
13maximum periods for parole, a prisoner sentenced to a determinate
14term who is placed on medical parole supervision prior to the
15earliest possible release date and who remains eligible for medical
16parole, shall remain on medical parole, pursuant to subdivision
17(a), until that earliest possible release date, at which time the
18parolee shall commence serving that period of parole provided by,
19and under the provisions of, Chapter 8 (commencing with Section
203000) of Title 1.

21(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law establishing
22maximum periods for parole, a prisoner sentenced to an
23indeterminate term who is placed on medical parole supervision
24prior to the prisoner’s minimum eligible parole date, and who
25remains eligible for medical parole, shall remain on medical parole
26pursuant to subdivision (a) until that minimum eligible parole date,
27at which time the parolee shall be eligible for parole consideration
28under all other provisions of Chapter 8 (commencing with Section
293000) of Title 1.

30(i) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall, at
31the time a prisoner is placed on medical parole supervision pursuant
32to subdivision (a), ensure that the prisoner has applied for any
33federal entitlement programs for which the prisoner is eligible,
34and has in his or her possession a discharge medical summary, full
35medical records, parole medications, and all property belonging
36to the prisoner that was under the control of the department. Any
37additional records shall be sent to the prisoner’s forwarding address
38after release to health care-related parole supervision.

P5    1(j) The provisions for medical parole set forth in this title shall
2not affect an inmate’s eligibility for any other form of parole or
3release provided by law.

4(k) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the
5Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall give notice to
6the county ofbegin delete commitment,end deletebegin insert commitment end insert and thebegin insert proposedend insert county
7ofbegin delete proposed releaseend deletebegin insert release, if that county is different than the
8county of commitment,end insert
of any medical parole hearing as described
9in subdivision (f), and of any medical parole release as described
10in subdivision (g).

11(2) Notice shall be made at least 30begin delete daysend deletebegin insert days, or as soon as
12feasible,end insert
prior to the time any medical parole hearing or medical
13parole release is scheduled for an inmate receiving medical parole
14consideration, regardless of whether the inmate is sentenced either
15determinately or indeterminately.



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