BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Loni Hancock, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:    AB 2000       Hearing Date:    June 28, 2016    
          
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          |Author:    |Campos                                               |
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          |Version:   |May 31, 2016                                         |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|AA                                                   |
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            Subject:  Wards:  Termination of Juvenile Court Jurisdiction



          HISTORY

          Source:   Juvenile Court Judges of California

          Prior Legislation:SB 945 (Liu) - Ch. 631, Stats. 2010

          Support:  Commonweal Juvenile Justice Program; Legal Services  
                    for Prisoners with Children; National Association of  
                    Social Workers; East Bay Children's Law Offices; Youth  
                    Law Center

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:                 68 - 9


          PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to 1) prohibit the juvenile court  
          from terminating jurisdiction over a ward who has attained 17  
          years of age until the court conducts a hearing and finds that  
          the probation department has provided, or made reasonable  
          efforts to provide, certain information, documents, and services  
          to the ward; 2) authorize a juvenile court at its discretion to  
          make these provisions applicable to a ward under 17 years of  







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          age, as specified; and 3) provide circumstances to not delay the  
          termination, as specified.

          Under current law the purpose of juvenile court law "is to  
          provide for the protection and safety of the public and each  
          minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and to  
          preserve and strengthen the minor's family ties whenever  
          possible, removing the minor from the custody of his or her  
          parents only when necessary for his or her welfare or for the  
          safety and protection of the public." (Welfare and Institutions  
          Code ("WIC")  202.)

          Current law generally provides for minors to come under the  
          jurisdiction of the juvenile court due to neglect or abuse, as  
          specified (WIC  300 et seq.), or as a consequence of delinquent  
          conduct. (WIC  601, 602.)

          Current law generally describes how long the court may retain  
          jurisdiction over a person found to be a dependent or delinquent  
          ward of the court, as specified.  (Welfare and Institutions Code  
          (WIC)  607 et seq.)

          Current law requires that whenever the juvenile court terminates  
          jurisdiction over a ward who also has been a dependent ward of  
          the court or in foster care, or upon release of a ward from a  
          facility that is not a foster care facility, a probation officer  
          or parole officer shall provide the person with, at a minimum,  
          all of the following:

             1)   A written notice stating that the person is a former  
               foster child and may be eligible for the services and  
               benefits that are available to a former foster child  
               through public and private programs, including, but not  
               limited to, any independent living program for former  
               foster children, as specified.  

             2)   Existing information that informs the person of the  
               availability of assistance to enable the person to apply  
               for, and gain acceptance into, federal and state programs  
               that provide benefits to former foster children, as  
               specified.  

             3)   Existing information that informs the person of the  
               availability of assistance to enable the person to apply  








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               for, and gain acceptance into, federal and state programs  
               that provide independent living services to youth 16 years  
               of age and over who may be eligible for services, as  
               specified.  (WIC  607.3; see also WIC  607.5)

          This bill would enact a new law to provide that the juvenile  
          court shall not terminate jurisdiction over a ward who has  
          attained 17 years of age, as specified, until a hearing is  
          conducted pursuant to this section and the court finds that the  
          following information, documents, and services have been  
          provided to the ward, or, in any case in which the information,  
          document, or service is unavailable or cannot be provided, that  
          the probation officer has made reasonable efforts to provide the  
          following information, documents, or services to the ward:

             1)   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 Section 827, and the date on which the  
               jurisdiction of the juvenile court would be terminated.


             2)   Written information regarding any psychoactive or other  
               medications that the ward is taking, including the dosage,  
               the reason the medications were prescribed, contact  
               information of the prescribing doctor or psychiatrist, and  
               information regarding how to maintain the medication  
               regimen if the ward so chooses.


             3)   The following documents:

                A.      Social security card or a photocopy thereof.


                B.      Certified copy of his or her birth certificate.


                C.      Health and education summary, as described in  
                  subdivision (a) of Section 16010, if applicable.


                D.      Driver's license, as described in Section 12500 of  








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                  the Vehicle Code, or identification card, as described  
                  in Section 13000 of the Vehicle Code.


                E.      A letter prepared by the probation department that  
                  includes the following information:


                  (i) The ward's name and date of birth.

                  (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  
                parents.

                G.  An advance health care directive form.

             1)   Assistance with completing an application for Medi-Cal  
               or assistance with obtaining other health insurance, unless  
               the ward has health insurance.


             2)   Referrals to transitional housing, if available, or  
               referrals to assistance with securing other housing, unless  
               the ward has housing.


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


             4)   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.


             5)   If the ward has been in out-of-home placement for 90  
               days or longer from the date the ward entered foster care  
               or was committed or detained 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.









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


             7)   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.

          This bill would provide 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 the probation department to comply with the  
          requirements of this section."


          This bill would provide 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 section."

          This bill would provide that  a "juvenile court may, in its  
          discretion, make the provision of information, documents,  
          services, and referrals for service required by this section  
          applicable to a ward under 17 years of age, if requested by the  
          ward, and if the court finds that doing so is in the best  
          interest of the ward."


          This bill would provide that the "ward, after having an  
          opportunity to confer with the ward's counsel, may waive the  
          right to receive the information, documents, services, and  
          referrals for service specified in this section."


          This bill would require the Judicial Council to develop and  
          implement standards, and develop and adopt appropriate forms,  
          necessary to implement this section.









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                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the past several years this Committee has scrutinized  
          legislation referred to its jurisdiction for any potential  
          impact on prison overcrowding.  Mindful of the United States  
          Supreme Court ruling and federal court orders relating to the  
          state's ability to provide a constitutional level of health care  
          to its inmate population and the related issue of prison  
          overcrowding, this Committee has applied its "ROCA" policy as a  
          content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that  
          the Legislature does not erode progress in reducing prison  
          overcrowding.   

          On February 10, 2014, the federal court ordered California to  
          reduce its in-state adult institution population to 137.5% of  
          design capacity by February 28, 2016, as follows:   

                 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. 

          In December of 2015 the administration reported that as "of  
          December 9, 2015, 112,510 inmates were housed in the State's 34  
          adult institutions, which amounts to 136.0% of design bed  
          capacity, and 5,264 inmates were housed in out-of-state  
          facilities.  The current population is 1,212 inmates below the  
          final court-ordered population benchmark of 137.5% of design bed  
          capacity, and has been under that benchmark since February  
          2015."  (Defendants' December 2015 Status Report in Response to  
          February 10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge  
          Court, Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  One  
          year ago, 115,826 inmates were housed in the State's 34 adult  
          institutions, which amounted to 140.0% of design bed capacity,  
          and 8,864 inmates were housed in out-of-state facilities.   
          (Defendants' December 2014 Status Report in Response to February  
          10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge Court, Coleman  
          v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  
           
          While significant gains have been made in reducing the prison  
          population, the state must stabilize these advances and  
          demonstrate to the federal court that California has in place  
          the "durable solution" to prison overcrowding "consistently  
          demanded" by the court.  (Opinion Re: Order Granting in Part and  
          Denying in Part Defendants' Request For Extension of December  








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          31, 2013 Deadline, NO. 2:90-cv-0520 LKK DAD (PC), 3-Judge Court,  
          Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (2-10-14).  The Committee's  
          consideration of bills that may impact the prison population  
          therefore will be informed by the following questions:

              Whether a proposal erodes a measure which has contributed  
               to reducing the prison population;
              Whether a proposal addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy;
              Whether a proposal addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
              Whether a proposal corrects a constitutional problem or  
               legislative drafting error; and
              Whether a proposal proposes penalties which are  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy.


          COMMENTS

          1.Stated Need for This Bill

          The author states in part:

               Youth who exit the juvenile criminal justice system at  
               age 17 and after lack preparedness and  
               self-sufficiency; they are faced with many barriers  
               that can lead to undesired adult outcomes.  Providing  
               this vulnerable population with vital information,  
               documents, referrals for services, and assisting them  
               to regain basic health insurance coverage will help  
               them in their transition to adulthood and decrease the  
               likelihood of incarceration, homelessness,  
               unemployment, and early and unwanted pregnancies. . .  
               .  

               Currently there is no requirement to provide reentry  
               or aftercare services to youth who are exiting  
               Juvenile Probation and are being released from custody  
               unless they are a current foster youth.  The number of  
               juvenile probation youth who leave probation with  
               current foster care status is small.  There is no law  








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               that the Probation Department or the Court has to  
               ensure that the youth leave with important documents  
               like birth certificates or school and placement  
               history, though most or all of these documents are in  
               the youth's probation file.

               . . .  AB 2000 aims to help juvenile justice youth age  
               17 and over, by providing them with vital documents  
               that they will need in their transition into  
               adulthood.  The legislation would provide equity to  
               the young adults who exit the court systems from  
               Juvenile Probation similarly, but on a smaller scale,  
               as for foster youth.  

               Youth who exit the foster care or juvenile justice  
               system after age 17 are faced with major challenges.   
               For juvenile court youth, transition often results in  
               problems with accessing education, health care  
               benefits, stable housing, and economic supports.   
               Emancipated juvenile court youth are more likely to  
               experience homelessness, unemployment, unplanned  
               pregnancy, adult criminal court involvement, and  
               substance abuse.  They are also less likely to earn  
               enough to support themselves, have a high school  
               diploma, and enroll in college or other postsecondary  
               education or training. 

               Providing services and support to youth reentering  
               society can help reduce recidivism and foster  
               successful reconnections with families and  
               communities. ? 

          2.What This Bill Does

          Current law (WIC Section 391(e)) provides 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.   









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          This bill would provide a structure adopting this general  
          approach for delinquent wards of the juvenile court, so they can  
          receive information that could help them before the court  
          terminates jurisdiction.  The information is specified on pages  
          two and three of this analysis.

          3.Background

          The Assembly Appropriations Committee's analysis of this bill  
          quotes the sponsor, Juvenile Court Judges of California,  
          explaining the need for the legislation:

               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. 

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



                                      -- END -


          










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