We Are Better Together
We are better together! Together we can impact legislation that will help level the playing field for real second chances. The Reentry Providers Association of California will engage all members of current legislation and offer ways to promote and educate lawmakers on the importance of removing all barriers so that formerly incarcerated persons have a real opportunity to contribute and be successful citizens.
REPAC Policy Platform
- REPAC will advocate for budgetary actions that support reentry organizations and demonstrate a sustained commitment to successful reentry and reintegration across the State.
- REPAC will work to advance fair hiring & housing practices for applicants living with criminal records
- REPAC will advocate for a State Office of Reentry that will be committed to developing and implementing solutions to successful reentry & reintegration efforts throughout the State.
- REPAC will work to replace blanket incarceration first models with more effective solutions that focus on addressing community needs before incarceration.
REPAC is pleased to announce that thirty-eight bills related to criminal justice were passed and became law in 2021. Please see the list below for the summary of these new laws.
Existing law requires each law enforcement agency, on or before January 1, 2021, to maintain a policy that provides a minimum standard on the use of force. Existing law requires that policy, among other things, to require that officers report potential excessive force to a superior officer when present and observing another officer using force that the officer believes to be unnecessary and to require that officers intercede when present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is necessary, as specified.
This new law requires those law enforcement policies to require those officers to immediately report potential excessive force, as defined.
The new law prohibits the use of kinetic energy projectiles or chemical agents by any law enforcement agency to disperse any assembly, protest, or demonstration, except in compliance with specified standards set by the bill and would prohibit their use solely due to a violation of an imposed curfew, verbal threat, or noncompliance with a law enforcement directive. The law includes in the standards for the use of kinetic energy projectiles and chemical agents to disperse gatherings the requirement that, among other things, those weapons only be used to defend against a threat to life or serious bodily injury to any individual, including a peace officer, or to bring an objectively dangerous and unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.
Existing law requires any local law enforcement agency that adopts or updates a hate crime policy to include specified information in that policy, including information on bias motivation.
The new law includes a statement of legislative findings and declarations and requires the basic course curriculum on the topic of hate crimes to be developed in consultation with subject matter experts, as specified. The law will, subject to an appropriation of funds for this purpose in the annual Budget Act or other statute, require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to update the basic course to include the viewing of a specified video course developed by POST. The law will also require POST to make the video available via the online learning portal, and will require all peace officers to complete specified training materials no later than one year after the commission makes the updated course available. The law will require POST to develop and periodically update an interactive course on hate crimes for in-service peace officers, and require officers to take the course every 6 years.
Existing law requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to establish a certification program for specified peace officers, including officers of the Department of the California Highway Patrol. Existing law requires the commission to establish basic, intermediate, advanced, supervisory, management, and executive certificates for the purpose of fostering the education and experience necessary to perform general police service duties. Existing law requires certificates to be awarded on the basis of a combination of training, education, experience, and other prerequisites, as determined by the commission. The new law requires the office of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges to develop a modern policing degree program, with the commission and other stakeholders to serve as advisors, as specified, and to submit a report on recommendations to the Legislature outlining a plan to implement the program on or before June 1, 2023.
The new law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide the name, known aliases, birth date, social security number, and booking date and expected release date, if known, of a current inmate to the Employment Development Department for the purposes of preventing payments on fraudulent claims for unemployment compensation benefits. The law requires this information to be provided to the Employment Development Department on the first of every month and upon the Employment Development Department’s request. Because this law expands the scope of an existing crime, it imposes a state-mandated local program.
The law enacts the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act, or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act, for purposes of creating, implementing, and evaluating the C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program, which the act establishes. The law requires the department to administer the program if appropriate funding is made available to the department. The law requires the department to award grants to qualified grantees, which include city, county, and tribal departments of social services, disability services, health services, public health, or behavioral health, based on grant eligibility criteria developed in partnership with a stakeholder workgroup.
Current law allows a person who was arrested or convicted of a nonviolent offense while they were a victim of human trafficking to petition the court, under penalty of perjury, for vacatur relief. Current law requires, to receive that relief, that the person establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that the arrest or conviction was the direct result of being a victim of human trafficking. This bill would create similar relief for a person who was arrested or convicted of an offense that was the direct result of being a victim of intimate partner violence or sexual violence. By expanding the scope of the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law governs the procedure for issuing a warrant of arrest by a magistrate. If a declaration of probable cause is made by a peace officer, existing law requires the magistrate to issue a warrant of probable cause for the arrest of the defendant described in the declaration only if the magistrate is satisfied that there is probable cause that the offense described in the declaration has been committed and that the defendant has committed the offense. Current law allows the issuing magistrate to examine the person seeking the warrant and any witnesses the person may produce under oath. Current law provides additional requirements for making and signing the declaration of probable cause, as specified.
The new law requires a magistrate, before issuing an arrest warrant pursuant to these provisions, to examine the declaration of probable cause made by a peace officer, or an employee of a public prosecutor’s office when the subject of the arrest warrant is a peace officer.
Existing law requires the operator of a private detention facility, as defined, to comply with, and adhere to, the detention standards of care and confinement agreed upon in the facility’s contract for operations, as specified.
The new law requires a private detention facility operator to comply with and adhere to, all local and state public health orders and occupational safety and health regulations. The law states that its provisions are declaratory of existing law.
The California Constitution grants the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation the authority to award credits earned for good behavior and approved rehabilitative or educational achievements and requires the department to adopt regulations in furtherance of this grant of authority. The new law requires the department to conduct rehabilitative programming in a manner that meets specified requirements, such as prioritizing a person who has transferred between facilities to resume rehabilitative programming, if the transfer was for non-adverse reasons, minimizing program wait times, and offering a variety of program opportunities to inmates regardless of security level or sentence length
Prior law, until July 1, 2021, made a person guilty of organized retail theft, punishable as a misdemeanor or a felony, as specified, if the person acted in concert with one or more persons to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplaces with the intent to sell or return the merchandise for value, acted in concert with 2 or more persons to receive, purchase, or possess merchandise knowing or believing it to have been stolen, acted as an agent of another to steal merchandise from one or more merchant’s premises or online marketplaces as part of an organized plan to commit theft, or recruited, coordinated, organized, supervised, directed, managed, or financed another to undertake acts of theft.
The new law reenacts the crime of organized retail theft until January 1, 2026.
Existing law makes it a crime, punishable as either a misdemeanor or a felony, to actively participate in a criminal street gang with knowledge that its members engage in, or have engaged in, a pattern of criminal gang activity and to actively promote, further, or assist in felonious criminal conduct by members of that gang.
The new law also requires that the crimes committed to forming a pattern of criminal gang activity have commonly benefited a criminal street gang and that the common benefit from the offenses is more than reputational, as specified. The law removes looting, felony vandalism, and specified personal identity fraud violations from the crimes that define a pattern of criminal gang activity. The law prohibits the use of the currently charged crime to prove the pattern of criminal gang activity.
The law requires a law enforcement agency, defined to include specified entities, to obtain approval of the applicable governing body, by the adoption of a military equipment use policy, as specified, by ordinance at a regular meeting held pursuant to specified open meeting laws, prior to taking certain actions relating to the funding, acquisition, or use of military equipment, as defined. The law also requires similar approval for the continued use of military equipment acquired prior to January 1, 2022.
The law prohibits a law enforcement agency from authorizing techniques or transport methods that involve a substantial risk of positional asphyxia, as defined. By requiring local agencies to amend use of force policies, this law imposes a state-mandated local program.
Existing law makes an act punishable as a hate crime if it is a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of an actual or perceived characteristic of the victim relating to the victim’s disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Existing law defines “nationality” for this purpose to include citizenship, country of origin, and national origin. Under existing law, a person who commits a crime that is a hate crime is required to receive an enhanced sentence.
The new law expands the definition of nationality to include immigration status, thereby making it a hate crime to commit a criminal act, in whole or in part, because of the victim’s actual or perceived immigration status
Existing law subjects a minor between 12 and 17 years of age, inclusive, who violates any federal, state, or local law or ordinance to, and a minor under 12 years of age who is alleged to have committed specified serious offenses to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which may adjudge the minor to be a ward of the court. Existing law authorizes the district attorney to make a motion to transfer a minor from juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction in a case in which a minor is alleged to have committed a felony when the minor was 16 years of age or older, or in a case in which a specified serious offense is alleged to have been committed by a minor when the minor was 14 or 15 years of age, but the minor was not apprehended prior to the end of juvenile court jurisdiction.
The new law makes an order transferring a minor from a juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction subject to appeal. The law requires an order transferring a minor from the juvenile court to a court of criminal jurisdiction to be subject to immediate appellate review if a notice of appeal is filed within 30 days of the order transferring the minor.
Existing provisions of the California Constitution provide a criminal defendant the right to be personally present with counsel at trial. Existing law requires a defendant to be present at a felony trial or preliminary hearing. Existing law, however, also authorizes a court to proceed, in the defendant’s absence, with a trial or preliminary hearing that has commenced in the presence of the defendant, but from which the defendant is voluntarily absent or has been removed from the courtroom for disruptive behavior, as specified.
The new law specifies that a trial or preliminary hearing shall be deemed to have “commenced in the presence” of a defendant who is in custody and refuses to appear in court, if the court makes certain specified findings on the record, by clear and convincing evidence.
The law requires the Department of Justice, in cases where probation has been transferred, to electronically submit a notice of conviction record relief to both the transferring court and any subsequent receiving court. The law also requires a receiving court that reduces a felony to a misdemeanor or dismisses a conviction under specified provisions to provide a disposition report to the department with the original case number from the transferring court. If probation was transferred multiple times, the law requires the department to electronically submit notice to all involved courts in a mutually agreed-upon format. The law further requires any court receiving notice of a reduction or dismissal to update its records to reflect the same. The law requires the receiving court to provide a receipt of records from the transferring court, including the new case number. The law requires the transferring court to report to the department that probation was transferred and identify the receiving court and new case number, if applicable.
Existing law defines those persons who are peace officers, the entities authorized to appoint them, and the scope of their authority. Existing law prescribes certain minimum standards for a person to be appointed as a peace officer, including training requirements, moral character, and physical and mental condition, and certain disqualifying factors for a person to be employed as a peace officer, including a felony conviction. Existing law requires a department or agency that employs peace officers to establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against those officers.
The new law defines a law enforcement gang, a group of law enforcement officers within an agency that engages in a pattern of specified unlawful or unethical on-duty behavior, and would require law enforcement agencies to have a policy prohibiting law enforcement and making participation, as specified, in a law enforcement gang grounds for termination.
The new law, on and after January 1, 2022, prohibits an insurer, bail agent, or other bail licensee from entering into a contract, agreement, or undertaking of bail that requires the payment of more than one premium for the duration of the agreement, and would require the duration of the agreement to be until bail is exonerated. The law additionally prohibits an insurer, bail agent, or other bail licensee from charging, collecting, or receiving a renewal premium in connection with a contract, agreement, or undertaking of bail after that date. The law also makes these prohibitions apply to an insurer or insurance licensee with regard to immigration bonds on and after July 1, 2022.
The Trial Jury Selection and Management Act requires all persons be selected for jury service at random, from a source or sources inclusive of a representative cross section of the population of the area served by the court. The act further requires a juror in a civil or criminal superior court case to be paid a fee of $15 a day for each day’s attendance as a juror after the first day, except as specified, plus reimbursement for mileage.
The new law, notwithstanding these payment provisions, authorizes the Superior Court of San Francisco, in conjunction with the City and County of San Francisco and their justice partners, as defined, to conduct a pilot program to analyze and determine whether paying certain low-income trial jurors $100 per day for each day they are required to report for service as a trial juror in a criminal case promotes a more economically and racially diverse trial jury panel that more accurately reflects the demographics of the community.
The law prohibits a police department or sheriff’s office from sharing, on social media, booking photos of an individual arrested on suspicion of committing a nonviolent crime, as defined, unless specified circumstances exist. The law requires a police department or sheriff’s office that shares, on social media, a booking photo of an individual arrested for the suspected commission of a nonviolent crime to remove the information from its social media page, upon request, unless the same specified circumstances exist. The law requires a police department or sheriff’s office to remove the booking photo of a person who has committed any other crime from social media if the individual’s record has been sealed, the individual’s conviction has been dismissed, expunged, pardoned, or eradicated pursuant to law, the individual has been issued a certificate of rehabilitation, the individual is found not guilty of committing the crime for which they were arrested, or the individual was ultimately not charged with the crime or the charges were dismissed.
Existing law authorizes a court, within 120 days after sentencing the defendant or at any time upon a recommendation from the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Board of Parole Hearings, the district attorney, to recall an inmate’s sentence and resentence that inmate to a lesser sentence. Existing law requires the court, when resentencing, to apply the rules of the Judicial Council to eliminate disparity of sentences and promote uniformity of sentencing. Existing law authorizes a court to reduce a defendant’s term of imprisonment and modify the judgment if it is in the interest of justice. The law requires the court to state its reasons for a resentencing decision on the record, as specified. The law requires the court to provide notice to the defendant, set a status conference within 30 days of the receipt of the request, and appoint counsel for the defendant. The law authorizes the court to grant a resentencing without a hearing, if the parties are in agreement
Under existing law, the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act, if a person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interferes or attempts to interfere, by threats, intimidation, or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any individual or individuals of rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or of the rights secured by the Constitution or laws of this state, the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney, is authorized to bring a civil action for injunctive and other appropriate equitable relief in the name of the people of the State of California, in order to protect the exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured. Existing law also authorizes an action brought by the Attorney General, or any district attorney or city attorney, to seek a civil penalty of $25,000. Current law also allows an individual whose exercise or enjoyment of rights has been interfered with to prosecute a civil action for damages on their own behalf.
The new law eliminates certain immunity provisions for peace officers and custodial officers, or public entities employing peace officers or custodial officers sued under the act.
Existing law makes peace officer and custodial officer personnel records and specified records maintained by any state or local agency, or information obtained from these records, confidential and prohibits these records from being disclosed in any criminal or civil proceeding except by discovery. Existing law sets forth exceptions to this policy, including, among others, records relating to specified incidents involving the discharge of a firearm, sexual assault, perjury, or misconduct by a peace officer or custodial officer. Existing law makes a record related to an incident involving the use of force against a person resulting in death or great bodily injury subject to disclosure. Current law requires a state or local agency to make these excepted records available for inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act, subject to redaction as specified.
The new law makes a sustained finding involving force that is unreasonable or excessive, and any sustained finding that an officer failed to intervene against another officer using unreasonable or excessive force, subject to disclosure.
Existing law authorizes a court to sentence a person convicted of an infraction to perform community service in lieu of the total fine, as defined, that would otherwise be imposed, upon a showing that payment of the total fine would pose a hardship on the defendant or the person’s family.
The new law additionally authorizes the court to allow a person to participate in educational programs, as defined, to satisfy community service hours.
Existing law prohibits granting probation or suspending a sentence for persons convicted of specified crimes relating to controlled substances, including possessing or agreeing to sell or transport opiates or opium derivatives, possessing or transporting cannabis, planting or cultivating peyote, and various crimes relating to forging or altering prescriptions, among other crimes, if the person has previously been convicted of any one of specified felony offenses relating to controlled substances. Existing law also prohibits granting probation or suspending a sentence for persons convicted of specified crimes relating to controlled substances, including possessing for sale or selling 14.25 grams or more of a substance containing heroin and possessing for sale 14.25 grams or more of any salt or solution of phencyclidine or its analogs, among other crimes.
The new law deletes various crimes relating to controlled substances, including, but not limited to, the crimes described above, from those prohibitions against granting probation or a suspended sentence.
Existing law generally authorizes a court to dismiss an action or to strike or dismiss an enhancement in the furtherance of justice.
The new law, except as specified, requires a court to dismiss an enhancement if it is in the furtherance of justice to do so. The law requires a court to consider and afford great weight to evidence offered by the defendant to prove that specified mitigating circumstances are present. The law provides that proof of the presence of one or more specified mitigating circumstances weighs greatly in favor of dismissing an enhancement unless the court finds that dismissal would endanger public safety, as defined.
The law, if peace officers close the immediate area surrounding any emergency field command post or any other command post, or establish a police line, or rolling closure at a demonstration, march, protest, or rally where individuals are engaged primarily in constitutionally protected activity, as described, requires that a duly authorized representative of any news service, online news service, newspaper, or radio or television station or network, as described, be allowed to enter those closed areas and would prohibit a peace officer or other law enforcement officer from intentionally assaulting, interfering with, or obstructing a duly authorized representative who is gathering, receiving, or processing information for communication to the public.
Existing law establishes the Board of State and Community Corrections to promote effective state and local efforts and partnerships in California’s adult and juvenile criminal justice system and requires the board to inspect each local detention facility in the state biennially. Existing law requires a privately operated local detention facility responsible for the custody and control of a local prisoner to operate pursuant to a contract with the city, county, or city and county, as appropriate. Existing law requires each contract to include a provision whereby the private agency or entity agrees to operate in compliance with all appropriate state and local building, zoning, health, safety, and fire statutes, ordinances, and regulations, and with specified minimum jail standards established by regulations adopted by the board. Existing law provides that the failure of a privately operated local detention facility to comply with the appropriate health, safety, and fire laws, or with the minimum jail standards adopted by the board may be grounds for the termination of the contract. Under existing law, private detention facilities are generally prohibited, except for those operating pursuant to a valid contract in effect before January 1, 2020, as specified.
The new law requires a private detention facility responsible for the custody and control of a prisoner or civil detainee to operate in compliance with these standards and to maintain specified insurance coverages, including general, automobile, and umbrella liability, and workers’ compensation.
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 the 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.
The new law deletes 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.
Existing law requires the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to implement literacy programs in the state prison. Existing law requires the department to offer college programs through voluntary education programs or their equivalent.
The new law instead requires the department to make college programs available for the benefit of inmates with a general education development certificate or equivalent or a high school diploma and would require those college programs to only be provided by the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, or other regionally accredited, nonprofit colleges or universities.
Existing law authorizes a person who has been convicted and incarcerated for a felony and later pardoned on the basis of innocence or found to be factually innocent of that crime, as specified, to present a claim against the state to the California Victim Compensation Board for the pecuniary injury sustained by the person through the erroneous conviction and incarceration. Existing law requires the board to recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made and the claim paid if a court has made a finding that the person is factually innocent or if the person proves to the board that they are factually innocent. Current law specifies that there is no presumption in any other proceeding for failure to make a motion or obtain a favorable ruling pursuant to these provisions.
The new law revises and recasts these provisions to instead require the board, upon application by a person whose writ of habeas corpus was granted in state or federal court, or whose motion to vacate the charges was granted by a state court and the charges were dismissed, or if the person was acquitted of the charges on retrial, to recommend to the Legislature that an appropriation be made without a hearing, unless the Attorney General establishes that the claimant is not entitled to compensation.
Prior law, in effect until January 1, 2020, required a sentencing court to impose an additional one-year term for each prior separate prison term or county jail felony term served by the defendant for a nonviolent felony, as specified. Prior law, in effect until January 1, 2018, required a sentencing court to impose on a defendant convicted of specified crimes relating to controlled substances, an additional 3-year term for each prior conviction of specified controlled substances crimes, including possession for sale of opiates, opium derivatives, and hallucinogenic substances, as specified. Existing law limits the imposition of these sentencing enhancements to certain specified circumstances.
The new law declares an enhancement imposed pursuant to one of these prior provisions to be legally invalid. The law states the intent of the Legislature to prohibit a prosecutor or court from rescinding a plea agreement based on a change in sentence as a result of this measure. The law requires the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the county correctional administrator of each county to identify those persons in their custody who are serving a sentence that includes one of these enhancements and provide this information to the sentencing court, as specified.
Under previous law, when a judgment of imprisonment was to be imposed and the statute specified 3 possible terms, the court was required to impose the middle term unless there were circumstances in aggravation or mitigation of the crime. Existing case law held that, as it relates to this previous law, when the middle term was set as the statutory default, imposing an elevated upper-term sentence violated a defendant’s right to trial by jury, and any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond that prescribed statutory default must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
The new law requires the court to impose a term of imprisonment not exceeding the middle term unless there are circumstances in aggravation that have been stipulated to by the defendant, or have been found true beyond a reasonable doubt at trial by the jury or by the judge in a court trial. The law requires the court, except in specified circumstances, to, upon the request of the defendant, bifurcate the trial on the circumstances in aggravation from the trial of charges and enhancements. The law, notwithstanding that requirement, allows the court to consider prior convictions based on a certified record of conviction without a finding by the jury.
The new law, as proposed to be added by Senate Bill 2 of the 2021-22 Regular Session, authorizes the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to revoke a certified peace officer’s certification under specified circumstances, and states that an action by a law enforcement agency or decision resulting from an appeal of an agency’s action does not preclude action by the commission to investigate, suspend, or revoke a peace officer’s certification. The law, if Senate Bill 2 of the 2021-22 Regular Session becomes operative, additionally states that whether a particular factual or legal determination in a prior appeal proceeding has preclusive effect in proceedings of the commission would be governed by the existing law of collateral estoppel.
Existing law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure that any eligible inmate released from state prison has a valid identification card. Existing law defines “eligible inmate,” in part, as a person who has previously held a California driver’s license or identification card, who has a usable photo on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles that is not more than 10 years old, and who meets certain requirements, including that they have provided, and the Department of Motor Vehicles has verified, specified information, such as the inmate’s true full name.
The new law deletes the requirements that the usable photo on file be no more than 10 years old and that the person have no outstanding fees due for a prior identification card, would require a new photo to be taken if the photo on file is deemed unusable, and would require the inmate to provide, and the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify, their California residency for purposes of obtaining an identification card.
Existing law authorizes the state prosecutor to investigate and gather facts in an incident involving a shooting by a peace officer that results in the death of an unarmed civilian. Existing law defines the Attorney General as the state prosecutor.
The new law also authorizes the state prosecutor to investigate and gather facts in an incident involving a shooting by a peace officer that results in the death of a civilian if there is a reasonable dispute as to whether the civilian was armed.