LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bill signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown will require parents and/or guardians to be notified when their children are added to a statewide gang database.
Senate Bill 458 is aimed at closing an apparent loophole that allowed children as young as ten years old to be added to the CalGang database with no legal requirement that their parents or guardians be notified of their inclusion.
SB458, which was authored by State Senator Roderick Wright (D-South Los Angeles) and passed unanimously by the California State Senate in May, would give parents and/or guardians access to gang intervention services or the opportunity to appeal the inclusion if their child is falsely accused.
Established in 2003, the CalGang Database can only be accessed by law enforcement agencies and is used to add people to gang injunctions, support arguments for enhanced sentencing in court and can even be used to disqualify families from living in public housing.
Wright said the legislation is an important safety net for some of the most vulnerable residents of South L.A. and other communities.
“The current system ignores clear opportunities for early intervention to steer children away from gangs,” said Wright. “Under this bill, law enforcement can partner with parents to lead children down the right path, instead of simply putting them under surveillance until they run afoul of the law and end up in jail.”