Amended in Senate August 18, 2014

Amended in Senate May 13, 2014

Amended in Assembly May 24, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 16, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1276


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

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(Principal coauthor: Senator Hancock)

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February 22, 2013


An act to add Section 2905 to the Penal Code, relating to youth offenders.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1276, as amended, Bloom. Youth offenders: security placement.

Existing law begins the term of imprisonment upon the actual delivery of a defendant into the custody of the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and requires the place of reception to be an institution under the direction of the Secretary. Existing regulations require that an inmate be assigned to a facility with a security levelbegin delete whichend deletebegin insert thatend insert corresponds to specified placement score ranges and establishes classification committees for making these determinations.

This bill wouldbegin delete prohibit a youth offender, as defined, from being classified at the security level corresponding to his or her placement score if his or her in-custody behavior indicates he or she can be safely placed at a lower security level. The bill wouldend delete require the department to conduct a youth offender Institutional Classification Committee review at reception to provide special classification consideration for every youth offender. The bill would require the department tobegin delete houseend deletebegin insert consider placingend insert a youth offender at a lower security levelbegin delete facility thatend deletebegin insert thanend insert corresponds with his or herbegin delete placementend deletebegin delete score if the department determines that it can safely do so.end deletebegin insert classification score, or placing a youth offender in a facility that permits increased access to programs, based on the Institutional Classification Committee review and other factors, including, among others, the youth offenders recent in-custody behavior.end insert The bill would require the department tobegin delete placeend deletebegin insert transferend insert a youth offenderbegin delete in a housing placement that permits increased access to programs if the department determines that a youth offender is ready for that placement.end deletebegin insert to a lower security level facility if the department determines that he or she may appropriately be placed at a lower security level facility.end insert The bill would require that a youth offender who is denied a lower security level and is placed in the highest security level to be eligible to have his or her placement reconsidered at his or her annual review until age 25. The bill would require the department to revise existing regulations and adopt new regulations pursuant to these provisions, as necessary.begin insert The bill would make these provisions operative July 1, 2015.end insert

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

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(1) As stated by the United States Supreme Court in Miller v.
4Alabama (2012) 132 S.Ct. 2455, “only a relatively small proportion
5of adolescents” who engage in illegal activity “develop entrenched
6patterns of problem behavior,” and “developments in psychology
7and brain science continue to show fundamental differences
8between juvenile and adult minds,” including “parts of the brain
9involved in behavior control.”

10(2) Important neurological and developmental changes are
11occurring in people who are in their late teens through early
12adulthood. The Legislature recognizes that these factors enhance
13the prospect that, as development progresses and youth mature
14into adults, these individuals can become contributing members
15of society.

P3    1(3) One purpose of incarceration is rehabilitation, and young
2adults can be especially influenced by positive or negative models.
3begin insert There are often negative influences at higher custody level
4facilities. In addition, younger inmates tend to be more vulnerable
5to physical and sexual assault at those facilities.end insert

6(4) begin deleteThere are often negative influences at higher custody level
7facilities. end delete
Amenable young adults incarcerated in state prisons
8should have access to programs and living circumstances that
9increase the likelihood of rehabilitation during these important
10 developmental stages.

11(b) The purpose of this act is to establish a mechanism by which
12the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will make
13individual assessments of people entering prison under 22 years
14of age and classify these individuals at lower custody level facilities
15whenever possible.

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SEC. 2.  

Section 2905 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

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2905.  

(a) For purposes of this section, a “youth offender” is
18an individual committed to the Department of Corrections and
19Rehabilitation who is under 22 years of age.

20(b) (1) The department shall conduct a youth offender Institution
21Classification Committee review at reception to provide special
22classification consideration for every youth offender. The youth
23offender Institutional Classification Committee shall consist of
24the staff required by department regulations at any Institutional
25Classification Committee, however at least one member shall be
26a department staff member specially trained in conducting the
27reviews. Training shall include, but not be limited to, adolescent
28and young adult development and evidence-based interviewing
29processes employing positive and motivational techniques.

30(2) The purpose of the youth offender Institutional Classification
31Committee review is to meet with the youth offender and assess
32the readiness of a youth offender for a lower security level or
33placement permitting increased access to programs and to
34encourage the youth offender to commit to positive change and
35self-improvement.begin delete A youth offender shall not be classified at the
36security level corresponding with his or her placement score if his
37or her in-custody behavior indicates he or she can be safely placed
38at a lower security level.end delete

39(c) Abegin delete youthfulend deletebegin insert youthend insert offender shall bebegin delete classifiedend deletebegin insert consideredend insert for
40placement at a lower security levelbegin delete facilityend delete than corresponds with
P4    1his or herbegin delete placementend deletebegin insert classificationend insert score orbegin delete in aend delete placementbegin insert in a
2facilityend insert
that permits increased access to programs based on
3begin delete consideration of all of the following factors:end deletebegin insert the Institutional
4Classification Committee review and factors including, but not
5limited to, the following:end insert

6(1) Recent in-custody behavior while housed in juvenile or adult
7facilities.

8(2) Demonstrated efforts of progress toward self-improvement
9in juvenile or adult facilities.

10(3) Family or community ties supportive of rehabilitation.

11(4) Evidence of commitment to workingbegin delete towardsend deletebegin insert towardend insert
12 self-improvement with a goal of being a law-abiding member of
13society upon release.

14(d) begin deleteThe department shall transfer a youth offender to a lower
15security level facility if end delete
begin insertIf end insertthe department determines, based on the
16begin delete totality of the circumstances,end deletebegin insert review described in subdivisions (b)
17and (c)end insert
that the youth offenderbegin delete would not increase the safety risk
18of the lower security level facility.end delete
begin insert may be appropriately placed
19at a lower security level, the department shall transfer the youth
20offender to a lower security level facility. If the youth offender is
21denied a lower security level, then he or she shall be considered
22for placement in a facility that permits increased access to
23programs.end insert
If the department determines a youth offenderbegin delete is ready
24for a housing placementend delete
begin insert may appropriately be placed in a facilityend insert
25 permitting increased access to programs, the youth offender shall
26be transferred tobegin delete that housing. Ifend deletebegin insert such a facility.end insert

27begin insert(e)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertIfend insert the youth offender demonstrates he or she is a safety risk
28to inmates, staff, or the public, and does not otherwise demonstrate
29a commitment to rehabilitation, the youth offender shall be
30reclassified and placed at a security level that is consistent with
31department regulations and procedures.

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32(e)

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33begin insert(end insertbegin insertf)end insert A youth offender who at his or her initial Youth Offender
34Institutional Classification Committee review is denied a lower
35security level than corresponds with his or her placement score or
36did not qualify for placement permitting increased access to
37programs due to previous incarceration history and was placed in
38the highest security level shall nevertheless be eligible to have his
39or her placement reconsidered pursuant to subdivisions (b) to (d),
40inclusive, at his or her annual review until reaching 25 years of
P5    1age. If at an annual review it is determined that the youth offender
2has had no serious rule violations for one year, the department
3shall consider whether the youth would benefit from placement in
4a lower level facility or placement permitting increased access to
5programs.

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6(f)

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7begin insert(end insertbegin insertg)end insert The department shall review and, as necessary, revise
8existing regulations and adopt new regulations regarding
9classification determinations made pursuant to this section, and
10provide for training for staff.

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11(h) This section shall become operative on July 1, 2015.

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