BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 439


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          Date of Hearing:  April 22, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          439 (Bloom) - As Amended April 8, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY: This bill requires, effective July 1, 2016, a party  
          subject to a restraining order under the Domestic Violence  
          Protection Act (DVPA) who has been ordered by the court to  
          participate in an approved batterer's program to do the  
          following:










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             a)   Register for the batterer's program by the deadline set  
               by the court or, if no deadline is ordered, within 30 days  
               from the date the order is issued. 


             b)   Upon enrollment, sign all necessary forms to permit  
               release of proof of enrollment, attendance records, and  
               completion or termination reports to the court and the  
               protected party, and provide the court and the protected  
               party with the name and address of the batterer's program.


          The bill requires the Judicial Council to revise or promulgate  
          forms as necessary.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Minor, one-time costs ($100,000) and minor, ongoing costs, to  
            the courts to cover workload impacts and possibly equipment  
            (e.g. a dedicated fax machine) associated with receiving and  
            processing the required forms. There is no mechanism currently  
            in place for the courts to receive the required information  
            regarding a batterer's enrollment in, and completion of, a  
            program. 


          2)Minor and absorbable onetime costs for the Judicial Council to  
            update or create the necessary forms.


          COMMENTS:p


          1)Purpose. A defendant convicted of criminal domestic violence  
            is required, as a condition of probation, to participate in a  
            batterer's intervention program, and the court and the  
            probation department are notified when the defendant enrolls  








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            in the program and if the defendant fails to complete the  
            program.  A court issuing a civil domestic violence protective  
            order has the option of ordering a batterer to participate in  
            a batterer's program, but there is no corresponding  
            requirement that the court be informed of the batterer's  
            enrollment in, or completion of, the program.  This bill,  
            sponsored by the Family Law Section of the State Bar, seeks to  
            remedy that by allowing the court and the victim to receive  
            information on the batterer's participation in the program.



          2)Background:  Since 1994, California has required that a  
            defendant convicted of criminal domestic violence must, as a  
            condition of probation, participate in a batterer's  
            intervention program.  Batterers' programs are designed to  
            stop domestic violence by holding batterers accountable and  
            providing them with strategies to stop the abuse through  
            lectures, classes, group discussions and counseling.    
            A 2006 evaluation of batterers' programs by the State Auditor  
            revealed that only half of batterers ordered into intervention  
            programs ever completed the programs and that as many as a  
            quarter never even enrolled in the programs in the first  
            place, with little consequence.  Since that time, steps have  
            been taken to improve accountability on the criminal side, but  
            there remains no statutorily required accountability on the  
            civil side.








          Analysis Prepared by:Jennifer Swenson / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081










                                                                     AB 439


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