BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 487


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          Date of Hearing:  April 22, 2015 


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          487 (Gonzalez) - As Amended April 16, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill requires, when an inmate requests to advance a parole  
          hearing, a notice be sent within 30 days to the district  
          attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, in  
          addition to the victim.  Failure to notify the district attorney  








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          or victim of a request to advance the hearing shall postpone any  
          action being taken on the hearing advancement until the notice  
          is properly made. 


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          Minor absorbable costs (GF) for the Board of Parole to provide  
          the required notification to the appropriate District Attorney's  
          Office.   


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  According to the author, "AB 487 is a way to ensure  
            that all victims are notified when an inmate files a petition  
            to advance their parole date. By requiring that the Board of  
            Parole Hearings also notify the District Attorney of the  
            County in which the offense was committed, there will be no  
            doubt that a representative advocating for the victim's  
            interests will be available for comment in those situations  
            that merit such involvement.


          2)Background.  Proposition 9 (Marsy's Law), passed by the voters  
            of in 2008, included a victims' bill of rights.  Among the  
            protections in the victims' bill of rights, was the right for  
            victims to be noticed of criminal proceedings in which they  
            were a victim.  Proposition 9 also provided victims with the  
            right to be heard at criminal proceedings.  Victims can  
            express their views personally, or through a representative.   
            Criminal proceedings where victims have a right to notice and  
            expression of views include parole hearings for inmates  
            serving indeterminate life terms in the California Department  
            of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).










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          CDCR has an Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services  
            (OVSRS) that provides assistance to victims surrounding issues  
            involving inmates in CDCR.  OVSRS handles requests by victims  
            for notification regarding inmates involved in their crime.   
            OVSRS currently handles requests by victims for notification  
            regarding parole hearing dates for offenders sentenced to life  
            imprisonment.
            Current law also provides guidelines and time frames for the  
            Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) to schedule parole hearings for  
            prisoners in CDCR.  BPH, at its discretion, after considering  
            the views and interests of the victim, may advance a parole  
            hearing to an earlier date, when a change in circumstances or  
            new information establishes a reasonable likelihood that  
            consideration of the public and victim's safety does not  
            require the additional period of incarceration of the  
            prisoner. Also, an inmate may request that the board exercise  
            its discretion to advance a hearing to an earlier date, by  
            submitting a written request to the board and a copy to the  
            victim setting forth the change in circumstances or new  
            information establishing a reasonable likelihood that  
            consideration of the public safety does not require the  
            additional period of incarceration of the inmate





          3)Argument in Support:  Supporters state, "Unfortunately,  
            existing law only requires that the Board of Parole Hearings  
            notify the victims or next of kin if an inmate files a  
            petition to advance the their parole date, and omits the  
            District Attorney in the notification process.  Moreover, it  
            has come to our attention that some victims are not getting  
            notified in a timely fashion.  Assembly Bill 487 would provide  
            a safety net to ensure that when an inmate files such a  
            petition, the district Attorney of jurisdiction will also be  
            notified.  Failure to notify the victim and the District  
            Attorney of record will make void the requested petition and  








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            reinstate the original hearing date."





          4)Argument in Opposition:  According to The California Public  
            Defenders Association, "This bill would require notification  
            of the district attorney of the county in which the offense  
            was committed, or his or her designee, to receive notification  
            of specified parole proceedings and would require  
            nullification of action taken on the hearing advancement if  
            the district attorney of the county in which the offense was  
            committed, or his or her designee, and the victim are not  
            notified.  "This bill simply adds a possible impediment to a  
            timely hearing through no action of the inmate."
          


          5)Related Legislation:  SB 230 (Hancock), pending in Senate  
            Public Safety, prohibits an inmate from being released before  
            reaching his or her minimum eligible parole release date  
            unless the inmate is eligible for earlier release pursuant to  
            his or her youth offender parole eligibility date.



          Analysis Prepared by:Pedro R. Reyes / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081


















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