Pérez Public Safety Bills Advance

Sacramento, California - Four bills by State Assemblymember V. Manuel Pérez were approved today in the Assembly Committee on Public Safety, passing with unanimous support.

AB 2603 clarifies the state laws related to prescription medicines, specifically protecting the ability of authorized representatives – such as a family member or caregiver - to legally pick up and transport a prescription medication on behalf of the prescription holder. This protects access to prescription medications for the ill, infirm, elderly, and those in rural/remote areas who rely on others to access the medications they need.  The bill is sponsored by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

“This is a serious concern for many people who live in my rural and medically underserved district, where it is not uncommon for a person to rely on a family member or friend to pick-up his/her prescription drugs,” said Pérez. “This bill provides the clarity to protect a person’s access to medications and ensure that those seeking to do a good deed are not punished for trying to help a friend or loved one.”

To help promote the public safety realignment goal of reducing recidivism, AB 2060 promotes workforce training and development for former offenders who are in community supervision.  The bill would use existing dollars in the state’s Recidivism Reduction Fund to create a competitive grant program administered by the California Workforce Investment Board to conduct workforce training program for the re-entry population.  The bill is sponsored by PolicyLink.

“One of the best strategies to reduce recidivism is job training,” explained Pérez.  “Studies show that it improves the transition from prison to the community, keeps people from re-offending, and increases public safety and stability.”

AB 1860 helps improve access to the required training that peace officers must complete, in order to ensure that probation departments have the staffing they need to meet increasing caseload demands resulting from realignment.  The idea for this bill was brought to Pérez by Riverside County Probation Officers Association and it is sponsored by the Chief Probation Officers of California.

“Our law enforcement professionals work hard to keep our communities safe. We must support their ability to access the training and tools to do their jobs more effectively,” said Pérez.

AB 1919 encourages the use of evidence-based risk and needs assessment tools within the criminal justice system.  The use of a risk and needs assessment tool at key decision points throughout the process supports data-driven decision making and ultimately a more consistent and effective criminal justice system.  This bill is sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice.

“Evidence-based risk assessment tools can provide decision makers with data to help predict an individual’s likelihood to commit a future crime, appear at future court dates or appointments with probation, or engage in harmful behavior,” said Pérez. “A data-driven approach implemented by experienced law enforcement professionals supports fairness and consistency, the responsible use of resources, and the reduction of recidivism.”

All four bills passed on bipartisan votes of 6-0.  AB 2603 moves next to the Assembly Floor, while AB 2060 will be heard in the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy, and AB 1860 and AB 1919 head to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for fiscal review.

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