Amended in Assembly August 22, 2014

Amended in Assembly June 11, 2014

Amended in Senate January 27, 2014

Senate BillNo. 210


Introduced by Senator Hancock

February 11, 2013


An act to amend Sections 1275 and 1318.1 of the Penal Code, relating to criminal procedure.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 210, as amended, Hancock. Criminal procedure: pretrial release.

(1) Existing law requires a judge or magistrate, in setting, reducing, or denying bail, to take into consideration the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant appearing at trial or a hearing.

This bill would revise the factors that the judge or magistrate would be required to consider to, among other things, require the judge or magistrate to consider the history andbegin delete characteristicsend deletebegin insert circumstancesend insert of the defendant, and to consider the nature and circumstances of the offense. The bill would require a judge or magistrate to also consider those factors when determining conditions for pretrial release.

(2) Existing law authorizes a court, with the concurrence of the county board of supervisors, to employ an investigative staff for the purpose of recommending whether a defendant should be released on his or her own recognizance. In cases involving certain crimes, including violent felonies, an investigative report is required to be prepared that includes specified information, including outstanding warrants against the defendant and prior incidents where the defendant has failed to make a court appearance.

This bill would also authorize a sheriff, county probation department, or other local governmental agency, with the concurrence of the board of supervisors, to employ an investigative staff for those purposes, and would require a pretrial investigative report to be prepared before a court may order a defendant released on his or her own recognizance in any case involving specified crimes, including a violent felony. The bill would authorize the preparation of a pretrial investigation report in all other cases in which a court, sheriff, county probation department, or other local governmental agency has employed an investigative staff to recommend whether the defendant should be released on his or her own recognizance. The bill would require any pretrial investigative report to include the results of an evidence-based pretrial risk assessment, as defined, evaluating the defendant’s probability of appearing at trial and potential risk to public safety. The bill would prohibit, for purposes of preparing the report, a defendant from being interviewed about the facts and circumstances of the defendant’s current offense. The bill would authorize a court, sheriff, county probation department, or other local governmental agency, with the concurrence of the board of supervisors, to employ supervision staff to monitor a defendant’s compliance with release conditions ordered by the court, as specified.

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(3) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by that limitation and the need for protecting that interest.

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This bill would make legislative findings and declarations relating to, among other things, the necessity of treating pretrial investigation reports as confidential in order for pretrial programs to function properly.

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

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

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) Pretrial custody reform is urgently needed in California,
4wherebegin delete the pretrial population far exceeds the national average of
P3    161 percent. More than 71 percent of the 71,000 Californians held
2in county jails statewide on any given day are awaiting trialend delete

3begin insert approximately 63 percent of the 82,000 Californians held in county
4jails statewide on any given day are awaiting trialend insert
.

5(b) Pretrial custody reform will support the implementation of
6public safety realignment by providing counties greater flexibility
7in managing their pretrial populations using best practices
8developed over many years across many jurisdictions.

9(c) Pretrial services programs have been successfully
10 implemented in many jurisdictions, and have helped to reduce the
11pretrial jail populations, save money, reduce recidivism, and protect
12the public.

13(d) Increasing the use of evidence-based practices in pretrial
14population management programs will allow better empirical
15analysis in pretrial decisions, and will help to ensure that the court’s
16decision to order release, conditions of release, and bail is based
17on a credible assessment of the defendant’s risk to public safety
18and the likelihood of appearance as required.

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19(e) In order for pretrial programs to function properly and to
20protect the rights of persons submitting sensitive information, it
21is essential to treat pretrial investigation reports as confidential so
22the reports are used only for release, bail, and monitoring
23considerations.

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24

SEC. 2.  

Section 1275 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

25

1275.  

(a) (1) In determining conditions for pretrial release,
26and in setting, reducing, or denying bail, a judge or magistrate
27shall, on the available information, take into consideration the
28protection of the public, the nature and circumstances of the offense
29charged, the history andbegin delete characteristicsend deletebegin insert circumstancesend insert of the
30defendant, the previous criminal record of the defendant, including
31whether the defendant was, at the time of arrest for the charged
32offense, on probation, parole, or other form of release pending
33trial, sentencing, or appeal, and the probability of his or her
34appearing at trial or hearing of the case, including the defendant’s
35record of appearance at past court hearings or of flight to avoid
36arrest or prosecution. Public safety and the safety of the victim
37shall be the primary consideration. In setting bail, a judge or
38magistrate may consider factors such as the information included
39in a report prepared in accordance with Section 1318.1.

P4    1(2) In considering the nature and circumstances of the offense
2charged, a judge or magistrate shall include consideration of the
3alleged injury to the victim, and alleged threats to the victim or a
4witness to the crime charged, the alleged use of a firearm or other
5deadly weapon in the commission of the crime charged, and the
6alleged use or possession of controlled substances by the defendant.

7(3) In considering the history,begin delete characteristicsend deletebegin insert circumstancesend insert,
8and previous criminal record of the defendant, the judge or
9magistrate may consider the results of an evidence-based pretrial
10risk assessment instrument that is predictive of the defendant’s
11risk to public safety and the probability of him or her failing to
12appear at court hearings.

13(b) In considering offenses wherein a violation of Chapter 6
14(commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the Health
15and Safety Code is alleged, a judge or magistrate shall consider
16the following: (1) the alleged amounts of controlled substances
17involved in the commission of the offense, and (2) whether the
18defendant is currently released on bail for an alleged violation of
19Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 11350) of Division 10 of the
20Health and Safety Code.

21(c) Before a court reduces bail to below the amount established
22by the bail schedule approved for the county, in accordance with
23subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 1269b, for a person charged
24with a serious felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section
251192.7, or a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section
26667.5, the court shall make a finding of unusual circumstances and
27shall set forth those facts on the record. For purposes of this
28subdivision, “unusual circumstances” does not include the fact
29that the defendant has made all prior court appearances or has not
30committed any new offenses.

31

SEC. 3.  

Section 1318.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

32

1318.1.  

(a) A court, sheriff, county probation department, or
33other local governmental agency, with the concurrence of the board
34of supervisors, may employ an investigative staff for the purpose
35of recommending whether a defendant should be released on his
36or her own recognizance.

37(b) (1) Whenever a court, sheriff, county probation department,
38or other local governmental agency has employed an investigative
39staff pursuant to subdivision (a), before a court may order a
40defendant released on his or her own recognizance in any case
P5    1involving a violent felony, as described in subdivision (c) of
2Section 667.5, or a felony in violation of subdivision (a) of Section
323153 of the Vehicle Code, a pretrial investigative report shall be
4prepared recommending whether the defendant should be released
5on his or her own recognizance. The report shall include all of the
6following:

7(A) Written verification of any outstanding warrants against the
8defendant.

9(B) Written verification of any prior incidents where the
10defendant has failed to make a court appearance.

11(C) Written verification of the criminal record of the defendant.

12(D) Written verification of the residence of the defendant during
13the past year.

14(2) After the report is certified pursuant to this subdivision, it
15shall be submitted to the court for review, prior to a hearing held
16pursuant to Section 1319.

17(c) Whenever a court, sheriff, county probation department, or
18other local governmental agency has employed an investigative
19staff pursuant to subdivision (a), a pretrial investigation report may
20be prepared in any case not involving a violent felony, as described
21in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, or a felony in violation of
22subdivision (a) of Section 23153 of the Vehicle Code,
23recommending whether the defendant should be released on his
24or her own recognizance. Only one agency authorized pursuant to
25 subdivision (a) shall issue a pretrial investigation report.

26(d)  Any report prepared pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c) shall
27include all of the results of an evidence-based pretrial risk
28assessment evaluating the defendant’s probability of appearing at
29trial and potential risk to public safety. “Evidence-based pretrial
30risk assessment” is the objective, standardized analysis of
31information about a pretrial defendant in a way that is consistent
32with and guided by the best available scientific evidence and
33professional knowledge that measures the defendant’s probability
34of appearing at trial and the potential risk to public safety while
35pending case disposition.

36(e) In preparing the report pursuant to subdivision (b) or (c),
37the defendant shall not be interviewed about the facts and
38circumstances of the current offense, and any information that a
39defendant may provide shall not be included in the report. Any
40information provided by the defendant shall be used solely for the
P6    1purposes of determining whether the defendant should be released
2on his or her own recognizance or in setting the conditions of the
3defendant’s release or modifying a prior release order. The reports
4may be filed as part of the case record.

5(f) A court, sheriff, county probation department, or other local
6governmental agency may, with the concurrence of the board of
7supervisors, employ supervision staff to monitor the defendant’s
8compliance with the release conditions ordered by the court.
9Supervision staff may do any of the following:

10(1)  Notify the defendant of court appearance obligations.

11(2)  Require the defendant to report periodically by mail,
12telephone, or personal appearance to verify compliance with release
13conditions.

14(3)  Monitor and assist the defendant with complying with
15release conditions.

16(4)  Supervise a defendant placed on home detention, with or
17without electronic monitoring, as a condition of release.

18(5) Promptly report violations of release conditions to the court.

19(6) Provide information to assist any law enforcement officer
20with detaining a defendant supervised pursuant to this section and
21for whom a bench warrant has been issued.

22(g) The salaries of the staff are a proper charge against the
23 county.



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