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AB-965 Youth offender hearings: credits.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/17/2019 04:00 AM
AB965:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 965


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Sections 3051 and 3055 Section 3051 of the Penal Code, relating to parole.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 965, as amended, Mark Stone. Youth offender and elderly parole hearings: credits.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to award credits for good behavior and approved rehabilitative or educational achievements. Existing law requires the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct a youth offender parole hearing for offenders sentenced to state prison who committed specified crimes when they were under 25 years of age. Existing law makes a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a determinate sentence eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 15th year of incarceration. Existing law makes a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of less than 25 years to life eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 20th year of incarceration. Existing law makes a person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of 25 years to life eligible for release on parole at a youth offender hearing by the board during the person’s 25th year of incarceration.
This bill would apply credits earned by the person to reduce the date of required period of incarceration before the person’s youth offender parole hearing is to occur under these provisions.

Existing law establishes the Elderly Parole Program, for the purpose of reviewing the parole suitability of inmates who are 60 years of age or older and who have served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration, as defined, on their sentence. Existing law requires the board, when considering the release of an inmate who meets this criteria, to consider whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly inmate’s risk for future violence.

This bill would apply credits earned by the person to reduce the minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration to be eligible for the Elderly Parole Program.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3051 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3051.
 (a) (1) A youth offender parole hearing is a hearing by the Board of Parole Hearings for the purpose of reviewing the parole suitability of any prisoner who was 25 years of age or younger, or was under 18 years of age as specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), at the time of the controlling offense.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(A) “Incarceration” means detention in a city or county jail, a local juvenile facility, a mental health facility, a Division of Juvenile Justice facility, or a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility.
(B) “Controlling offense” means the offense or enhancement for which any sentencing court imposed the longest term of imprisonment.
(b) (1) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a determinate sentence shall be eligible for release on parole at a youth offender parole hearing by the board during the person’s 15th year of incarceration, unless previously released pursuant to other statutory provisions.
(2) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of less than 25 years to life shall be eligible for release on parole by the board during through the youth offender parole process no later than the last day of the person’s 20th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing, incarceration, less any days of sentencing credits applied by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, unless previously released or entitled to an earlier parole consideration hearing pursuant to other statutory provisions.
(3) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed when the person was 25 years of age or younger and for which the sentence is a life term of 25 years to life shall be eligible for release on parole by the board during through the youth offender parole process no later than the last day of the person’s 25th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing, incarceration, less any days of sentencing credits applied by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, unless previously released or entitled to an earlier parole consideration hearing pursuant to other statutory provisions.
(4) A person who was convicted of a controlling offense that was committed before the person had attained 18 years of age and for which the sentence is life without the possibility of parole shall be eligible for release on parole by the board during the person’s 25th year of incarceration at a youth offender parole hearing, unless previously released or entitled to an earlier parole consideration hearing pursuant to other statutory provisions.
(c) An individual subject to this section shall meet with the board pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3041.
(d) The board shall conduct a youth offender parole hearing to consider release. At the youth offender parole hearing, the board shall release the individual on parole as provided in Section 3041, except that the board shall act in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 4801.
(e) The youth offender parole hearing to consider release shall provide for a meaningful opportunity to obtain release. The board shall review and, as necessary, revise existing regulations and adopt new regulations regarding determinations of suitability made pursuant to this section, subdivision (c) of Section 4801, and other related topics, consistent with relevant case law, in order to provide that meaningful opportunity for release.
(f) (1) In assessing growth and maturity, psychological evaluations and risk assessment instruments, if used by the board, shall be administered by licensed psychologists employed by the board and shall take into consideration the diminished culpability of youth as compared to that of adults, the hallmark features of youth, and any subsequent growth and increased maturity of the individual.
(2) Family members, friends, school personnel, faith leaders, and representatives from community-based organizations with knowledge about the individual before the crime or the individual’s growth and maturity since the time of the crime may submit statements for review by the board.
(3) This section is not intended to alter the rights of victims at parole hearings.
(g) If parole is not granted, the board shall set the time for a subsequent youth offender parole hearing in accordance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5. In exercising its discretion pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) and subdivision (d) of Section 3041.5, the board shall consider the factors in subdivision (c) of Section 4801. A subsequent youth offender parole hearing shall not be necessary if the offender is released pursuant to other statutory provisions prior to the date of the subsequent hearing.
(h) This section shall not apply to cases in which sentencing occurs pursuant to Section 1170.12, subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, of Section 667, or Section 667.61, or to cases in which an individual is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a controlling offense that was committed after the person had attained 18 years of age. This section shall not apply to an individual to whom this section would otherwise apply, but who, subsequent to attaining 26 years of age, commits an additional crime for which malice aforethought is a necessary element of the crime or for which the individual is sentenced to life in prison.
(i) (1) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who became entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing prior to the, January 1, 2014, by July 1, 2015.
(2) (A) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to indeterminate life terms and who become entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing on January 1, 2014, by July 1, 2017.
(B) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to determinate terms and who become entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing on January 1, 2014, by July 1, 2021. The board shall, for all individuals described in this subparagraph, conduct the consultation described in subdivision (a) of Section 3041 before July 1, 2017.
(3) (A) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to indeterminate life terms and who become entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing on January 1, 2018, by January 1, 2020.
(B) The board shall complete all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to determinate terms and who become entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing on January 1, 2018, by January 1, 2022. The board shall, for all individuals described in this subparagraph, conduct the consultation described in subdivision (a) of Section 3041 before January 1, 2019.
(4) The board shall complete, by July 1, 2020, all youth offender parole hearings for individuals who were sentenced to terms of life without the possibility of parole and who are or will be entitled to have their parole suitability considered at a youth offender parole hearing before July 1, 2020.

(j)The time periods specified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subdivision (b) that are required to elapse before an individual is eligible for release on parole shall be reduced by the number of days earned of credits authorized by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

SEC. 2.Section 3055 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
3055.

(a)The Elderly Parole Program is hereby established, to be administered by the Board of Parole Hearing, for purposes of reviewing the parole suitability of any inmate who is 60 years of age or older and has served a minimum of 25 years of continuous incarceration, reduced by the number of days earned of credits authorized by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, on the inmate’s current sentence, serving either a determinate or indeterminate sentence.

(b)(1)For purposes of this code, the term “elderly parole eligible date” means the date on which an inmate who qualifies as an elderly offender is eligible for release from prison.

(2)For purposes of this section, “incarceration” means detention in a city or county jail, local juvenile facility, a mental health facility, a Division of Juvenile Justice facility, or a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation facility.

(c)When considering the release of an inmate specified by subdivision (a) pursuant to Section 3041, the board shall give special consideration to whether age, time served, and diminished physical condition, if any, have reduced the elderly inmate’s risk for future violence.

(d)When scheduling a parole suitability hearing date pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5 or when considering a request for an advance hearing pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 3041.5, the board shall consider whether the inmate meets or will meet the criteria specified in subdivision (a).

(e)An individual who is subject to this section shall meet with the board pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 3041. If an inmate is found suitable for parole under the Elderly Parole Program, the board shall release the individual on parole as provided in Section 3041.

(f)If parole is not granted, the board shall set the time for a subsequent elderly parole hearing in accordance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 3041.5. No subsequent elderly parole hearing shall be necessary if the offender is released pursuant to other statutory provisions prior to the date of the subsequent hearing.

(g)This section shall not apply to cases in which sentencing occurs pursuant to Section 1170.12, subdivisions (b) to (i), inclusive, of Section 667, or in which an individual was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole or death.

(h)This section does not apply if the person was convicted of first-degree murder if the victim was a peace officer, as defined in Section 830.1, 830.2, 830.3, 830.31, 830.32, 830.33, 830.34, 830.35, 830.36, 830.37, 830.4, 830.5, 830.6, 830.10, 830.11, or 830.12, who was killed while engaged in the performance of the officer’s duties, and the individual knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s duties, or the victim was a peace officer or a former peace officer under any of the above-enumerated sections, and was intentionally killed in retaliation for the performance of the officer’s official duties.

(i)This section does not alter the rights of victims at parole hearings.