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SB-42 The Getting Home Safe Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 09/14/2019 04:00 AM
SB42:v95#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 13, 2019
Passed  IN  Senate  September 11, 2019
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  September 03, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  July 01, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  May 17, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 42


Introduced by Senator Skinner
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Kamlager-Dove and Wicks)

December 03, 2018


An act to amend and repeal Section 4024 of, and to add Section 4024.5 to, the Penal Code, relating to jails.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 42, Skinner. The Getting Home Safe Act.
Existing law authorizes a county sheriff to discharge a person from a county jail at any time on the last day that the person may be confined that the sheriff considers to be in the best interests of that person. Existing law additionally authorizes a sheriff to offer a voluntary program to a person, upon completion of a sentence served or a release ordered by the court to be effected the same day, that would allow the person to 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 to a treatment center or during daytime hours, as specified. Existing law authorizes the person to revoke consent and be discharged as soon as possible and practicable. Existing law requires a sheriff offering this program to, whenever possible, allow the person to make a telephone call to arrange for transportation or to notify a bail agent, as specified.
This bill would make these provisions inoperative on June 1, 2020, and would repeal it as of January 1, 2021.
The bill, beginning June 1, 2020, would instead require the sheriff to make the release standards, release processes, and release schedules of a county jail available to incarcerated persons, as specified. The bill would also require a person scheduled to be released from jail between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, to be released during that time. The bill would require the sheriff to 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, as specified. The bill would require a sheriff to provide a person who declines that option with a safe place to wait to be picked up with adequate and sufficient ability to charge a personal cell phone and access to a free public telephone. The bill would also require the county jail to track the number of people released during those hours and to make that information available, as specified. Because this bill would impose new duties on sheriffs and county jails, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 (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 and family reunification 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 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

4024.
 (a) The sheriff may discharge a prisoner from the county jail at the time on the last day the prisoner may be confined as the sheriff considers to be in the best interests of the prisoner.
(b) (1) Upon completion of a sentence served by a prisoner or the release of a prisoner ordered by the court to be effected the same day, including prisoners who are released on their own recognizance, have their charges dismissed by the court, are acquitted by a jury, are cited and released on a misdemeanor charge, have posted bail, or have the charges against them dropped by the prosecutor, the sheriff may offer a voluntary program to the prisoner that would allow that prisoner to stay in the custody facility for up to 16 additional hours or until normal business hours, whichever is shorter, in order to offer the prisoner the ability to be discharged to a treatment center or during daytime hours. The prisoner may revoke consent and be discharged as soon as possible and practicable.
(2) This subdivision does not prevent the early release of a prisoner as otherwise allowed by law or allow jails to retain a prisoner any longer than otherwise required by law without the prisoner’s express written consent.
(3) Offering this voluntary program is an act of discretion within the meaning of Section 820.2 of the Government Code.
(4) If a prisoner has posted bail and elects to participate in this program, the prisoner shall notify the bail agent as soon as possible and practicable of the decision to participate.
(5) A sheriff offering this program shall, whenever possible, allow the prisoner volunteering to participate in the program to make a telephone call to either arrange for transportation, or to notify the bail agent pursuant to paragraph (4), or both.
(c) This section shall become inoperative on June 1, 2020, and as of January 1, 2021, is repealed.

SEC. 3.

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

4024.5.
 (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 the person’s own recognizance, been released because the 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 by the prosecutor.
(c) (1) The sheriff shall make the release standards, release processes, and release schedules of a county jail available to a person when the person is booked into a county jail and while 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) 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.
(e) (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 written consent before choosing to stay voluntarily in jail as described in paragraph (1). However, a person may revoke written consent at any time and be discharged from jail as soon as possible and practicable.
(3) 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 the person has declined the option described in paragraph (1), the person shall be provided the opportunity to have a safe place to wait to be picked up with adequate and sufficient ability to charge a personal cell phone and access to a free public telephone.
(4) The county jail shall track the number of people released between 5 p.m. or sundown, whichever is later, and 8 a.m. and provide that information to the public, upon request.
(f) 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.
(g) This section does not preclude 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.
(h) This section shall become operative on June 1, 2020.

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.