Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-1003 Mental health: sexually violent predators.(2015-2016)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB1003:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 26, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1003


Introduced by Assembly Member Nazarian

February 26, 2015


An act to amend Section 6604.9 of Sections 6601 an 6604.9 of, and to add Section 6610 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to mental health.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1003, as amended, Nazarian. Mental health: Sexually sexually violent predators.
Existing law provides for the civil commitment of criminal offenders who have been determined to be sexually violent predators for treatment in a secure state hospital facility, as specified. Existing law requires the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to refer a prisoner for evaluation by the State Department of State Hospitals when the secretary determines that the person may be a sexually violent predator, requires the State Department of State Hospitals to evaluate the person in accordance with a standardized assessment protocol, as specified, to determine whether the person is a sexually violent predator, and specifies the judicial processes necessary for civil commitment as a sexually violent predator, including, but not limited to, the right to a jury trial. Existing
This bill would require the State Department of State Hospitals to consult, on or before January 30, 2016, with a committee comprised of representatives of specified organizations to make recommendations regarding possible changes to the standardized assessment protocol. The bill would require the State Department of State Hospitals, on or before March 1, 2016, to initiate the regulatory process to update the standardized assessment protocol, as specified.
Existing law requires an annual examination of the mental condition of a sexually violent predator to determine whether conditional release to a less restrictive alternative or unconditional release is in the best interest of the person and the conditions imposed would adequately protect the community. Existing law requires that the report be in the form of a declaration and prepared by a professionally qualified person. Proposition 83, enacted by the voters at the November 7, 2006, statewide general election, made various changes to the sexually violent predator civil commitment process.

Proposition 83 permits the Legislature to amend its provisions, either by a 23 vote of the membership of each house, or by a majority vote of the membership of each house if the amendments expand the scope of the application of the provisions of the proposition or increase the punishments or penalties provided in the proposition.

This bill would require the report described above to be signed by the Director of the State Department of State Hospitals. By amending the requirements for the report, this bill would amend Proposition 83.
The bill would also create a 7-member oversight board to advise the Governor and the Legislature regarding the civil commitment of sexually violent predators comprised of representatives selected by the State Department of State Hospitals and other organizations, as specified. The bill would require the oversight board to meet at least 6 times per year and, beginning January 1, 2017, to make an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature including the board’s recommendations, as specified.
Vote: TWO_THIRDSMAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6601 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

6601.
 (a) (1) Whenever the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation determines that an individual who is in custody under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and who is either serving a determinate prison sentence or whose parole has been revoked, may be a sexually violent predator, the secretary shall, at least six months prior to that individual’s scheduled date for release from prison, refer the person for evaluation in accordance with this section. However, if the inmate was received by the department with less than nine months of his or her sentence to serve, or if the inmate’s release date is modified by judicial or administrative action, the secretary may refer the person for evaluation in accordance with this section at a date that is less than six months prior to the inmate’s scheduled release date.
(2) A petition may be filed under this section if the individual was in custody pursuant to his or her determinate prison term, parole revocation term, or a hold placed pursuant to Section 6601.3, at the time the petition is filed. A petition shall not be dismissed on the basis of a later judicial or administrative determination that the individual’s custody was unlawful, if the unlawful custody was the result of a good faith mistake of fact or law. This paragraph shall apply to any petition filed on or after January 1, 1996.
(b) The person shall be screened by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Board of Parole Hearings based on whether the person has committed a sexually violent predatory offense and on a review of the person’s social, criminal, and institutional history. This screening shall be conducted in accordance with a structured screening instrument developed and updated by the State Department of State Hospitals in consultation with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. If as a result of this screening it is determined that the person is likely to be a sexually violent predator, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall refer the person to the State Department of State Hospitals for a full evaluation of whether the person meets the criteria in Section 6600.
(c) (1) The State Department of State Hospitals shall evaluate the person in accordance with a standardized assessment protocol, developed and updated by the State Department of State Hospitals, to determine whether the person is a sexually violent predator as defined in this article. The standardized assessment protocol shall require assessment of diagnosable mental disorders, as well as various factors known to be associated with the risk of reoffense among sex offenders. Risk factors to be considered shall include criminal and psychosexual history, type, degree, and duration of sexual deviance, and severity of mental disorder.
(2) On or before January 30, 2016, the State Department of State Hospitals shall consult with a committee consisting of one representative from each of the State Department of State Hospitals, the California District Attorneys Association, the California Public Defenders Association, and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. The committee members shall select a member of the private defense bar and a person with experience as an evaluator under Article 4 (commencing with Section 6600) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6 to make recommendations regarding possible changes to the standardized assessment protocol, as described in paragraph (3).
(3) On or before March 1, 2016, the State Department of State Hospitals shall initiate the regulatory process to update the standardized assessment protocol, including a plan for formal supervisory review of evaluations and a checklist for reviewing evaluations, as recommended by the March 2015 report of the California State Auditor. The regulations shall also include requirements and procedures for training evaluators.
(d) Pursuant to subdivision (c), the person shall be evaluated by two practicing psychiatrists or psychologists, or one practicing psychiatrist and one practicing psychologist, designated by the Director of State Hospitals. If both evaluators concur that the person has a diagnosed mental disorder so that he or she is likely to engage in acts of sexual violence without appropriate treatment and custody, the Director of State Hospitals shall forward a request for a petition for commitment under Section 6602 to the county designated in subdivision (i). Copies of the evaluation reports and any other supporting documents shall be made available to the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) who may file a petition for commitment.
(e) If one of the professionals performing the evaluation pursuant to subdivision (d) does not concur that the person meets the criteria specified in subdivision (d), but the other professional concludes that the person meets those criteria, the Director of State Hospitals shall arrange for further examination of the person by two independent professionals selected in accordance with subdivision (g).
(f) If an examination by independent professionals pursuant to subdivision (e) is conducted, a petition to request commitment under this article shall only be filed if both independent professionals who evaluate the person pursuant to subdivision (e) concur that the person meets the criteria for commitment specified in subdivision (d). The professionals selected to evaluate the person pursuant to subdivision (g) shall inform the person that the purpose of their examination is not treatment but to determine if the person meets certain criteria to be involuntarily committed pursuant to this article. It is not required that the person appreciate or understand that information.
(g) Any independent professional who is designated by the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or the Director of State Hospitals for purposes of this section shall not be a state government employee, shall have at least five years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders, and shall include psychiatrists and licensed psychologists who have a doctoral degree in psychology. The requirements set forth in this section also shall apply to any professionals appointed by the court to evaluate the person for purposes of any other proceedings under this article.
(h) If the State Department of State Hospitals determines that the person is a sexually violent predator as defined in this article, the Director of State Hospitals shall forward a request for a petition to be filed for commitment under this article to the county designated in subdivision (i). Copies of the evaluation reports and any other supporting documents shall be made available to the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) who may file a petition for commitment in the superior court.
(i) If the county’s designated counsel concurs with the recommendation, a petition for commitment shall be filed in the superior court of the county in which the person was convicted of the offense for which he or she was committed to the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The petition shall be filed, and the proceedings shall be handled, by either the district attorney or the county counsel of that county. The county board of supervisors shall designate either the district attorney or the county counsel to assume responsibility for proceedings under this article.
(j) The time limits set forth in this section shall not apply during the first year that this article is operative.
(k) An order issued by a judge pursuant to Section 6601.5, finding that the petition, on its face, supports a finding of probable cause to believe that the individual named in the petition is likely to engage in sexually violent predatory criminal behavior upon his or her release, shall toll that person’s parole pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 3000 of the Penal Code, if that individual is determined to be a sexually violent predator.
(l) Pursuant to subdivision (d), the attorney designated by the county pursuant to subdivision (i) shall notify the State Department of State Hospitals of its decision regarding the filing of a petition for commitment within 15 days of making that decision.
(m) This section shall become operative on the date that the director executes a declaration, which shall be provided to the fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature, including the Chairperson of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and the Department of Finance, specifying that sufficient qualified state employees have been hired to conduct the evaluations required pursuant to subdivision (d), or January 1, 2013, whichever occurs first.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 6604.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

6604.9.
 (a) A person found to be a sexually violent predator and committed to the custody of the State Department of State Hospitals shall have a current examination of his or her mental condition made at least once every year. The report shall be in the form of a declaration and shall be prepared by a professionally qualified person. The report shall also be signed by the Director of the State Department of State Hospitals. The person may retain or, if he or she is indigent and so requests, the court may appoint, a qualified expert or professional person to examine him or her, and the expert or professional person shall have access to all records concerning the person.
(b) The annual report shall include consideration of whether the committed person currently meets the definition of a sexually violent predator and whether conditional release to a less restrictive alternative, pursuant to Section 6608, or an unconditional discharge, pursuant to Section 6605, is in the best interest of the person and conditions can be imposed that would adequately protect the community.
(c) The State Department of State Hospitals shall file this periodic report with the court that committed the person under this article. A copy of the report shall be served on the prosecuting agency involved in the initial commitment and upon the committed person.
(d) If the State Department of State Hospitals determines that either: (1) the person’s condition has so changed that the person no longer meets the definition of a sexually violent predator and should, therefore, be considered for unconditional discharge, or (2) conditional release to a less restrictive alternative is in the best interest of the person and conditions can be imposed that adequately protect the community, the director shall authorize the person to petition the court for conditional release to a less restrictive alternative or for an unconditional discharge. The petition shall be filed with the court and served upon the prosecuting agency responsible for the initial commitment.
(e) The court, upon receipt of the petition for conditional release to a less restrictive alternative, shall consider the petition using procedures described in Section 6608.
(f) The court, upon receiving a petition for unconditional discharge, shall order a show cause hearing, pursuant to the provisions of Section 6605, at which the court may consider the petition and any accompanying documentation provided by the medical director, the prosecuting attorney, or the committed person.

SEC. 3.

 Section 6610 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

6610.
 (a) (1) There is hereby created an oversight board that shall advise the Legislature and the Governor regarding sexually violent predators under Article 4 (commencing with Section 6600) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6.
(2) The board shall be comprised of seven members. Each of the following organizations shall select one representative to serve on the oversight board: The State Department of State Hospitals, the California District Attorneys Association, the California Public Defenders Association, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, and the California Judicial Commission on Judicial Performance.
(3) The board members selected pursuant to paragraph (2) shall select both a representative of the private defense bar and a person with experience as an evaluator under Article 4 (commencing with Section 6600) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6 to serve on the oversight board.
(b) (1) The oversight board shall meet at least six times per year.
(2) On or before January 1, 2017, and on or before January 1 in each subsequent year, the oversight board shall make a report to the Governor and the Legislature making recommendations relating to implementation of Article 4 (commencing with Section 6600) of Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 6, including, but not limited to, evaluating sexually violent predators in state hospitals.
(3) The report required pursuant to paragraph (2) shall be submitted to the Legislature in compliance with subdivision (c) of Section 9795 of the Government Code.