Today's Law As Amended

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AB-656 Office of Healthy and Safe Communities.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today


 Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 131250) is added to Part 1 of Division 112 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

CHAPTER  3. Office of Healthy and Safe Communities
 It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this chapter to create the Office of Healthy and Safe Communities, under the direction of the State Department of Public Health, to provide a comprehensive violence prevention strategy and to promote and expand the use of, and access to, community-based programs for Californians who are exposed to, involved with, or at risk for involvement in violence. It is the further intent of the Legislature to direct this office to consolidate and administer various violence prevention grant programs and promote the creation of alternatives to incarceration.
 (a) There is hereby created the Office of Healthy and Safe Communities (OHSC). The State Department of Public Health shall oversee the OHSC.
(b) The Governor shall appoint the Director of the OHSC.
(c) The Director of the OHSC shall perform all of the following duties:
(1) Hire and manage a staff team and consultants to execute the duties of the OHSC.
(2) Assemble an advisory committee as described in Section 131252.
(3) Develop, implement, and monitor a California vision and plan for violence prevention, safety, and healing with clear systems change goals aligned with funding to drive population-level results for decreasing exposure to violence among California’s most vulnerable people and places, including all of the following activities:
(A) Connect the vision and plan described in this paragraph to the Governor’s strategies for youth development, criminal and juvenile justice reform, health care services, and other related areas of opportunity.
(B) Develop a strategy and plan for the consolidation, coordination, or alignment of funding for violence intervention and prevention programming.
(C) Identify and integrate trauma-centered diagnostic tools, such as early and periodic screening, diagnosis, and treatment services, to support violence prevention, intervention, and healing.
(D) Create an interactive community engagement strategy that prioritizes the voices of people directly impacted and doing the work to prevent violence and promote peace and healing in communities.
(4) Create a learning community of practice that includes community meetings and the sharing of promising practices, research, data, and innovative approaches to violence intervention and prevention throughout California, including both of the following activities:
(A) Supporting coordination and sharing among counties and cities that are advancing a violence prevention strategy.
(B) Tracking and monitoring data and research on violence statewide and in communities throughout California.
(5) Strengthen the professionalization of community violence intervention and prevention as a licensed occupation.
(6) Facilitate the coordination and alignment of programming across statewide departments and agencies, such as the State Department of Public Health, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the State Department of Education, with the potential to support violence intervention and prevention goals utilizing a social determinants of health orientation program that is inclusive of those who are exposed to violence, who have caused harm, and who have been harmed.
 (a) The Director of the OHSC shall establish an advisory committee to inform and guide the execution of the duties of the OHSC. The President pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly shall jointly appoint the membership of the advisory committee and shall do so in a manner that reflects the diversity of California and the complexity of violence. The advisory committee shall be comprised of the following persons:
(1) Three representatives from communities heavily impacted by violence.
(2) One representative from the Strategic Growth Council.
(3) One representative from the State Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity.
(4) One representative from the California State University or University of California systems.
(5) Three representatives from community organizations working to promote healing and peace.
(6) Three representatives from local governments advancing violence prevention strategies.
(7) Two representatives from advocacy organizations advancing prevention, healing, and peace.
(b) The director shall serve as a member of the advisory panel.
 This chapter shall be implemented by the State Department of Public Health only if appropriate funding, as determined by the department, is made available to the department upon appropriation by the Legislature or other sources for the purpose of implementing this chapter. The State Public Health Officer shall file a written notice with the Legislature pursuant to Section 9795 of the Government Code when the department makes the determination required by this section for the implementation of this chapter.