Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-620 Prisoners: trauma focused programming.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/17/2017 04:00 AM
AB620:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 16, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 620


Introduced by Assembly Member Holden

February 14, 2017


An act to add Section 3055 to the Penal Code, relating to prisoners.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 620, as amended, Holden. Prisoners: trauma informed therapy. focused programming.
Existing law authorizes the Board of Parole Hearings 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. Existing law requires the board to meet with each inmate before the inmate’s minimum eligible parole date, as specified, for the purposes of reviewing and documenting the inmate’s activities and conduct pertinent to parole eligibility. Existing law charges the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation with administering the state prisons.
This bill would require the department to provide a meaningful opportunity for the successful release of inmates a qualified inmate, as defined, by providing individual introspective trauma informed therapy, effective trauma focused programming, as defined, for specified inmates at least 1 year prior to an offender’s minimum eligible parole date. by a clinical social worker, psychologist, violence peer counselor, as specified, or other qualified professional to a qualified inmate during the 5 years preceding his or her parole hearing date upon, his or her request. If the state prison does not have one of the aforementioned professionals available to provide trauma focused programming to a qualified inmate, the department shall contract with a nonprofit organization that meets specified requirements to provide this service. The bill provides that, among other purposes, “meaningful opportunity” means access to therapy to address traumatic experiences that lead to substance abuse or abuse, criminal behavior, and violent actions. The bill would authorize the board to consider an offender’s informed trauma therapy in granting parole. a qualified inmate’s participation in and completion of trauma focused programming as a performance milestone for purposes of credit reductions from the inmate’s term of confinement.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3055 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

3055.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that the design and activities of an effective trauma focused program, for purposes of this section, reflect all of the following values:
(1) Restorative justice, reconciliation, and accountability principles.
(2) Enhanced interactional communication skills and interpersonal relations.
(3) Self-efficacy and empowerment.
(4) Trauma healing approaches and methods.
(5) Eliminating or reducing traumatic symptoms and triggers.
(6) Creating a safe environment.
(b) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Meaningful opportunity” means all of the following are available, if needed, to the qualified inmate:
(A) Access to trauma-focused parole assistance during the five years preceding the qualified inmate’s parole hearing date.
(B) Access to trauma therapy that seeks to heal and rehabilitate responses to trauma that are often related to substance abuse, criminal behavior, and violent actions.
(C) Access to activities, information, and tools that can be practiced by the qualified inmate in an individual or community setting as a form of continuing care for traumatic experiences.
(2) “Qualified inmate” means an inmate who was convicted of a controlling offense committed before he or she attained 25 years of age and who is at a moderate to high risk for trauma.
(3) “Trauma” means emotional distress caused by a damaging event or repetitive events that exceeds an individual’s ability to cope with, or integrate emotions from, the experience causing the emotional distress, which may lead to destructive symptoms and behavior.
(4) “Trauma focused program” means programming that includes all of the following:
(A) Access to and information about trauma-specific therapy that helps a qualified inmate manage the effects of trauma exposure.
(B) Therapy that increases understanding of how and why trauma affects the qualified inmate and ways to minimize the impact.
(C) Mental health care that provides tools for coping and dealing with trauma.
(D) Screening and assessment tools that help identify a qualified inmate experiencing the effects of trauma.
(E) Utilization of peer review best practices and an expanded focus on trauma informed and trauma-specific behavioral health supports.
(c) (1) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall provide a meaningful opportunity for successful release for a qualified inmate by offering him or her information about and access to effective trauma focused programming by a clinical social worker, psychologist, violence peer counselor as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 13957.9 of the Government Code, or any other qualified professional, as determined by the department. The department shall, upon a qualified inmate’s request, provide him or her with access to trauma focused programming during the five years preceding his or her parole hearing date.
(2) The effective trauma focused programming shall be a peer reviewed program that represents best practices for that program.
(3) The department shall provide information on trauma, trauma informed care, and the trauma focused programming to a qualified inmate at his or her parole consultation.
(d) A clinical diagnosis is not required for access to the trauma focused program, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b).
(e) If the state prison does not have a clinical social worker, psychologist, violence peer counselor as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) of Section 13957.9 of the Government Code, or other qualified professional to provide trauma focused programming to a qualified inmate, the department shall contract with a nonprofit organization to provide this service. A nonprofit organization shall comply with all of the following requirements to be eligible for a contract to provide trauma focused programming:
(1) The nonprofit organization shall have training in trauma informed practices and in providing trauma focused programming to individuals with trauma.
(2) The nonprofit organization shall have an application process for volunteers.
(3) The nonprofit organization shall provide a psychologist who is an accredited marriage and family therapist (MFT) to supervise volunteers.
(4) The nonprofit organization shall have a credit reduction program under the department for performance milestones or any program recognized as a “best practice” for prisons.
(5) The nonprofit organization shall meet all other requirements for contracted nonprofit organizations and services required by department policy.
(f) The trauma focused programming described in this section is an expansion of rehabilitative programming offered to inmates and is not intended to offset or displace any current or future wait list of individuals who do not meet the criteria of a qualified inmate as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b).
(g) The Board of Parole Hearings may consider the qualified inmate’s participation in and completion of trauma focused programming as a performance milestone for purposes of credit reductions from the qualified inmate’s term of confinement.

SECTION 1.Section 3055 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
3055.

(a)(1)The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall provide meaningful opportunity for successful release for adult and juvenile offenders by offering access to individual introspective trauma informed therapy by clinical social workers, psychologists, or accredited violence peer counselors for those offenders in need of this therapy.

(2)The introspective trauma informed therapy is therapy that is peer reviewed and represents best practices for that therapy.

(b)A clinical diagnosis is not required for access to the mental health services described in this section.

(c)For purposes of this section, “meaningful opportunity” means all of the following are available, if needed, to the offender:

(1)Access to rehabilitative programming in a timely manner after entry and before parole hearings.

(2)Access to trauma informed therapy that seeks to heal and rehabilitate the root causes of the traumatic experience that lead to substance abuse or violent actions.

(3)Access to therapy methods that can be practiced by the offender in an individual or community setting as a form of continuing care for traumatic experiences.

(d)For purposes of this section, “trauma informed therapy” means therapy that includes all of the following:

(1)Therapy that revolves around intervening regarding neglected or unknown symptoms of the individual’s trauma.

(2)Therapy that increases understanding of how and why trauma affects the individual.

(3)Mental health care that provides tools for coping and dealing with trauma.

(e)For purposes of this section, “trauma” means emotional distress caused by a damaging event or repetitive events that exceeds the individual’s ability to cope with, or integrate emotions from, the experience causing the emotional distress, and which leads to destructive symptoms and behavior.

(f)The therapy described in this section shall be provided as early as practicable, but in no event later than one year prior to the offender’s minimum eligible parole date.

(g)The Board of Parole Hearings may consider the offender’s introspective trauma informed therapy in granting parole.