What Does Assembly Bill Number 901 Do?
Assembly Bill number 901 (AB 901) focuses on the juvenile system in California. AB 901 does the following:
- Stops referring children and/or teens into probation programs who are having problems at school;
- Stops the juvenile court from having authority to sentence a minor to be a ward of the court because the minor has refused to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of school authorities;
- Stops a probation department from taking specified actions as part of providing services or programs to minors, not on probation;
- Requires the District Attorney and the probation officer to cooperate in determining whether another public agency, community-based organization, the probation department or the District Attorney is best able to operate a truancy mediation program that is best able to.
When Was AB 901 Approved and Filed with the Secretary of State?
AB 901 was approved by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on September 30, 2020.
What Was the Law Before AB 901 was Approved?
Before AB 901 was approved, minors could be referred to a school attendance review board or to the probation department for services if:
- the probation department decided to receive such referrals;
- the minor is consistently absent from school;
- the minor is consistently insubordinate or disorderly at school.
Additionally, before AB 901 was approved, the law would place a person who is between 12 and 17 years old within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and could become a ward of the court for certain offenses, including:
- the minor refusing to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of their parents;
- the minor is consistently absent from school.
How was a Minor Considered Consistently Absent?
A minor was considered consistently absent if they missed three (3) or more days in one school year and a school employee made at least one attempt to intervene with the minor’s parent or guardian.
What Does It Mean to be a Ward of the Court?
When a minor is determined to be a ward of the court, this means they fall under the court’s control and responsibility.