Civil Rights

Attorney General Bonta Releases State of Pride Report in Honor of LGBTQ+ Pride Month

June 20, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

State of Pride Report highlights DOJ’s actions to defend and expand civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community in spite of ongoing threats to justice and equality, includes new LGBTQ+ hate crimes data 

OAKLAND — Today, in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a new “State of Pride Report” highlighting the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent actions to support, uplift, and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ communities across California and beyond. Pride Month is a time to celebrate the beautiful strength and diversity of LGBTQ+ communities, as well as to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices, and historic accomplishments of the LBGTQ+ civil rights movement. Despite the immense progress that has been achieved, more work remains to be done. Amidst alarming and increasing attacks on LGBTQ+ communities — from far-reaching book bans to states across the nation pushing discriminatory policies — DOJ remains steadfast in its commitment to fight alongside LGBTQ+ communities in pursuit of justice and equality.

“I stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ+ community this Pride Month and every month. Regardless of how you identify or who you love, everyone deserves to be safe, healthy, prosperous, and celebrated for who they are,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today’s report shows the California Department of Justice’s continued commitment to defending, expanding, and advancing LGBTQ+ rights. It also highlights the work that remains to be done to ensure equality and promote the rights and well-being of LGTBQ+ individuals and their communities. As the People’s Attorney, I’m proud to celebrate the beautiful diversity of our LGBTQ+ communities and recommit to fighting alongside them.”

Key data points in the State of Pride Report depict the reality of hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals: 

  • In 2023, 2.8 million people in this state identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — the largest number of any state in the nation at 9.5%.
  • Data reported to DOJ in 2023 shows that between 2022 and 2023, there were 405 reported hate crime events motivated by sexual orientation bias (an increase of 4.1% from the previous year), 76 hate crime events motivated by anti-transgender or anti-gender-nonconforming bias (an increase of 7.04% from the previous year), and 151 hate crime events motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bias (an increase of 86.4% from the previous year).
  • In 2023 alone, more than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills were introduced in U.S. state legislatures — a record-breaking number, and nearly three times higher than the count from 2022, which was the previous record.
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most recent annual crime report showed a nearly 14% increase in reports of hate crimes nationally based on sexual orientation and a nearly 33% increase in reports of hate crimes nationwide based on gender identity.
  • In 2023, a total of 21 bills requiring forced outing in schools by teachers and school staff were introduced in state legislatures across the U.S., and so far in 2024, 59 such bills have already been introduced in multiple states.

The State of Pride Report presents detailed insights into DOJ’s latest initiatives to confront hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. The report emphasizes the importance of the Attorney General’s Hate Crime Rapid Response Protocol, which equips local law enforcement with the essential resources to efficiently handle significant hate crimes and extremism. Furthermore, DOJ is committed to combating discrimination in classrooms, sports, healthcare, and public spaces. The report focuses on DOJ’s work to cultivate safe environments for LGBTQ+ students free from bullying, enable transgender athletes to participate in sports aligned with their gender identity, offer LGBTQ+ individuals access to gender-affirming healthcare, and advocate for inclusive public business accommodations, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The State of Pride Report also underscores the ongoing adversities LGBTQ+ individuals face in California and nationwide. Despite considerable progress, many LGBTQ+ individuals still experience discrimination, harassment, and violence in their daily lives. Transgender individuals are especially vulnerable, facing high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. These challenges demonstrate the need for ongoing protective efforts to uphold and expand LGBTQ+ individuals’ rights, enable all individuals to live free from discrimination and violence, and collaborate toward creating a more just and inclusive society.

Attorney General Bonta is committed to defending the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. On August 28, 2023, he announced a lawsuit to immediately halt the enforcement of the Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education’s (Board) mandatory gender identity disclosure policy and, on October 19, 2023, he secured a preliminary injunction enjoining the policy. Attorney General Bonta subsequently filed a motion for final judgment to ensure that the Board does not reenact or implement their forced outing policy. Earlier this year, he issued two legal alerts addressed to all California county, school district, and charter school boards and superintendents: one warning them against forced gender identity disclosure policies, and the other emphasizing their obligation to provide inclusive curricula, instructional materials, and books that reflect the roles and contributions of California’s diverse population. He also commended a district court’s decision upholding a state law that provides legal protections for families who come to California to obtain gender-affirming care that is inaccessible where they live, as well as doctors and staff providing such care in California.

The State of Pride Report can be accessed here. For additional information on hate crimes please visit here.


Attorney General Bonta Leads Coalition in Support of Increased Protections Against Sex Based Discrimination for All Students, Amidst Conservative Attacks on Title IX Final Rule

June 12, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta, New Jersey Attorney General Mathew J. Platkin, and Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle A. Henry today led a coalition of 16 attorneys general in filing a multistate amicus brief in the Western District of Louisiana in support of the U.S. Department of Education’s 2024 Title IX Final Rule amidst several lawsuits filed by Republican states attorneys general and groups seeking to undermine the rule’s enhanced protections. The final rule restores strong protections against sexual harassment and assault and reinforces critical protections for LGBTQ+ students. Today’s announcement comes shortly after the California Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss without prejudice its lawsuit against the Trump administration's Title IX Rule that severely weakened prohibitions against sex-based discrimination in light of the Biden administration’s issuance of the final rule. In today’s amicus brief, the multistate coalition stresses the importance of implementing the new rule nationwide to ensure that our schools operate free from sex discrimination.

“Title IX has been vital to providing safe and welcoming schools for all students since its enactment in 1972, and the Biden administration’s final rule enhances safeguards against discrimination and protections for all students,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Today’s brief is a testament to our commitment to ensure an equal education free from discrimination. Conservative attacks on policies that protect students across the nation will not stand. I will continue to use all of my resources to fight for these important protections for all students.”

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requires that students receive an educational environment free from discrimination based on sex, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Following the Biden administration’s issuance of the final rule, several conservative attorneys general moved to quickly file lawsuits challenging the rule, and sought to stop the rule from going into effect on August 1, 2024. In today’s brief, the coalition states cite protecting students from discrimination on the basis of sex dramatically improves economic, psychological, health, employment, and educational outcomes for these individuals, yielding broad benefits without imposing significant costs on schools or compromising student privacy or safety. 

In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Bonta is joined by the attorneys general of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the amicus brief is available here.

Attorney General Bonta Applauds Biden Administration’s Efforts to Reduce Barriers to Affordable Housing for Justice-Involved Individuals

June 10, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today submitted a comment letter in support of a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that would reduce barriers to HUD-assisted housing for individuals with past involvement in the criminal-legal system (justice-involved individuals). According to HUD, nearly a third of adult Americans have a criminal record. In California alone, approximately eight million individuals have some form of criminal record. In today’s comment letter, Attorney General Bonta underscores that affordable housing is vital to the successful reentry of justice-involved individuals and reducing recidivism. He also urges HUD to make several changes to the proposed rule to strengthen its effectiveness.   

“Reducing barriers to affordable housing is critical, particularly for those in our communities who have experienced interactions with the criminal justice system. Current research shows that these justice-involved individuals — who are disproportionately Californians of color — struggle to find housing, and too often, end up homeless,” said Attorney General Bonta. “We cannot ignore this reality; we must face it head on. At its core, the Biden Administration’s proposed rule seeks to promote second chances, and I am proud to support it.”

HUD-assisted housing includes both HUD-subsidized housing (e.g., payments to Public Housing Agencies to develop and operate housing for low-income families) as well as housing choice vouchers (e.g., rental subsidies to low-income renters in the private market). There are over half-a-million HUD-subsidized housing units in California, housing nearly one million low-income individuals and families. Over 300,000 households use housing choice vouchers to rent their homes in California. 

In the comment letter, Attorney General Bonta explains that the proposed rule balances justice-involved individuals’ need for safe, affordable housing with housing providers’ interest in maintaining the safety of their tenants and staffs. Specifically, he writes that:

  • The proposed rule would generally prohibit consideration of a criminal activity that occurred more than three years prior to an application  a so-called "lookback period" — which is consistent with research showing that recidivism rates and the risk of future criminal activity decrease over time and with age, especially in households receiving housing subsidies. This provision also gives housing providers the flexibility to craft longer lookback periods where empirical evidence demonstrates that this is necessary to ensure the health and safety of tenants or property employees.
  • The proposed rule states that determinations of criminal activity must satisfy a preponderance of the evidence standard. This provides clear guidance to housing providers making admission, program termination, and eviction decisions. It also promotes fairness by requiring that housing providers meet the same evidentiary standard that is required in most civil housing matters.
  • The proposed rule’s support for state and local innovation in reducing barriers to housing in the Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Programs is critical. 

In the comment letter, Attorney General Bonta also recommends that HUD adopt the following changes: 

  • Clarify the proposed rule’s preemption language to promote greater compliance with, and ensure the effectiveness of, California’s strong legal protections in this area. Advocates have raised concerns about housing providers’ reluctance to follow California laws that provide additional housing protections for justice-involved people. Although the proposed rule states that it generally does not preempt state and local laws that provide additional protections, further clarity will help both tenants and housing providers. 
  • Expand the proposed rule to also exclude, in addition to arrest records, the use of non-conviction records; juvenile records; records of service calls to law enforcement; and conviction records where the person has obtained an expungement, pardon, or other post-conviction relief in housing decisions, as California law provides.
  • Expand the proposed rule’s lookback, procedural protections, and individualized assessment provisions to include, in addition to public housing operated by Public Housing Authorities, owners in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Voucher Programs.
  • Clarify that individualized assessment is required in eviction and termination decisions, not only admissions decisions. Individualized assessments take into account relevant information beyond that contained in a criminal record.
  • Require individualized assessment where automated decision-making tools such as artificial intelligence and algorithms are used to help make housing decisions.

Attorney General Bonta has been committed to ensuring equal access to housing. On April 13, 2023, he issued guidance to California cities and counties directing them to review and modify, or repeal, their crime-free housing policies to ensure compliance with federal and state civil rights laws. On February 7, 2024, he issued updated guidance outlining cities’ and counties’ obligations under the recently enacted Assembly Bill 1418 (AB 1418). Authored by Assemblymember Tina McKinnor (D-Inglewood), AB 1418 prohibits local governments from, among other things, enacting ordinances, regulations, and rules that impose penalties on tenants and landlords solely for contacts with law enforcement. It is the first law in the nation that regulates crime-free housing programs. 

A copy of the comment letter can be found here.

Attorney General Bonta Announces Stipulated Judgment with the Redlands Unified School District to Implement Wide-Ranging Reforms, Strengthen Response to Complaints of Sexual Assault, Abuse, and Harassment

May 29, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has entered into a proposed stipulated judgment with the Redlands Unified School District (District) to address critical and systemic shortfalls in the District's policies and practices regarding their response to allegations and complaints of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of students. The stipulated judgment is the result of a comprehensive civil rights investigation into the District’s handling of these complaints. The investigation followed concerning reports raised in a number of high-profile cases involving sexual abuse of minor students by the District’s personnel, several of whom have been convicted of related offenses.  

DOJ’s investigation found that the District systemically violated laws in place to protect against and address complaints related to sexual assault, harassment, and abuse, including Title IX, the Child Abuse and Neglect and Reporting Act (CANRA), and provisions of the California Education Code. As part of the stipulated judgment, the District is permanently enjoined against violation of these laws, is subject to a minimum of five years of oversight by the court and Attorney General and is required to undertake wide-ranging reforms to ensure that the District responds in a legally adequate manner to promptly prevent, stop, and remedy sexual harassment, assault, or abuse on its campuses. 

“As a parent, and as Attorney General, protecting our kids is my most important job,” said Attorney General Bonta. “It is absolutely unacceptable that any child should be put at risk of sexual harassment or abuse while at school, where they should be free to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment. California law guarantees each and every child the right to a public education free from sexual harassment, assault, and abuse, and today's stipulated judgment holds Redlands Unified accountable for failing to abide by the laws in place to protect our kids. We are committed to working with Redlands Unified as they take these crucial and necessary steps to expediently institute wide-ranging reforms to better protect students. At the California Department of Justice, we're committed to protecting all Californians, especially our most vulnerable, from sexual harassment, assault, and abuse."  

“The Redlands Unified School District commends the Department of Justice for their thorough review and collaborative efforts in finalizing this agreement,” said Juan Cabral, Redlands Unified School District Superintendent. “The District is fully committed to complying with the terms of the judgment. We take the findings seriously and are dedicated to making necessary improvements to ensure a safe and equitable learning environment for all students and staff as this continues to be our number one priority. We are actively working with the Department of Justice to implement the agreed-upon measures, as well as continue the many safety practices the District implemented prior to this agreement. We are optimistic about the positive changes these efforts will bring to our students, staff and community.”

The settlement is the result of a DOJ investigation, which was expanded in October 2022, to determine whether the District’s policies and practices follow laws that protect students from sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. DOJ found systemic deficiencies in the District’s efforts to prevent and respond to notice and allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of students participating in its educational programs and activities.

Specifically, that the District has failed to follow laws and regulations that require it to:

  • Designate, provide appropriate oversight authority to, and train a compliance coordinator and/or Title IX Coordinator responsible for ensuring the District’s compliance with laws and regulations related to preventing and responding to notice and allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of students, and ensure that the Title IX Coordinator and/or compliance coordinator carries out their duties.
  • Respond in a legally adequate manner to notice or allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of students.
  • Promulgate legally adequate procedures and policies governing the District’s response to notice and allegations of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse of students.
  • Properly disseminate and post its notice of nondiscrimination and written policy on sexual harassment.

To address the systemic concerns, DOJ and the District worked cooperatively on an extensive five-year plan memorialized in a stipulated judgment that enjoins the District from violating any law or regulation and requires the District to, among other things:

  • Hire, train, and provide appropriate oversight authority to an Assistant Superintendent of Compliance and Sexual Harassment Prevention to investigate and resolve complaints and establish prevention systems.
  • Develop an electronic centralized tracking and response system/database for all oral and written reports and complaints of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault, including those submitted anonymously. 
  • Provide DOJ all oral and written complaints regarding sexual harassment, assault, and abuse and the District’s responses to all oral and written complaints for DOJ to review to ensure legal compliance.
  • Revise policies and procedures for responding to notice or complaints of sexual harassment, assault, or abuse to comply with law and regulation.
  • Provide compensatory education and mental health services to victims.
  • Provide age-appropriate annual training to students and parents on how to report sexual assault, harassment, and abuse and their right to a prompt and effective response and a discrimination-free school environment.
  • Provide annual training to staff and investigators regarding their duties to address reports of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. 
  • Provide an anonymous Climate Survey at the end of each academic semester to assess students’ experiences with sexual harassment, assault, and abuse and use the results to further strengthen prevention and response.
  • Establish a School Climate Advisory Committee that will study the District’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual harassment, abuse, and assault and make recommendations to the District for improving those efforts.
  • Provide timely proof of compliance with all provisions of the judgment to DOJ to establish compliance.
  • Provide DOJ with an affirmation from all District administrators, including the Superintendent, that they understand and will follow the requirements of CANRA.
  • Implement an auditing process at schools to ensure that all required notices, policies, and posters informing students and staff about their rights and responsibilities are in all required locations.

A copy of the stipulated judgment is available here. A copy of the complaint filed with the court is available here.

Attorney General Bonta Joins Multistate Coalition Supporting Delaware’s Early Voting Law

April 30, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a coalition of 14 attorneys general in an amicus brief in support of Delaware’s election officials, who are defending a challenge to Delaware’s early voting law in Albence v. Mennella. In the case, a trial court ruled that Delaware’s constitutional provisions, which set the date of the statewide general election as the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, preclude the state legislature from establishing early voting before the enumerated Tuesday. In the brief, the attorneys general argue that Delaware’s “election day” provision does not prevent the state legislature from implementing early voting; note that similar challenges to early voting have been rejected by several federal and state courts; and observe that 46 other states have established early voting provisions. In the brief, the coalition urges the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse the trial court’s decision and uphold Delaware’s right to establish early voting.

“Early voting is an important and lawful manner of increasing the ability of citizens to participate in our democracy,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Legislatures across the nation — including in California — have recognized the importance of early voting, and Delaware is no different. I urge the Delaware Supreme Court to reverse the trial court’s erroneous decision and allow Delaware voters access to early voting.”

Like Delaware, many states have constitutional provisions that provide for a specific election date. Of the 46 states with early voting, 29 have constitutional provisions specifying that their elections must occur on a certain date. And the great weight of precedent allows early voting, despite election date provisions. Early voting has shown increased participation in democratic self-governance and in a manner consistent with our state constitutions and federal law. In addition, several coalition states permit weekend early voting; and some grant local election officials’ discretion as to whether to provide additional early voting days. Extending the voting period affords more individuals the opportunity to vote by reducing wait times, increasing scheduling flexibility, and enabling voters who may experience obstacles to participating on Election Day itself — including elderly voters and voters with disabilities — a better opportunity to participate.

In the amicus brief, the coalition argues that the trial court’s decision should be overturned as:

  • Election Day provisions similar to Delaware’s do not prevent state legislatures from providing for early voting.
  • States with Election Day provisions similar to Delaware’s have consistently adopted early voting.
  • The Delaware Constitution, like many other state constitutions, expressly authorizes the legislature to adopt “the means, methods, and instruments of voting” including early voting. 

In filing the amicus brief, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of Massachusetts, Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.  

A copy of the amicus brief is available here

Attorney General Bonta Calls on Congress to Fund Civil Legal Assistance

April 29, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

 OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a broad, bipartisan coalition of 39 attorneys general in submitting letters to U.S. House and Senate leaders urging them to fund the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in full. LSC is funded by federal appropriation and is a critical compliment to state and other funding for legal aid. LSC provides civil legal services to low-income Americans across the United States.

“As the People’s Attorney, I share a commitment to the equal access of our justice system and understand the barriers that low-income families can face when trying to access legal services,” said Attorney General Bonta. “The Legal Services Corporation provides on-the-ground legal assistance to Americans experiencing seemingly insurmountable obstacles, including our country’s Native American communities, individuals with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, survivors of natural disasters, and undocumented folks. I sincerely urge Congress to support our neighbors and prioritize investment in The Legal Services Corporation.”

Since its establishment by Congress 50 years ago, LSC has provided civil legal services to low-income Americans across the United States who otherwise would not have access to such services. LSC is funded by federal appropriation and the amount of the investment will determine the number of Americans in need that LSC will be able to assist. Each year, LSC provides grants to local nonprofits who together provide legal services to low-income individuals throughout the United States from approximately 900 offices nationwide, stretching from urban centers to small towns. However, despite 94% of federal dollars going directly toward eligible nonprofits delivering civil legal aid, the need for legal assistance is outpacing LSC's funding.

In submitting the letters, Attorney General Bonta joins the attorneys general of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A copy of the letters can be found here, and here

As Part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Attorney General Bonta Highlights Resources to Support Victims and Survivors

April 26, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – As part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today highlighted resources available through the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Victims’ Services Unit (VSU), and through additional outlets to support and empower victims, survivors, and their families. Attorney General Bonta urges service providers and all members of the public to use these resources to help ensure all those who have been the victim of a crime are aware of many of the key rights, resources, and protections available to them in California.

“Victims of crime often struggle to rebuild their lives, and so, it is incumbent on all of us — in particular those of us in positions of power — to have their backs,” said Attorney General Bonta. “At the California Department of Justice, we are shining a light on the life-saving resources available to those who have been impacted by crime. During National Crime Victims’ Rights Week and all year round, my office will continue to lead with compassion and offer crime victims the support that they deserve. 

California DOJ Victims’ Services Unit

VSU works to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally sensitive support services to crime victims, including underserved, at-risk, underrepresented, and vulnerable populations. Through the unit’s services, victims can track the status of appeals, recusal cases, and other matters being handled by DOJ’s prosecutors. VSU has a dedicated and well-trained team of advocates who provide appeal notifications to victims and their families. These updates allow victims and their families to exercise their rights to address the court or otherwise participate in criminal justice proceedings. Our newly revised Marsy’s Card aims to empower victims and survivors by advising them of their rights as victims of crime, and provide updated resources available to them.

VSU also supports service providers and members of the public in tracking the progress of sexual assault evidence kits as they are processed both at the state and local level through the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Tracking (SAFE-T database). Importantly, VSU’s advocates work to help victims and their families access available resources that are a critical part of the healing process, such as mental health services, safety net services, and assistance through the California Victim Compensation Board for related crime expenses. VSU’s latest Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights publication provides resources and supports available, tailored to sexual assault victims and survivors.  

VSU has updated publications for crime victims in an effort to provide comprehensive resources and supports tailored to their needs. The Marsy’s Rights CardAppeals brochureSexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights, and the Victims’ Services Unit brochure offer information and resources to crime victims.  

Additional Resources Available for Victims

  1. Victim Compensation BoardCan help victims pay for mental health counseling, funeral costs, loss of income, crime scene cleanup, relocation, medical and dental bills.
  2. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Victim & Survivor Rights & ServicesProvides information on offender release, restitution, parole conditions and parole hearings when the offender is incarcerated in prison.
  3. National Domestic Violence Hotline: Offers free, confidential, and compassionate support, crisis intervention information, education, and referral services in over 200 languages.
  4. Adult Protective Services County Information (Elder Abuse): Offers 24-hour hotline numbers by county in California.
  5. National Child Abuse Hotline: Provides treatment and prevention of child abuse.
  6. Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network: Operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.
  7. The Victims of Crime Resource Center: Offers a range of services, including case management, medical care, and access to resources.
  8. National Human Trafficking HotlineCall the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
  9. The California Relay ServiceProvides speech-impaired, deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals with telephone conversation relay assistance.
  10. Safe at Home: California Secretary of State: Offers a confidential address program for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and  human trafficking. 

Attorney General Bonta is committed to protecting all victims of crime and violence. On February 8, 2024, he urged Congress to provide critical support and services to victims and survivors of crime by taking steps to increase the Crime Victims Fund with short term, bridge funding. On April 9, 2024, he announced his sponsorship of a bill authored by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) and joint authored by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Colton) that would allow state courts to levy increased monetary penalties on corporations convicted of criminal offenses. Such penalties would in turn provide much-needed funding for crime victim service programs in California.

To receive information on resources, notification of an appeal, or notification on a case the Attorney General's Office is prosecuting, visit, call VSU at (877) 433-9069, or contact VSU at To learn more about the work of VSU, please watch our Demystifying the DOJ Presentation on the Victims’ Services Unit.

Attorney General Bonta, Secretary of State Weber File Lawsuit Against Huntington Beach over Unlawful Municipal Voter ID Amendment

April 15, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Rob Bonta and California Secretary of State Shirley N. Weber, Ph.D. today filed a lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach challenging its voter identification (voter ID) law, Measure A, which amended the city’s charter to purportedly allow the city to impose voter ID requirements at the polls for all municipal elections starting in 2026. In the lawsuit, Attorney General Bonta and Secretary of State Weber allege that this voter ID law unlawfully conflicts with and is preempted by state law.

“The right to freely cast your vote is the foundation of our democracy and Huntington Beach’s voter ID policy flies in the face of this principle,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “State election law already contains robust voter ID requirements with strong protections to prevent voter fraud, while ensuring that every eligible voter can cast their ballot without hardship. Imposing unnecessary obstacles to voter participation disproportionately burdens low-income voters, voters of color, young or elderly voters, and people with disabilities. We’re asking the court to block Huntington Beach’s unlawful step toward suppressing or disenfranchising voters. The California Department of Justice stands ready to defend the voting rights that make our democracy strong.”

"This voter ID measure conflicts with state law," said California Secretary of State Shirley Weber, Ph.D. "Not only is it a solution in search of a problem, laws like these are harmful to California voters, especially low-income, the elderly, people of color, those with disabilities, and young voters.”

Today’s lawsuit comes after Huntington Beach advanced the voter ID law despite a warning from the Attorney General and Secretary of State that the measure violates state election law. On September 28, 2023, Attorney General Bonta and Secretary of State Weber sent a letter urging the city to drop the proposal and expressing grave concerns that it would only serve to suppress voter participation without providing any discernible local benefit. The city nevertheless placed the proposal on the ballot, and it passed on March 5, 2024. The Orange County Registrar of Voters certified the election results on March 22, 2024. 

In the lawsuit, the Attorney General and Secretary of State allege that Measure A is preempted by state law and invalid. Under the California Constitution, charter cities have the right to govern “municipal affairs,” but local law cannot conflict with state law governing a “statewide concern.” Both the integrity of California’s elections and the protection of the constitutional right to vote are matters of statewide concern.

The lawsuit further argues that California already maintains a uniform and robust legal scheme for safeguarding the integrity of the electoral process and protecting the rights of eligible voters. Under state law, people registering to vote must provide identifying information under penalty of perjury. Voter identity is established before registered voters get to the polls; at the polls, registered voters are only required to provide their name and address – no further identification is required. While a person’s eligibility to vote can be challenged, a challenge can only be brought by certain election workers and only on narrow, well-supported grounds. These requirements are uniform statewide, reducing potential voter confusion. 

Unlawfully departing from this legal framework, Huntington Beach’s voter ID law purportedly allows the city to require additional identification from voters before they can exercise their right to vote. By authorizing this requirement, Huntington Beach’s voter ID law conflicts with state law and threatens to unlawfully disenfranchise voters at the polls.

A copy of the complaint is available here.

Attorney General Bonta: Stockton Unified School District’s Department of Public Safety Achieves Compliance with DOJ’s Five-Year Stipulated Judgment

April 11, 2024
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that the California Department of Justice (DOJ) has ended monitoring of the Stockton Unified School District (District) and its Department of Public Safety (Department), concluding the five-year term of the stipulated judgment that addressed system-wide violations of the civil and constitutional rights of Black and Latino students and students with disabilities. The District has also committed to implementing a plan to further reduce disproportionalities in law enforcement referrals through school year 2026-2027, which will institutionalize the revised policies and practices and continue the progress made under the judgment.

“Over the past five years, the California Department of Justice and the Stockton Unified School District worked together to successfully implement the corrective actions set out in the stipulated judgment to protect the rights of students in schools,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Today we can celebrate that the agreement has helped the District take important steps to address concerns regarding interactions between police officers and students and to promote an equitable and positive learning environment. My office is committed to ensuring that the District’s plan to reduce disproportionalities is fully implemented and all students have an equal opportunity to achieve their fullest potential in schools.”

“This achievement is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our educators, staff, students, and Department of Public Safety, said Dr. Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent of Stockton Unified School District. “We reaffirm our commitment to continue the important changes and policies and remain steadfast in our mission to improve services and support for all students, ensuring that each child has the opportunity to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. We will continue to collaborate with stakeholders, implement evidence-based practices, and prioritize equity in everything we do.”

“The Department is proud of the work that was completed surrounding the DOJ Agreement which has not only made us a better Department but has placed us at the forefront of progressive policing,” said Chief Mayra Franco. “We will continue with our commitment to the work that has been completed and ensure that we provide our staff and students with a safe learning environment ensuring fair and equal justice.”  

“The consent decree was phase one. Now we must build on this momentum to cement the progress that has been made, and fix policies and practices that continue to hurt SUSD students and families,” said Jasmine Dellafosse, Director of Organizing and Community Engagement at End Poverty in CA. “The District should take the last few years as a lesson that accountability and transparency are non-negotiable when it come to our students’ well-being.”

“The Stockton Unified School District was placed under a consent decree because its school police were out of control, arresting and traumatizing kids for acting like kids. Students of color, especially Black students, and students with disabilities were hurt the most,” said Linnea Nelson, Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. “Even though the consent decree is over, those disparities still exist, and we will continue to monitor the District's progress to prevent resurgent discrimination.”

“The requisite collaboration that took place with community members and the Stockton Unified School District was an admirable beginning,” said Pastor Trena Turner, Victory In Praise Church. “Continued efforts of transparency and inclusion that outlasts the monitoring period, will be of paramount importance to further strengthen the district and ultimately improve the lived experience of our students.”

In 2019, a DOJ investigation concluded that the District’s policies and practices with respect to law enforcement referrals discriminated against Black and Latino students and students with disabilities. The investigation also found unconstitutional search and seizure practices. DOJ and the District entered into a stipulated judgment that required significant reforms and a five-year monitoring period. As part of the stipulated judgment, which concluded on February 19, 2024, the District: 

  • Established clear policies and procedures limiting when school administrators refer students to law enforcement.
  • Created a formal diversion program in lieu of citations and arrests to address minor school-based offenses.
  • Revised policies and procedures relating to treatment of students with disabilities in order to prevent discrimination, including the hiring of a trained Disability Coordinator.
  • Created clear processes for school site administrators to refer students with mental health needs to support services rather than a referral to law enforcement.
  • Instituted mandatory annual training of all officers and staff regarding civil and constitutional rights, disability and special education laws, and elimination of bias.
  • Reformed use of force policies, procedures, and practices, including implementing a comprehensive review process.
  • Updated search and seizure policies.
  • Used data to track and analyze all arrests and referrals to law enforcement from schools; and
  • Established the Community Advisory Group, which collaborated with the District to provide input and review updated policies.

Overall, the judgment led to markedly improved outcomes for students. Total arrests of students dropped significantly; in school year 2018-2019, there were 155 arrests, compared to nine arrests during school year 2022-2023. Calls for service to the Department decreased by 54% and unwarranted calls for service decreased by 52%. Under the disproportionality plan, the Community Advisory Group and Transformative Justice subcommittee, consisting of community organizations and other stakeholders, will continue to meet regularly to improve and reduce disparities in law enforcement referrals and receive and analyze disaggregated and anonymized District data on use of force, law enforcement contacts, citations, arrests, and calls for assistance.  

A copy of the stipulated judgment is available here. A copy of the complaint is available here.

Attorney General Bonta Joins Multistate Coalition Supporting U.S. DOJ’s Proposal to Adopt Specific Accessibility Requirements Online for People with Disabilities

October 4, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today joined a multistate coalition of attorneys general in submitting a comment letter supporting an update to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) Title II regulations that seeks to improve equal access for people with disabilities online by establishing specific requirements for state and local government websites and mobile applications (mobile apps). As society becomes increasingly reliant on websites and mobile apps for information, services, and more, it is essential that public entities ensure their website and mobile app-based services are accessible to individuals with disabilities. 

“The Americans with Disabilities Act has been an essential tool for safeguarding the civil rights of people with disabilities since 1990, and it’s important that the protections set forth in this landmark law keep up with the times,” said Attorney General Bonta. “In this digital age, as our lives move increasingly online, public agencies must ensure they are meeting people where they are. The Biden administration’s proposed regulations do just that by setting standards for state and local public entities to better serve our communities with disabilities. In California, we are committed to ensuring equal access for people with disabilities to all aspects of life — on and offline.”

The ADA is designed to ensure individuals with disabilities have equal access to all aspects of society and to prohibit discrimination against them through strong, consistent, and enforceable standards. Title II of the ADA applies to all activities of state and local governments. 

In the comment letter, the attorneys general support the U.S. Department of Justice’s (U.S. DOJ) proposed regulations to update Title II to set consistent, achievable standards to ensure that people with disabilities can access public entities’ services, programs, and activities. 

In the comments, among other things, the coalition: 

  • Encourages U.S. DOJ to adopt an accessibility standard for websites and mobile apps that is consistent across all public entities regardless of size, and that will allow for more uniform experiences for people with disabilities that are not dependent on the size of the public entity whose programs and services they wish to access.  
  • Asks U.S. DOJ to clarify that by establishing compliance dates for the standards set in this regulation, U.S. DOJ is not pausing the existing obligation for public entities to have accessible websites until the dates that those standards become effective.
  • Appreciates U.S. DOJ’s balanced approach in ensuring full and equal access to services, programs, and activities offered by public entities through the web and mobile apps, while setting forth obligations that public entities can reasonably achieve given the innovation and dynamism of websites and mobile apps. 

A copy of the comment letter is available here.