Bill AB 187 - Child Abuse Reporting

Posted by Chris Morales on Mon, Dec 23, 2013 @ 09:53 AM

AB 187 took one more step to ensure children’s safety. As we know computers harbor a degree of anonymity that allows predators to work far below the radar. Laws like AB 187 aid Law Enforcement in identifying predators.

This bill would in addition make those provisions applicable to commercial technicians, and would require a report to be made when those individuals have knowledge of or observe a child who appears to be under 16 years of age being subject to or involved in a act of sexual electronic medium, as defined. The bill would revise the agencies to which those individuals may report an incident of suspected abuse. This bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes and would update a cross-reference.

By imposing the reporting requirements on a new class of persons, for whom failure to report specified conduct is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making the reimbursement.

The bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

In 2007, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nonprofit mandated by Congress to catalogue child sexual abuse images, had identified more than 9.6 million images and videos of child pornography.

Currently, the state of California requires film developers to report sexual crimes against children. California law does not protect or require computer technicians to report child abuse images or child pornography. However, a 2005 study funded by the Department of Justice found that 96% of perpetrators arrested for child pornography had images on hard drives or removable media, while only 18% possessed images in print format.

The child pornography industry generates over 3 billion dollars annually, and more than 200 new images are circulated each day drive that market. A 2005 study funded by the Department of Justice found a high correlation between those viewing images and those committing hands-on abuse of children:55 percent of people arrested for Internet-related crimes were dual offenders.

The K.I.D.S. Coalition’s proposed solution to protect children from sexual abuse is to update existing California penal code 11165.7 by adding computer technicians to the list of 40 mandated reporters. California would be the 11th state in the nation to adopt this law and protect our children in the digital age.

Below we have included more information about Bill: AB 1817

BILL NUMBER: AB 1817 INTRODUCED
BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY: Assembly Member Atkins
FEBRUARY 21, 2012

An act to amend Sections 11165.7 and 11166 of the Penal Code, relating to child abuse reporting.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

AB 1817, as introduced, Atkins. Child abuse reporting. Existing law, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to report whenever he or she, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Failure to report an incident is a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine.

This bill would expand the list of persons identified as mandated reporters to include commercial computer technicians, as defined.

Existing law requires any commercial film and photographic print processor who has knowledge of or observed in his or her professional capacity or employment any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child under 16 years of age engaging in an act of
sexual conduct to report the instance of suspected child abuse to a law enforcement agency, as specified.

This bill would in addition make those provisions applicable to commercial computer technicians, and instead require a report to be made when those individuals have knowledge of or observe a child who appears to be under 16 years of age being subject to or involved in an act of sexual conduct. The bill would make those provisions applicable to a picture, graphic, or image that is intentionally saved, transmitted, or organized on an electronic medium, as defined.

The bill would revise the agencies to which those individuals may report an incident of suspected abuse.

This bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes and would update a cross-reference.
By imposing the reporting requirements on a new class of persons, for whom failure to report specified conduct is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
11165.7. (a) As used in this article, "mandated reporter" is
defined as any of the following:
(1) A teacher.
(2) An instructional aide.
(3) A teacher's aide or teacher's assistant employed by any public
or private school.
(4) A classified employee of any public school.
(5) An administrative officer or supervisor of child welfare and
attendance, or a certificated pupil personnel employee of any public
or private school.
(6) An administrator of a public or private day camp.
(7) An administrator or employee of a public or private youth
center, youth recreation program, or youth organization.
(8) An administrator or employee of a public or private
organization whose duties require direct contact and supervision of
children.
(9) Any employee of a county office of education or the State
Department of Education, whose duties bring the employee into contact
with children on a regular basis.
(10) A licensee, an administrator, or an employee of a licensed
community care or child day care facility.
(11) A Head Start program teacher.
(12) A licensing worker or licensing evaluator employed by a
licensing agency as defined in Section 11165.11.
(13) A public assistance worker.
(14) An employee of a child care institution, including, but not
limited to, foster parents, group home personnel, and personnel of
residential care facilities.
(15) A social worker, probation officer, or parole officer.
(16) An employee of a school district police or security
department.
(17) Any person who is an administrator or presenter of, or a
counselor in, a child abuse prevention program in any public or
private school.
(18) A district attorney investigator, inspector, or local child
support agency caseworker unless the investigator, inspector, or
caseworker is working with an attorney appointed pursuant to Section
317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code to represent a minor.
(19) A peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with
Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, who is not otherwise described in
this section.
(20) A firefighter, except for volunteer firefighters.
(21) A physician and surgeon, psychiatrist, psychologist, dentist,
resident, intern, podiatrist, chiropractor, licensed nurse, dental
hygienist, optometrist, marriage and family therapist, clinical
social worker, professional clinical counselor, or any other person
who is currently licensed under Division 2 (commencing with Section
500) of the Business and Professions Code.
(22) Any emergency medical technician I or II, paramedic, or other
person certified pursuant to Division 2.5 (commencing with Section
1797) of the Health and Safety Code.
(23) A psychological assistant registered pursuant to Section 2913
of the Business and Professions Code.
(24) A marriage and family therapist trainee, as defined in
subdivision (c) of Section 4980.03 of the Business and Professions
Code.
(25) An unlicensed marriage and family therapist intern registered
under Section 4980.44 of the Business and Professions Code.
(26) A state or county public health employee who treats a minor
for venereal disease or any other condition.
(27) A coroner.
(28) A medical examiner, or any other person who performs
autopsies.
(29) A commercial film and photographic print processor, as
specified in subdivision (e) of Section 11166. As used in this
article, "commercial film and photographic print processor" means any
person who develops exposed photographic film into negatives,
slides, or prints, or who makes prints from negatives or slides, for
compensation. The term includes any employee of such a person; it
does not include a person who develops film or makes prints for a
public agency.
(30) A child visitation monitor. As used in this article, "child
visitation monitor" means any person who, for financial compensation,
acts as monitor of a visit between a child and any other person when
the monitoring of that visit has been ordered by a court of law.
(31) An animal control officer or humane society officer. For the
purposes of this article, the following terms have the following
meanings:
(A) "Animal control officer" means any person employed by a city,
county, or city and county for the purpose of enforcing animal
control laws or regulations.
(B) "Humane society officer" means any person appointed or
employed by a public or private entity as a humane officer who is
qualified pursuant to Section 14502 or 14503 of the Corporations
Code.
(32) A clergy member, as specified in subdivision (d) of Section
11166. As used in this article, "clergy member" means a priest,
minister, rabbi, religious practitioner, or similar functionary of a
church, temple, or recognized denomination or organization.
(33) Any custodian of records of a clergy member, as specified in
this section and subdivision (d) of Section 11166.
(34) Any employee of any police department, county sheriff's
department, county probation department, or county welfare
department.
(35) An employee or volunteer of a Court Appointed Special
Advocate program, as defined in Rule 1424
5.655 of the California Rules of Court.
(36) A custodial officer as defined in Section 831.5.
(37) Any person providing services to a minor child under Section
12300 or 12300.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(38) An alcohol and drug counselor. As used in this article, an
"alcohol and drug counselor" is a person providing counseling,
therapy, or other clinical services for a state licensed or certified
drug, alcohol, or drug and alcohol treatment program. However,
alcohol or drug abuse, or both alcohol and drug abuse, is not in and
of itself a sufficient basis for reporting child abuse or neglect.
(39) A clinical counselor trainee, as defined in subdivision (g)
of Section 4999.12 of the Business and Professions Code.
(40) A clinical counselor intern registered under Section 4999.42
of the Business and Professions Code.
(41) A commercial computer technician. As used in this article,
"commercial computer technician" means a person who works for a
company with 50 or more employees who, in that capacity, repairs,
installs, or otherwise services a computer or computer component,
including, but not limited to, a computer part, device, memory
storage or recording mechanism, auxiliary storage recording or memory
capacity, or any other materials relating to the operation and
maintenance of a computer or computer network system, for a fee.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (35) of subdivision (a),
volunteers of public or private organizations whose duties require
direct contact with and supervision of children are not mandated
reporters but are encouraged to obtain training in the identification
and reporting of child abuse and neglect and are further encouraged
to report known or suspected instances of child abuse or neglect to
an agency specified in Section 11165.9.
(c) Employers are strongly encouraged to provide their employees
who are mandated reporters with training in the duties imposed by
this article. This training shall include training in child abuse and
neglect identification and training in child abuse and neglect
reporting. Whether or not employers provide their employees with
training in child abuse and neglect identification and reporting, the
employers shall provide their employees who are mandated reporters
with the statement required pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section
11166.5.
(d) School districts that do not train their employees specified
in subdivision (a) in the duties of mandated reporters under the
child abuse reporting laws shall report to the State Department of
Education the reasons why this training is not provided.
(e) Unless otherwise specifically provided, the absence of
training shall not excuse a mandated reporter from the duties imposed
by this article.
(f) Public and private organizations are encouraged to provide
their volunteers whose duties require direct contact with and
supervision of children with training in the identification and
reporting of child abuse and neglect.
SEC. 2. Section 11166 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
11166. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (d), and in Section
11166.05, a mandated reporter shall make a report to an agency
specified in Section 11165.9 whenever the mandated reporter, in his
or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
employment, has knowledge of or observes a child whom the mandated
reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child
abuse or neglect. The mandated reporter shall make an initial report
by telephone to the agency immediately or as soon as is
practicably possible by telephone , and
the mandated reporter shall prepare and send,
fax, or electronically transmit a written followup report
thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information
concerning the incident. The mandated reporter may include with the
report any nonprivileged documentary evidence the mandated reporter
possesses relating to the incident.
(1) For purposes of this article, "reasonable suspicion" means
that it is objectively reasonable for a person to entertain a
suspicion, based upon facts that could cause a reasonable person in a
like position, drawing, when appropriate, on his or her training and
experience, to suspect child abuse or neglect. "Reasonable suspicion"
does not require certainty that child abuse or neglect has occurred
nor does it require a specific medical indication of child abuse or
neglect; any "reasonable suspicion" is sufficient. For the
purpose purposes of this article, the pregnancy
of a minor does not, in and of itself, constitute a basis for a
reasonable suspicion of sexual abuse.
(2) The agency shall be notified and a report shall be prepared
and sent, faxed, or electronically transmitted even if the child has
expired, regardless of whether or not the possible abuse was a factor
contributing to the death, and even if suspected child abuse was
discovered during an autopsy.
(3) Any report made by a mandated reporter pursuant to this
section shall be known as a mandated report.
(b) If after reasonable efforts a mandated reporter is unable to
submit an initial report by telephone, he or she shall immediately or
as soon as is practicably possible, by fax or electronic
transmission, make a one-time automated written report on the form
prescribed by the Department of Justice, and shall also be available
to respond to a telephone followup call by the agency with which he
or she filed the report. A mandated reporter who files a one-time
automated written report because he or she was unable to submit an
initial report by telephone is not required to submit a written
followup report.
(1) The one-time automated written report form prescribed by the
Department of Justice shall be clearly identifiable so that it is not
mistaken for a standard written followup report. In addition, the
automated one-time report shall contain a section that allows the
mandated reporter to state the reason the initial telephone call was
not able to be completed. The reason for the submission of the
one-time automated written report in lieu of the procedure prescribed
in subdivision (a) shall be captured in the Child Welfare
Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS). The department shall work
with stakeholders to modify reporting forms and the CWS/CMS as is
necessary to accommodate the changes enacted by these provisions.
(2) This subdivision shall not become operative until the CWS/CMS
is updated to capture the information prescribed in this subdivision.

(3) This subdivision shall become inoperative three years after
this subdivision becomes operative or on January 1, 2009, whichever
occurs first.
(4) On the inoperative date of these provisions, a report shall be
submitted to the counties and the Legislature by the Department of
Social Services that reflects the data collected from automated
one-time reports indicating the reasons stated as to why the
automated one-time report was filed in lieu of the initial telephone
report.
(5) Nothing in this section shall supersede the requirement that a
mandated reporter first attempt to make a report via telephone, or
that agencies specified in Section 11165.9 accept reports from
mandated reporters and other persons as required.
(c) Any mandated reporter who fails to report an incident of known
or reasonably suspected child abuse or neglect as required by this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months
confinement in a county jail or by a fine of one thousand dollars
($1,000) or by both that imprisonment and fine. If a mandated
reporter intentionally conceals his or her failure to report an
incident known by the mandated reporter to be abuse or severe neglect
under this section, the failure to report is a continuing offense
until an agency specified in Section 11165.9 discovers the offense.
(d) (1) A clergy member who acquires knowledge or a reasonable
suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential
communication is not subject to subdivision (a). For the purposes of
this subdivision, "penitential communication" means a communication,
intended to be in confidence, including, but not limited to, a
sacramental confession, made to a clergy member who, in the course of
the discipline or practice of his or her church, denomination, or
organization, is authorized or accustomed to hear those
communications, and under the discipline, tenets, customs, or
practices of his or her church, denomination, or organization, has a
duty to keep those communications secret.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to modify or
limit a clergy member's duty to report known or suspected child abuse
or neglect when the clergy member is acting in some other capacity
that would otherwise make the clergy member a mandated reporter.
(3) (A) On or before January 1, 2004, a clergy member or any
custodian of records for the clergy member may report to an agency
specified in Section 11165.9 that the clergy member or any custodian
of records for the clergy member, prior to January 1, 1997, in his or
her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
employment, other than during a penitential communication, acquired
knowledge or had a reasonable suspicion that a child had been the
victim of sexual abuse that the clergy member or any custodian of
records for the clergy member did not previously report the abuse to
an agency specified in Section 11165.9. The provisions of Section
11172 shall apply to all reports made pursuant to this paragraph.
(B) This paragraph shall apply even if the victim of the known or
suspected abuse has reached the age of majority by the time the
required report is made.
(C) The local law enforcement agency shall have jurisdiction to
investigate any report of child abuse made pursuant to this paragraph
even if the report is made after the victim has reached the age of
majority.
(e) (1) Any commercial film and photographic
print processor o r commercial computer technician
who has knowledge of or observes , within
the scope of his or her professional capacity or employment, has
knowledge of or observes any film, photograph, videotape,
negative, or slide , or computer file,
including a picture, graphic, or image that is retrievable in
perceivable form and that is intentionally saved, transmitted, or
organized on an electronic medium, depicting a child
under the age of 16 years engaged in who appears to be
under 16 years of age being subject to, or involved in, an act
of sexual conduct, shall immediately, or as soon as practicably
possible, make an initial report by telephone of
the instance of suspected child abuse to
the a local, state, or federal law enforcement
agency having jurisdiction over the case immediately, or as
soon as practicably possible, by telephone and shall
located in the county in which the images are seen, and, within 36
hours of receiving the information concerning the incident, shall
prepare and send, fax, or electronically transmit a written
followup report of it with a
copy of the film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide attached
within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the incident
brief description of the images. A report filed with
the CyberTipline at the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children shall fulfill the requirement for a commercial computer
technician to make a report pursuant to this section . As used
in this subdivision, "sexual conduct" means any of the following:

(1)
(A) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital,
oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of
the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals.
(2)
(B) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object.

(3)
(C) Masturbation for the purpose of sexual stimulation
of the viewer.
(4)
(D) Sadomasochistic abuse for the purpose of sexual
stimulation of the viewer.
(5)
(E) Exhibition of the genitals, pubic, or rectal areas
of any person for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer.

(2) As used in this subdivision, "electronic medium" includes, but
is not limited to, a recording, CD-ROM, magnetic disk memory,
magnetic tape memory, CD, DVD, thumbdrive, or any other computer
hardware or media.
(f) Any mandated reporter who knows or reasonably suspects that
the home or institution in which a child resides is unsuitable for
the child because of abuse or neglect of the child shall bring the
condition to the attention of the agency to which, and at the same
time as, he or she makes a report of the abuse or neglect pursuant to
subdivision (a).
(g) Any other person who has knowledge of or observes a child whom
he or she knows or reasonably suspects has been a victim of child
abuse or neglect may report the known or suspected instance of child
abuse or neglect to an agency specified in Section 11165.9. For
purposes of this section, "any other person" includes a mandated
reporter who acts in his or her private capacity and not in his or
her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her
employment.
(h) When two or more persons, who are required to report, jointly
have knowledge of a known or suspected instance of child abuse or
neglect, and when there is agreement among them, the telephone report
may be made by a member of the team selected by mutual agreement and
a single report may be made and signed by the selected member of the
reporting team. Any member who has knowledge that the member
designated to report has failed to do so shall thereafter make the
report.
(i) (1) The reporting duties under this section are individual,
and no supervisor or administrator may impede or inhibit the
reporting duties, and no person making a report shall be subject to
any sanction for making the report. However, internal procedures to
facilitate reporting and apprise supervisors and administrators of
reports may be established provided that they are not inconsistent
with this article.
(2) The internal procedures shall not require any employee
required to make reports pursuant to this article to disclose his or
her identity to the employer.
(3) Reporting the information regarding a case of possible child
abuse or neglect to an employer, supervisor, school principal, school
counselor, coworker, or other person shall not be a substitute for
making a mandated report to an agency specified in Section 11165.9.
(j) A county probation or welfare department shall immediately, or
as soon as practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or
electronic transmission to the law enforcement agency having
jurisdiction over the case, to the agency given the responsibility
for investigation of cases under Section 300 of the Welfare and
Institutions Code, and to the district attorney's office every known
or suspected instance of child abuse or neglect, as defined in
Section 11165.6, except acts or omissions coming within subdivision
(b) of Section 11165.2, or reports made pursuant to Section 11165.13
based on risk to a child which relates solely to the inability of the
parent to provide the child with regular care due to the parent's
substance abuse, which shall be reported only to the county welfare
or probation department. A county probation or welfare department
also shall send, fax, or electronically transmit a written report
thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the
incident to any agency to which it makes a telephone report under
this subdivision.
(k) A law enforcement agency shall immediately, or as soon as
practicably possible, report by telephone, fax, or electronic
transmission to the agency given responsibility for investigation of
cases under Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and to
the district attorney's office every known or suspected instance of
child abuse or neglect reported to it, except acts or omissions
coming within subdivision (b) of Section 11165.2, which shall be
reported only to the county welfare or probation department. A law
enforcement agency shall report to the county welfare or probation
department every known or suspected instance of child abuse or
neglect reported to it which is alleged to have occurred as a result
of the action of a person responsible for the child's welfare, or as
the result of the failure of a person responsible for the child's
welfare to adequately protect the minor from abuse when the person
responsible for the child's welfare knew or reasonably should have
known that the minor was in danger of abuse. A law enforcement agency
also shall send, fax, or electronically transmit a written report
thereof within 36 hours of receiving the information concerning the
incident to any agency to which it makes a telephone report under
this subdivision.
SEC. 3. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.

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