Gov. Brown orders swift response to mental hospital crimes

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed legislation aimed at protecting victims of sex crimes in state hospitals and developmental centers.

SB 651 by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) mandates that victims of suspected abuse in the hospitals and centers for the developmentally disabled receive immediate examinations by trained investigators at independent facilities to collect evidence.

The investigations are in response a serious lapse in oversight at facilities, where numerous residents have been sexually assaulted under the state’s care with no consequences, Pavley said.

She said no exam was performed in 59 cases of alleged molestation of residents during a three-year period.

The bill, Pavley said, “will protect vulnerable Californians from abuse and hold both perpetrators and state caretakers accountable.”

Brown also signed a bill Thursday that could save the lives of Californians with severe allergies.

Senate Republican leader Bob Huff of Diamond Bar introduced SB 669, which creates a program that will train volunteers to administer epinephrine auto injectors, which counter severe allergic reactions.

 “This bill will save lives,” Huff said. “We have similar protections set up in schools, but fatal allergies don’t go away when a student steps off the school grounds.”


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