California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 519


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty

February 23, 2015


An act to amend Section 202 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 519, as introduced, McCarty. Juveniles.

The Arnold-Kennick Juvenile Court Law establishes the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge a minor to be a dependent or ward of the court if the minor has been abused or neglected, or if the minor has violated a law or ordinance, respectively. Existing law requires that minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct receive care, treatment, and guidance that is consistent with their best interests, that holds them accountable for their behavior, and that is appropriate for their circumstances.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to that provision.

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

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

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SECTION 1.  

Section 202 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
2 is amended to read:

3

202.  

(a) The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the
4protection and safety of the public and each minor under the
5jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to preserve and strengthen
P2    1the minor’s family ties whenever possible, removing the minor
2from the custody of his or her parents only when necessary for his
3or her welfare or for the safety and protection of the public. If
4removal of a minor is determined by the juvenile court to be
5necessary, reunification of the minor with his or her family shall
6be a primary objective. If the minor is removed from his or her
7own family, it is the purpose of this chapter to secure for the minor
8custody, care, and discipline as nearly as possible equivalent to
9that which should have been given by his or her parents. This
10chapter shall be liberally construed to carry out these purposes.

11(b) Minors under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court who are
12in need of protective services shall receive care, treatment, and
13guidance consistent with their bestbegin delete interestend deletebegin insert interestsend insert and the best
14begin delete interestend deletebegin insert interestsend insert of the public. Minors under the jurisdiction of
15the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent conduct shall,
16in conformity with the interests of public safety and protection,
17receive care, treatment, and guidance that is consistent with their
18bestbegin delete interest,end deletebegin insert interests,end insert that holds them accountable for their
19behavior, and that is appropriate for their circumstances. This
20guidance may include punishment that is consistent with the
21rehabilitative objectives of this chapter. If a minor has been
22removed from the custody of his or her parents, family preservation
23and family reunification are appropriate goals for the juvenile court
24to consider when determining the disposition of a minor under the
25jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of delinquent
26conduct when those goals are consistent with his or her best
27interests and the best interests of the public. When the minor is no
28longer a ward of the juvenile court, the guidance he or she received
29should enable him or her to be a law-abiding and productive
30member of his or her family and the community.

31(c) It is also the purpose of this chapter to reaffirm that the duty
32of a parent to support and maintain a minor child continues, subject
33to the financial ability of the parent to pay, during any period in
34which the minor may be declared a ward of the court and removed
35from the custody of the parent.

36(d) Juvenile courts and other public agencies charged with
37enforcing, interpreting, and administering the juvenile court law
38shall consider the safety and protection of the public, the
39importance of redressing injuries to victims, and the best interests
40of the minor in all deliberations pursuant to this chapter.
P3    1Participants in the juvenile justice system shall hold themselves
2accountable for its results. They shall act in conformity with a
3comprehensive set of objectives established to improve system
4performance in a vigorous and ongoing manner. In working to
5improve system performance, the presiding judge of the juvenile
6court and other juvenile court judges designated by the presiding
7judge of the juvenile court shall take into consideration the
8recommendations contained in subdivision (e) of Standard 5.40
9of Title 5 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration,
10contained in the California Rules of Court.

11(e) As used in this chapter, “punishment” means the imposition
12of sanctions. It does not include retribution and shall not include
13a court order to place a child in foster care asbegin delete defined byend deletebegin insert described
14inend insert
Section 727.3. Permissible sanctions may include any of the
15following:

16(1) Payment of a fine by the minor.

17(2) Rendering of compulsory service without compensation
18performed for the benefit of the community by the minor.

19(3) Limitations on the minor’s liberty imposed as a condition
20of probation or parole.

21(4) Commitment of the minor to a local detention or treatment
22facility,begin delete such asend deletebegin insert includingend insert a juvenile hall, camp, or ranch.

23(5) Commitment of the minor to the Division of Juvenile
24Facilities, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

25(f) In addition to the actions authorized by subdivision (e), the
26juvenile court may, as appropriate, direct the offender to complete
27a victim impact class, participate in victim offender conferencing
28subject to the victim’s consent, pay restitution to the victim or
29victims, and make a contribution to the victim restitution fund after
30all victim restitution orders and fines have been satisfied, in order
31to hold the offender accountable or restore the victim or
32community.



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