Bonta Legislation Strengthens Principled Policing, Improves Outcomes for Boys and Men of Color, and Protects Women from Violence

Friday, February 19, 2016

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) today introduced a package of critical public safety bills that prioritize police reform, improve life outcomes for boys and men of color, and expand support for victims of violent crimes, including victims escaping from violent living environments and victims of human trafficking.

AB 2160 expands the resources provided to victims of violent crime to facilitate their healing and recovery.

“AB 2160  helps California meet the needs of crime victims and their advocates---from the woman who stays with her abusive spouse because she can’t afford to leave, to the single father who is missing work to care for a child who witnessed gun violence.”

Inadequate compensation for child care and transportation are two of the most common barriers preventing a victim from accessing medical care, mental health services, or legal appointments. AB 2160 reduces these barriers by reimbursing victims for their associated child care and transportation costs. Additionally, many victims in abusive relationships want to leave, but the abuser keeps them financially dependent. AB 2160 lifts that barrier by paying to relocate and house victims fleeing their abusers.

As Chairs of the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, Assemblymembers Bonta and Reginald Jones Sawyer, Sr., jointly authored AB 2626, to provide cutting-edge training for law enforcement that improves community-police relations and helps address implicit bias.

Bonta explained why the bill is a priority for him. “Oakland Police Department and our community partners have taken a leading role in developing this principled policing training. We know that working with the community, and truly understanding the community’s experiences, can reduce crime and promote respect for the rule of law.”

Jones-Sawyer noted, “Building a solid foundation for trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve is paramount. AB 2626 will establish statewide training for procedural justice to better promote the fair and just treatment of all citizens.”

Principled policing combines procedural justice and implicit bias in a new training paradigm which has a proven track record of improving community relations and creating safer streets for all. Last year, Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office created the first principled policing course to be certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Status and Training (POST). AB 2626 would require POST to offer a procedural justice course twice a year. Attorney General Kamala Harris is the sponsor of AB 2626.

Bonta also introduced AB 2498 to protect human trafficking victims’ privacy and help expedite the prosecution of exploiters and buyers involved in human trafficking.

“In order to confront the human trafficking epidemic, we must protect victims and swiftly bring exploiters and buyers to justice. With AB 2498, victims’ privacy will be preserved and prosecutions will be fast-tracked through the courts, allowing victims to find justice and move on with their lives.”

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Health Committee, the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color, and in the second Extraordinary Session, the Public Health and Developmental Services Committee. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Joint Legislative Budget, Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, Natural Resources, and Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.