BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 170


                                                                    Page  1





          Date of Hearing:   July 14, 2015


          Chief Counsel:     Gregory Pagan








                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                                  Bill Quirk, Chair





          SB  
          170 (Gaines) - As Amended June 29, 2015





          SUMMARY: Makes it a misdemeanor to operate an unmanned aircraft  
          system on or above the grounds of a state prison or jail, except  
          as specified.  Specifically, this bill:  



          1)Provides that any person who knowingly and intentionally  
            operates an unmanned aircraft system on or above the grounds  
            of a state prison is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a  
            term of imprisonment not to exceed six month, by a fine not to  
            exceed $1,000, or by both.








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          2)Exempts a person employed by the prison who operates an  
            unmanned aircraft system within the scope of his or her  
            employment, or a person who receives prior permission from the  
            California Department of Corrections (CDCR) to operate the  
            unmanned aircraft system over the prison.



          3)Exempts a person employed by the jail who operates an unmanned  
            aircraft system within the scope of his or her employment, or  
            a person who receives prior permission from the sheriff to  
            operate the unmanned aircraft system over the jail.



          4)Defines "unmanned aircraft" as an aircraft that is operated  
            without the possibility of direct human intervention from  
            within or on the aircraft.



          5)Defines "unmanned aircraft system" to mean an unmanned  
            aircraft and associated elements including, but not limited  
            to, communications links and the components that control the  
            unmanned aircraft that are required for the pilot in command  
            to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace  
            system.





          EXISTING LAW:  



          1)Establishes the Aviation Administration Modernization Reform  
            Act of 2012 which requires the Secretary of Transportation to  








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            develop a comprehensive plan to safely accelerate the  
            integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems into the  
            national airspace system.  The plan is required to provide for  
            safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft into national  
            airspace as soon as practicable, but not later than September  
            30, 2015.  (112 P.L. 95, 332.)

          2)Provides that any person in a local correctional facility who  
            possesses a wireless communication device, including, but not  
            limited to, a cellular telephone, pager, or wireless Internet  
            device, who is not authorized to possess that item is guilty  
            of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than  
            $1,000.  (Pen. Code,  4575, subd. (a).)



          3)States that it is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in  
            the county jail not exceeding six months, a fine not to exceed  
            $5,000 for each device, or both that fine and imprisonment,  
            for a person who possesses with the intent to deliver, or  
            delivers, to an inmate or ward in the custody of the  
            California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)  
            any cellular telephone or other wireless communication device  
            or any component thereof, except as specified.  (Pen. Code,   
            4576, subd. (a).)

          4)States if a person visiting an inmate or ward in the custody  
            of CDCR, upon being searched or subjected to a metal detector,  
            is found to be in possession of a cellular telephone or other  
            wireless communication device or any component thereof, that  
            device or component shall be subject to confiscation but shall  
            be returned on the same day the person visits the inmate or  
            ward, unless the cellular telephone or other wireless  
            communication device or any component thereof is held as  
            evidence in a case where the person is cited for a violation  
            of the above provision.  (Pen. Code,  4576, subd. (b)(1).)

          5)Provides, if, upon investigation, it is determined that no  
            prosecution will take place, the cellular telephone or other  








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            wireless communication device or any component thereof shall  
            be returned to the owner at the owner's expense.  (Pen. Code,  
             4576, subd. (b)(2).)

          6)Requires notice of this provision shall be posted in all areas  
            where visitors are searched prior to visitation with an inmate  
            or ward in the custody of CDCR.  (Pen. Code,  4576, subd.  
            (b)(3).)

          7)States any inmate who is found to be in possession of a  
            wireless communication device shall be subject to time credit  
            denial or loss of up to 90 days.  (Pen. Code,  4576, subd.  
            (c).)

          8)Provides that a person who brings, without authorization, a  
            wireless communication device within the secure perimeter of  
            any prison or institution housing offenders under the  
            jurisdiction of CDCR is deemed to have given his or her  
            consent to CDCR using available technology to prevent that  
            wireless device from sending or receiving telephone calls or  
            other forms of electronic communication. Notice of this  
            provision shall be posted at all public entry gates of the  
            prison or institution. (Pen. Code,  4576, subd. (d).)

          9)Makes it a felony for smuggling a controlled substance into  
            prison or jail.  (Pen. Code,  4573.)

          10)States it is a felony to bring drugs or alcoholic beverages  
            into a penal institution. (Pen. Code,  4573.5.)

          11)Makes it a felony to possess controlled substances where  
            prisoners are kept.  (Pen. Code,  4573.6.)

          12)States it is a felony to possess drugs or paraphernalia in  
            prison or jail.  (Penal Code  4573.8.)

          13)Makes it a felony to sell or give drugs to a person in  
            custody in state prison or other institution under the  
            jurisdiction of CDCR.  (Pen. Code,  4573.9.)








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          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown





          COMMENTS:  



          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "Keeping  
            contraband out of prison and jails is essential to running  
            safe and orderly facilities. Studies show that the presence of  
            contraband increases the risk of violence or disruptive  
            behavior.  However, even with the close monitoring of  
            individuals and mail coming into prisons and jails, creating  
            contraband-free facilities has always been a challenge.



            "With public access to drones increasing, this issue is  
            escalating.  As drones become smaller and easier to operate,  
            virtually anyone will be able to use the devise to drop  
            contraband into a prison or jail. Already there have been  
            instances in South Carolina, Georgia, and Canada of attempts  
            to use drones to drop contraband into prisons. It is  
            imperative that California's penal code addresses this reality  
            by limiting the use of drones over prisons and jails.





            "Additionally, drones can be used to gather sensitive  
            information from inside prison and jail walls. This  








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            information can be used for a variety of dangerous exploits,  
            including inmate escapes and prison riots. Placing  
            restrictions on the use of drones over prisons and jails helps  
            prevent these situations. 



          2)Argument in Support:  The California Police Chiefs Association  
            states, "As unmanned aircraft become more publicly accessible,  
            virtually anyone will be able to use the device to drop  
            contraband into a prison or county jail.  Additionally  
            unmanned aircraft systems can be used to gather sensitive  
            information from inside of prisons and jails.  This  
            information can be used for a variety of dangerous exploits,  
            including inmate escapes and prison riots.  Placing  
            restrictions on the use of unmanned aircraft over prisons and  
            jails helps prevent these situations."

          3)Argument in Opposition:  The California Attorneys for Criminal  
            Justice argue, "The proposed Penal Code section 4577 would  
            prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft on or above the grounds  
            of a state prison or jail, even when not committing crimes  
            related to the furnishing of contraband.  The proposed  
            legislation would impermissibly shield the prison system from  
            the public eye.  Given the California's prison system's  
            history of deplorable conditions, this law would promote an  
            air of secrecy in and around the prison's walls."



          4)Related Legislation: 



             a)   AB 56 (Quirk) regulates the use of unmanned aircraft  
               systems by public agencies.  AB 56 is pending hearing in  
               the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

             b)   AB 271 (Gaines) prohibits the unauthorized use of an  








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               unmanned aircraft system on a school grounds during school  
               hours or to capture images of the school grounds during  
               school hours.  AB 56 is pending hearing in the Assembly  
               Education Committee.



             c)   SB 142 (Jackson) makes it a trespass to operate an  
               unmanned aircraft system less than 350 feet above ground  
               over private property without the consent of the owner.  SB  
               142 is pending hearing in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.



          





          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:





          Support


          


          California Correctional Peace Officers Association 
          California Police Chiefs Association













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          Opposition


          


          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice





          Analysis Prepared by:Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744