BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          Bill No:    SB 515        Hearing Date:    April 28, 2015    
          
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          |Author:    |Beall                                                |
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          |Version:   |April 6, 2015                                        |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|AA                                                   |
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                              Subject:  Grant Programs



          HISTORY

          Source:   Author

          Prior Legislation:Proposition 47 - passed by the voters in  
          November 2014

          Support:  Unknown

          Opposition:None Known

                                       PURPOSE


          The purpose of this bill is to require that at least two-thirds  
          of the grant funding administered by the Board of State and  
          Community Services under Proposition 47 be allocated to "public  
          behavioral health agencies, or other public agencies that  
          provide behavioral health services, that will use the grant  
          funds to provide evidence-based mental health services and  
          substance use disorder treatment services that are provided by  
          licensed or certified behavioral health professionals and  
          counselors."

          Current law reflects the provisions of Proposition 47, also  








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          known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, which was  
          approved by the voters in November 2014.  Proposition 47 reduced  
          the penalties for certain drug and property crimes and directed  
          that the resulting state savings be directed to mental health  
          and substance abuse treatment, truancy and dropout prevention,  
          and victims' services, as specified.  The initiative also made  
          additional changes to criminal laws.    (See Legislative  
          Analyst's Office analysis of Proposition 47,  
          http://www.lao.ca.gov/ ballot/2014/prop-47-110414.pdf.) 

          Current law, as enacted by Proposition 47, requires that by  
          August 15 of each fiscal year beginning in 2016, the Controller  
          shall disburse moneys deposited in the Safe Neighborhoods and  
          Schools Fund as follows:

             (1)  Twenty-five percent to the State Department of  
               Education, to administer a grant program to public agencies  
               aimed at improving outcomes for public school pupils in  
               kindergarten and grades 1 to 12, inclusive, by reducing  
               truancy and supporting students who are at risk of dropping  
               out of school or are victims of crime.
             (2)  Ten percent to the California Victim Compensation and  
               Government Claims Board, to make grants to trauma recovery  
               centers to provide services to victims of crime pursuant to  
               Section 13963.1 of the Government Code.
             (3)  Sixty-five percent to the Board of State and Community  
               Corrections, to administer a grant program to public  
               agencies aimed at supporting mental health treatment,  
               substance abuse treatment, and diversion programs for  
               people in the criminal justice system, with an emphasis on  
               programs that reduce recidivism of people convicted of less  
               serious crimes, such as those covered by this measure, and  
               those who have substance abuse and mental health problems.   
               (Government Code  7599.2(a).)

          This bill would require that of the 65 percent allocated to the  
          BSCC to administer, at least two-thirds of the grant funding  
          would be required to be allocated to "public behavioral health  
          agencies, or other public agencies that provide behavioral  
          health services, that will use the grant funds to provide  
          evidence-based mental health services and substance use disorder  
          treatment services that are provided by licensed or certified  
          behavioral health professionals and counselors."










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          COMMENTS

          1.Stated Need for This Bill

          The author states:

               Prop 47 requires savings accrued from the  
               implementation of the act be deposited into a newly  
               created Safe Neighborhoods & Schools Fund beginning in  
               August, 2016.  These dollars will be allocated  
               exclusively for three purposes:

               "         65% for mental health treatment, drug  
                    treatment, and other diversion programs to be  
                    disbursed to the Board of State and Community  
                    Corrections (BSCC) to administer a grant program  
                    to fund public agencies that support mental  
                    health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and  
                    diversion programs for people in the criminal  
                    justice system.

               "         25% for programs designed to improve  
                    outcomes for K-12 public school students by  
                    reducing truancy and supporting students who are  
                    at risk of dropping out or are victims of crime.

               "         10% for trauma recovery centers to provide  
                    services to victims of crime.

               The Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) estimates annual  
               state savings from Prop 47 will range from $100 to  
               $200 million beginning in 2016-17.  Although local  
               savings accrued from Prop 47 are anticipated to be  
               much higher than state savings because the percentage  
               of individuals eligible Prop 47 in their system is  
               much greater, Prop 47 only applies to state savings.

               Recently, the LAO made several recommendations  
               relating to the successful implementation of Prop 47.   
               SB 515 addresses one of those recommendations.  
               Specifically, the LAO recommends the State Legislature  
               prioritize how Prop 47 savings will be spent and  









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               identify which types of organizations will receive  
               grant funds in the event the BSCC receives more grant  
               application than funding available. 

               SB 515 requires the BSCC to allocate at least  
               two-thirds of the grant funding to public behavioral  
               health agencies or other public agencies that provided  
               behavioral health services to fund evidence-based  
               mental health services and substance use disorder  
               treatment services. Furthermore, SB 515 requires  
               services be provided by licensed or certified  
               behavioral health professionals or counselors.

               SB 515 recognizes that a significant number of  
               individuals eligible under Prop 47 suffer from one or  
               more mental health or substance abuse disorders and  
               will need access to treatment and services upon their  
               release from custody. 

               According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 56  
               percent of state prisoners and 64 percent of jail  
               inmates nationwide were clinically diagnosed as having  
               a mental disorder, received treatment by a mental  
               health professional, or experienced symptoms of a  
               mental disorder in the previous 12 months.  

               The number of individuals with a substance use  
               disorder is even greater. According to the most recent  
               California Rehabilitation Oversight Board (C-ROB  
               report), 65.7 percent of offenders who have received a  
               needs assessment have a moderate to high need for  
               substance use treatment services.

               Research shows access to treatment is most cost  
               effective use of limited funds. According to a Health  
               Research and Education Trust study, on average,  
               substance abuse treatment costs $1,583 and is  
               associated with a monetary benefit to society of  
               $11,487, representing a greater than 7:1 ratio of  
               benefits to costs. 

               Furthermore, building mental health and substance use  
               community treatment capacity makes California's  
               in-prison treatment investments more cost-effective. A  









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               2007 press release issued by the California Office of  
               Inspector General inmates pointed to a study that  
               showed in-prison treatment followed by at least 90  
               days of community-based aftercare had significantly  
               lower recidivism rates than nonparticipants.

         1.  What This Bill Would Do; Additional Considerations

          Proposition 47, also known as the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools  
          Act, was approved by the voters in November 2014.  Proposition  
          47 made a number of changes in criminal penalties and provided  
          that the resulting state savings be directed to mental health  
          and substance abuse treatment, truancy and dropout prevention,  
          and victims' services.  (See Legislative Analyst's Office  
          analysis of Proposition 47,  
          http://www.lao.ca.gov/ballot/2014/prop-47-110414.pdf.)  
          Proponents of Proposition 47 submitted in part:

               Proposition 47 is sensible.  It focuses law  
               enforcement dollars on violent and serious crime while  
               providing new funding for education and crime  
               prevention programs that will make us all safer. . . .  
               Proposition 47 stops wasting money on warehousing  
               people in prisons for nonviolent petty crimes, saving  
               hundreds of millions of taxpayer funds every year. . .  
               .  (Proposition 47) dictates the massive savings to  
               crime prevention strategies in K-12 schools,  
               assistance for victims of crime, and mental health  
               treatment and drug treatment to stop the cycle of  
               crime.<1>

          As explained above, savings attributed to the sentencing  
          changes in Proposition 47 are split, with 25 percent for  
          education, 10 percent for victim services, and 65 percent  
          for a "grant program to public agencies aimed at supporting  
          mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, and  
          diversion programs for people in the criminal justice  
          system, with an emphasis on programs that reduce recidivism  
          of people convicted of less serious crimes, such as those  
          covered by this measure, and those who have substance abuse  
          and mental health problems."  

          -------------------------

          <1>   Ballot argument in favor of Proposition 47  
          (http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/2014/general/pdf/proposition-47-argume 
          nts-rebuttals.pdf.)







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          This bill would require that at least two-thirds of this 65  
          percent be allocated to public behavioral health agencies,  
          or other public agencies that provide behavioral health  
          services, that would use the grant funds to provide the  
          following:

                 evidence-based mental health services and 

                 substance use disorder treatment services that are  
               provided by licensed or certified behavioral health  
               professionals and counselors.

          Members may wish to discuss whether marshalling these  
          savings as a statewide, statutory priority would be  
          consistent with the somewhat broader language in the  
          initiative.  As underscored by the author, data and  
          research illustrate the prevalence of behavior and  
          substance use disorder among criminal offenders.  The  
          legislature has responded by supporting many efforts  
          designed to address this population, most recently with the  
          passage and funding of SB 1054 (Steinberg), the mentally  
          ill offender crime reduction grants.  There also are other  
          valuable and needed assets for effectively addressing the  
          criminogenic needs of offender populations in the community  
          and reducing recidivism, such as housing assistance and  
          restorative justice programs.  Members of the Committee and  
          the author may wish to consider whether codifying statewide  
          principles and objectives designed to strengthen the  
          ability and flexibility of local communities to identify  
          their needs, together with program fidelity and  
          accountability, might provide an enhanced level of  
          statewide leadership and direction for assuring the  
          Proposition 47 savings are reinvested as effectively as  
          possible.     

          SHOULD TWO-THIRDS OF THE PROPOSITION 47 FUNDING DEDICATED  
          TO MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT, SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT AND  
          DIVERSION PROGRAMS FOR LOW LEVEL OFFENDERS, BE ALLOCATED  
          FOR EVIDENCE-BASED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES AND SUBSTANCE USE  
          DISORDER TREATMENT?












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