BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 68
          Author:   Maienschein (R)
          Amended:  8/20/13 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 5/14/13
          AYES: Hancock, Anderson, Block, De León, Knight, Liu, Steinberg

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  76-0, 4/18/13 (Consent) - See last page for  
            vote


           SUBJECT  :    Parole

           SOURCE  :     County of San Diego
                      San Diego District Attorneys Office


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the Department of Corrections and  
          Rehabilitation (CDCR) to provide notice to the county of  
          commitment, and the proposed county of release, if that county  
          is different than the county of commitment, at least 30 days or  
          as specified, prior to a medical parole hearing or a medical  
          parole release.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/20/13 clarify that notice of a  
          medical parole hearing shall be given to the proposed county of  
          release only when that is different than the county of  
          commitment; to allow notification to be as soon as feasible.

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           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Provides that the Board of Parole Hearings or its successor  
             in interest shall be the state's parole authority.

          2. 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. 

          3. Requires a physician employed by CDCR 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:

          1. Requires CDCR give notice to the county of commitment, and  
             the proposed county of release, if that county is different  
             than the county of commitment, of any medical parole hearing,  
             as specified, and of any medical parole release, or as  
             specified.

          2. Requires that notice be made at least 30 days, or as soon as  
             feasible, prior to the time any medical parole hearing or  
             medical parole release is scheduled for an inmate receiving  
             medical parole consideration, regardless of whether the  
             inmate is sentenced either determinately or indeterminately.

           Background
           
          SB 1399 (Leno, Chapter 405, Statutes of 2010) resulted in the  
          enactment of medical parole, which became operative in January  
          of 2011.  The law provides that medical parole shall be granted  
          where (1) an inmate has been found by the head physician in the  
          institute where they are housed to be permanently medically  
          incapacitated with a medical condition that renders him or her  
          permanently unable to perform activities of basic daily living,  
          and results in the prisoner requiring 24-hour care and (2) the  

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          Board of Parole Hearings also makes a determination that the  
          conditions under which the prisoner would be released would not  
          reasonably pose a threat to public safety.  According to the  
          Receiver's office, there have been 51 inmates granted medical  
          parole since its inception in 2011.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/21/13)

          County of San Diego (co-source)
          San Diego District Attorney's Office (co-source)
          California District Attorneys Association
          California Parole, Probation and Correctional Officers  
          Association
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California State Association of Counties
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          Chief Probation Officers of California 
          County of San Bernardino
          Crime Victims Action Alliance
          Crime Victims United
          Lassen County
          Peace Officers Research Association of California
          Rural County Representatives of California
          San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
          Urban Counties Caucus

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/21/13)

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          Department of Finance
          Friends Committee on Legislation of California
          Justice Now
          Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
          Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author:

             There currently is a lack of communication between state  
             and local agencies as it relates to the medical parole of  
             prisoners.  Current law only requires that a medical  
             parole notification be provided to the county where the  

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             inmate was convicted and not to the counties to which  
             those inmates will be paroled.  Because San Diego County  
             has highly specialized skilled nursing home facilities  
             that some prisoners require, some prisoners have been  
             medically paroled without any notice to County officials.   
             This legislation attempts to close that communication gap.

             In the spring of 2011, the San Diego County District  
             Attorney's office successfully argued against the release  
             of an inmate convicted of kidnapping, beating and raping a  
             woman in San Diego in 1998.  Despite the fact that the  
             inmate was a quadriplegic, he verbally abused and  
             threatened the medical staff at the prison and was capable  
             of verbally ordering crimes be committed.

             In late 2011, an inmate medically paroled to San Diego  
             made indecent gestures to female nurses in the skilled  
             nursing facility providing his care. Before these inmates  
             have the opportunity to commit additional crimes, the  
             County of San Diego would like the chance to review the  
             information on these individuals and weigh in on their  
             release before they return to our community.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Justice Now writes, "Medical parole  
          is a measure intended to save valuable state resources through  
          the release of permanently medically incapacitated people from  
          prison, thereby relinquishing the state of financial burden  
          associated with their health care, guarding, and transportation  
          costs.  We are extremely appreciative of the legislature's  
          recognition of the rare win-win opportunity to save precious  
          state resources while preserving public safety presented by the  
          medical parole of people permanently unable to perform the  
          activities of daily living who would not reasonably pose a  
          threat to their communities.

          "AB 68 would create more barriers for people in prison seeking  
          release through medical parole.  Rather than adopting statutory  
          language that will result in obstruction of process, and thus  
          its statutory intent as the process becomes underutilized, we  
          should be expanding medical parole to address continued  
          statewide prison overcrowding and the significant costs  
          associated with imprisoning an aging population."  
           
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  76-0, 4/18/13

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          AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Blumenfield, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown,  
            Buchanan, Ian Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway,  
            Cooley, Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eggman, Fong, Fox,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Gorell,  
            Gray, Grove, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández, Jones,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder, Logue, Maienschein, Mansoor,  
            Medina, Melendez, Morrell, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian,  
            Nestande, Olsen, Pan, Patterson, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez,  
            Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Salas, Skinner, Stone, Ting,  
            Torres, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Wilk, Williams,  
            Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Holden, Lowenthal, Mitchell, Vacancy


          JG:d  8/21/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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