BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 382|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520    Fax: (916)      |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 382
          Author:   Lara (D)
          Amended:  5/19/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE:  5-2, 5/12/15
           AYES:  Hancock, Leno, Liu, McGuire, Monning
           NOES:  Anderson, Stone

           SUBJECT:   Juveniles:  jurisdiction:  sentencing


          SOURCE:    Human Rights Watch


          DIGEST:  This bill describes factors the court may consider in  
          determining whether a person is fit or unfit for juvenile court,  
          as specified.


          ANALYSIS:   


          Existing law:


          1)Provides a process for the juvenile court to determine whether  
            minors who are 14 years of age and older and alleged to have  
            committed a crime are fit or unfit for juvenile court.   
            (Welfare and Institutions Code ("WIC")  707.)  Depending upon  
            the age of the minor, the alleged offense and the minor's  
            offense history, the minor may or may not be presumed unfit  
            for juvenile court; where a minor is presumed to be unfit for  








                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  2


            juvenile court, the burden of rebutting the presumption is on  
            the child, to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence.   
            (Id.; See also Ca. Rules of Court, rule 1483.)


          2)Provides that in any case where the juvenile court determines  
            fitness, the court must examine whether the minor would or  
            would not be amenable to the care, treatment, and training  
            program available through the juvenile court, based upon an  
            evaluation of the following criteria: 


            a)     The degree of criminal sophistication exhibited by the  
                 minor.

            b)     Whether the minor can be rehabilitated prior to the  
                 expiration of the juvenile court's jurisdiction.

            c)     The minor's previous delinquent history.

            d)     Success of previous attempts by the juvenile court to  
                 rehabilitate the minor.

            e)     The circumstances and gravity of the offenses alleged  
                 in the petition to have been committed by the minor.   
                 (WIC  707(a)(1); (2); 707(c).)
          
          1)Provides that a "determination that the minor is not a fit and  
            proper subject to be dealt with under the juvenile court law  
            may be based on any one or a combination of the factors (in  
            current law enumerated above), .. . " (WIC  707.)
          
          2)Provides a process, termed "reverse remand," under which a  
            minor who has been referred to the adult criminal court for  
            prosecution without a court order that the minor has been  
            found unfit for the juvenile court may be remanded back to the  
            juvenile court if the minor is convicted of a lesser offense,  
            as specified.  (Penal Code  1170.17.)

          This bill:

          1)Revises the statutory provisions described in existing law #2  
            above to include discretionary factors the court may consider  
            in making these determinations, as follows:







                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  3



             a)   With respect to the degree of criminal sophistication  
               exhibited by the minor (factor #2 (a) above), specifies the  
               following in statute:  ". . . the juvenile court may  
               consider any relevant factor, including, but not limited  
               to, the minor's age, maturity, intellectual capacity, and  
               physical, mental, and emotional health at the time of the  
               alleged offense, the minor's impetuosity or failure to  
               appreciate risks and consequences of criminal behavior, the  
               effect of familial, adult, or peer pressure on the minor's  
               actions, and the effect of the minor's family and community  
               environment and childhood trauma on the minor's criminal  
               sophistication."

             b)   With respect to whether the minor can be rehabilitated  
               prior to the expiration of the juvenile court's  
               jurisdiction (factor #2 (b) above), specifies the following  
               in statute:  ". . .  the juvenile court may consider any  
               relevant factor, including, but not limited to, the minor's  
               potential to grow and mature."

             c)   With respect to the minor's prior delinquent history  
               (factor #2 (c) above), specifies the following in statute:   
               ". . . the juvenile court may consider any relevant factor,  
               including, but not limited to, the seriousness of the  
               minor's previous delinquent history and the effect of the  
               minor's family and community environment and childhood  
               trauma on the minor's previous delinquent behavior."

             d)   With respect to the success of previous attempts by the  
               juvenile court to rehabilitate the minor (factor #2 (d)  
               above), specifies the following in statute:  " . . .  the  
               juvenile court may consider any relevant factor, including,  
               but not limited to, the adequacy of the services previously  
               provided to address the minor's needs."

             e)   With respect to the circumstances and gravity of the  
               offense alleged in the petition to have been committed by  
               the minor (factor #2 (e) above), this bill specifies the  
               following in statute:  " . . . the juvenile court may  
               consider any relevant factor, including, but not limited  
               to, the level of harm actually caused by the minor, and the  
               minor's mental and emotional development."








                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  4


          1)Revise the provisions in existing law #3 above to state that  
            this determination may be based on any one or a combination of  
            the areas of discretionary consideration added by this bill.

          2)Incorporates the additional factors described above into the  
            provision described in existing law #4 above, as specified,  
            and provides that the circumstances and gravity of the offense  
            for which the person has been convicted may include "but is  
            not limited to, consideration of the actual behavior of the  
            person, the mental state of the person, the person's degree of  
            involvement in the crime, the level of harm actually caused by  
            the person, and the person's mental and emotional  
            development."

          


          Background

          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 court and to preserve and strengthen family  
          ties when possible, as specified.  (WIC  202 (a).)  "Minors  
          under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a consequence of  
          delinquent conduct shall, in conformity with the interests of  
          public safety and protection, receive care, treatment, and  
          guidance that is consistent with their best interest, that holds  
          them accountable for their behavior, and that is appropriate for  
          their circumstances.  This guidance may include punishment that  
          is consistent with the rehabilitative objectives of this  
          chapter."  (WIC  202(b).)

          California law generally provides that persons under the age of  
          18 who are alleged to have committed a crime is within the  
          jurisdiction of the juvenile court.   However, California law  
          contains three discrete mechanisms for remanding minors to adult  
          criminal court:

          1)Statutory or legislative waiver requires that minors 14 years  
            of age or older who are alleged to have committed specified  
            murder and sex offenses be prosecuted in adult criminal court  
            (WIC  602(a)); 

          2)Prosecutorial waiver gives prosecutors the discretion to file  







                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  5


            cases against minors 14 and older, depending upon their age,  
            alleged offense and offense history, in juvenile or adult  
            criminal court (WIC  707(d)); and

          3)Judicial waiver gives courts the discretion to evaluate  
            whether a minor is unfit for juvenile court based on specified  
            criteria.  (WIC  707 (a), (b) and (c).)  

          The fitness criteria set forth in statute are the basis by which  
          the juvenile court evaluates whether a minor is amenable to the  
          care, treatment and training available through the juvenile  
          court.  A minor is not required to establish innocence in order  
          to show amenability to the juvenile court system, and the fact  
          that a minor did commit the charged offense does not  
          automatically require a finding of unfitness.  (People v.  
          Superior Court (Jones) 18 Cal.4th 667, 682 (1998).)  A finding  
          of amenability must be based on evidence and supported by  
          findings addressed to each and every one of the criteria.  (Id.  
          at 683.)

          Though the standards for determining a minor's fitness for  
          treatment as a juvenile lack explicit definition . . .  it is  
          clear from the statute that the court must go beyond the  
          circumstances surrounding the offense itself and the minor's  
          possible denial of involvement in such offense.  The court may  
          consider a minor's past record of delinquency, and must take  
          into account his behavior pattern as described in the probation  
          officer's report.  (H. v. Superior Court (1970) 3 Cal. 3d 709,  
          714 (citations omitted; emphasis in original.)      

          This bill adds discretionary, non-exclusive considerations for  
          the court to consider in each of the five existing fitness  
          criteria.  None of the considerations proposed by this bill  
          would appear to be inconsistent with the current criteria.
          
          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:NoLocal:    No


          SUPPORT:   (Verified5/19/15)


          The Anti-Recidivism Coalition
          Alliance for Boys and Men of Color







                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  6


          American Civil Liberties Union of California
          Annie E. Casey Foundation Juvenile Justice Strategy Group
          Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus 
          Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles
          California Catholic Conference of Bishops
          California Public Defenders Association
          Californians for Safety and Justice
          Californians United for a Responsible Budget
          Campaign for Youth Justice
          Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
          Children Now
          Children's Defense Fund California
          East Bay Children's Law Offices
          Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
          Friends Committee on Legislation of California
          Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership
          National Center for Youth Law
          National African American Drug Policy Coalition
          National Employment Law Project
          Office of Restorative Justice of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
          Post-Conviction Justice Project - USC Gould School of Law
          Root and Rebound
          Youth Justice Coalition
          Youth Law Center
          Policy Link
          Several individuals


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/19/15)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     Supporters state in part, "In our  
          experience, there is tremendous need for clarification of the  
          fitness criteria.  For example, the fifth criterion - the  
          gravity and circumstances of the offense - is often  
          misinterpreted to mean that any person alleged to have committed  
          a serious offense must be found unfit.  But that is not correct.  
           In fact, even a young person who has committed a serious  
          offense should be retained in juvenile court if he or she is  
          capable of being rehabilitated, using the other fitness  
          criteria.  There is tremendous need to clarify this in the  







                                                                     SB 382  
                                                                    Page  7


          statutory criteria.


          "Also, since the current fitness criteria were written, there is  
          much more useful guidance on the impact of immaturity and  
          adolescent development on behavior and capacity for change.  A  
          series of Supreme Court cases, culminating in Miller v. Alabama  
          (2012) 567 U.S. ___, ___, 132 S.Ct. 2455, has recognized the  
          importance of considering the hallmarks of youthfulness in  
          making decisions about young people.  This includes issues such  
          as impulsivity, failure to appreciate risks and dangers, and  
          peer pressure.  The Supreme Court cases also highlight the  
          transitory nature of adolescent delinquency - the fact that the  
          vast majority of young people leave delinquency behind as they  
          reach adulthood."





                                       
          Prepared by:Alison Anderson / PUB. S. / 
          5/21/15 10:15:42


                                   ****  END  ****