BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2013-2014 Regular Session               B

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          AB 1195 (Eggman)                                           5
          As Amended: April 9, 2013 
          Hearing date:  June 4, 2013
          Government Code
          MK:jr

                                           
                            PUBLIC RECORDS: CRIME VICTIMS  

                                       HISTORY

          Source:  El Concilio

          Prior Legislation: None

          Support: California Partnership to End Domestic Violence;  
                   California Labor Federation;  North Valley Federation;  
                   United Farm Workers; National Council of La Raza;  
                   Women's Center-Youth and Family Services; American  
                   Civil Liberties Union; Asian Americans for Civil Rights  
                   and Equality; California Attorneys for Criminal  
                   Justice; California Immigrant Policy Center; California  
                   Labor Federation; California Partnership; Coalition to  
                   Abolish Slavery and Trafficking; Community Legal  
                   Services in East Palo Alto; Crime Victims Action  
                   Alliance; Crime Victims United of California; The  
                   Greenlining Institute; Haven Women's Center of  
                   Stanislaus; Hunger Action Los Angeles; Immigration  
                   Center for Women and Children; Long Beach Immigration  
                   Rights Coalition; Mexican American Legal Defense and  
                   Education Fund; Mujeres Unidas y Activas; National  
                   Council of Jewish Women; Council for the Spanish  
                   Speaking; Women's Crisis Support-Defensa de Mujeres;  




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                   Improving Dreams, Equity, Access and Success-IDEAS at  
                   SF State; East Bay Sanctuary Convenant; Pangea Legal  
                   Services 

          Opposition:  None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes 73- Noes 0



                                         KEY ISSUE
           
          SHOULD THE LAW PROVIDE THAT A VICTIM OF CRIME NOT BE REQUIRED TO  
          SHOW PROOF OF LEGAL PRESENCE IN THE UNITED STATES IN ORDER TO OBTAIN  
          INFORMATION RELATING TO THAT CRIME?


                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to allow victims of crime to access  
          to information about the crime without having to show proof of  
          legal presence in the United States.

           Existing law  , the California Public Records Act, requires public  
          records to be open to inspection by the public except as  
          specifically exempted from disclosure. (Government Code  
          6253(a).)
           
          Existing law  requires each state or local agency, upon a request  
          for a copy of records that reasonably describes an identifiable  
          record or records (except for those exempt from disclosure), to  
          make the records promptly available to any person upon payment  
          of fees covering direct costs of duplication, or a statutory fee  
          if applicable. (Government Code  6253(b).) 

           Existing law  exempts from disclosure, among many other things,  
          investigatory and security files compiled by any state or local  
          law enforcement agency. However, certain items of information  
          contained in such records (as specified below) are permitted to  




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                                                           AB 1195 (Eggman)
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          be disclosed unless disclosure would endanger the successful  
          completion of the investigation or endanger the safety of a  
          witness or the victim or other persons involved in the  
          investigation. (Government Code  6254(f).) 


           Existing law  , subject to the above "endangerment" limitation,  
          permits the disclosure of information about (a) persons arrested  
          by the agency (e.g. physical description, date and time of  
          arrest, name and occupation, all charges filed); (b) facts about  
          complaints or requests for assistance received by the agency  
          (including information about the crimes alleged and factual  
          circumstances about the crime or incident and the injuries  
          sustained by victims); and (c) pursuant to a request for  
          information for scholarly, journalistic, political, or  
          governmental purpose, the current address of every individual  
          arrested by the agency and the current address of the victim of  
          a crime. (Government Code  6254(f)(1), (f)(2), (f)(3).) 


           Existing law  provides that when a person is the victim of more  
          than one crime, information disclosing that the person is a  
          victim of a crime may be deleted at the request of the victim,  
          or the victim's parent or guardian if the victim is a minor, in  
          making the report of the crime, or of any crime or incident  
          accompanying the crime, available to the public. (Government  
          Code  6254(f)(2).) 
           This bill  provides that a state or local law enforcement agency  
          shall not require a victim of an incident, or an authorized  
          representative thereof, to show proof of the victim's legal  
          presence in the United States in order to obtain the information  
          required to be disclosed by that law enforcement agency pursuant  
          to this subdivision. 

           This bill  provides however, if, for identification purposes, a  
          state or local law enforcement agency requires identification in  
          order for a victim of an incident, or an authorized  
          representative thereof, to obtain that information, the agency  
          shall, at a minimum, accept a current driver's license or  




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          identification card issued by any state in the United States, a  
          current passport issued by the United States or a foreign  
          government with which the United States has a diplomatic  
          relationship, or a current Matricula Consular card. 

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's  
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation  
          relating to conditions of confinement.  On May 23, 2011, the  
          United States Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its  
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity within two  
          years from the date of its ruling, subject to the right of the  
          state to seek modifications in appropriate circumstances.   

          Beginning in early 2007, Senate leadership initiated a policy to  
          hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate the  
          prison overcrowding crisis through new or expanded felony  
          prosecutions.  Under the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which  
          stands for "Receivership/ Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the  
          Committee held measures which created a new felony, expanded the  
          scope or penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increased  
          the application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate  
          the prison overcrowding crisis.  Under these principles, ROCA  
          was applied as a content-neutral, provisional measure necessary  
          to ensure that the Legislature did not erode progress towards  
          reducing prison overcrowding by passing legislation which would  
          increase the prison population.  ROCA necessitated many hard and  
          difficult decisions for the Committee.

          In January of 2013, just over a year after the enactment of the  
          historic Public Safety Realignment Act of 2011, the State of  
          California filed court documents seeking to vacate or modify the  
          federal court order issued by the Three-Judge Court three years  
          earlier to reduce the state's prison population to 137.5 percent  
          of design capacity.  The State submitted in part that the, ". .  
          .  population in the State's 33 prisons has been reduced by over  
          24,000 inmates since October 2011 when public safety realignment  
          went into effect, by more than 36,000 inmates compared to the  




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          2008 population . . . , and by nearly 42,000 inmates since 2006  
          . . . ."  Plaintiffs, who opposed the state's motion, argue in  
          part that, "California prisons, which currently average 150% of  
          capacity, and reach as high as 185% of capacity at one prison,  
          continue to deliver health care that is constitutionally  
          deficient."  In an order dated January 29, 2013, the federal  
          court granted the state a six-month extension to achieve the  
          137.5 % prisoner population cap by December 31st of this year.  



































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          In an order dated April 11, 2013, the Three-Judge Court denied  
          the state's motions, and ordered the state of California to  
          "immediately take all steps necessary to comply with this  
          Court's . . . Order . . . requiring defendants to reduce overall  
          prison population to 137.5% design capacity by December 31,  
          2013."         

          The ongoing litigation indicates that prison capacity and  
          related issues concerning conditions of confinement remain  
          unresolved.  However, in light of the real gains in reducing the  
          prison population that have been made, although even greater  
          reductions are required by the court, the Committee will review  
          each ROCA bill with more flexible consideration.  The following  
          questions will inform this consideration:

                 whether a measure erodes realignment;
                 whether a measure addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
                 whether a bill corrects a constitutional infirmity or  
               legislative drafting error; 
                 whether a measure proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy; and
                 whether a bill addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy.


                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for the Bill  

          According to the author:

                  This bill ensures that crime victims have access to  
               their crime report as required by the California Public  
               Records Act (CPRA).  There are reports of some victims  
               of crime being denied their crime report due to their  
               residency status.  Current law does not require proof  




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               of identification or spell out what forms of  
               identification are acceptable if a victim wishes to  
               access their crime report.  In practice, most law  
               enforcement agencies require proof of identification to  
               support a request for a crime report.   Some  
               jurisdictions, however, are denying specific categories  
               of identification, such as the Matricula Consular card  
               or foreign passports without supporting documentation  
               proving the holder's legal presence within the United  
               States.  

               This bill will remedy the problem by prescribing what  
               acceptable forms of identification are without actually  
               mandating that a law enforcement agency require  
               identification in order to access a crime report. 



          2.  Reported Problems with Crime Victims' Access to Crime Reports   


          Under the California Public Records Act (CPRA), information  
          associated with a particular crime (hereafter "crime report")  
          includes, but is not limited to, the following: (1) the time,  
          substance, and location of all complaints or requests for  
          assistance received by the agency; (2) the time and nature of  
          the response thereto; (3) the time, date, and location of the  
          occurrence; (4) the time and date of the report; (5) the name  
          and age of the victim; (6) the factual circumstances surrounding  
          the crime or incident; and (7) a general description of any  
          injuries, property, or weapons involved. (Government Code   
          6254(f).) 

          According to the California Immigrant Policy Center there are  
          many legitimate reasons why a crime victim would seek a copy of  
          the crime report that he or she is entitled to access under the  
          PRA. For example, victims of human trafficking or other crimes  
          who apply for a U-visa or T-visa under the Violence Against  
          Women's Act (VAWA) would largely benefit from accessing their  



                                                                           







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          crime records to support their applications. A crime report can  
          help a victim of domestic violence obtain a restraining order or  
          initiate divorce proceedings in an expedient matter. In  
          addition, a victim of identity theft needs to obtain a crime  
          report in order to create an Identity Theft Report with the  
          Federal Trade Commission. 

          Many of the supporters to this bill state that there are reports  
          that some victims of crime are being denied copies of their  
          crime reports because of their residency status even though the  
          CPRA does not require specific forms of identification.  This  
          bill would clarify that proof of legal status in the US is not  
          required to get a crime report and that if law enforcement does  
          require an identification, licenses from other states, passports  
          from a foreign government or a Matricular Consular card shall be  
          acceptable.

           
           


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