Bill Text: CA SB36 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Pretrial release: risk assessment tools.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-12-04 - From printer. May be acted upon on or after January 3. [SB36 Detail]

Download: California-2019-SB36-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 36


Introduced by Senators Hertzberg and Mitchell
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)
(Coauthors: Senators Allen, Beall, Bradford, and Wieckowski)

December 03, 2018


An act to add Section 1320.35 to the Penal Code, relating to pretrial release.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 36, as introduced, Hertzberg. Pretrial release: risk assessment tools.
Existing law, beginning October 1, 2019, requires Pretrial Assessment Services, as defined, to assess a person arrested or detained, as specified, according to a risk assessment instrument, as defined. Existing law requires Pretrial Assessment Services to release from confinement specified individuals based on that risk assessment, and, if the person is not released, to submit that assessment to the court for use in its pretrial release or detention decision.
This bill would require each county to maintain specified data for each individual that undergoes an assessment using the risk assessment tool. By creating additional duties for counties, this bill would create a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Under California’s wealth-based bail and pretrial release system, thousands of individuals from lower economic backgrounds are held in county jails not because they have been convicted of a crime, but simply because they cannot afford to post money bail or pay a commercial bail bond company.
(2) The wealth-based bail system does not protect public safety because it is not based on public safety risk or flight risk.
(3) Many counties have begun to replace the wealth-based system with a pretrial release system that focuses on public safety and ensuring court appearances.
(4) If used correctly, risk assessment tools that are validated by scientific research can be employed to screen individuals for their flight risk and risk to public safety. This affords individuals awaiting trial an opportunity to be released while providing conditions and supervision that will ensure court appearances and protection of public safety.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that California independently evaluate any risk assessment tool employed in a pretrial setting to ensure its effectiveness in mitigating flight and public safety risk while minimizing biases and disparate results based on race, ethnicity, gender, economic circumstances, and behavioral or developmental disability.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1320.35 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

1320.35.
 (a) Each county that uses a risk assessment tool in a pretrial setting shall maintain data, including, but not limited to, information input into the risk assessment tool, outcomes from the risk assessment tool, and recommendations made by the risk assessment tool, for each individual that undergoes an assessment using the risk assessment tool.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this section to understand and reduce biases based on race, ethnicity, gender, economic circumstances, and behavioral or developmental disabilities in pretrial release decisionmaking.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
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