Child Safety: AB 1817 Passes!

 By Cameron Knauerhaze

One more step to ensure our children’s safety was made with the passing of AB 1817. This is an excellent example of the importance of our society keeping pace with the technology animal. Computers harbor a degree of anonymity that helps the once overt predator work far below the radar. Well, not for long. Laws like this will continue to aid law enforcement in identifying predators and aid in prosecution. In essence this is what the law entails according to staff at

Existing law, the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to report whenever he or she, in his or her professional capacity or within the scope of his or her employment, has knowledge of or observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim of child abuse or neglect. Failure to report an incident is a crime punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of 6 months, a fine of up to $1,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine.

This bill would expand the list of persons identified as mandated reporters to include commercial computer technicians, as defined.

Existing law requires any commercial film and photographic print processor who has knowledge of or observed in his or her professional capacity or employment any film, photograph, videotape, negative, or slide depicting a child under 16 years of age engaging in an act of sexual conduct to report the instance of suspected child abuse to a law enforcement agency, as specified.

This bill would in addition make those provisions applicable to commercial computer technicians, and instead require a report to be made when those individuals have knowledge of or observe a child who appears to be under 16 years of age being subject to or involved in an act of sexual conduct. The bill would make those provisions applicable to a picture, graphic, or image that is intentionally saved, transmitted, or organized on an electronic medium, as defined. The bill would revise the agencies to which those individuals may report an incident of suspected abuse.

This bill would also make technical, nonsubstantive changes and would update a cross-reference.

By imposing the reporting requirements on a new class of persons, for whom failure to report specified conduct is a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.