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Crime & Courts

Crime-victim group's views on current legislative proposals

Californians for Safety and Justice, which says it advocates for changes in criminal justice laws on behalf of crime victims, is lobbying the Legislature on nearly two dozen bills.

Among those, the group supports proposals to:

-Allow stalking victims to request that their attackers not be released within 35 miles of where they live or work (AB 231).

-Triple the time prison inmates can earn off their sentences by participating in drug, job and education programs to 18 weeks a year (AB 512).

-Require the state to provide re-entry services such as job training, housing assistance and clothing vouchers to those released from custody after being exonerated of crimes (AB 672).

-Bar drug-trafficking charges against those who transport drugs for personal use (AB 730).

-Allow early release from parole for those who comply with supervision requirements (AB 926).

-Require that new grants distributed by the state jail commission go to programs for released offenders with drug and mental health problems, and allow financial aid for housing. (AB 1056).

-Restore state funds for mental health services to young children who show difficulty adjusting to school (AB 1133).

-Allow minor drug offenders to complete treatment programs before pleading, rather than after, to avoid guilty pleas that could trigger federal penalties including loss of subsidized housing and threat of deportation for non-U.S. citizens (AB 1351).

-Allow expungement of the record for drug offenders who meet court conditions set in deferred judgment agreements, avoiding the same federal penalties (AB 1352).

-Extend to child witnesses the state's existing courtroom protection for child victims. (SB 176).

-Require faster state review of prison inmate applications for alternative custody and create an appeal process for those rejected (SB 219).

-Expand a court-mandated elderly parole program to inmates as young as 50 who have served at least 15 years of their sentences (SB 224).

-Limit the ability of prosecutors to charge juveniles as adults (SB 382).

-Allow those 26 or younger to seal their juvenile records at no cost (SB 504).

-Create a trauma treatment center at UC San Francisco for crime victims and require other state-funded trauma treatment programs to adopt the center's protocols. (SB 518).

-Require the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board to rule on applications for assistance within 90 days (SB 556).

The group opposes legislation to:

-Restore felony status to theft of all handguns. Under current law, only thefts of firearms worth more than $950 are felonies (AB 150 and SB 452).

-Require DNA testing of people convicted of the six crimes classified as misdemeanors by Proposition 47, including drug use, minor theft and shoplifting (AB 390).

-Allow search warrants against those whose alleged offenses, including personal drug possession, were classified as misdemeanors under Proposition 47 (AB 1104).

Source: Times reporting

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