AB 999, as amended, Bonta. Prisoner Protections for Family and Community Health Act.
Under existing law, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is responsible for the administration of the state prisons. Existing law makes it a crime to engage in sodomy while incarcerated in a state prison and existing regulation prohibits inmates from participating in illegal sexual acts.
This bill would require the department to develop a 5-year plan to extend the availability of condoms in all California prisons. The bill would require, commencing January 1, 2015, that no less than 5 prisons be incorporated into the program each year, and would require a comprehensive plan
begin delete includingend delete every prison in the state by the final year.
The bill would make related findings and declarations.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Chapter 10.9 (commencing with Section 6500) is added
19to Title 7 of Part 3 of the Penal Code, to read:
This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Prisoner
25Protections for Family and Community Health Act.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
27(a) Assembly Bill 1334 of the 2007--08 Regular Session would
28have required the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
29to allow nonprofits and health agencies to enter department
30institutions to provide sexual barrier protection devices such as
31condoms to state prisoners.
32(b) In his October 14, 2007, veto message, Governor Arnold
33Schwarzenegger noted that, although it is illegal to engage in sexual
34activity while incarcerated, providing access to condoms is
35“consistent with the need to improve our prison healthcare system
36and overall public health.”
37(c) The veto message
directed the department to determine the
38risk and viability of such a program by identifying one state prison
39facility for the purpose of allowing nonprofits and health agencies
40to distribute sexual barrier devices.
P4 1(d) To accomplish the Governor’s directive, a pilot program
2was implemented in Solano State Prison, Facility II, for one year,
3from November 5, 2008, through November 4, 2009. Several
4agencies covered all costs and volunteered their staff time and
6(e) The Center for Health Justice, a nonprofit organization,
7purchased the condom dispensing machines and condoms,
8monitored and refilled the dispensers throughout the pilot period,
9and provided education for staff and inmates.
10(f) Researchers from the Division of Correctional Health Care
11Services, Public Health Unit; the State Department of Public
12 Health, Office of AIDS, and the Sexually Transmitted Disease
13Control Branch provided evaluation services and finalized their
14conclusions in a September 2011 report entitled: Evaluation of a
15Prisoner Condom Access Pilot Program Conducted in One
16California State Prison Facility.
17(g) The report concluded that there was no evidence that the
18availability of condoms created an increased risk of breaches of
19safety or security, or resulted in injury to staff or inmates in a
20general population prison facility setting.
21(h) The report also stated that its findings may not be
22generalizable to other settings, for example, because of higher
23security or in a setting dedicated to inmates with mental health
24problems. Additional pilot studies may be warranted in these other
26(i) The report concluded that providing condoms
27dispensing machines similar to those used in the pilot program is
28feasible and of relatively low cost to implement and maintain.
29(j) Estimates of the in-prison HIV and STD transmission rates
30are not available. However, given the relatively low cost of
31providing condoms relative to the cost of treating HIV, and that
32very few HIV infections would need to be prevented to cover the
33costs of the program, it is likely that providing condoms could
34reduce department medical costs.
(a) Based on the recommendations contained in the
37“Evaluation of a Prisoner Condom Access Pilot Program
38Conducted in One California State Prison Facility” report, and in
39light of the successful pilot project conducted at California State
40Prison, Solano, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
P5 1shall develop a five-year plan to expand the availability of condoms
2in all California prisons.
3(b) Commencing January 1, 2015, no less than five prisons, as
4determined by the department, shall be incorporated into the
5program each year, with the final year yielding a comprehensive
6plan that includes every prison in the state.
7(c) In developing the plan, the department shall consider all of
8the following recommendations that were made in the report:
9(1) Initiate and incrementally expand a program to provide
10inmates with access to condoms while continuing to monitor the
11safety and acceptability of the program.
12(2) Consider additional pilot studies in settings that may pose
13a serious health or safety risk, for example, higher security facilities
14or housing for inmates with serious mental health problems.
15(3) Mount dispensers in discreet locations to provide confidential
16access and increase accessibility by minimizing inoperability due
17to vandalism. Dispensers with solid steel construction and protected
18locks are available that are more tamper resistant than those used
19in the pilot study.
20(4) Consider making condoms available confidentially upon
21request during a medical or mental health visit, in addition to
23(5) Provide information to staff and inmates describing findings
24from the current study demonstrating that safety and security were
25not impacted by the distribution of condoms.
26(6) Include inmate peer educators, inmates’,
begin delete Men’s, and
advisory counsels, and medical,
28public health, and custody staff in local institutional condom
29program planning and implementation.