This post was updated Feb 16, 2017
On Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10am in Sacramento, there will be a Joint Legislative Hearing on video visitation in county jails. It will be hosted by the Senate and Assembly Budget Subcommittees on Public Safety.
PUBLIC SAFETY AND BUDGET AND FISCAL REVIEW
CA Senate Subcommittee No. 5 on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary and CA Assembly Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety
- Hearing Subject: Looking Through the Screen: The Effects of Video Visitation on County Jail Inmates and their Families
- 10:00 a.m. — John L. Burton Hearing Room (Rm 4203), CA State Capitol, Sacramento 95814
- Chairs: Senator Nancy Skinner and Assembly Member Shirley Weber
- FINAL AGENDA (pdf) for the Hearing
Help protect in-person visitation! We believe that there will be an opportunity for public comment. Please consider speaking or providing a written statement if you have experience with in-person or video visitation.
We are in a period when many counties are building or seeking to build new jails. Some counties are building jails without facilities for in-person visiting. Instead, they are setting up video-visitation as the only visiting method. There are many problems with video visitation. In-person visitation is crucial to the well-being of incarcerated people and their families.
Last year, the legislature passed SB 1157 (introduced by Senator Holly Mitchell), to require in-person visiting in county jails, but unfortunately Gov. Brown vetoed the bill. SB 1157 would have allowed counties to install and use video visitation as a supplemental option, but would have protected in-person jail visits from being eliminated and sacrificed to the video visitation industry.
It is important to protect in-person visits for incarcerated people and their loved ones in California jails. We are glad that the CA legislature remains concerned about this issue.
• Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity members will be carpooling to Sacramento on Feb 21st. Contact: 510.426.5322
• Also, Bernadette Rabuy of the Prison Policy Initiative invites you to contact her if you would like to provide public comment at the hearing email@example.com.
Below is an extensive list of articles and reports about video visitation from the Prison Policy Institute.