BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 1110
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          Date of Hearing:  June 10, 2014
          Counsel:       Sandy Uribe


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                   SB 1110 (Jackson) - As Amended:  April 22, 2014
                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee
           
           
           SUMMARY  :  Requires the court to identify a defendant as an  
          active member or veteran of the military at arraignment.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires a magistrate to inquire about a defendant's current  
            or past military status if he or she is represented by  
            counsel.

          2)Provides that a defendant may decline to provide the  
            information without penalty.

          3)States that if the defendant acknowledges military service,  
            the Judicial Council form for notification of military status  
            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.  

          4)Requires that a copy of the Judicial Council form for  
            notification of military status be transmitted to the county  
            Veterans Services Officers for confirmation of military  
            service.

          5)Prohibits the magistrate from inquiring about a defendant's  
            military status if he or she appears at arraignment without  
            counsel, but requires the court to advise the defendant that  
            certain current or former members of the military are eligible  
            for specific forms of restorative relief under the Penal Code.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)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  








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            his right to the aid of counsel in every stage of the  
            proceedings.  (Pen. Code,  858.)

          2)Requires the court, in the case of a person convicted of a  
            criminal offense who would otherwise be sentenced to county  
            jail or state prison and who alleges that he or she committed  
            the offense as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder  
            (PTSD), substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming  
            from service in a combat theater in the United States  
            military, to determine whether the defendant was a member of  
            the military who served in combat and to assess whether the  
            defendant suffers from PTSD, substance abuse, or psychological  
            problems as a result of that service.  (Pen. Code,  1170.9,  
            subd. (a).)

          3)States that if the court concludes that a defendant convicted  
            of a criminal offense was a member of the military suffering  
            from PTSD, substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming  
            from service in a combat theater and if the defendant is  
            otherwise eligible for probation and the court places the  
            defendant on probation, the court may order the defendant into  
            a local; state; federal; or private, non-profit treatment  
            program for a period not to exceed that which the defendant  
            would have served in state prison or county jail, provided the  
            defendant agrees to participate in the program and the court  
            determines that an appropriate treatment program exists.   
            (Pen. Code,  1170.9, subd. (b).)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "Penal code  
            1170.9 is a groundbreaking law designed to give our most  
            traumatized soldiers a chance to confront and overcome the  
            wounds of war.  It directs courts to consider treatment rather  
            than incarceration when sentencing a defendant who serves or  
            who has served in the military.

          "SB 1110 would identify the military and veterans status of  
            defendants at arraignment, the first stage in the court  
            process, so that those who are eligible may be considered for  
            treatment rather than incarceration under Penal Code 1170.9.   
            SB 1110 would save taxpayer money, prevent crime and  
            unnecessary incarceration, and ensure that defendants'  








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            underlying conditions are addressed."

           2)Incarcerated Veterans in California  :  Data on the number of  
            incarcerated veterans is difficult to obtain.  One of the  
            reasons is because, until recently, this information was  
            self-reported.  However, the California Department of  
            Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has informed this  
            Committee that as of February 2014, CDCR can now verify prior  
            military service via a data exchange with the U.S. Department  
            of Veterans Affairs (USDVA).  As of February 2014, there are  
            4,521 currently-incarcerated inmates at CDCR verified by the  
            USDVA as having prior military service.

          After realignment, many convicted defendants are now serving  
            sentences in county jails rather than at CDCR.  In August  
            2012, the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit discovered that many  
            counties do not track data on inmate veterans.  "Reporters and  
            producers contacted law enforcement in every Bay Area county  
            and discovered that only Santa Clara and San Francisco  
            counties track the veterans in their jails."   
            (.) Of the information that was available, the  
            results showed that in Santa Clara County as many as 60  
            veterans a day have been incarcerated in the last year and a  
            half.  And in San Francisco County, as many as 97 veterans a  
            day were incarcerated during the same time.  (Ibid.)  

            The Website of the California Veterans Legal Task Force  
            provides some information about veteran defendants in San  
            Diego County:  "San Diego County is home to the largest  
            concentration of military activity in the world, with 137,000  
            active duty military personnel, 250,000 veteran residents and  
            the largest discharged Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation  
            Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) veteran population in the  
            nation.  About 38,000 veterans in the county have recent  
            combat service, the highest concentration of any county in the  
            U.S. and almost double the number residing in Los Angeles.  Of  
            that number, VA Research indicates that approximately 11,550  
            will suffer a diagnosable mental condition related to their  
            service.  Studies from the Bureau of Justice Administration  
            can be used to predict that almost 5,800 of them will be  
            incarcerated for criminal activity, 1,900 for felony crimes.   
            At present an average of 100 self-identified military veterans  
            are booked into San Diego County Jail each week."   
            (.)








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           3)Argument in Support  :  The  California Public Defenders  
            Association  writes, "This bill would allow the court to  
            enquire of defendants if they are current or former members of  
            the U.S. military.  If they acknowledge such status, they are  
            asked to fill out Judicial Council form MIL-100, copies of  
            which would then be provided to the county veteran services  
            officer and all counsel.  This bill has the laudable goal of  
            alerting the prosecution, the defense, and the court that a  
            particular defendant might be eligible for certain forms of  
            rehabilitative relief specially designed for veterans, such as  
            those described in Penal Code section 1170.9.  The concern  
            this bill addresses is the potential underutilization of  
            specified forms of relief available to veteran defendants that  
            occur simply because a defendant's current or former military  
            service is not identified, for whatever reason."

           4)Related Legislation  :

             a)   AB 2098 (Levine) requires the court to consider a  
               defendant's status as a veteran suffering from  
               post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other forms of  
               trauma when making specified sentencing determinations.  AB  
               2098 is pending hearing in the Senate Public Safety  
               Committee.

             b)   AB 2263 (Bradford) requires a parole agent to be  
               appointed as a veterans service officer at each facility  
               that is under the jurisdiction of the Department of  
               Corrections and Rehabilitation.  AB 2263 is pending  
               referral by the Senate Rules Committee.

             c)   AB 2357 (Skinner) requires CDCR to consider an inmate's  
               military service as part of their assessments used to place  
               an inmate in programs that will aid in his or her reentry  
               to society.  AB 2357 is pending hearing in the Senate  
               Public Safety Committee.

             d)   SB 1227 (Hancock) authorizes pretrial diversion for  
               members of the military for specified offenses.  SB 1227 is  
               pending hearing in this Committee.

           5)Prior Legislation  :  

             a)   AB 2371 (Butler), Chapter 403, Statutes of 2012,  








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               provides restorative relief to a veteran defendant who  
               acquires a criminal record due to a mental disorder  
               stemming from military service.

             b)   AB 674 (Salas), Chapter 347, Statutes of 2010, allows a  
               court to order a defendant who suffers from sexual trauma,  
               traumatic brain injury, PTSD, substance abuse, or mental  
               health problems as a result of military service into a  
               treatment program or veteran's court for a period not to  
               exceed that which the defendant would have served in state  
               prison or jail.  

             c)   AB 2586 (Parra), Chapter 788, Statutes of 2006, allows  
               the court to consider a treatment program, in  lieu of  
               incarceration, as a condition of probation in cases  
               involving military veterans who suffer from PTSD, substance  
               abuse, or psychological problems stemming from their  
               military service.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Legion, Department of California
          AMVETS, Department of California
          California Association of County Veteran Service Officers 
          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          California Public Defenders Association
          California State Commanders Veterans Council
          Judicial Council
          Military Officers Association of America, California Council of  
          Chapters
          Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety
          Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of California
          Vietnam Veterans of America, California State Council 

           Opposition 
           
          None
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Sandy Uribe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 











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