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AB-223 Commercial sexual exploitation of youth: services.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/26/2017 09:00 PM
AB223:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 223


Introduced by Assembly Member Eggman
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Cooper)

January 26, 2017


An act to add Chapter 4.35 (commencing with Section 18259.5) to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 223, as introduced, Eggman. Commercial sexual exploitation of youth: services.
Existing law proscribes the crime of human trafficking, as defined. A person who causes, induces, or persuades, or attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a minor at the time of commission of the offense to engage in a commercial sex act, with the intent to effect or maintain a violation of any of specified sex offenses, is guilty of human trafficking. Existing law also proscribes the crime of prostitution.
Existing law establishes the Board of State and Community Corrections to provide statewide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance to promote effective state and local efforts and partnerships in California’s adult and juvenile criminal justice system.
Existing law authorizes the County of Alameda to create a pilot project, contingent upon local funding, for the purposes of developing a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary model to address the needs and effective treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors, as specified. Existing law establishes the Commercially Sexually Exploited Children Program, which is administered by the State Department of Social Services in order to adequately serve children who have been sexually exploited, and requires the department, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California, to develop an allocation methodology to distribute funding to counties that elect to participate in the program.
This bill would require the Board of State and Community Corrections to establish a pilot project in each of the Counties of Alameda, Sacramento, and San Joaquin, in which, if the county elects to participate in the pilot project, the chief probation officer of the county would be required to create a program to provide services to youth within his or her jurisdiction that address the need for services relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of youth. The bill would require the programs that receive funding pursuant to these provisions to be licensed by the State Department of Social Services. The bill would make the funding for the pilot projects established pursuant to this authority contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act and would require the Board of State and Community Corrections to administer those funds.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Worldwide, human trafficking is a $32,000,000,000 per year industry.
(b) After drug trafficking and counterfeiting, it is the world’s most profitable criminal activity.
(c) Although this issue was previously believed to be an international problem, current statistics show that human trafficking is increasingly a domestic issue.
(d) According to estimates by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), human trafficking or the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States currently involves over 100,000 children. The San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, and San Diego metropolitan areas comprise three of the nation’s 13 areas of “high intensity” child exploitation in this country, as defined by the FBI.
(e) Studies have estimated that anywhere from 50 percent to 80 percent of victims of commercial sexual exploitation are, or previously were, involved with the child welfare system.
(f) Law enforcement, probation, education, mental health, and public health systems, as well as nonprofit organizations, currently serve these victims, but often lack coordination in providing services. These systems do not yet consistently recognize these young people as victims who are subject to the cycle of commercial sexual exploitation. Although they are learning to identify victims, they do not yet have adequate service design, nor capacity, to provide specialized services. Integrated strategies are necessary in order to help child victims of sexual exploitation in California and to ascertain the service models and strategies that are effective in the recovery of the child and the child’s future.
(g) According to the California Child Welfare Council, there is a dearth of specialized placements and services to help youth and their families when commercial sexual exploitation occurs. Although legislation has recently been enacted to permit these victims to enter the child welfare system in order to facilitate placements and the provision of other essential services to these victims, and other important implementation efforts are underway, specially attuned services do not yet exist.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 4.35 (commencing with Section 18259.5) is added to Part 6 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4.35. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Youth: Pilot Projects

18259.5.
 (a) The Board of State and Community Corrections shall establish a pilot project in each of the Counties of Alameda, Sacramento, and San Joaquin, in which, if the county elects to participate in the pilot project, the chief probation officer of the county shall create a program to provide services to youth within his or her jurisdiction that addresses the need for services relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of youth.
(b) Programs that receive funding pursuant to this section shall be licensed by the State Department of Social Services and may include, but shall not be limited to, programs that do the following:
(1) Assess the youth victim’s condition, including a review of the extent of trauma suffered, physical and mental health, and the status of age-appropriate developmental factors, such as educational status.
(2) Serve exploited youth in a services-rich environment, including trauma-informed counseling services.
(3) Research options, make recommendations, and work to find solutions to provide specialized services and permanent placement solutions for the youth.
(4) Provide staff who are trained to work with, and experienced in working with, child sex trafficking victims.
(5) Include peer mentors in the design and provision of service delivery.
(6) Provide a plan for how to structure a protective setting secluded from the victim’s trafficking environment, which could include strategies such as a geographically remote location, staff protective presence, delayed egress, or any combination of strategies intended to protect the victim.
(c) The pilot projects established pursuant to this section shall be funded contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act. Funds appropriated for these purposes shall be administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections.