Requiring independent investigations of officer-involved shootings; reforming juvenile justice and probation systems to aid in rehabilitation and reentry
SACRAMENTO – In the wake of nationwide demonstrations against structural racism and systemic injustice, Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed a series of bills into law initiating critical criminal justice, juvenile justice and policing reforms in California. Delivering on his promise this summer to sign a bill ending the use of the carotid restraint, Governor Newsom signed AB 1196 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) which bans the practice statewide. The maneuver, known as a chokehold, was banned by District Attorney Diana Becton for her Investigative Unit in June. (See related article)
Newsom also signed AB 1506 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) requiring the California Attorney General to conduct investigations into officer-involved shootings of unarmed individuals that result in death. He also took action on legislation that reforms the juvenile justice system to put more emphasis on rehabilitation and education, as well as creating a more just probation system.
“Americans across the country took to the streets this summer rightfully demanding more and better of our criminal justice system – and of ourselves,” said Governor Newsom. “We heard those calls for action loud and clear and today are advancing reforms to improve policing practices by ending the carotid hold and requiring independent investigations in officer-involved shootings. We are also taking important steps to break the school-to-prison pipeline. Still, we can and must do more. Working with our youth, faith and community leaders, law enforcement, the Legislature and countless others demanding change, my Administration remains committed to the important work ahead to make our criminal and juvenile justice systems fairer and safer for all Californians.”
Today’s action builds on Governor Newsom’s record enacting major change on criminal justice reform during his first years in office – from enacting one of the nation’s strongest police use-of-force standards, to putting a moratorium on the death penalty and shutting down California’s execution chamber, to closing prisons. The Administration will continue to work with the Legislature on additional reforms, including efforts to increase transparency in peace officer records and broader decertification measures to create accountability for officers with a history of misconduct.
Governor Newsom also took action today on important juvenile justice reforms. Building on the Governor’s commitment to end juvenile imprisonment as we know it, he signed several bills to support young people coming out of the criminal justice system and to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. SB 823 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review takes the first, formal step of closing the Division of Juvenile Justice, which will help to provide youth rehabilitative services closer to home.
Other bills the Governor signed today that support youth include AB 901 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), which will end the practice of referring youth who are having problems at school to probation programs. Additionally, SB 203 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) requires that children under age 17 have an opportunity to consult with legal counsel before interrogation, and SB 1290 by Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) will cancel certain fees assessed on juvenile offenders and their families.
Finally, Governor Newsom signed AB 1950 by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), which caps probation terms to a maximum of one year for misdemeanor offenses and two years for felonies.
Governor Newsom also signed:
- AB 646 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Elections: voter eligibility.
- AB 732 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Alameda) – County jails: prisons: incarcerated pregnant persons.
- AB 846 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) – Public employment: public officers or employees declared by law to be peace officers.
- AB 1304 by Assemblymember Marie Waldron (R-Escondido) – California MAT Re-Entry Incentive Program. A signing message can be found here.
- AB 1775 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – False reports and harassment.
- AB 2321 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Juvenile court records: access.
- AB 2425 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Juvenile police records.
- AB 2512 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Scotts Valley) – Death penalty: person with an intellectual disability.
- AB 2606 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside) – Criminal justice: supervised release file.
- AB 3043 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles) – Corrections: confidential calls.
- AB 3234 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Public Safety. A signing message can be found here.
- SB 480 by Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera) – Law enforcement uniforms.
- SB 1126 by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) – Juvenile court records.
- SB 1196 by Senator Thomas Umberg (D-Santa Ana) – Price gouging.