Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1142 The Getting Home Safe Act.(2017-2018)

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Women of color are more commonly criminalized for noncriminal behavior than other demographic groups and are treated like perpetrators when they call for help or are suffering a crisis.
(2) The overrepresentation of women of color in our county jails is evidence of these injustices and the disregard with which they are discharged from county jails only worsens the harm they experience as a result.
(3) Despite legislation passed and signed in 2014 that allowed county jails to voluntarily participate in a program that would reduce the number of late-night releases throughout California, few jails have changed their release policy and, instead, jails continue to regularly release jailed persons during late-night hours.
(4) The lack of free phone services available to people during detention and the inability to charge personal cell phones upon release exacerbates the danger of late-night releases.
(5) This practice is especially dangerous for women, including transgender women, who become targets for physical abuse, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking from predators who are familiar with county jail late-night release practices.
(6) The release of people from a county jail during late-night hours is not only dangerous for the person being released but also for the public health and safety of the community at large.
(7) Persons who suffer from mental illness or substance addiction are far less likely to be able to access immediate treatment services following a late-night release from county jail.
(8) Intentional or not, these release policies are cruel and fail to acknowledge the often significant lived trauma that people, especially women, who are involved in the criminal justice system have experienced.
(9) There is no recidivism prevention or public safety purpose of county jail late-night release policies that would substantiate the need for counties to maintain them. In fact, the lack of access to essential reentry, family reunification, and transportation services means these late-night release policies work contrary to crime-prevention goals.
(10) Throughout California, women impacted by these late-night release policies have been thwarted in their efforts to end this practice, indicating that a statewide solution is needed.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that people are released with expediency from county jails with conditions that protect their health and maximize the likelihood of their success in preventing rearrest by establishing a statewide release standard for county jails to follow.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4024.05 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

 (a) This section shall be known as the Getting Home Safe Act.
(b) The rights established in this section apply to any person being released from a county jail, including, but not limited to, a person who has completed a sentence served, been ordered by the court to be released, been released on his or her own recognizance, been released because his or her charges have been dismissed by the court, is acquitted by a jury, is cited and released on a misdemeanor charge, has posted bail, has complied with pretrial release conditions, or has had the charges dropped against him or her by the prosecutor.
(c) (1) A county sheriff shall make the release standards, release processes, and release schedules of a county jail available to the public and shall post them online to the sheriff’s Internet Web site. The sheriff shall also make the release standards, release processes, and release schedules of a county jail available to a person when he or she is booked into a county jail and while he or she is incarcerated in a county jail.
(2) The release standards shall include the list of rights enumerated in this section and the timeframe for the expedient release of a person following the determination to release that person by a judge, jury, or appropriate county staff member.
(d) (1) A person shall have the right to request that, upon his or her release from a county jail, he or she be assisted in entering a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. The person shall be allowed to make this request upon, or subsequent to, being booked into a county jail.
(2) If the person chooses to enter a drug or alcohol rehabilitation program upon release from jail, the county jail shall provide or arrange transportation directly to a rehabilitation program or hospital free of charge immediately upon release.
(e) A person incarcerated in or recently released from a county jail shall have access to up to three free telephone calls from a telephone in the county jail to plan for a safe and successful release and shall also have access to a free cell phone charging station upon release from jail to charge his or her personal cell phone.
(f) (1) A sheriff shall offer a person scheduled to be released from jail between the hours of 5 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, and 8 a.m. the option to voluntarily stay in jail for up to 16 additional hours or until normal business hours, whichever is shorter, in order to offer the person the ability to be discharged during daytime hours.
(2) A person shall provide his or her written consent before choosing to stay voluntarily in jail as described in paragraph (1). However, a person may revoke his or her written consent at any time and be discharged from jail as soon as possible and practicable.
(g) A person scheduled to be released from county jail between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, shall be released during that time. If the person is scheduled to be released from jail between the hours of 5 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, and 8 a.m., and he or she has declined the option described in subdivision (f), he or she shall be provided the opportunity to choose from both of the following alternatives:
(1) A safe place to wait for a person he or she knows to pick him or her up with adequate and sufficient ability to charge his or her own personal cell phone and access to a free public telephone.
(2) Free transportation to a location of the person’s choosing within the county or within a 100-mile radius, whichever is further.
(h) A person who is released from jail after being incarcerated for more than 30 days shall receive at least three days’ supply of any necessary medication.
(i) This section does not prevent the early release of a person as otherwise allowed by law or allow a county jail to retain a person any longer than otherwise required or allowed by law without the person’s express written consent.
(j) (1) A violation of the rights established by this act may be submitted to the Board of State and Community Corrections, Ombudsman. The board shall convene a stakeholder group that includes women and girls who have been incarcerated to aid in developing protocols for receiving and responding to reports of violations of the rights established by this act.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “woman” means an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to her designated sex at birth.
(k) This section shall become operative on June 1, 2019.

SEC. 3.

 Section 4024.5 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

 (a) (1) The Board of State and Community Corrections shall establish the Late-Night Release Prevention Task Force.
(2) The task force shall be composed of relevant stakeholders, including women and children who have been incarcerated.
(b) The task force shall do both of the following:
(1) Prepare any and all materials related to the implementation of the Getting Home Safe Act.
(2) Develop recommended requirements for county jails to maintain records that adequately document the implementation of the Getting Home Safe Act, including how these records will be maintained and made available to the public.
(c) (1) The task force shall submit a report on January 1, 2021, to the relevant policy and budget committees of the Legislature about the progress made by the task force in implementing this section and make suggestions for any additional legislation necessary to prevent dangerous late-night releases at county jails throughout California.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on January 1, 2025, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(d) For purposes of this section, “woman” means an individual who self-identifies her gender as a woman, without regard to her designated sex at birth.
SEC. 4.
 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.