BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          Date of Hearing:  March 29, 2016


                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY


                                  Mark Stone, Chair


          AB 2000  
          (Campos) - As Amended March 28, 2016


          SUBJECT:  WARDS: TERMINATION OF JUVENILE COURT JURISDICTION


          KEY ISSUE:  SHOULD YOUTH WHO ARE TRANSITIONING OUT OF THE  
          JUVENILE DELINQUENCY SYSTEM BE PROVIDED WITH SPECIFIED  
          DOCUMENTS, INFORMATION, AND SERVICES SIMILAR TO THE SPECIFIED  
          DOCUMENTS, INFORMATION, AND SERVICES THAT ARE GIVEN TO FOSTER  
          YOUTH, PRIOR TO THE JUVENILE COURT TERMINATING ITS JURISDICTION  
          OVER THEM?


                                      SYNOPSIS


          Current law (subdivision (e) of Welfare and Institutions Code  
          (WIC) Section 391) ensures that foster youth who age out of the  
          dependency system when they become adults (or 21 years of age  
          for "nonminor dependents") are provided with a number of  
          documents and resources when leaving the dependency system.   
          Adolescents leaving incarceration and juvenile probation  
          supervision are also in critical need of such assistance.   
          Research shows that youth who have been in the juvenile justice  
          system are as much in need of information to assist in  
          transitioning to adulthood, as are youth in the dependency  
          system.  In many instances juvenile justice wards were  
          previously foster youth.  Similar to foster youth, many juvenile  








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          justice wards come from unstable homes and families that are  
          unable to support the transitioning youth back into society.  To  
          increase the opportunity for success for probation youth, this  
          bill requires a number of those same services and items of  
          information required for dependent youth to be provided to a  
          minor (or nonminor) prior to the juvenile delinquency court  
          terminating its jurisdiction.  In order not to punish the youth,  
          the bill prohibits a youth from being detained in confinement  
          while the youth is awaiting those services and items of  
          information.  Because not all of the services and information  
          specified in subdivision (e) of Section 391 that are required to  
          be provided to dependent minors and nonminors are necessary or  
          appropriate for delinquent minors and nonminors, some of the  
          requirements have been modified or eliminated.  Therefore, AB  
          2000 requires probation officers to provide certain basic  
          documentation to youth similar to, but not as extensive as, that  
          currently required for foster youth in subdivision (e) of  
          Welfare and Institutions Code Section 391.  This bill is  
          sponsored by the Juvenile Court Judges of California and  
          supported by Commonweal and the National Association of Social  
          Workers.  The Youth Law Center supports the bill if amended to  
          ensure that it does not apply to dual status youth.  The author  
          has agreed to work with all stakeholders to ensure that it does  
          not reduce benefits or create any unnecessary barriers for  
          underserved youth.  There is no opposition to the bill on file.


          SUMMARY:  Requires the juvenile court to conduct a hearing when  
          terminating jurisdiction over a ward and to ensure that certain  
          information, documents, and services are provided to the ward in  
          conjunction with termination of the court's jurisdiction.   
          Specifically, this bill:


          1)Prohibits the juvenile court from terminating its jurisdiction  
            over a ward until a hearing is conducted pursuant to this bill  
            and the court finds that one of the following is true:










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             a)   Specified information, documents, and services have been  
               provided to the ward.


             b)   In any case where the information, document, or service  
               is unavailable or cannot be provided, that the probation  
               officer has made reasonable efforts to provide, specified  
               information, documents, or services to the ward.


          1)Requires the following information to be provided to the ward:
             a)   Written information concerning the ward's case,  
               including any known information regarding the ward's Indian  
               heritage or tribal connections, if applicable, directions  
               on how to access the documents the ward is entitled to  
               inspect under WIC Section 827, and the date on which the  
               jurisdiction of the juvenile court would be terminated.
             b)   Written information regarding any psychotropic or other  
               medications that the ward is taking.


          1)Requires the following documents to be provided to the ward:
             a)   A social security card, or a photocopy thereof.
             b)   A certified copy of his or her birth certificate.


             c)   A health and education summary, if applicable.


             d)   A driver's license, or identification card.


             e)   A letter prepared by the probation department that  
               includes the following information: i) The ward's name and  
               date of birth, and ii) The dates during which the ward was  
               within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.


             f)   If applicable, the death certificate of the parent or  








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               parents.


             g)   An advance health care directive form.


          1)Requires the probation department to provide the ward with the  
            following services or information:
             a)   Assistance with completing an application for Medi-Cal  
               or assistance with obtaining other health insurance, unless  
               the minor or nonminor has health insurance.
             b)   Referrals to transitional housing, if available, or  
               referrals to assistance with securing other housing, unless  
               the minor or nonminor has housing.


             c)   Referrals for assistance with obtaining employment or  
               other financial support.


             d)   Referrals for assistance in applying for admission to  
               college or to a vocational training program or other  
               educational institution and in obtaining financial aid,  
               where appropriate.


             e)   If the ward has been in out-of-home placement for 90  
               days or longer, contact information in the ward's file for  
               individuals who are important to the ward, based on the  
               ward's best interests.


             f)   Information about the sealing of juvenile records as  
               required by subdivision (h) of WIC Section 781 and  
               including information on the sealing provisions of WIC  
               Section 786 and any other applicable provision regarding  
               the sealing of juvenile records.










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             g)   If the ward has applied for Special Immigrant Juvenile  
               Status or otherwise applied for legal residency, and the  
               application is being processed, information on the status  
               of the application and whether an active juvenile court  
               case is required for approval of the application.


          1)Specifies that the ward shall not be held in physical  
            confinement or subject to any terms or conditions of probation  
            if a continuance of the termination hearing is required solely  
            for probation to comply with the above requirements.
          2)Provides that if the ward has met his or her rehabilitative  
            goal and requests immediate termination of jurisdiction, the  
            termination shall not be delayed for the probation department  
            to comply with this bill.
          3)Requires the Judicial Council to develop and implement  
            standards, and develop and adopt appropriate forms, necessary  
            to implement this bill.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Provides that any child who has suffered, or is at risk of  
            suffering, serious physical or emotional harm, as defined,  
            shall be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court which  
            may adjudge that person to be a dependent child of the court,  
            as specified.  (Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300.   
            All further statutory references are to the Welfare and  
            Institutions Code, unless otherwise indicated.) 


          2)Permits a court to terminate its dependency, delinquency, or  
            transition jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent between the  
            time the nonminor reaches the age of majority and 21 years of  
            age.  (Section 303.)


          3)Requires, at any termination hearing, a county welfare  








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            department to submit a report that verifies that the following  
            information has been provided to the nonminor.  (Section 391.)


             a)   Written information about the nonminor's dependency  
               case, including family history, Indian heritage, available  
               family photographs, except as specified, whereabouts of  
               siblings under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court,  
               except as specified, and information about how to access  
               their case file.


             b)   Essential personal documents including the social  
               security card, a certified copy of the birth certificate,  
               the health and education summary, as specified, driver's  
               license or identification card, any applicable death  
               certificates for the nonminor's parents, proof of  
               citizenship, an advance health care directive, forms used  
               to resume dependency, and a written 90-day transition plan.


             c)   A letter containing information about the nonminor  
               including name and date of birth, and the dates during  
               which the nonminor was a foster youth.


             d)   Referrals to transitional housing, assistance in  
               obtaining employment or other financial support, assistance  
               in applying to college or to a vocational education  
               program, assistance in maintaining relationships with  
               individuals who are important to the nonminor, assistance  
               in accessing the Independent Living Aftercare Program, and  
               other information.


          4)Allows the California Department of Social Services to provide  
            a former dependent or ward who was in foster care, upon  
            request by that person, the proof of dependency of wardship  
            document that was provided to the youth in the dependency or  








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            wardship termination hearing report, or any information  
            necessary to provide verification that the person was formerly  
            a dependent or ward and placed in foster care.  (Section  
            826.8.)




          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  Current law (subdivision (e) of WIC Section 391)  
          ensures that foster youth who age out of the dependency system  
          when they become adults (or 21 years of age for "nonminor  
          dependents") are provided with a number of documents and  
          resources when leaving the dependency system.  Prior to  
          termination of the juvenile court's jurisdiction, the county  
          welfare department is required to do a number of things to help  
          the nonminor transition to living without the support of the  
          juvenile court and the county welfare department.  


          Adolescents leaving incarceration and juvenile probation  
          supervision are also in critical need of such assistance.   
          Research shows that youth who have been in the juvenile justice  
          system are as much in need of information to assist in  
          transitioning to adulthood as youth in the dependency system.   
          In many instances juvenile justice wards were previously foster  
          youth and even if not, come from unstable homes and families  
          that are unable to support the transitioning youth back into  
          society.  Research shows that juvenile justice youth who leave  
          probation supervision do not finish high school, suffer high  
          rates of unemployment, pregnancy, and adult incarceration.  Like  
          foster youth, juvenile justice youth all too often leave the  
          juvenile justice system unconnected to family and community. 


          To increase the opportunity for success for probation youth,  
          this bill requires that a number of those same services and  








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          items of information to be provided to probation youth (or  
          "wards") prior to the juvenile delinquency court terminating its  
          jurisdiction over the youth.  But in order not to punish the  
          youth, the bill prohibits a probation youth from being detained  
          in confinement while the youth is awaiting those services and  
          items of information.  Instead of requiring the county welfare  
          department to provide those services, documents and information,  
          this bill sensibly requires the county probation department to  
          provide similar services, documents, and information to the  
          ward.  Because not all of the services and information specified  
          in subdivision (e) of Section 391 that are required to be  
          provided to foster youth are necessary or appropriate for  
          probation youth, some of the requirements have been modified or  
          eliminated.  Therefore, AB 2000 requires probation officers to  
          provide certain basic documentation to youth similar to, but not  
          as extensive as what is required for welfare departments to  
          provide to foster youth in subdivision (e) of Section 391.  As  
          modified, the documentation should be readily available to the  
          probation department, if not already included in the youth's  
          file.  


          The requirements of subdivision (e) of Section 391 (for foster  
          youth), and an explanation of how those requirements are  
          modified by this bill (for probation youth), is explained below:


            (e) The court shall not terminate dependency jurisdiction over  
            a nonminor who has attained 18 years of age until a hearing is  
            conducted pursuant to this section and the department has  
            submitted a report verifying that the following information,  
            documents, and services have been provided to the nonminor, or  
            in the case of a nonminor who, after reasonable efforts by the  
            county welfare department, cannot be located, verifying the  
            efforts made to make the following available to the nonminor:   
            This is modified in AB 2000 so that, among other things, the  
            hearing must occur prior to termination of the court's  
            jurisdiction, regardless of the ward's age.  The modified  
            language also provides that the information and services do  








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            not have to be provided by the probation department if the  
            information or services are unavailable and the probation  
            department has made reasonable efforts to provide the  
            information or services to the ward.


               (1) Written information concerning the nonminor's case,  
               including any known information regarding the nonminor's  
               Indian heritage or tribal connections, if applicable, his  
               or her family history and placement history, any  
               photographs of the nonminor or his or her family in the  
               possession of the county welfare department, other than  
               forensic photographs, the whereabouts of any siblings under  
               the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, unless the court  
               determines that sibling contact would jeopardize the safety  
               or welfare of the sibling, directions on how to access the  
               documents the nonminor is entitled to inspect under Section  
               827, and the date on which the jurisdiction of the juvenile  
               court would be terminated. This is modified in AB 2000 to  
               eliminate the reference to the minor's foster placement  
               history and siblings because those issues are not generally  
               included in juvenile court records about wards.  


               (2) The following documents:


               (A) Social security card.  This requirement is maintained,  
               but an option is allowed for a copy of the card to be  
               provided to the ward.


               (B) Certified copy of his or her birth certificate.  This  
               requirement is maintained.


               (C) Health and education summary, as described in  
               subdivision (a) of Section 16010. This requirement is  
               maintained, but modified to say "if applicable."








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               (D) Driver's license, as described in Section 12500 of the  
               Vehicle Code, or identification card, as described in  
               Section 13000 of the Vehicle Code.  This requirement is  
               maintained.


               (E) A letter prepared by the county welfare department that  
               includes the following information:  This requirement is  
               maintained, but modified to refer to the "probation  
               department."


               (i) The nonminor's name and date of birth.  This  
               requirement is maintained.


               (ii) The dates during which the nonminor was within the  
               jurisdiction of the juvenile court.  This requirement is  
               maintained.


               (iii) A statement that the nonminor was a foster youth in  
               compliance with state and federal financial aid  
               documentation requirements.  This requirement is  
               maintained, but the language is modified to apply to  
               "delinquent youth."


               (F) If applicable, the death certificate of the parent or  
               parents.  This requirement is maintained.


               (G) If applicable, proof of the nonminor's citizenship or  
               legal residence.  This requirement is not included.


               (H) An advance health care directive form.  This  








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               requirement is maintained.


               (I) The Judicial Council form that the nonminor would use  
               to file a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section  
               388 to resume dependency jurisdiction.  This requirement is  
               eliminated because it is not relevant to wards.


               (J) The written 90-day transition plan prepared pursuant to  
               Section 16501.1.  This requirement is eliminated because it  
               is not relevant to wards.


               (3) Assistance in completing an application for Medi-Cal or  
               assistance in obtaining other health insurance. This  
               requirement is maintained, but it is modified to say  
               assistance is not necessary if the ward already has health  
               insurance.


               (4) Referrals to transitional housing, if available, or  
               assistance in securing other housing. This requirement is  
               maintained, but it is modified to say assistance is not  
               necessary if the ward already has housing. 


               (5) Assistance in obtaining employment or other financial  
               support.  This requirement is modified to require  
               "Referrals for assistance."


               (6) Assistance in applying for admission to college or to a  
               vocational training program or other educational  
               institution and in obtaining financial aid, where  
               appropriate.  This requirement is modified to require  
               "Referrals for assistance."










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               (7) Assistance in maintaining relationships with  
               individuals who are important to a nonminor who has been in  
               out-of-home placement for six months or longer from the  
               date the nonminor entered foster care, based on the  
               nonminor's best interests.  This has been modified to apply  
               only to wards who entered foster care or were detained for  
               90 days or longer.


               (8) For nonminors between 18 and 21 years of age,  
               assistance in accessing the Independent Living Aftercare  
               Program in the nonminor's county of residence, and, upon  
               the nonminor's request, assistance in completing a  
               voluntary reentry agreement for care and placement pursuant  
               to subdivision (z) of Section 11400 and in filing a  
               petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to  
               resume dependency jurisdiction.  This requirement is  
               eliminated because it is not relevant to wards.


               (9) Written information notifying the child that current or  
               former dependent children who are or have been in foster  
               care are granted a preference for student assistant or  
               internship positions with state agencies pursuant to  
               Section 18220 of the Government Code. The preference shall  
               be granted to applicants up to 26 years of age.  This  
               requirement is eliminated because it is not relevant to  
               wards.


          In addition, some services and information are needed and  
          appropriate for minors and nonminors in the delinquency system  
          but not needed by those in the foster care system, so they have  
          been added to the bill.  For example, minors who have records of  
          juvenile adjudications may have difficulty obtaining employment  
          because they are required to disclose information about their  
          juvenile records on employment applications or to qualify for  
          other programs and services, including for entry into the  
          military, for example.  Therefore, this bill sensibly requires  








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          information about the sealing of juvenile records to be provided  
          to the ward.  Also, to ensure that a ward is not detained in  
          confinement in order for a hearing to occur, the bill prohibits  
          the ward from being held in confinement under those  
          circumstances, which is fair and appropriate.  Finally, to avoid  
          interference with a ward's application for Special Immigrant  
          Juvenile Status, the bill requires the ward (and the court) to  
          be alerted to the fact that an application for such status has  
          been filed and whether an active juvenile court case is required  
          for approval of the ward's application. 


          Writing in support of this bill, the sponsor, Juvenile Court  
          Judges of California explains the need for the legislation as  
          follows:


               Information such as medication needs, a Social Security  
               card or copy, a copy of the youth's birth certificate,  
               driver's license, and a health and education summary should  
               be in the file.  Assistance with obtaining Medi-Cal, and  
               referrals for assistance for housing, employment, financial  
               support, and college or vocational school applications are  
                                                                     all resources that most juvenile justice probation  
               departments have at their disposal.  This legislation seeks  
               a more concerted effort to rally behind a youth prior to  
               leaving the system and is unlikely to cause a greater  
               burden for the probation department to document or research  
               because most of the information is already in the file or  
               easily obtainable. 


               Similarly, unlike the services currently required under WIC  
               Sec. 391 and with the exception of Medi-Cal, AB 2000 does  
               not propose assistance with certain of the items listed  
               above but instead proposes referrals for assistance, for  
               example, a resources print out of options rather than  
               specific assistance to obtain those services.  Medi-Cal  
               assistance has been included because many youth lose their  








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               Medi-Cal coverage while incarcerated, and upon exit lack  
               the resources and information to resume coverage.


          Also in support, the National Association of Social Workers  
          explains why the organization supports AB 2000 as follows: 


               This bill is important as many of these youth have a  
               difficult time transitioning into society once they are  
               released from the juvenile justice system.  In fact, 50  
               percent are rearrested within the first year.  Another  
               large portion of them have a difficult time obtaining  
               employment and as a result, become homeless.  This bill  
               also includes referrals to assist youth with completing  
               health insurance applications, obtaining employment, and  
               obtaining transitional housing.  The bill will also assist  
               youth in applying to colleges and vocational training  
               programs as well as applying for financial aid. 

          Likewise, Commonweal writes the following in support of the  
          bill:


               This bill seeks assure transition support for youth under  
               delinquency jurisdiction that parallels that already  
               provided in law for transitioning foster youth.  Too often,  
               young people coming off a term of probation or confinement  
               face an uphill battle to reunite successfully with schools,  
               jobs and communities.  AB 2000 requires the Court, upon  
               termination of jurisdiction, to verify that the minor has  
               been provided with identity documents, information about  
               the court and probation process and referrals or assistance  
               for Medi-Cal, housing and educational needs.  Pending  
               amendments will further clarify the scope, court role and  
               materials or services to be provided to young people as  
               they graduate from court control.










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          Expression of Concerns by one Organization and the Author's  
          Response.  The Youth Law Center (YLC) supports the bill, but  
          expresses some concerns about how the bill was worded when it  
          was introduced: 


               We support efforts to improve transition planning and  
               services for youth in the juvenile justice system.   
               However, several aspects of the bill as currently written  
               raise concerns.  Probation-supervised foster youth are  
               entitled to the same transition-planning services and  
               supports as all other foster youth under current law.  We  
               are concerned that as currently drafted, the bill could be  
               construed to include probation-supervised foster youth and  
               reduce the services and supports to those listed in the  
               bill, which are more limited than those provided to foster  
               youth.  The bill should be amended to clarify that it does  
               not apply to probation-supervised foster youth.


               In addition, the Youth Law Center believes it important  
               that AB 2000 appropriately balance the goals of ensuring  
               Probation Departments provide the listed services and  
               ensuring youth are not unnecessarily subjected to continued  
               probation supervision just to obtain services.  The Youth  
               Law Center also believes the bill should be amended to  
               ensure that the services and supports required to be  
               provided by Probation Departments are carefully tailored to  
               meet the specific needs of probation-supervised youth,  
               considering age and transition needs when jurisdiction is  
               being terminated.


          According to YLC, the recent amendments "are certainly a step in  
          the right direction, they do not fully address our concerns.  We  
          are hopeful that future amendments might permit us to fully  
          support the bill."  In response to YLC's concerns, the author  
          states the following:









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               The intent of the bill is not to reduce benefits or create  
               any unnecessary barriers for underserved youth.  I am  
               committed to continuing the conversations with stakeholders  
               to ensure this does not happen.


          The author and sponsor intend to continue working with  
          stakeholders to ensure that this bill will help to empower  
          probation youth to move forward instead of being at a loss of  
          where to collect the documents that they need to finish school  
          or to get employment.  This important bill will help ensure that  
          the juvenile justice system fulfills its obligations to these  
          youth by launching them with the vital documentation they need  
          to be productive citizens.  


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:


          Support


          Juvenile Court Judges of California (sponsor)


          Commonweal


          National Association of Social Workers


          Youth Law Center (if amended)


          Opposition


          None on file








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          Analysis Prepared by:Alison Merrilees / JUD. / (916) 319-2334