Sens. Lara and Mitchell announce new round of reforms to promote rehabilitation and fairness for youth and adults in custody

April 03, 2018

Senate Public Safety Committee holds first hearings for Senate Bills 1391, 1392 and 1393

SACRAMENTO – Today Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) announced four new bills that reform juvenile and adult criminal.

The #EquityAndJustice2018 package includes bills that give healthcare and other support to exonerated people after prison, reform mandatory sentencing rules, and require youth age 14 and 15 who commit crimes be tried as juveniles not as adults.

The Senate Public Safety Committee held a hearing on three of the new bills today and heard testimony from the bill’s supporters, including formerly incarcerated youth and attorneys for the innocent.

“Research has debunked the myth that children are hardened criminals at age 14 and 15 and deserve punishment in the adult system,” Sen. Ricardo Lara said. “In fact, 14 and 15 year olds are far from being adults and Senate Bill 1391 keeps them in the juvenile justice system and guarantees they receive counseling and education so they are less likely to commit crimes in the future.”

Sen. Mitchell agreed.

“Last year’s package was prudent first step toward creating a more just juvenile criminal justice system that helps youth recover and thrive,” Mitchell said. “Our correctional system and its resources must be dedicated to corrections and rehabilitation, not incarceration.”

The newly introduced bills in the #EquityAndJustice2018 package are:

SB 1050 – Provides services and support for exonerated people after prison including healthcare, work training and updating exoneree records to reflect their wrongful convictions. Status: Will be heard in Senate Public Safety Committee on April 17.

SB 1391 – Ensures that youth ages 14 and 15 who commit crimes get the services and help they need by prohibiting them from being tried as adults and keeping them in the juvenile justice system. Status: Heard in Senate Public Safety Committee on April 3.

SB 1392 –  Repeals the 1-year sentence enhancement for felony convictions. Status: Heard in Senate Public Safety Committee on April 3.

SB 1393 – Returns to prior statutory authority for judicial discretion on 5-year enhancements for serious felony convictions. Status: Heard in Senate Public Safety Committee on April 3.

One bill introduced last year as part of the original #EquityAndJustice package, SB 439, passed the Senate and is awaiting referral to an Assembly committee. SB 439 sets 12 as the minimum age for youth to be placed in the jurisdiction of delinquency juvenile court.

Sen. Ricardo Lara is chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and was first elected to the Legislature in 2010. He represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 33, which includes Long Beach and the Southeast Los Angeles cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, South Gate, and much of Los Angeles. More at www.senate.ca.gov/lara

Sen. Holly J. Mitchell is chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. A member of the Legislature for more than six years, she represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 30, which includes Culver City and much of Los Angeles. See a map of Mitchell’s district that includes a demographic breakdown of its residents and more HERE. Learn more at www.senate.ca.gov/Mitchell