Initial Statement of Reasons
Regulatory ActionsTITLE 15. DEPARTMENT OF THE YOUTH AUTHORITY
California Code of Regulations, Title 15, Division 4, Chapter 3, Subchapter 3, Article 2
Religious Services to Wards
Adopt Sections 4750 and 4750.1; Amend Section 4751
INITIAL STATEMENT OF REASONS
Public Problem. Administrative Requirement or Other Condition or Circumstance that the Regulation Is Intended to Address
Section 1712 of the Welfare and Institutions Code assigns responsibility to the Department of the Youth Authority (Department) to make and enforce all rules appropriate to the proper accomplishment of the functions of the Department. State and federal constitutions grant the right of freedom of religion to all. Section 1705 of the Welfare and Institutions Code states that it is the intention of the Legislature that all persons in the custody of an institution under the supervision of the Department of the Youth Authority shall be afforded reasonable opportunities to exercise religious freedom. Regulations are needed in order for the Department to comply with these state and federal constitutional and statutory mandates.
Specific Purpose of the Regulation:
The proposed regulations will ensure that the Department allows wards the reasonable opportunity to participate in religious services and programs and be afforded the reasonable opportunity to exercise religious freedom without discrimination or preference unless such is inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts.
The specific purpose of each section is described as follows:
- Section 4750 is adopted to define the terms referred to in the regulations.
- Section 4750.1 is adopted to ensure that the Department allows wards reasonable opportunity to participate in religious services and programs. It also includes definitions for clarity purposes and defines when wards may be restricted from attending religious services and programs. This section also allows wards to express their religious tenets and personal religious convictions through the observance of religious holy days, grooming, personal property, literature and diet, and describes religious practices and activities which may be restricted. Finally, the section addresses the restriction on proselytizing and the chaplains' duty to facilitate services or counseling with a faith group leader or volunteer if religious services of a ward's faith are not available.
- Section 4751 is amended to require a chaplain to notify the Superintendent immediately of any information which a ward has divulged that may impact the safety and/or security of an individual ward or the facility, if to do so will not violate the chaplain's religious tenets.
To comply with Welfare and Institutions Code section 1705, as well as state and federal constitutional mandates, t he proposed regulations are necessary to ensure that the Department allows wards the reasonable opportunity to participate in religious services and programs and be afforded reasonable opportunities to exercise religious freedom without discrimination or preference, unless such is inconsistent with the safety and/or security of the facility or promotes violence or illegal acts.
Technical, Theoretical, and/or Empirical Study, Reports, or Documents
The Department did not rely upon any other technical, theoretical, or empirical studies, reports, or documents in proposing the adoption and amendment of these regulations.
Reasonable Alternatives to the Proposed Regulatory Action
The Department finds that no reasonable alternatives to the proposed regulatory action are necessary, as the proposed regulatory action is necessary to comply with Welfare and Institutions Code section 1705 as well as federal constitutional and statutory mandates.
Alternatives to the Proposed Regulatory Action that Would Lessen Any Adverse Economic Impact on Small Business
The Department finds that no alternatives to lessen any adverse economic impact on small businesses are necessary because the proposed regulatory action applies only to wards under the care and custody of the Department and is not applicable to small businesses.
Impact on Businesses
The Department has made an initial determination that the adoption of the proposed regulation will not have a significant statewide adverse economic impact directly affecting businesses, including the ability of California businesses to compete with businesses in other states, because the management of the Department of the Youth Authority facilities does not affect California businesses.