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SB-230 Sentencing: parole.(2015-2016)

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Date Published:
SB230:v95#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 230
CHAPTER 470

An act to amend Sections 3041, 3041.1, 3041.2, 3041.5, 3041.7, 3042, 3043, 3043.1, 3043.2, 3043.25, 3046, and 3052 of the Penal Code, relating to parole.

[ Approved by Governor  October 03, 2015. Filed with Secretary of State  October 03, 2015. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 230, Hancock. Sentencing: parole.
Existing law requires the Board of Parole Hearings to meet with every inmate during the 6th year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole release date to review and document the inmate’s activities and conduct pertinent to parole eligibility and the granting or withholding of postconviction credit. Existing law requires a panel of 2 or more commissioners or deputy commissioners to meet with each inmate one year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole release date to set a parole release date, as specified, unless the panel determines that a parole release date cannot be fixed.
This bill would specify that the purpose of the meeting between the Board of Parole Hearings and an inmate during the 6th year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date is to review and document the inmate’s activities and conduct pertinent to parole eligibility. The bill would require a panel of 2 or more commissioners or deputy commissioners to meet with each inmate one year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date in order to grant or deny parole, as specified. The bill would prohibit an inmate from being released before reaching his or her minimum eligible parole release date unless the inmate is eligible for earlier release pursuant to his or her youth offender parole eligibility date.
Existing law authorizes the Governor to request a review of a decision by the board to grant or deny parole to an inmate up to 90 days before the inmate’s scheduled release date.
The bill would authorize the Governor to request a review of a decision by the board to grant or deny parole at any time before the inmate’s scheduled release. The bill would make conforming changes.
The bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code proposed by AB 487 that would become operative if this bill and AB 487 are both chaptered and this bill is chaptered last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3041 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.
 (a) (1) In the case of any inmate sentenced pursuant to any law, other than Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 1170) of Title 7 of Part 2, the Board of Parole Hearings shall meet with each inmate during the sixth year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date for the purposes of reviewing and documenting the inmate’s activities and conduct pertinent to parole eligibility. During this consultation, the board shall provide the inmate information about the parole hearing process, legal factors relevant to his or her suitability or unsuitability for parole, and individualized recommendations for the inmate regarding his or her work assignments, rehabilitative programs, and institutional behavior. Within 30 days following the consultation, the board shall issue its positive and negative findings and recommendations to the inmate in writing.
(2) One year before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date a panel of two or more commissioners or deputy commissioners shall again meet with the inmate and shall normally grant parole as provided in Section 3041.5. No more than one member of the panel shall be a deputy commissioner.
(3) In the event of a tie vote, the matter shall be referred for an en banc review of the record that was before the panel that rendered the tie vote. Upon en banc review, the board shall vote to either grant or deny parole and render a statement of decision. The en banc review shall be conducted pursuant to subdivision (e).
(4) Upon a grant of parole, the inmate shall be released subject to all applicable review periods. However, an inmate shall not be released before reaching his or her minimum eligible parole date as set pursuant to Section 3046 unless the inmate is eligible for earlier release pursuant to his or her youth offender parole eligibility date.
(5) At least one commissioner of the panel shall have been present at the last preceding meeting, unless it is not feasible to do so or where the last preceding meeting was the initial meeting. Any person on the hearing panel may request review of any decision regarding parole for an en banc hearing by the board. In case of a review, a majority vote in favor of parole by the board members participating in an en banc review is required to grant parole to any inmate.
(b) (1) The panel or the board, sitting en banc, shall grant parole to an inmate unless it determines that the gravity of the current convicted offense or offenses, or the timing and gravity of current or past convicted offense or offenses, is such that consideration of the public safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for this individual.
(2) After July 30, 2001, any decision of the parole panel finding an inmate suitable for parole shall become final within 120 days of the date of the hearing. During that period, the board may review the panel’s decision. The panel’s decision shall become final pursuant to this subdivision unless the board finds that the panel made an error of law, or that the panel’s decision was based on an error of fact, or that new information should be presented to the board, any of which when corrected or considered by the board has a substantial likelihood of resulting in a substantially different decision upon a rehearing. In making this determination, the board shall consult with the commissioners who conducted the parole consideration hearing.
(3) A decision of a panel shall not be disapproved and referred for rehearing except by a majority vote of the board, sitting en banc, following a public meeting.
(c) For the purpose of reviewing the suitability for parole of those inmates eligible for parole under prior law at a date earlier than that calculated under Section 1170.2, the board shall appoint panels of at least two persons to meet annually with each inmate until the time the person is released pursuant to proceedings or reaches the expiration of his or her term as calculated under Section 1170.2.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that, during times when there is no backlog of inmates awaiting parole hearings, life parole consideration hearings, or life rescission hearings, hearings will be conducted by a panel of three or more members, the majority of whom shall be commissioners. The board shall report monthly on the number of cases where an inmate has not received a completed initial or subsequent parole consideration hearing within 30 days of the hearing date required by subdivision (a) of Section 3041.5 or paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5, unless the inmate has waived the right to those timeframes. That report shall be considered the backlog of cases for purposes of this section, and shall include information on the progress toward eliminating the backlog, and on the number of inmates who have waived their right to the above timeframes. The report shall be made public at a regularly scheduled meeting of the board and a written report shall be made available to the public and transmitted to the Legislature quarterly.
(e) For purposes of this section, an en banc review by the board means a review conducted by a majority of commissioners holding office on the date the matter is heard by the board. An en banc review shall be conducted in compliance with the following:
(1) The commissioners conducting the review shall consider the entire record of the hearing that resulted in the tie vote.
(2) The review shall be limited to the record of the hearing. The record shall consist of the transcript or audiotape of the hearing, written or electronically recorded statements actually considered by the panel that produced the tie vote, and any other material actually considered by the panel. New evidence or comments shall not be considered in the en banc proceeding.
(3) The board shall separately state reasons for its decision to grant or deny parole.
(4) A commissioner who was involved in the tie vote shall be recused from consideration of the matter in the en banc review.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3041.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.1.
 (a) Any time before an inmate’s release, the Governor may request review of a decision by a parole authority concerning the grant or denial of parole to any inmate in a state prison. The Governor shall state the reason or reasons for the request, and whether the request is based on a public safety concern, a concern that the gravity of current or past convicted offenses may have been given inadequate consideration, or on other factors.
(b) If a request has been made, the request shall be reviewed by a majority of commissioners specifically appointed to hear adult parole matters and who are holding office at the time. In case of a review, a vote in favor of parole by a majority of the commissioners reviewing the request shall be required to grant parole to any inmate. In carrying out any review, the board shall comply with this chapter.

SEC. 3.

 Section 3041.2 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.2.
 (a) During the 30 days following the granting, denial, revocation, or suspension by the board of the parole of an inmate sentenced to an indeterminate prison term based upon a conviction of murder, the Governor, when reviewing the board’s decision pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution, shall review materials provided by the board.
(b) If the Governor decides to reverse or modify a parole decision of the board pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 8 of Article V of the Constitution, he or she shall send a written statement to the inmate specifying the reasons for his or her decision.

SEC. 4.

 Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.5.
 (a) At all hearings for the purpose of reviewing an inmate’s parole suitability, or the setting, postponing, or rescinding of parole, with the exception of en banc review of tie votes, the following shall apply:
(1) At least 10 days before any hearing by the Board of Parole Hearings, the inmate shall be permitted to review the file which will be examined by the board and shall have the opportunity to enter a written response to any material contained in the file.
(2) The inmate shall be permitted to be present, to ask and answer questions, and to speak on his or her own behalf. Neither the inmate nor the attorney for the inmate shall be entitled to ask questions of any person appearing at the hearing pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3043.
(3) Unless legal counsel is required by some other law, a person designated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall be present to ensure that all facts relevant to the decision be presented, including, if necessary, contradictory assertions as to matters of fact that have not been resolved by departmental or other procedures.
(4) The inmate and any person described in subdivision (b) of Section 3043 shall be permitted to request and receive a stenographic record of all proceedings.
(5) If the hearing is for the purpose of postponing or rescinding parole, the inmate shall have the rights set forth in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 2932.
(6) The board shall set a date to reconsider whether an inmate should be released on parole that ensures a meaningful consideration of whether the inmate is suitable for release on parole.
(b) (1) Within 10 days following any decision granting parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for granting parole, the conditions he or she must meet in order to be released, and the consequences of failure to meet those conditions.
(2) Within 20 days following any decision denying parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for denying parole, and suggest activities in which he or she might participate that will benefit him or her while he or she is incarcerated.
(3) The board shall schedule the next hearing, after considering the views and interests of the victim, as follows:
(A) Fifteen years after any hearing at which parole is denied, unless the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than 10 additional years.
(B) Ten years after any hearing at which parole is denied, unless the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than seven additional years.
(C) Three years, five years, or seven years after any hearing at which parole is denied, because the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate, but does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than seven additional years.
(4) The board may in its discretion, after considering the views and interests of the victim, advance a hearing set pursuant to paragraph (3) to an earlier date, when a change in circumstances or new information establishes a reasonable likelihood that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require the additional period of incarceration of the inmate provided in paragraph (3).
(5) Within 10 days of any board action resulting in the rescinding of parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for that action, and shall schedule the inmate’s next hearing in accordance with paragraph (3).
(c) The board shall conduct a parole hearing pursuant to this section as a de novo hearing. Findings made and conclusions reached in a prior parole hearing shall be considered in but shall not be deemed to be binding upon subsequent parole hearings for an inmate, but shall be subject to reconsideration based upon changed facts and circumstances. When conducting a hearing, the board shall admit the prior recorded or memorialized testimony or statement of a victim or witness, upon request of the victim or if the victim or witness has died or become unavailable. At each hearing the board shall determine the appropriate action to be taken based on the criteria set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.
(d) (1) An inmate may request that the board exercise its discretion to advance a hearing set pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) to an earlier date, by submitting a written request to the board, with notice, upon request, and a copy to the victim which shall set forth the change in circumstances or new information that establishes a reasonable likelihood that consideration of the public safety does not require the additional period of incarceration of the inmate.
(2) The board shall have sole jurisdiction, after considering the views and interests of the victim to determine whether to grant or deny a written request made pursuant to paragraph (1), and its decision shall be subject to review by a court or magistrate only for a manifest abuse of discretion by the board. The board shall have the power to summarily deny a request that does not comply with this subdivision or that does not set forth a change in circumstances or new information as required in paragraph (1) that in the judgment of the board is sufficient to justify the action described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).
(3) An inmate may make only one written request as provided in paragraph (1) during each three-year period. Following either a summary denial of a request made pursuant to paragraph (1), or the decision of the board after a hearing described in subdivision (a) to deny parole, the inmate shall not be entitled to submit another request for a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a) until a three-year period of time has elapsed from the summary denial or decision of the board.

SEC. 4.5.

 Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.5.
 (a) At all hearings for the purpose of reviewing an inmate’s parole suitability, or the setting, postponing, or rescinding of parole, with the exception of en banc review of tie votes, the following shall apply:
(1) At least 10 days before a hearing by the Board of Parole Hearings, the inmate shall be permitted to review the file that will be examined by the board and shall have the opportunity to enter a written response to any material contained in the file.
(2) The inmate shall be permitted to be present, to ask and answer questions, and to speak on his or her own behalf. Neither the inmate nor the attorney for the inmate shall be entitled to ask questions of a person appearing at the hearing pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3043.
(3) Unless legal counsel is required by another law, a person designated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall be present to ensure that all facts relevant to the decision are presented, including, if necessary, contradictory assertions as to matters of fact that have not been resolved by departmental or other procedures.
(4) The inmate and a person described in subdivision (b) of Section 3043 shall be permitted to request and receive a stenographic record of all proceedings.
(5) If the hearing is for the purpose of postponing or rescinding parole, the inmate shall have the rights set forth in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 2932.
(6) The board shall set a date to reconsider whether an inmate should be released on parole that ensures a meaningful consideration of whether the inmate is suitable for release on parole.
(b) (1) Within 10 days following a decision granting parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for granting parole, the conditions he or she must meet in order to be released, and the consequences of failure to meet those conditions.
(2) Within 20 days following a decision denying parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for denying parole, and suggest activities in which he or she might participate that will benefit him or her while he or she is incarcerated.
(3) The board shall schedule the next hearing, after considering the views and interests of the victim, as follows:
(A) Fifteen years after a hearing at which parole is denied, unless the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than 10 additional years.
(B) Ten years after a hearing at which parole is denied, unless the board finds by clear and convincing evidence that the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than seven additional years.
(C) Three years, five years, or seven years after a hearing at which parole is denied, because the criteria relevant to the decision denying parole are such that consideration of the public and victim’s safety requires a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate, but does not require a more lengthy period of incarceration for the inmate than seven additional years.
(4) The board may, in its discretion, after considering the views and interests of the victim and the district attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, advance a hearing set pursuant to paragraph (3) to an earlier date, when a change in circumstances or new information establishes a reasonable likelihood that consideration of the public and victim’s safety does not require the additional period of incarceration of the prisoner provided for in paragraph (3).
(5) Within 10 days of a board action resulting in the rescinding of parole, the board shall send the inmate a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for that action, and shall schedule the inmate’s next hearing in accordance with paragraph (3).
(c) The board shall conduct a parole hearing pursuant to this section as a de novo hearing. Findings made and conclusions reached in a prior parole hearing shall be considered in, but shall not be deemed to be binding upon, subsequent parole hearings for an inmate, but shall be subject to reconsideration based upon changed facts and circumstances. When conducting a hearing, the board shall admit the prior recorded or memorialized testimony or statement of a victim or witness, upon request of the victim or if the victim or witness has died or become unavailable. At each hearing the board shall determine the appropriate action to be taken based on the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 3041.
(d) (1) An inmate may request that the board exercise its discretion to advance a hearing set pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) to an earlier date, by submitting a written request to the board, which shall set forth the change in circumstances or new information that establishes a reasonable likelihood that consideration of the public safety does not require the additional period of incarceration of the inmate. The board shall provide notice of the request to the district attorney and the victim, if the victim has previously requested notification of all board actions, no less than 30 days before the board may grant the inmate’s request. Notice shall be satisfied by mailing copies of the inmate’s request to the office of the district attorney and, if applicable, to the last address provided by the victim to the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services.
(2) The board shall have sole jurisdiction, after considering the views and interests of the district attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, or his or her representative, and the victim to determine whether to grant or deny a written request made pursuant to paragraph (1), and its decision shall be subject to review by a court or magistrate only for a manifest abuse of discretion by the board. The board shall have the power to summarily deny a request that does not comply with this subdivision or that does not set forth a change in circumstances or new information as required in paragraph (1) that in the judgment of the board is sufficient to justify the action described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).
(3) An inmate may make only one written request as provided in paragraph (1) during each three-year period. Following either a summary denial of a request made pursuant to paragraph (1), or the decision of the board after a hearing described in subdivision (a) to deny parole, the inmate shall not be entitled to submit another request for a hearing pursuant to subdivision (a) until a three-year period of time has elapsed from the summary denial or decision of the board.

SEC. 5.

 Section 3041.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3041.7.
 At any hearing for the purpose of setting, postponing, or rescinding a parole release date of an inmate under a life sentence, the inmate shall be entitled to be represented by counsel and Section 3041.5 shall apply. The Board of Parole Hearings shall provide by rule for the invitation of the prosecutor of the county from which the inmate was committed, or his or her representative, to represent the interests of the people at the hearing. The Board of Parole Hearings shall notify the prosecutor and the Attorney General at least 30 days before the date of the hearing.
Notwithstanding Section 12550 of the Government Code, the prosecutor of the county from which the inmate was committed, or his or her representative, who shall not be the Attorney General, except in cases in which the Attorney General prosecuted the case at the trial level, shall be the sole representative of the interests of the people.

SEC. 6.

 Section 3042 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3042.
 (a) At least 30 days before the Board of Parole Hearings meets to review or consider the parole suitability of any inmate sentenced to a life sentence, the board shall send written notice thereof to each of the following persons: the judge of the superior court before whom the inmate was tried and convicted, the attorney who represented the defendant at trial, the district attorney of the county in which the offense was committed, the law enforcement agency that investigated the case, and where the inmate was convicted of the murder of a peace officer, the law enforcement agency which had employed that peace officer at the time of the murder.
(b) The Board of Parole Hearings shall record all those hearings and transcribe recordings of those hearings within 30 days of any hearing. Those transcripts, including the transcripts of all prior hearings, shall be filed and maintained in the office of the Board of Parole Hearings and shall be made available to the public no later than 30 days from the date of the hearing. No inmate shall actually be released on parole before 60 days from the date of the hearing.
(c) At any hearing, the presiding hearing officer shall state his or her findings and supporting reasons on the record.
(d) Any statements, recommendations, or other materials considered shall be incorporated into the transcript of the hearing, unless the material is confidential in order to preserve institutional security and the security of others who might be endangered by disclosure.
(e) (1) The written notice to the judge of the superior court before whom the inmate was tried and convicted shall be sent by United States mail.
(2) The judge receiving this written notice may forward to the board any unprivileged information from the trial or sentencing proceeding regarding the inmate, witnesses, or victims, or other relevant persons, or any other information, that is pertinent to the question of whether the board should grant parole or under what conditions parole should be granted. The judge may also, in his or her discretion, include information given to him or her by victims, witnesses, or other persons that bear on the question of the inmate’s suitability for parole.
(3) The board shall review and consider all information received from the judge or any other person and shall consider adjusting the conditions of parole to reflect the comments or concerns raised by this information, as appropriate.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the type or content of information the judge or any other person may forward to the board for consideration under any other law.
(g) Any person who receives notice under subdivision (a) who is authorized to forward information for consideration in a parole suitability hearing for a person sentenced to a life sentence under this section, may forward that information either by facsimile or electronic mail. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall establish procedures for receiving the information by facsimile or electronic mail pursuant to this subdivision.

SEC. 7.

 Section 3043 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3043.
 (a) (1) Upon request to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and verification of the identity of the requester, notice of any hearing to review or consider the parole suitability for any inmate in a state prison shall be given by telephone, certified mail, regular mail, or electronic mail, using the method of communication selected by the requesting party, if that method is available, by the Board of Parole Hearings at least 90 days before the hearing to any victim of any crime committed by the inmate, or to the next of kin of the victim if the victim has died, to include the commitment crimes, determinate term commitment crimes for which the inmate has been paroled, and any other felony crimes or crimes against the person for which the inmate has been convicted. The requesting party shall keep the board apprised of his or her current contact information in order to receive the notice.
(2) No later than 30 days before the date selected for the hearing, any person, other than the victim, entitled to attend the hearing shall inform the board of his or her intention to attend the hearing and the name and identifying information of any other person entitled to attend the hearing who will accompany him or her.
(3) No later than 14 days before the date selected for the hearing, the board shall notify every person entitled to attend the hearing confirming the date, time, and place of the hearing.
(b) (1) The victim, next of kin, members of the victim’s family, and two representatives designated as provided in paragraph (2) of this subdivision have the right to appear, personally or by counsel, at the hearing and to adequately and reasonably express his, her, or their views concerning the inmate and the case, including, but not limited to the commitment crimes, determinate term commitment crimes for which the inmate has been paroled, any other felony crimes or crimes against the person for which the inmate has been convicted, the effect of the enumerated crimes on the victim and the family of the victim, the person responsible for these enumerated crimes, and the suitability of the inmate for parole.
(2) Any statement provided by a representative designated by the victim or next of kin may cover any subject about which the victim or next of kin has the right to be heard including any recommendation regarding the granting of parole. The representatives shall be designated by the victim or, in the event that the victim is deceased or incapacitated, by the next of kin. They shall be designated in writing for the particular hearing before the hearing.
(c) A representative designated by the victim or the victim’s next of kin for purposes of this section may be any adult person selected by the victim or the family of the victim. The board shall permit a representative designated by the victim or the victim’s next of kin to attend a particular hearing, to provide testimony at a hearing, and to submit a statement to be included in the hearing as provided in Section 3043.2, even though the victim, next of kin, or a member of the victim’s immediate family is present at the hearing, and even though the victim, next of kin, or a member of the victim’s immediate family has submitted a statement as described in Section 3043.2.
(d) The board, in deciding whether to release the person on parole, shall consider the entire and uninterrupted statements of the victim or victims, next of kin, immediate family members of the victim, and the designated representatives of the victim or next of kin, if applicable, made pursuant to this section and shall include in its report a statement whether the person would pose a threat to public safety if released on parole.
(e) In those cases where there are more than two immediate family members of the victim who wish to attend any hearing covered in this section, the board shall allow attendance of additional immediate family members to include the following: spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, and grandparents.

SEC. 8.

 Section 3043.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3043.1.
 Notwithstanding any other law, a victim, his or her next of kin, or any immediate family member of the victim who appears at any hearing to review or consider the parole suitability of any inmate pursuant to Section 3043 shall be entitled to the attendance of one person of his or her own choosing at the hearing for support. The person so chosen shall not participate in the hearing nor make comments while in attendance.

SEC. 9.

 Section 3043.2 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3043.2.
 (a) (1) In lieu of personal appearance at any hearing to review the parole suitability, the Board of Parole Hearings shall permit the victim, his or her next of kin, immediate family members, or two representatives designated for a particular hearing by the victim or next of kin in writing before the hearing to file with the board a written, audiotaped, or videotaped statement, or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or any other recording medium accepted by a court pursuant to Section 1191.15 or by the board, expressing his or her views concerning the crime and the person responsible. The statement may be personal messages from the person to the board made at any time or may be a statement made pursuant to Section 1191.16, or a combination of both, except that any statement provided by a representative designated by the victim or next of kin shall be limited to comments concerning the effect of the crime on the victim.
(2) A representative designated by the victim or the victim’s next of kin for purposes of this section must be either a family or household member of the victim.
(3) The board shall consider any statement filed prior to reaching a decision, and shall include in its report a statement of whether the person would pose a threat to public safety if released on parole.
(b) Whenever an audio or video statement or a statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or other medium is filed with the board, a written transcript of the statement shall also be provided by the person filing the statement.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the prosecutor from representing to the board the views of the victim, his or her immediate family members, or next of kin.
(d) In the event the board permits an audio or video statement or statement stored on a CD-ROM, DVD, or other medium to be filed, the board shall not be responsible for providing any equipment or resources needed to assist the victim in preparing the statement.

SEC. 10.

 Section 3043.25 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3043.25.
 Any victim, next of kin, members of the victim’s immediate family, or representatives designated for a particular hearing by the victim or next of kin in writing before the hearing who have the right to appear at a hearing to review parole suitability, either personally as provided in Section 3043, or by a written, audiotaped, or videotaped statement as provided in Section 3043.2, and any prosecutor who has the right to appear pursuant to Section 3041.7, shall also have the right to appear by means of videoconferencing, if videoconferencing is available at the hearing site. For the purposes of this section, “videoconferencing” means the live transmission of audio and video signals by any means from one physical location to another.

SEC. 11.

 Section 3046 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3046.
 (a) An inmate imprisoned under a life sentence shall not be paroled until he or she has served the greater of the following:
(1) A term of at least seven calendar years.
(2) A term as established pursuant to any other law that establishes a minimum term or minimum period of confinement under a life sentence before eligibility for parole.
(b) If two or more life sentences are ordered to run consecutively to each other pursuant to Section 669, an inmate so imprisoned shall not be paroled until he or she has served the term specified in subdivision (a) on each of the life sentences that are ordered to run consecutively.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), an inmate found suitable for parole pursuant to a youth offender parole hearing as described in Section 3051 shall be paroled regardless of the manner in which the board set release dates pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3041, subject to subdivision (b) of Section 3041 and Sections 3041.1 and 3041.2, as applicable.
(d) The Board of Parole Hearings shall, in considering a parole for an inmate, consider all statements and recommendations which may have been submitted by the judge, district attorney, and sheriff, pursuant to Section 1203.01, or in response to notices given under Section 3042, and recommendations of other persons interested in the granting or denying of parole. The board shall enter on its order granting or denying parole to these inmates, the fact that the statements and recommendations have been considered by it.

SEC. 12.

 Section 3052 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3052.
 The Board of Parole Hearings shall have the power to establish and enforce rules and regulations under which inmates committed to state prisons may be allowed to go upon parole outside the prison buildings and enclosures when eligible for parole.

SEC. 13.

 Section 4.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 487. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2016, (2) each bill amends Section 3041.5 of the Penal Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 487, in which case Section 4 of this bill shall not become operative.