BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 1960
          Author:   Perea (D)
          Amended:  4/21/14 in Assembly
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE  :  8-0, 6/18/14
          AYES:  Hernandez, Morrell, Beall, DeSaulnier, Evans, Monning,  
            Nielsen, Wolk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  De León

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/24/14
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, De León, Knight, Liu, Mitchell,  
            Steinberg
           
          SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8
           
          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-2, 5/15/14 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    State summary criminal history information:  state  
          hospitals

           SOURCE  :     Department of State Hospitals


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires a director of a state hospital or  
          a clinician, as defined, to obtain state summary criminal  
          history information (CHI) on patients only to be used for the  
          purposes specified, including a patient's violence risk and  
          appropriate treatment planning.

           ANALYSIS  :    
                                                                CONTINUED





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          Existing law:

          1.Allows the Department of Justice (DOJ) to furnish state  
            summary CHI to specified entities and, when authorized,  
            federal-level CHI, upon a showing of a compelling need.  

          2.Establishes the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications  
            System (CLETS), whereby qualified law enforcement agencies can  
            obtain information directly from federal, state, and local  
            computerized information files.

          3.Requires CHI to be furnished by the court to the director of a  
            state hospital to which a person:  is committed for treatment  
            after he/she pleads not guilty by reason of insanity (NGI); is  
            found mentally incompetent to stand trial (IST); is found to  
            be, as a result of mental disorder or impairment by chronic  
            alcoholism, gravely disabled or a danger to himself/herself,  
            or others; has attempted or inflicted physical harm to another  
            person or has made a serious threat of substantial harm  
            against another person, as a result of mental disorder or  
            defect while committed for treatment; or is a mentally  
            disordered sex offender, as specified.  Requires inclusion of  
            the request for evaluation or the order committing the person  
            to a treatment facility.  Allows the director of a state  
            hospital to receive the CHI from the law enforcement agency  
            that referred the person for evaluation and treatment, as  
            specified.  Provides that CHI obtained under this provision is  
            not to be included in any document that will become part of a  
            public record. 

          4.Punishes as a misdemeanor any person authorized by law to  
            receive CHI who knowingly furnishes CHI to a person who is not  
            authorized by law to receive it.  

          This bill:

          1.Requires a director of a state hospital or a clinician to  
            obtain CHI for a patient committed to a state hospital.   
            Defines "clinician" as a state-licensed mental health  
            professional working within the Department of State Hospitals  
            (DSH) who has received, and is current in, CLETS training as  
            required by DOJ, as specified.








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          2.Allows CHI to be obtained through CLETS by a law enforcement  
            officer. Requires law enforcement to cooperate with requests  
            for CHI and requires the CHI to be provided to the requesting  
            entity in a timely manner.  Allows DSH law enforcement  
            personnel to act as law enforcement personnel allowed to  
            obtain CHI through CLETS.

          3.Requires CHI obtained through CLETS to 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 to courts as required by  
            statute; or, to determine a patient's progress or fitness for  
            release.

          4.Requires CHI to be placed in a patient's confidential file, to  
            be accessed only by a director of a state hospital or a  
            clinician, and to be removed from the file and destroyed  
            within 30 days of a patient's discharge from a state hospital.

           Background
           
          According to DSH, the state hospital patient population has  
          shifted over the past 20 years, from a 20% forensic population  
          in 1994 to the current 96%.  Forensic patients are committed for  
          a variety of reasons, including:  IST; NGI; mentally disordered  
          offenders (MDO); and, sexually violent predators (SVP).  There  
          are 4,967 patients at Atascadero, Coalinga, Metropolitan, Napa,  
          and Patton state hospitals comprising 1,350 NGI; 1,283 IST;  
          1,154 MDO; 897 SVP; 258 mentally ill Department of Corrections  
          and Rehabilitation commitments; and 25 mentally disordered sex  
          offenders. 

          DSH states that despite the significant change, there is no  
          current legal, regulatory, or physical infrastructure in place  
          for state hospitals to effectively and safely treat patients who  
          have demonstrated severe psychiatric instability or extremely  
          aggressive behavior.  DSH also states that currently state  
          hospitals are authorized to receive CHI for patients committed  
          as IST and NGI.  However, the information must be forwarded by  
          the courts and is only obtained about 60% of the time, is often  
          not updated, and cannot be shared with clinicians, who perform  
          assessments for patient treatment, placement, and violence risk.

          According to DSH, in 2013, there were a total of 3,344  







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          patient-on-patient assaults and 2,586 patient-on-staff assaults  
          at state hospitals.  Of the total patient population, 62% are  
          non-violent offenders, 36% committed 10 or fewer violent acts,  
          and 2% committed 10 or more violent acts.  Of all the violent  
          acts committed, 65% are committed by those with 10 or fewer  
          violent acts, and 35% are committed by those with 10 or more  
          violent acts.  A small subset of the population, 116 people,  
          commit the majority of aggressive acts.  DSH states that the  
          best indicator of future behavior is past behavior; therefore, a  
          patient's CHI would enable them to properly assess violence  
          risk.

           CHI .  According to DOJ, state and local summary CHI is  
          confidential and access is strictly regulated by statute.  DOJ  
          provides an automated service for CHI checks that may be  
          required as a condition of such things as employment, licensing,  
          and certification.  Digitally scanned fingerprints and related  
          information can be submitted electronically to DOJ within a  
          matter of minutes and allows CHI to be processed usually within  
          72 hours, according to DOJ's Web site.  DOJ's record retention  
          policy is to maintain CHI until the subject reaches 100 years of  
          age.  State summary CHI contains the identification and criminal  
          history of a person, such as name, date of birth, physical  
          description, fingerprints, photographs, arrests, dispositions,  
          and similar data.

           CLETS  .  CLETS provides law enforcement and criminal justice  
          agencies access to various databases and the ability to transmit  
          and receive point-to-point administrative messages to other  
          agencies within California or via the National Law Enforcement  
          Telecommunications System.  The CLETS Policies, Practices, and  
          Procedures document states that agencies desiring to obtain  
          access the system must submit an application to the CLETS  
          Executive Secretary for approval by the CLETS Advisory  
          Committee.  All agencies must file a subscriber agreement, which  
          must be updated every three years, when the head of an agency  
          changes, or immediately upon request from the CLETS Executive  
          Secretary.  Each subscribing agency must designate an Agency  
          Terminal Coordinator as the key person to coordinate with DOJ on  
          matters pertaining to DOJ's criminal justice databases.   
          Agencies must also designate a Security Point of Contact, who is  
          the key person to coordinate with DOJ on security matters  
          pertaining to DOJ's criminal justice databases.  Only authorized  
          law enforcement, criminal justice personnel, or their lawfully  







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          authorized designees can use CLETS, and any information is  
          confidential and for official use only.

           Comments
           
          According to the author's office, even though more than 96% of  
          new admissions are committed via the criminal justice system,  
          currently DSH clinicians do not have comprehensive access to  
          up-to-date criminal history information for all of these  
          patients.  This bill will provide properly licensed and trained  
          clinicians at state hospitals with the information necessary to  
          perform accurate violence risk assessments; place patients  
          appropriately within the system; create better patient treatment  
          plans; and, provide reports to the court on the patient's  
          progress or fitness for release.  This bill will help decrease  
          the level of violence in state hospitals, as well as create  
          better treatment outcomes for patients. 

           Prior Legislation
           
          AB 2222 (Block, Chapter 84, Statutes of 2012) provides that a  
          public prosecutor is not prohibited from accessing and obtaining  
          information from the public prosecutor's case management  
          database to respond to a request for information that can be  
          disclosed to the public under the Public Records Act.

          SB 1417 (Cox, Chapter 652, Statutes of 2010) provided access to  
          CHI to humane officers for purposes of performing duties to  
          prevent animal cruelty.

          AB 428 (Fletcher, Chapter 441, Statutes of 2009) provided access  
          to CHI to any foreign government as necessary for a person's  
          application to adopt a child from the foreign nation.

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/6/14)

          Department of State Hospitals (source)
          California Association of Psychiatric Technicians
          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
          California Police Chiefs Association
          California Statewide Law Enforcement Association







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          Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
          National Association of Social Workers

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/6/14)

          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The sponsor and other supporters of  
          this bill argue that in order to conduct accurate assessments on  
          a patient to ensure proper placement, treatment planning, and  
          violence risk, as well as to ensure the safety of both patients  
          and staff, state hospital directors and clinicians must have  
          access to patients' CHI.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The California Attorneys for  
          Criminal Justice (CACJ) oppose this bill because it will  
          increase the likelihood of a medical determination being  
          influenced by a prior arrest record, even if the facts of the  
          case do not provide any insight into the medical condition of  
          the patient.  CACJ argue that a crime that occurred multiple  
          years ago can be unnecessarily considered without any reason for  
          violence risk assessment.  
           
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-2, 5/15/14
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian  
            Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway, Cooley,  
            Dababneh, Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eggman, Fong, Fox,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Garcia, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gorell,  
            Gray, Grove, Hagman, Hall, Harkey, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder, Logue, Lowenthal,  
            Maienschein, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande,  
            Olsen, Pan, Patterson, Perea, John A. Pérez, V. Manuel Pérez,  
            Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ridley-Thomas, Salas, Skinner, Stone,  
            Ting, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Wilk, Williams,  
            Yamada, Atkins
          NOES:  Gatto, Melendez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Mansoor, Rendon, Rodriguez, Vacancy


          JL:k  8/6/14   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE








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