CSAC Administration of Justice New Laws
CSAC recently reported on the final outcomes of measures that were approved by the Legislature and delivered to Governor Newsom for action. To keep counties informed of new laws of interest and impact, CSAC will publish a series of articles to spotlight those laws in each policy area. This week, the Administration of Justice policy area provides information on new laws affecting courts, mental health diversion, probation, corrections, justice involved youth and elections.
The new laws listed below become effective January 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted.
Assembly Bill 1744 (Levine). Probation and mandatory supervision: flash incarceration.
This measure extends authorization for the use of flash incarceration for individuals on probation or mandatory supervision until January 1, 2028. AB 1744 would allow for the continued ability to use flash incarceration as a graduated response for individuals on felony probation and mandatory supervision that was previously authorized via AB 597 (Levine), Chapter 44, Statutes of 2019, and SB 266 (Block), Chapter 706, Statutes of 2016. Further, AB 1744 will maintain current requirements in statute to allow an individual to decline flash incarceration and request a court revocation hearing, as well as a notification to the court and public defender upon imposition of flash incarceration. Graduated responses such as flash incarceration, allow for violations of court-ordered conditions to be addressed in a manner that balances safety considerations while maintaining continuity and engagement in rehabilitative services and support. CSAC supported AB 1744.
Justice Involved Youth:
Assembly Bill 2644 (Holden). Custodial interrogation.
This measure prohibits an officer from using threats, physical harm, deception, or psychologically manipulative interrogation tactics when questioning a person 17 years of age or younger about the commission of a felony or misdemeanor. AB 2644 takes effect January 1, 2024.
Assembly Bill 2321 (Jones-Sawyer). Juveniles: room confinement.
This measure limits the exclusion to periods of room confinement of minors or wards who are confined in a juvenile facility to be no longer than 2 hours. The measure also requires minors and wards who are confined to be provided reasonable access to toilets at all hours.
Assembly Bill 2417 (Ting). Juveniles: Youth Bill of Rights.
This measure makes the state Youth Bill of Rights applicable to youth confined in any local juvenile justice facility. Further, it will require the ombudsperson to notify any complainant in writing of the intention to investigate or refer the complaint for investigation. The measure also requires the ombudsperson to provide written notice of the final outcome of a complaint. Lastly, the measure requires data published and provided to the Legislature by the ombudsperson to be disaggregated by gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity of the complainants to the extent this information is available. AB 2417 takes effect July 1, 2023.
Assembly Bill 2023 (Bennett). Jails: discharge plans.
This measure requires a sheriff to make the release standards, release processes, and release schedules of a county jail available to incarcerated persons. The measure also grants a person incarcerated in, or recently released from, a county jail up to 3 free telephone calls from a telephone in the county jail to plan for a safe and successful release.
Senate Bill 990 (Hueso). Corrections: county of release.
This measure makes changes to the factors which determine placement and transfers for those on parole or post release community supervision (PRCS). It specifies that educational, vocational, and housing programs are factors that must be considered and absent evidence that a parole transfer would present a threat to public safety, an individual can choose a location with verified programs, family support, a job offer, inpatient or outpatient treatment, or housing outside of their county of commitment. SB 990 has a delayed implementation date of January 1, 2024, and the final version only encourages and authorizes that probation extend the bill’s provisions on parole to those on post release community supervision.
Senate Bill 1008 (Becker). Corrections: communications.
This measure requires that a state prison, or a state, county, or city youth residential placement or detention center provide voice communication services to incarcerated persons free of charge to the person initiating and the person receiving the communication. Also, this measure prohibits a county, city, or state agency from receiving revenue for the provision of communication services to persons in its custody.
Assembly Bill 1803 (Jones-Sawyer). Court fees: ability to pay.
This measure exempts a person who meets the criteria for a waiver of court fees and costs from being obligated to pay the filing fee for specified expungement petitions and prohibits a court from denying expungement relief to an otherwise qualified person, and who meets the criteria, as specified, for a waiver of court fees and costs, solely on the basis that the person has not yet satisfied their restitution obligations.
Senate Bill 1106 (Wiener). Criminal resentencing: restitution.
Existing law requires a court to order a defendant who is convicted of a crime in this state to pay full restitution to the victim and a separate restitution fine, as specified. This measure prohibits a petition for relief, whether statutorily authorized or in the court’s discretion, from being denied due to an unfulfilled order of restitution or restitution fine.
Mental Health Diversion:
Senate Bill 1223 (Becker). Criminal procedure: mental health diversion.
This measure changes the eligibility criteria when a court grants pretrial diversion for an individual, to include a diagnosis of a mental disorder instead of the court finding the defendant suffers from a mental disorder and would require that the diagnosis or treatment for a diagnosed mental disorder be within the last 5 years. Also, this measure defines “qualified mental health expert” for these purposes. Lastly, the measure requires the court, if a defendant has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, to find that the defendant’s mental disorder was a significant factor in the commission of a charged offense unless there is clear and convincing evidence that it was not a motivating factor, causal factor, or contributing factor to the alleged offense.
Senate Bill 1338 (Umberg). Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Court Program.
This measure enacts the Community Assistance, Recovery, and Empowerment (CARE) Act, which authorizes specified adult persons to petition a civil court to create a voluntary CARE agreement or a court-ordered CARE plan and implement services, to be provided by county behavioral health agencies, to provide behavioral health care, including stabilization medication, housing, and other enumerated services to adults who are currently experiencing a severe mental illness and have a diagnosis identified in the disorder class schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and who meet other specified criteria. The measure requires the Counties of Glenn, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne and the City and County of San Francisco to implement the program commencing October 1, 2023, and the remaining counties to commence no later than December 1, 2024.
Assembly Bill 759 (McCarty). Elections: county officers.
This measure requires the election to select district attorney and sheriff to be held with the presidential primary and would require, if no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for the office at the presidential primary, the 2 candidates who received the most votes to advance to a general election held with the presidential general election. The bill would provide for a 6-year term for a district attorney or sheriff elected in 2022.