BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 139
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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 139 (Alquist)
          As Amended  August 26, 2011
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :39-0  
           
           PUBLIC SAFETY       7-0         APPROPRIATIONS      17-0        
           
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          |Ayes:|Ammiano, Knight, Cedillo, |Ayes:|Fuentes, Harkey,          |
          |     |Hagman, Hill, Mitchell,   |     |Blumenfield, Bradford,    |
          |     |Skinner                   |     |Charles Calderon, Campos, |
          |     |                          |     |Davis, Donnelly, Gatto,   |
          |     |                          |     |Hall, Hill, Lara,         |
          |     |                          |     |Mitchell, Nielsen, Norby, |
          |     |                          |     |Solorio, Wagner           |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :   Requires the California Department of Corrections and 
          Rehabilitation (CDCR) to oversee and conduct periodic and random 
          searches of employees and vendors entering the secure perimeter 
          of a state prison for contraband.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Specifies that these searches shall include random searches of 
            property, personal or otherwise, brought into the prison by 
            those individuals.  

          2)Specifies that the searches shall be conducted at each 
            institution at least once per month.  

          3)Specifies that the Secretary of CDCR may cancel a search at an 
            institution in a given month provided that for each search not 
            conducted at an institution in a month, an additional search 
            must be conducted an another institution within the same 
            month, and no institution may go more than three months 
            without a search.  

          4)Requires CDCR to provide a written report to the Legislature 
            at least quarterly detailing the names of the prisons where 
            the searches took place; the dates of the searches; the shifts 
            during which the searches took place; the number of employees 
            searched; the number of vendors searched; the number of cell 








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            phones discovered; the number of items of portable computer 
            equipment found, including but not limited to iPods, MP3 
            players, DVD players, CD players, CDs, and portable video game 
            players; tobacco products found, and illegal substances found, 
            listed by type of substance.  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Mandates that the Inspector General (IG) shall review CDCR 
            policy and procedures, conduct audits of investigatory 
            practices and other audits, be responsible for contemporaneous 
            oversight of internal affairs investigations and the 
            disciplinary process, and conduct investigations of CDCR, as 
            requested by either the CDCR Secretary or a Member of the 
            Legislature, pursuant to the approval of the IG under policies 
            to be developed by the IG.  The IG may, under policies 
            developed by the IG, initiate an investigation or an audit on 
            his or her own accord.

          2)States that any person who knowingly brings into any state 
            prison or other institution under the jurisdiction of CDCR, or 
            into any prison camp, prison farm, or any other place where 
            prisoners or inmates of these institutions are located under 
            the custody of prison or institution officials, officers, or 
            employees, or into any county, city and county, or city jail, 
            road camp, farm or any other institution or place where 
            prisoners or inmates are being held under the custody of any 
            sheriff, chief of police, peace officer, probation officer, or 
            employees, or within the grounds belonging to any institution 
            or place, any alcoholic beverage, any drugs, other than 
            controlled substances, in any manner, shape, form, dispenser, 
            or container, or any device, contrivance, instrument, or 
            paraphernalia intended to be used for unlawfully injecting or 
            consuming any drug other than controlled substances, without 
            having authority so to do by the rules of CDCR, the rules of 
            the prison, institution, camp, farm, place, or jail, or by the 
            specific authorization of the warden, superintendent, jailer, 
            or other person in charge of the prison, jail, institution, 
            camp, farm, or place, is guilty of a felony.  

          3)States any person in a local correctional facility who 
            possesses a wireless communication device, including, but not 
            limited to, a cellular telephone, pager, or wireless Internet 
            device, who is not authorized to possess that item is guilty 








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            of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than 
            $1,000.  

          4)Provides any person housed in a local correctional facility 
            that possesses any tobacco products in any form, including 
            snuff products, smoking paraphernalia, any device that is 
            intended to be used for ingesting or consuming tobacco, or any 
            container or dispenser used for any of those products, is 
            guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding 
            $250.  Money collected pursuant to this section shall be 
            placed into the inmate welfare fund, as specified.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Assembly Appropriations 
          Committee, minor General Fund (GF) costs to CDCR as this bill 
          essentially mirrors the department's existing random search 
          practice in Operation Disconnect.  To the extent however, CDCR 
          discontinued Operation Disconnect, this bill would result in the 
          following annual GF costs for two years:

          1)Likely in excess of $200,000, to staff the proposed searches.  
            This assumes at least four additional staff per search, for 
            one hour at one gate, at 33 prisons, 12 times per year.

          2)Annual CDCR reporting costs of about $25,000.

          3)Potentially significant annual GF costs for overtime to the 
            extent random searches backup staff entry into the prison and 
            require staff to stay on post longer than scheduled.  For 
            example, if 400 staff per prison were delayed by an average of 
            10 minutes, 12 times per year, at 33 prisons, the resulting 
            overtime could cost the state close to $1 million per year. 

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, "The number of cell phones 
          confiscated in prison in 2006 was 261.  Last year, 10,761 cell 
          phones were confiscated.  That constitutes an increase of 4023% 
          percent.  Recent stories in the news report inmates paying $500 
          to $1500 per phone.

          "A 2010 KCRA 3 report quoted Avenal spokesman saying inmates 
          with cell phones 'can order hits.  They can organize escapes.'  
          An AP story discusses how Mexican drug traffickers call prisons 
          gangs in the United States via cell phones when they 'need 
          someone killed or kidnapped or drugs distributed in the United 
          States.'








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          "The California Senate Rules Committee for the last several 
          years has focused on cell phones entering prisons during the 
          confirmation hearings of California Department of Corrections 
          and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials.

          "In May of 2009, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) sent 
          a special report entitled 'Inmate Cell Phone Use Endangers 
          Prison Security and Public Safety' to CDCR Secretary Matthew 
          Cate.  Among other things the report found, 'Inmates' access to 
          cell phone technology facilitates their ability to communicate 
          amongst themselves and their associates outside of prison, to 
          plan prison assaults, plot prison escapes, and orchestrate a 
          myriad of other illegal activities.  In addition, these devices 
          can provide an inmate unrestricted and unmonitored access to the 
          Internet, whereby they can communicate with unsuspecting 
          victims, including minors.

          "The report also found that, 'In addition to staff, other 
          conduits for smuggling cell phones include visitor, outside 
          accomplices, minimum support facility inmates working outside 
          perimeter fences, and contracted employees.

          "In July of 2008, CDCR's Department of Internal Affairs 
          conducted surprise screenings for two days called 'Project 
          Disconnect.'  During these searches, one employee's vehicle was 
          searched and fifty cell phones, labeled with the inmates' names, 
          were found.  Since November of 2009, CDCR has continued the 
          random once a month searches of employees entering every prison 
          in California with 'Operation Disconnect.'

          "SB 139 codifies the activities of 'Operation Disconnect' into 
          law and includes vendors as those subject to the search.  While 
          cell phones are targeted, SB 139 aims to halt all contraband 
          entering prisons.  SB 139 allows the OIG to oversee the searches 
          to ensure the integrity of the process.  Finally, SB 139 
          requires that CDCR and the OIG submit a report to the 
          Legislature detailing the finding of the searches as well as a 
          general comment section."

          Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion 
          of this bill.










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           Analysis Prepared by  :    Milena Nelson / PUB. S. / (916) 
          319-3744 



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