BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2221


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:  May 11, 2016


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair


          AB  
          2221 (Cristina Garcia) - As Amended April 19, 2016


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill specifies that prior to being subpoenaed as a witness  
          in a human trafficking case, a minor who is a victim of human  
          trafficking must be provided with assistance from the local  
          county Victim Witness Assistance Center.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          No cost.










                                                                    AB 2221


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          COMMENTS:



          1)Background/Purpose. Under current law, a prosecuting witness  
            in a case involving a violation or attempted violation of  
            specified offenses, including human trafficking, is entitled,  
            for support, to the attendance of up to two persons of his or  
            her own choosing, one of whom may be a witness, at the  
            preliminary hearing and at the trial, or at a juvenile court  
            proceeding, during the testimony of the prosecuting witness.   
            Current law also states that only one of those support persons  
            may accompany the witness to the witness stand, although the  
            other may remain in the courtroom during the witness's  
            testimony.



            Victims of crime may suffer physical, emotional, or financial  
            harm. Victims and witnesses to a crime may face retaliation or  
            intimidation in connection with their potential participation  
            in the criminal justice system.  Victims and witnesses can  
            also be confused by a criminal justice system that is not  
            familiar to them.  Victim Witness Assistance Programs can  
            provide assistance with these issues.  These programs are  
            frequently connected to the county district attorney's office.  
             Victim Witness Assistance Programs generally have trained and  
            experienced advocates provide services for victims and  
            witnesses interacting with the criminal justice system.   
            Services can include crisis counseling, orientation to the  
            criminal justice system, community referrals, assistance with  
            applying for victim compensation, a support group for family  
            members of homicide victims, and many other services. 



            This bill protects a minor by requiring that the minor be  
            provided assistance from Victim Witness Assistance Center, if  
            the minor is victim of human trafficking, before the minor is  








                                                                    AB 2221


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            subpoenaed as a witness.



          2)Related Legislation:  AB 1276 (Santiago), would authorize,  
            under specified conditions, a minor 17 years of age or younger  
            to testify by contemporaneous examination and  
            cross-examination in another place and out of the presence of  
            the judge, jury, defendant or defendants, and attorneys if the  
            testimony will involve the recitation of the facts of an  
            alleged offense of human trafficking.  SB 1276 is awaiting  
            hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee.

          3)Prior Legislation:  SB 1091 (Pavley), Chapter 148, Statutes of  
            2012, expanded the list of cases in which a prosecuting  
            witness may have support persons to include, among others,  
            cases involving human trafficking, prostitution, child  
            exploitation, and obscenity, as specified.





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