HCS CSSB 289(JUD): "An Act relating to runaways, other minors, and their families or legal custodians."
00HOUSE CS FOR CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 289(JUD) 01 "An Act relating to runaways, other minors, and their families or legal 02 custodians." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. FINDINGS; PURPOSE. (a) The legislature finds that 05 (1) the number of runaway minors in this state is a significant problem that 06 is a threat to the public health and safety as well as to the individual health and safety of the 07 minors who, because of their runaway status, are without the care and protection of their 08 families; 09 (2) some adults who harbor runaway minors do not serve the best interests of 10 the minors, particularly when they encourage them to be absent from school and to remain 11 away from the custody of their parents, and current laws have been largely unenforceable 12 against these adults because of the broadly worded exceptions they contain; and 13 (3) in most circumstances, runaway minors would be best cared for by their 14 parents and other family members.
01 (b) The purpose of this Act is to address the problem of runaway minors by tightening 02 up the laws designed to penalize the adults who inappropriately harbor runaways so that those 03 laws are more enforceable, to require facilities for runaway minors to be more secure, and to 04 require facilities for runaway minors to more promptly assess the minors' needs and notify 05 the minors' parents of their presence in the facility. The legislature intends, through this Act, 06 to better fulfill its responsibility to protect runaway minors and to meet its goal of returning 07 them as quickly as possible to the custody and control of their parents in all appropriate 08 circumstances. 09 * Sec. 2. AS 11.51.130(a) is amended to read: 10 (a) A person commits the crime of contributing to the delinquency of a minor 11 if, being 19 years of age or older or being under 19 years of age and having the 12 disabilities of minority removed for general purposes under AS 09.55.590, the person 13 aids, induces, causes, or encourages a child 14 (1) under 18 years of age to do any act prohibited by state law unless 15 the child's disabilities of minority have been removed for general purposes under 16 AS 09.55.590; 17 (2) under 18 years of age to enter or remain in the same room in a 18 building where the unlawful sale of a drug occurs unless the child's disabilities of 19 minority have been removed for general purposes under AS 09.55.590; 20 (3) under 16 years of age to be repeatedly absent from school, without 21 just cause; or 22 (4) under 18 years of age to be absent from the custody of a parent, 23 guardian, or custodian without the knowledge or permission of the parent, guardian, 24 or custodian [JUST CAUSE], unless the child's disabilities of minority have been 25 removed for general purposes under AS 09.55.590 or the person has immunity under 26 AS 47.10.350 or 47.10.398(a); it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under 27 this paragraph that, at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant 28 (A) reasonably believed that the child was in danger of 29 physical injury or in need of temporary shelter; and 30 (B) within 12 hours after taking the actions comprising the 31 alleged offense, notified a peace officer, a law enforcement agency, or the
01 Department of Health and Social Services of the name of the child and the 02 child's location. 03 * Sec. 3. AS 47.10.140(d) is amended to read: 04 (d) If the court finds that probable cause exists for believing the minor to be 05 a delinquent, the court [, IT] shall determine whether the minor should be detained 06 pending the hearing on the delinquency petition or released. It may either order the 07 minor held in detention or released to the custody of the department or other [A] 08 suitable person pending the hearing on the petition. If the court finds no probable 09 cause for believing the minor to be a delinquent, it shall order the minor released 10 to the minor's legal custodian and close the case. 11 * Sec. 4. AS 47.10.141(b) is amended to read: 12 (b) A peace officer shall take into protective custody a minor described in (a) 13 of this section if the minor is not otherwise subject to arrest or detention. Unless (c) 14 of this section applies, the peace officer shall [EXERCISE THE OFFICER'S 15 DISCRETION AND] (1) return the minor to the legal custodian at the legal 16 custodian's residence if the legal custodian consents to the return except that the 17 officer may not use this option if the officer has reasonable cause to believe 18 [SUSPECT] that the minor has experienced physical or sexual abuse in the legal 19 custodian's household; (2) take the minor to a nearby location agreed to by [THE 20 MINOR AND] the legal custodian if the legal custodian does not consent to return 21 of the minor under (1) of this subsection or the officer is precluded from using 22 that option because of a reasonable cause to believe that the minor has 23 experienced physical or sexual abuse in the legal custodian's household; or (3) if 24 disposition of the minor is not made under (1) or (2) of this subsection, take the 25 minor to an office specified by the Department of Health and Social Services, a 26 program for runaway minors licensed by the department under AS 47.10.310, a shelter 27 for runaways that has a permit from the department under AS 47.35.085 that agrees 28 to shelter the minor, or a facility or contract agency of the department. If the peace 29 officer plans to take the minor to an office, program, shelter, or facility under (3) 30 of this subsection, the peace officer shall give the highest priority to taking the 31 minor to an office, program, shelter, or facility that is semi-secure. If an office
01 specified by the department, a licensed program for runaway minors, a shelter for 02 runaways that will accept the minor, or a facility or contract agency of the department 03 does not exist in the community, the officer shall take the minor to another suitable 04 location and promptly notify the department. A minor under protective custody may 05 not be housed in a jail or other detention facility but may be housed in a semi-secure 06 portion of an office, program, shelter, or other facility under (3) of this 07 subsection. Immediately upon taking a minor into protective custody, the officer shall 08 advise the minor of available mediation services and [ORALLY AND IN WRITING] 09 of the right to social services under AS 47.10.142(b), and, if known, the officer shall 10 advise the legal custodian that the minor has been taken into protective custody and 11 that counseling services for the custodian and the minor's household may be available 12 under AS 47.10.142(b). 13 * Sec. 5. AS 47.10.141(e) is amended to read: 14 (e) In this section, 15 (1) "law enforcement agency" has the meaning given in AS 12.36.090; 16 (2) "semi-secure" means operated according to standards that may 17 be established by the department in regulations that are designed to require a 18 level of security that will reasonably ensure that, if a minor leaves without 19 permission, the minor's act of leaving will be immediately noticed. 20 * Sec. 6. AS 47.10.141 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 21 (f) In the absence of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, an office, 22 program, shelter, or facility, or an employee of an office, program, shelter, or facility, 23 to which a minor is taken by a peace officer for semi-secure custody is not subject to 24 civil or criminal liability based on the minor's leaving the office, program, shelter, or 25 facility without permission unless the office, program, shelter, or facility is not in 26 compliance with the department's regulations that set standards for semi-security and 27 the lack of compliance was a material factor in the minor's being able to leave without 28 permission. 29 * Sec. 7. AS 47.10.310(c) is amended to read: 30 (c) A program for runaway minors shall 31 (1) explain to a minor who seeks assistance from the program the legal
01 rights and responsibilities of runaway minors and the services and assistance provided 02 for runaway minors by the program and by the state or local municipality; 03 (2) upon admission of a minor to the program, attempt to determine 04 why the [A] minor [IN THE PROGRAM] is a runaway and what services may be 05 necessary or appropriate for reuniting the minor with the minor's family; 06 (3) provide or help arrange for the provision of services necessary to 07 promote the health and welfare of a minor in the program and, if appropriate, members 08 of the minor's family; services may include, but are not limited to, the provision of 09 food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and individual, group, or family counseling; 10 (4) within one state working day after admission of a minor to the 11 program [PROMPTLY] inform the department of a minor in the program 12 (A) who claims to be the victim of child abuse or neglect, as 13 defined in AS 47.17.290; 14 (B) whom an employee of the program has cause to believe has 15 been a victim of child abuse or neglect; or 16 (C) whom an employee of the program has reason to believe is 17 evading the supervision of the department, the person to whom the department 18 has entrusted supervision, or the minor's legal guardian; 19 (5) be operated with the goal of reuniting runaway minors with their 20 families, except in cases in which reunification is clearly contrary to the best interest 21 of the minor; and 22 (6) maintain adequate staffing and accommodations to ensure physical 23 security and to provide crisis services to minors residing in a facility operated by the 24 program; a program may maintain semi-secure portions of its facilities in a 25 proportion that meets regulations established by the department; residents under 26 18 years of age shall be segregated from residents who are 18 years of age or older. 27 * Sec. 8. AS 47.10.390 is amended by adding a new paragraph to read: 28 (3) "semi-secure" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.141(e). 29 * Sec. 9. AS 47.10.394(b) is amended to read: 30 (b) The provider of a shelter for runaways shall promptly, but within one state 31 working day [48 HOURS], inform the department of a runaway minor in the shelter
01 (1) who claims to be the victim of child abuse or neglect, as defined 02 in AS 47.17.290; 03 (2) whom the provider has reasonable cause to suspect has been a 04 victim of child abuse or neglect; or 05 (3) whom the provider has reason to believe is evading the supervision 06 of the department, the person to whom the department has entrusted supervision, or the 07 minor's legal guardian.