BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              S
                             2013-2014 Regular Session               B

          SB 1110 (Jackson)                                          0
          As Amended April 22, 2014
          Hearing date:  April 29, 2014
          Penal Code


                         MILITARY AND VETERAN STATUS: FORMS  


          Source:  AMVETS, Department of California; Vietnam Vets of  

          Prior Legislation: None

          Support: American Legion-Department of California; California  
                   Association of County Veterans Service Officers;  
                   California Attorneys for Criminal Justice; California  
                   Public Defenders Association; Taxpayers for Improving  
                   Public Safety; Veterans Caucus of the California  
                   Democratic Party; Veterans of Foreign Wars-Department  
                   of California



                                         KEY ISSUE



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          The purpose of this bill is to have courts identify a defendant  
          as an active duty member or veteran of the military at  

          Existing law  allows a combat veteran who is eligible for  
          probation for a crime he or she has committed to be ordered to  
          the appropriate treatment program when the court finds that he  
          or she committed the offense as a result of sexual trauma,  
          traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder,  
          substance abuse or mental health problems stemming from service  
          in the United States Military.  (Penal Code  1170.9.)

           Existing law  provides that when a defendant is brought before  
          the magistrate upon an arrest, either with or without warrant,  
          on a charge of having committed a public offense, the magistrate  
          must immediately inform him of the charge against him and of his  
          right to the aid of counsel in every stage of the proceedings.   
          (Penal Code  858.)

           This bill  provides that at the arraignment, if the defendant is  
          represented, the magistrate shall also inquire as to the  
          defendant's active duty or veteran status in the United States  
          military; the defendant may decline to provide such information  
          for privacy reasons without penalty.  If the defendant  
          acknowledges military service, Judicial Council Form MIL-100  
          shall be filed and served on defense counsel and the prosecuting  
          attorney for future reference related to the provisions of Penal  
          Code section 1170.9.  A copy of the Form MIL-100 shall be  
          transmitted to the county Veterans Services Officers for  
          confirmation of military service.

           This bill  provides that if the defendant appears without  
          counsel, the magistrate shall not make an inquiry into the  



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          defendant's current or past military status.  The court shall  
          advise the defendant that certain current or former members of  
          the United States military who meet certain qualifications are  
          eligible for specific forms of restorative relief under the  
          Penal Code.


          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 that 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.  

          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 requiring the state to reduce its prison  
          population to 137.5 percent of design capacity.  The State  
          submitted that the, ". . .  population in the State's 33 prisons  
          has been reduced by over 24,000 inmates since October 2011 when  



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          public safety realignment went into effect, by more than 36,000  
          inmates compared to the 2008 population . . . , and by nearly  
          42,000 inmates since 2006 . . . ."  Plaintiffs opposed the  
          state's motion, arguing 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 % inmate population cap by December 31,  

          The Three-Judge Court then ordered, on April 11, 2013, 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."  On September 16, 2013, the State asked the  
          Court to extend that deadline to December 31, 2016.  In  
          response, the Court extended the deadline first to January 27,  
          2014 and then February 24, 2014, and ordered the parties to  
          enter into a meet-and-confer process to "explore how defendants  
          can comply with this Court's June 20, 2013 Order, including  
          means and dates by which such compliance can be expedited or  
          accomplished and how this Court can ensure a durable solution to  
          the prison crowding problem."

          The parties were not able to reach an agreement during the  
          meet-and-confer process.  As a result, the Court ordered  
          briefing on the State's requested extension and, on February 10,  
          2014, issued an order extending the deadline to reduce the  
          in-state adult institution population to 137.5% design capacity  
          to February 28, 2016.  The order requires the state to meet the  
          following interim and final population reduction benchmarks:

                 143% of design bed capacity by June 30, 2014;
                 141.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2015; and
                 137.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2016. 

          If a benchmark is missed the Compliance Officer (a position  
          created by the February 10, 2016 order) can order the release of  



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          inmates to bring the State into compliance with that benchmark.   

          In a status report to the Court dated February 18, 2014, the  
          state reported that as of February 12, 2014, California's 33  
          prisons were at 144.3 percent capacity, with 117,686 inmates.   
          8,768 inmates were housed in out-of-state facilities.

          The ongoing prison overcrowding litigation indicates that prison  
          capacity and related issues concerning conditions of confinement  
          remain unresolved.  While real gains in reducing the prison  
          population have been made, even greater reductions may be  
          required to meet the orders of the federal court.  Therefore,  
          the Committee's consideration of ROCA bills -bills that may  
          impact the prison population - will be informed by the following  

                 Whether a measure erodes realignment and impacts the  
               prison population;
                 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.




          1.    Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

               According to a 2014 report of the San Diego Veterans  
               Treatment Review Court Pilot Program, most veterans  
               that become involved in the criminal justice system are  
               not being identified as veterans, and most veterans  
               suffer more than one post-deployment conviction before  
               they have a case in which they are identified as a  
               military veteran.

               SB 1110 would save taxpayer money, prevent crime and  
               unnecessary incarceration, and ensure that defendants'  
               underlying conditions are addressed by ensuring that  
               those who are eligible under Penal Code 1170.9 and  
               their attorneys are aware of their eligibility.

               SB 1110 requires that whenever a defendant is  
               arraigned, then an inquiry is made into their military  
               or veteran status, and that defense and prosecuting  
               attorneys are notified of this status. 

               Disclosure of this status by the defendant would be  

          2.    Identifying Veterans  

          This bill would require the judge at arraignment to inquire as  
          to whether defendant is active duty military or a veteran.  If  
          the person acknowledges military service, then a Judicial  
          Council form shall be filed by the defendant and served on the  
          prosecuting attorney.  The form shall also be sent to the county  
          veterans' service officer.  The intent is to identify veterans  
          early so the court can determine if it is appropriate to refer  
          them to services as a condition of probation under Penal Code  
          section 1170.9 and to make county veterans services aware of  



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          their need for services.  The bill explicitly states that the  
          defendant may decline to provide military service information.   
          If a 
          defendant is not represented, the judge shall not inquire about  
          his or her military status and instead should advise the  
          defendant that certain current or former members of the military  
          who meet certain qualifications are eligible for specific forms  
          of restorative relief.

          3.    Reference to Specific Judicial Council Form  

          This bill refers specifically to Judicial Council Form MIL-100.   
          Since form numbers can change as things are revised over the  
          years, it is probably more appropriate to refer to the  
          appropriate Judicial Council form instead of a specific form.