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AB 2761 – Imposes Additional Reporting Requirements For In-Custody Deaths
Under existing law, Government Code section 12525, any time a person dies while in the custody of a law enforcement agency or a state or local correctional facility, the law enforcement agency or the agency in charge of the correctional facility must make a report to the Attorney General. The report must be made within 10 days of the death and must include all facts in the agency’s possession regarding the death. Existing law also categorically defines these reports as public records open to public inspection.
AB 2761 enacts new and more specific requirements for reporting in-custody deaths. The bill requires that when a person in custody dies, the agency with jurisdiction over the state or local correctional facility that had custodial responsibility over the person must post all of the following on its website:
- The full name of the agency with custodial responsibility.
- The county where the death occurred.
- The facility, and location within that facility, where the death occurred.
- The race, gender, and age of the decedent.
- The date on which the death occurred.
- The custodial status of the decedent (e.g. whether they were awaiting arraignment, awaiting trial, or incarcerated).
- The manner and means of death.
The information must generally be posted within 10 days of the date of death. However, if the agency has been unable to notify the next of kin first, the bill gives the agency an additional 10 days to do so before the information must be posted publicly. If any of the posted information changes, for example, if more information comes to light about the cause of death, the agency must update the posting within 30 days.
As written, AB 2761 clearly applies to the death of an individual who is in the custody of a state or local correctional facility. However, it is currently unclear whether it would apply to the death of a person who is in the custody of a peace officer or law enforcement agency but not in the custody of a correctional facility.
(AB 2761 adds Section 10008 to the Penal Code.)