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CA AB 2709

Title: Prison visitation.
Author: Mia Bonta

Summary
AB 2709, as amended, Bonta. Prison visitation. Under existing law, a person sentenced to imprisonment in a state prison or in a county jail for a felony offense, as specified, may, during that period of confinement, be deprived of only those rights as is reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. This bill would prohibit a person sentenced to imprisonment in a state prison from being prevented from receiving personal visits, including, but not limited to, noncontact and family visits, unless necessary and narrowly tailored to further a legitimate security interest. The bill would specify conduct that could be deemed necessary and for a legitimate security interest if the conduct occurs within visiting areas during visiting hours or the conduct poses a clear and imminent risk of physical violence within visiting areas and during visiting hours. The bill would prohibit the department from infringing on a family member’s or intimate partner’s right to visit unless the incarcerated person freely withholds consent or as necessary and narrowly tailored to further legitimate security interests. Existing law authorizes the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to prescribe and amend rules and regulations for the administration of prisons. Existing law requires these regulations to recognize and consider the value of inmate visitation as a means of increasing safety in prisons, maintaining family and community connections, and preparing inmates for successful release and rehabilitation. Existing regulations create the framework for establishing a visitation process in prisons that is conducted in as accommodating a manner as possible, subject to the need to maintain order, the safety of persons, the security of institutions and facilities, and required prison activities and operations. The bill would require the department’s regulations to recognize and consider the constitutional right of association of an incarcerated person’s family member, among other things. The bill would prohibit the department from denying or restricting in-person contact and noncontact visits, except as specified. The bill would require the department to inform both the visitor and the incarcerated person of the specific reason for any denial of a visit, as specified. The bill would require the department to provide at least 3 days of in-person visiting per week, with a minimum of 7 visiting hours per day. The bill would require all infrastructure and areas initially erected for the purposes of providing family visits for incarcerated persons to be used only for the purpose of family visits.Existing law requires the department to develop policies related to its contraband interdiction efforts for individuals entering department detention facilities, including, but not limited to, the establishment of unpredictable, random search efforts and methods, as specified.This bill would prohibit the department from using strip searches, visual body cavity searches, and physical body searches of visitors under 18 years of age. The bill would require, if there is probable cause to conduct a strip search, the department to use all other methods of conducting a search before performing a strip search of a visitor. The bill would require the department to issue a written notice detailing the reason for denial or restriction, as specified, if a visitor is denied vitiation or has visitation restricted.

Status
Referred to Com. on PUB S.

Bill Documents
CA AB 2709 - 05/16/24 - Amended Assembly
05/16/24 - CA AB 2709 (05/16/24 - Amended Assembly)


CA AB 2709 - 02/14/24 - Introduced
02/14/24 - CA AB 2709 (02/14/24 - Introduced)

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Author Details


  • Mia Bonta - D
    Assemblymember - State Assembly - CA

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    Capital Address:
    P.O. Box 942849, 1020 N Street, Suite 385
    Sacramento, CA 94249-0018
    9163192018

    District Address:
    1515 Clay St Ste 2204
    Oakland, CA 94612 1407
    Phone: 5102861670