Truth to Protect Youth Passes Committee

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Assemblymember Chris Holden’s bill,  Juvenile Custodial Interrogations bill  which prohibits the use of statements made by youth (25 years of age or younger) as evidence in criminal or juvenile court proceedings if they were made during interrogations where law enforcement used threats, physical harm, deception, or psychologically manipulative tactics. Assembly Bill 2644, passed the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. The bill aims to further, a national movement to confront this serious issue of law enforcements’ use of deceptive interrogation tactics on youth.

“Protecting our youth ensures the prevention of innocent youth from entering the prison system,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “The future for youth is bright, AB 2644 helps the next generation shine their light and truth.” 

According to the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY), false confessions are one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions, accounting for roughly 25% of all convictions that were later overturned based on DNA evidence. In 2017, the Legislature approved, and Governor Brown signed AB 1308 (Stone), which requires the Board of Parole Hearings to conduct youth offender parole hearings for offenders that were 25 years of age or younger at the time of the offense.

AB 2644 recognizes that this age range should also be shielded from improper interrogation methods.  The bill closely follows newly enacted laws in Illinois, the first state to pass legislation that prohibits police officers from using deceptive interrogations tactics on children, and Oregon.