BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1487
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 12, 2009
          Chief Counsel:      Gregory Pagan


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Jose Solorio, Chair

                     AB 1487 (Hill) - As Amended:  April 2, 2009
           
           
           SUMMARY  :   Increases from $3 to $6 the fee charged for each  
          inmate-initiated medical visit by an inmate confined in a county  
          or city jail, and requires that the $3 fee increase be deposited  
          in the county inmate welfare fund, as specified.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that a sheriff, director of corrections, or chief of  
            police is authorized to charge a fee in the amount of $3 for  
            each inmate initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in a  
            county or city jail.  [Penal Code Section 4011.2(a).]

          2)States that the fee shall be charged to the inmate's personal  
            account at the facility.  If the inmate has no money in his or  
            her personal account, there shall be no charge for the medical  
            visit, the inmate shall not be denied medical care because of  
            a lack of funds because of a lack of funds in his or her  
            personal account at the facility.  [Penal Code Section  
            4011.2(b) and (c).]

          3)Provides that the medical provider may waive the fee for any  
            inmate-initiated treatment and shall waive the fee for any  
            life-threatening or emergency situation, defined as those  
            health services required for alleviation of severe pain or for  
            immediate diagnosis and treatment of unforeseen medical  
            conditions that if not immediately treated could lead to  
            disability or death.  [Penal Code Section 4011.2(d).]

          4)Requires that all moneys received for inmate initiated medical  
            visits received by a sheriff, director of corrections, or  
            chief of police be transferred to the county or city general  
            fund.  [Penal Code Section 4011.2(f).]   

          5)Authorizes a county sheriff to establish, maintain and operate  
            a store in connection with the county jail and for this  








                                                                  AB 1487
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            purchase may purchase confectionary, tobacco and tobacco  
            users' supplies, postage and writing materials, and toilet  
            articles and supplies and sell these goods, articles, and  
            supplies for cash to inmates.  [Penal Code Section 4025(a).]

          6)Provides that the sale prices of the articles offered for sale  
            at the store shall be fixed by the sheriff.  Any profit shall  
            be deposited in the inmate welfare fund to be kept in the  
            treasury of the county.  [Penal Code Section 4025(b).]

          7)Provides that money and property deposited in the inmate  
            welfare fund shall be expended by the sheriff primarily for  
            the benefit, education, and welfare of the inmates confined  
            within the county jail.  [Penal Code Section 4025(e).]

          8)Authorizes the sheriff to expend money from the inmate welfare  
            fund to provide indigent inmates, prior to the release from  
            the county jail or other adult correctional facility under the  
            sheriff's jurisdiction, with essential clothing and  
            transportation expenses.  [Penal Code Section 4025(i).]

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   None

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  .  According to the author, "The fee  
            currently charged for inmate-initiated visits has not  
            increased since 1994, but the costs associated with providing  
            these services have risen since then.  AB 1487 would help  
            bring the fee in line with the increased costs, while ensuring  
            that inmates are not denied care because of an inability to  
            pay.

          "The bill also requires that any fees collected in excess of the  
            current $3 go toward the county Inmate Welfare Fund (IWF).   
            The IWF is designed to provide services essential to the  
            benefit, welfare, and educational needs of the inmates  
            confined within the detention facilities.  Any funds that are  
            not needed for the welfare of the inmates may be expended for  
            the maintenance of county jail facilities.  The sheriff may  
            also expend money from the IWF to provide indigent inmates,  
            upon release from the county jail or any other adult detention  
            facility under the jurisdiction of the sheriff, with essential  
            clothing and transportation expenses.









                                                                  AB 1487
                                                                  Page  3

          "AB 1487 is designed to help counties meet the fiscal demands of  
            rising costs of medical expenses while ensuring that  
            additional moneys collected are spent to benefit inmate  
            welfare."

           2)Inmate Welfare Fund :  Existing law authorizes the sheriff of  
            each county to establish an IWF.  (Penal Code Section 4025.)   
            The purpose of the IWF is to fund programs that assist inmates  
            in transitioning back into the community.  Programs include  
            education, drug and alcohol treatment, library services and  
            counseling.  [Penal Code Section 4025(e).]  Money from an IWF  
            may also be used for essential clothing and transportation  
            expenses for an inmate upon release.  [Penal Code Section  
            4025(i).]

          This bill increases from the fee charged for each  
            inmate-initiated medical visit by an inmate confined in a  
            county or city jail from $3 to $6, but requires that the $3  
            fee increase be deposited in the county IWF.

           3)Argument in Support:   The  California State Sheriffs'  
            Association  (the sponsor of this bill) states, "Current law  
            authorizes a sheriff to charge a fee in the amount of $3 for  
            each inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in a  
            county or city jail.  The fee is charged to the inmate's  
            personal account at the facility and is based strictly o the  
            ability to pay.  If the inmate has no money in his or her  
            personal account, there is no charge for the medical visit nor  
            is an inmate denied medical care because of a lack of funds in  
            his or her personal account.  The $3 fee that is currently  
            charged for inmate-initiated medical visits has not been  
            enacted, yet the fee has not been adjusted to keep in line  
            with those costs.

          "AB 1487 would increase this fee to $6 and specify the  
            allocation of these funds.  The current $3 fee will continue  
            to be collected and transferred to the county or city general  
            fund pursuant to existing law.  The additional $3 fee proposed  
            by this bill will be collected and transferred to the county  
            IWF.  The IWF is designed to provide services essential to the  
            benefit, welfare, and educational needs of inmates confined  
            within the detention facilities."

           4)Argument in Opposition  .  According to the  Disability Rights  
            California  , "Existing law permits a sheriff, chief or director  








                                                                  AB 1487
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            of corrections, or chief of police to charge a fee in the  
            amount of $3 for each medical visit initiated by an inmate so  
            long as the visit is not a life-threatening emergency, the  
            inmate has funds in a personal account to make the payment,  
            and the medical provider chooses not to waive the fee.  This  
            bill will raise the fee from $3 to $6 and requires that $3 of  
            the fee go into the county IWF.  The bill provides no language  
            delineating circumstances under which a medical provider is  
            permitted to waive the proposed $6 fee for an inmate-initiated  
            request for medical service."

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          California State Sheriffs' Association (Sponsor)
          Amador County Sheriff
          Association fro Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs
          Alameda County Sheriff
          California State Association of Counties
          Contra Costa County Sheriff
          Del Norte County Sheriff
          El Dorado County Sheriff
          Fresno County Sheriff
          Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
          Mariposa County Sheriff
          Regional Council of Rural Counties
          Sacramento County Sheriff's Department
          San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
          Santa Barbara County Sheriff 
          Santa Cruz County Sheriff
          Shasta County Sheriff
          Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office
          Ventura County Sheriff
          Yolo County Sheriff

           Opposition 
           
          Disability Rights California
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744