In a significant step toward combating the heinous crime of human trafficking, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) has proven his exceptional leadership by successfully shepherding a crucial measure through the Assembly Public Safety Committee. This legislative initiative, known as Senate Bill 236, aims to protect human trafficking victims and facilitate the prosecution of perpetrators. With bipartisan support and a focus on empowering District Attorneys, Leader Jones has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to safeguarding vulnerable individuals and seeking justice for those who have suffered.
Leader Jones’s passionate advocacy for human trafficking victims is evident in his heartfelt statement, where he firmly characterizes human trafficking as a modern-day form of slavery. His unwavering determination to hold accountable those who exploit others for personal gain is commendable and indicative of his strong moral compass. The unanimous approval of SB 236 by the Assembly Public Safety Committee is a testament to Leader Jones’s ability to garner support across party lines for vital humanitarian causes.
At the core of Senate Bill 236 lies the provision for funding District Attorneys’ “vertical prosecution” teams dedicated to human trafficking cases. Unlike the traditional prosecution system, where different attorneys handle separate stages or charges of a case, vertical prosecution empowers a single prosecutor to remain involved throughout the entire process. By ensuring continuity and consistency, this approach significantly eases the burden on victims, allowing them to build and maintain a trusting relationship with one prosecutor.
Leader Jones’s commitment to facilitating justice for human trafficking victims is further reflected in his corresponding budget request of $2.6 million to establish a grant program for District Attorney Offices. The program’s purpose is to create and sustain vertical prosecution programs specifically tailored to handle human trafficking cases effectively. This financial support will enhance the capacity of law enforcement to pursue perpetrators relentlessly and bring them to justice.
The broad-based support that SB 236 has garnered is a testament to Leader Jones’s ability to rally stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. Supported by the California District Attorneys Association, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the City of San Marcos, San Diegans Against Crime, and others, this measure has united advocates against human trafficking under one common banner.
The Assembly Public Safety Committee’s bipartisan 7-0 vote in favor of SB 236, with additional support from Assemblymembers across party lines, demonstrates Leader Jones’s effectiveness in building consensus around critical issues. By transcending partisan divides and bringing together individuals who recognize the urgency of addressing human trafficking, Leader Jones has proven himself as a unifying force in the pursuit of justice.
SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) announced that his measure to protect human trafficking victims and make it easier to prosecute human trafficking perpetrators unanimously passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
“Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery,” said Leader Jones. “The evil people who buy and sell humans for their own benefit must be convicted to prevent further trauma for all victims. This bill will help bring justice to human trafficking victims and prevent further exploitation of innocent people by putting perpetrators behind bars. Thank you to the members of the Assembly Public Safety Committee for understanding the importance of this issue and moving the bill forward.”
Specifically, Senate Bill 236 provides funding to District Attorneys for a “vertical prosecution” team to prosecute human trafficking cases. Vertical prosecution allows one prosecutor to stay with a human trafficking case from start to finish, rather than the traditional prosecution system where different prosecutors are responsible for each step of the process or each separate criminal charge. Click here for the SB 236 factsheet.
These vertical prosecution programs ease strain on victims, as they are able to develop and maintain a relationship with a single prosecutor throughout the process as opposed to repeatedly having to redevelop their relationship with a new district attorney each step of the way. By having one district attorney responsible for prosecuting the case throughout all jurisdictions and charges, the prosecution process is streamlined and more effective.
Leader Jones submitted a corresponding budget request of $2.6 million to create a grant program for District Attorney Offices to establish or maintain vertical prosecution programs for the purpose of prosecuting human trafficking cases. Click here for the budget request letter.
SB 236 is supported by the California District Attorneys Association, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, the City of San Marcos, San Diegans Against Crime, and others.
The measure unanimously passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee on a bipartisan 7-0 vote with Assemblymembers Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (D-South Los Angeles), Juan Alanis (R-Modesto), Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Liz Ortega (D-San Leandro), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Corey Jackson (D-Moreno Valley) supporting the measure. Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) did not vote. SB 236 will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
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