Home California Sen. Cortese’s Juvenile Justice Diversion Bill is Signed

Sen. Cortese’s Juvenile Justice Diversion Bill is Signed

by ECT

On Wednesday, the Governor has signed SB 383 authored by Senator Dave Cortese (D-Silicon Valley) which will increase access to diversion programs for youth that commit non-violent felonies with an aim of shifting the focus of our justice system from incarceration to rehabilitation.

Signed into Law Today:

  • SB 383 – Juvenile Justice Diversion

Previously Signed into Law:

  • SB 564 – Santa Clara County Hospitals
  • SB 780 – Local Economic Development; Funding for Affordable Housing
  • SB 791 – California Surplus Land Unit
  • SCR 18 – Compassionate California
  • SB 411 – Rights for Retirees
  • SB 461 – Unfair Competition Law Enforcement

By implementing commonsense reforms, SB 383 will remove superfluous barriers in our justice system that are currently restricting diversion services for our youth. Every child deserves the opportunity to attain rehabilitation as an alternative to prolonged incarceration,” says Senator Cortese.

“SB 383 is an important measure that follows the science of adolescent brain development and grants additional judicial discretion for youth who commits a first time, non-violent offense,” said California Judges Association President Judge Tom Delaney. “The California Judges Association is the proud sponsor of this legislation and we appreciate Senator Cortese and his staff for all the hard work in getting the bill to the Governor’s desk. We hope the Governor will sign SB 383 into law later this month.”

Numerous peer-reviewed studies point to diversion as a more effective tool in reducing recidivism than conventional judicial interventions.

It has also been shown that factors exist to continually deny youth of color early diversion opportunities with a Brennan Center for Justice 2020 report indicating that justice system involvement leads to “profoundly unequal treatment” and “long-term economic disparity”.

SB 383 will also remove the procedural barriers that exist today restricting diversion services for youth who commit a crime in a county that is not their county of residence.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

 

SB 383, Cortese. Juveniles: informal supervision: deferred entry of judgment.
Existing law subjects a person between 12 and 17 years of age, inclusive, who commits a crime, and a person under 12 years of age who commits specified crimes, to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge that person to be a ward of the court. Existing law authorizes a probation officer, in certain circumstances, to delineate a specific program of supervision for a minor who is alleged to have committed a crime. Existing law makes a minor ineligible for that program of supervision for specified reasons, including if the minor is alleged to have sold or possessed for sale a controlled substance or is alleged to have committed an offense in which the restitution owed to the victim exceeds $1,000, except in those unusual cases in where the interest of justice would best be served. The Gang Violence and Juvenile Crime Prevention Act of 1998, approved as Proposition 21 at the March 7, 2000, statewide primary election, also makes a minor ineligible for this program of supervision if the minor is alleged to have committed a felony offense when the minor was at least 14 years of age, except in unusual cases in which the court determines that the interest of justice would best be served by placement of the minor in the program of supervision. The Legislature may directly amend Proposition 21 by a statute passed in each house by a 2/3 vote, or by a statute that becomes effective only when approved by the voters.
This bill would delete the prohibitions on including in that program of supervision minors alleged to have sold or possessed for sale a controlled substance, minors alleged to have committed certain offenses related to controlled substances while on school grounds, and minors alleged to have committed a felony offense when the minor was at least 14 years of age. By deleting the prohibition on including minors alleged to have committed a felony offense when the minor was at least 14 years of age, this bill would amend Proposition 21. The bill would also prohibit a minor’s inability to pay restitution due to the minor’s indigence from being grounds for finding a minor ineligible for that program of supervision or a finding that the minor has failed to comply with the terms of the program of supervision.
Under existing law, as added by Proposition 21, a minor may be eligible for deferred entry of judgment if certain conditions apply. If a minor is eligible for deferred entry of judgment, existing law requires the prosecutor to file a declaration with the court explaining the minor’s eligibility. Existing law requires the prosecutor to make the information contained in the declaration available to the minor and their attorney and requires the written notification to the minor to include, among other things, a statement relating to the effect if the minor fails to comply with the terms of the program and judgment is entered. Existing law authorizes the court to order the probation department to investigate the minor, determine which programs would accept the minor, and report its findings and recommendations to the court. Existing law authorizes the court to grant deferred entry of judgment if the court finds that the minor is suitable for deferred entry of judgment and would benefit from education, treatment, and rehabilitation efforts.
This bill would amend Proposition 21 by deleting the requirement that the prosecutor’s written notification to the minor include that statement. The bill would also authorize a court, if a minor is eligible for deferred entry of judgment, but the minor resides in a different county and the case will be transferred to the minor’s county of residence, to adjudicate the case without determining the minor’s suitability for deferred entry of judgment. The bill would authorize the receiving court to order the probation department to make the investigation and file the report and recommendations described above; determine the minor’s suitability for deferred entry of judgment; and modify the transferring court’s finding accordingly.
By increasing the duties of county probation departments, this bill 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.

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2 comments

Shalupa Oct 7, 2021 - 11:55 pm

I bet those juveniles are laughing their heads off, “we sho’ gotz awayz wid it”

Reply
Lola Saavedra Oct 9, 2021 - 11:07 pm

They try that brain development shit! The kid knows right from wrong at an early age.

Reply

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