Assembly Bill No. 1960

CHAPTER 730

An act to add Section 4142 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to criminal history information.

[Approved by Governor September 28, 2014. Filed with Secretary of State September 28, 2014.]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1960, Perea. State summary criminal history information: state hospitals.

Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain state summary criminal history information, including the identification and criminal history of any person, such as his or her name, date of birth, physical description, fingerprints, photographs, dates of arrest, arresting agencies and booking numbers, charges, dispositions, and similar data about the person. Existing law requires the department to furnish this information in response to a request from certain authorized agencies, organizations, or individuals for specified purposes. Existing law authorizes state criminal summary history information to be given to the director of a state hospital or other treatment facility in specified circumstances, including when the person is being committed for being dangerous to others. Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly furnish a state summary criminal history record or information obtained from a record to a person who is not authorized by law to receive that record or information.

This bill would require the director of a state hospital or a clinician, as defined, to obtain the state summary criminal history information for a patient committed to the State Department of State Hospitals. The bill would state the purposes for which the information may be used, including to assess the violence risk and the appropriate placement of the patient, and would require the information to be removed from the patient’s file and destroyed within 30 days of the patient being discharged. This bill would also require law enforcement personnel to provide the criminal history information to the director or clinician upon request through the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System for this purpose. Because the furnishing of this information by the director or clinician to an unauthorized person would be a misdemeanor pursuant to the provisions described above, this bill would expand the scope of an existing crime, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

SECTION 1.  

Section 4142 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

4142.  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, whenever a patient is committed to the State Department of State Hospitals, a director of a state hospital or a clinician, as defined in subdivision (f), shall obtain the state summary criminal history information for the patient. The information shall be used to assess the violence risk of a patient, to assess the appropriate placement of a patient, for treatment purposes of a patient, for use in preparing periodic reports as required by statute, or to determine the patient’s progress or fitness for release. The state summary criminal history information shall be placed in the patient’s confidential file for the duration of his or her commitment.

(b) The information may be obtained through use of the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS). Law enforcement personnel shall cooperate with requests for state summary criminal history information authorized pursuant to this section and shall provide the information to the requesting entity in a timely manner.

(c) A law enforcement officer or person authorized by this section to receive the information who obtains the information in the record and knowingly provides the information to a person not authorized by law to receive the information is guilty of a misdemeanor as specified in Section 11142 of the Penal Code.

(d) Information obtained pursuant to this section shall not be used for any purposes other than those described in subdivision (a).

(e) For purposes of this section, the State Department of State Hospitals law enforcement personnel, pursuant to Section 830.38 of the Penal Code, may act as the law enforcement personnel described in subdivision (b).

(f) For purposes of this section, “clinician” means a state licensed mental health professional working within the State Department of State Hospitals who has received, and is current in, CLETS training that is appropriate for a person who has ongoing access to information from the CLETS and is not a CLETS operator, following the policies on training, compliance, and inspection required by the Department of Justice.

(g) State summary criminal history information secured pursuant to this section shall remain confidential and access shall be limited to the director of the state hospital or the clinician. Within 30 days of discharge from the state hospital, the state summary criminal history information shall be removed from the patient’s file and destroyed.

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.



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