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AB-960 Medical parole.(2021-2022)



Current Version: 04/22/21 - Amended Assembly         Compare Versions information image


AB960:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 22, 2021
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 960


Introduced by Assembly Member Bonta Ting

February 17, 2021


An act to amend Section 3550 of, and to add Section 3551 to, the Penal Code, relating to parole.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 960, as amended, Bonta Ting. Medical parole.
Existing law requires that a prisoner who is found to be permanently medically incapacitated, as specified, be granted medical parole if the Board of Parole Hearings determines that the conditions under which the prisoner would be released would not reasonably pose a threat to public safety. Existing law authorizes a prisoner on medical parole to be returned to the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation upon a finding that the prisoner no longer meets the criteria for medical parole.
Existing law, the Victim’s Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (Marsy’s Law), added by Proposition 9 at the November 4, 2008, statewide general election, establishes the Board of Parole Hearings as the state’s parole authority and requires the board to be responsible for protecting victims’ rights in the parole process. The act allows these duties to be assumed by a successor in interest.
This bill would create a medical parole panel, comprised of a department psychologist, a primary care provider, and a representative from California Correctional Health Care Services, at each institution to act as the state’s parole authority for the purpose of medical parole decisions. The bill would require the panel to protect victims’ rights in the medical parole process. The bill would expand the qualifying criteria for medical parole and establish a new medical parole consideration process, as specified. The bill would remove the department’s authority to return an individual to custody upon a finding that the individual no longer meets the criteria for medical parole. The bill would also require the department to make a publicly accessible information page on its internet website regarding the medical parole process.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 3550 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

3550.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, except as provided in subdivision (c), an incarcerated person shall be granted medical parole if the medical parole panel of an institution in which an incarcerated person is incarcerated determines that the incarcerated person meets any of the following criteria:
(1) An incarcerated person is in debilitating pain or has a debilitating disease. For the purpose of this section “debilitating disease” shall have the same meaning as “chronic and seriously debilitating” as set forth in subdivision (e) of Section 1367.21 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) An incarcerated person is permanently medically incapacitated with a medical condition that renders the incarcerated person permanently unable to perform activities of basic daily living, resulting in the incarcerated person requiring 24-hour care, and that incapacitation did not exist at the time of sentencing.
(3) An incarcerated person qualifies for treatment in hospice care. An incarcerated person qualifies for hospice care under the following criteria:
(A) The hospice primary care provider or Chief Medical Executive or designee certifies a prognosis of six months or less if the disease follows its expected course.
(B) The patient or designated legal representative agrees to palliative goals and philosophy of hospice services.
(C) The custody level is appropriate and there cannot be any other precluding custody considerations.
(D) The hospice has the ability to meet the needs of the patient according to the level and intensity of care required.
(E) The patient follows safety measures and the plan for medical and nonmedical emergencies.
(4) The medical parole panel shall consider an incarcerated person’s chronological age in conjunction with each of the above criteria described in this subdivision in evaluating whether the incarcerated person meets the criteria for medical parole.
(b) A medical parole panel shall be present at each institution and comprised of the following three members:
(1) A department psychologist or social worker.
(2) A representative of California Correctional Health Care Services.
(3) The incarcerated person’s primary care provider.
(c) This section does not alter or diminish the rights conferred under the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (Marsy’s Law). An institution’s medical parole panel is the state’s parole authority for the purposes of medical parole decisions pursuant to this section and is responsible for protecting victims’ rights during the medical parole process. Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:
(1) An incarcerated person sentenced to death or life in prison without possibility of parole.
(2) An incarcerated person who is serving a sentence for which parole, pursuant to subdivision (a), is prohibited by any initiative statute.
(3) An incarcerated person who 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 their duties, and the individual knew, or reasonably should have known, that the victim was a peace officer engaged in the performance of their 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 their official duties.
(d) When a physician employed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who is the primary care provider for an incarcerated person identifies an incarcerated person that the primary care provider believes meets the medical criteria for medical parole specified in subdivision (a), the primary care physician shall recommend to the institution’s medical parole panel that the incarcerated person be considered for medical parole.
(e) Within three business days of an incarcerated person being referred to the medical parole panel for consideration under this section, the department shall notify registered victims and the prosecuting agency or agencies of the incarcerated person’s pending medical parole review and provide the victims an opportunity to participate in the medical parole process and to provide information to the medical parole panel to be considered before the medical parole of the incarcerated person. The notice shall clearly state the expected medical parole panel review date.
(f) (1) Within 45 days of the medical parole panel’s receipt of the recommendation, the medical parole panel shall convene and make an independent judgment regarding whether the incarcerated individual meets the criteria for medical parole specified in subdivision (a), and make a written finding thereto.
(2) The medical parole panel shall consider the safety of any victim in their review and consideration of an incarcerated person for medical parole. The medical parole panel shall make an independent judgment whether the conditions under which the incarcerated person would be released pose a reasonable threat to public safety, and make a written finding thereto.
(g) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall complete parole plans for incarcerated persons referred to the medical parole panel for medical parole consideration. The parole plans shall include, but not be limited to, the incarcerated person’s plan for residency and medical care.
(h) Notwithstanding any other law, the board or the Division of Adult Parole Operations shall have the authority to impose any reasonable conditions on incarcerated persons subject to medical parole supervision pursuant to subdivision (a), including, but not limited to, the requirement that the parolee submit to electronic monitoring.
(i) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall, at the time an incarcerated person is placed on medical parole supervision pursuant to subdivision (a), ensure that the incarcerated person has applied for any federal entitlement programs for which the incarcerated person is eligible, and has in their possession a discharge medical summary, full medical records, parole medications, and all property belonging to the incarcerated person that was under the control of the department. Any additional records shall be sent to the incarcerated person’s forwarding address after release to health care-related parole supervision.
(j) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shall give notice to the county of commitment and the proposed county of release, if that county is different than the county of commitment, of any medical parole release pursuant to this section.
(2) Notice shall be made at least 15 days, or as soon as feasible, prior to the time any medical parole hearing or medical parole release is scheduled for an incarcerated person receiving medical parole consideration.
(k) The secretary shall issue a directive to medical staff employed by the department that details the guidelines and procedures for the medical parole process as described in this section. The department shall provide incarcerated persons with information regarding the medical parole process described in this section in a manner and format prescribed by the department.

SEC. 2.

 Section 3551 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

3551.
 On or before January 1, 2023, the department shall create a page on its internet website where information regarding the medical parole process described in Section 3550 shall be accessible to the public.