Juvenile Justice Comissions and the Brown Act
Q: Are the meetings of Juvenile Justice Commissions, which are entities created by California W & I Code Set. 225, governed by the Brown Act?
A: State agencies are not subject to the Brown Act. However, unless expressly excluded, state agencies are subject to the provisions of the Bagley-Keene Act, which is similar to the Brown Act.
The Juvenile Justice Commissions are commissions created by statute, which makes them “state bodies” under the section 11121 of Bagley-Keene Act. Gov’t Code § 11121. As far as we can determine, no section of the Bagley-Keene Act expressly excludes The Juvenile Justice Commissions.
However, the Welfare & Institutions Code does require that the commissions shall respect the confidentiality of minors’ records (including the names of the minors) and other information protected by law. And, under California Penal Code § 6027 and the Bagley-Keene Act itself (in section 11126 (c)(12)), Board of Corrections studies on crime, including penology, may be reported in closed sessions. However, this does not appear to relate to the activities of the Juvenile Justice Commissions per se.
Consequently, it appears that meetings of the Juvenile Justice Commissions should be subject to the requirements of the Bagley-Keene Act, provided that the names of minors and certain other information are not publicly discussed in those meetings.