By-Laws of the Statewide Inmate Family Council Advisory Committee
STATEWIDE INMATE FAMILY COUNCIL
ADVISORY COMMITTEE Established June 18, 2018
SECTION 1: NAME OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The name of the advisory committee is the Statewide Inmate Family Council (SIFC).
SECTION 1: MISSION STATEMENT
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and representatives of families of the incarcerated are jointly committed to work together to support connections between inmates and their families through improved communication, shared information, issue identification, and resolution.
SECTION 2: SCOPE
The scope of the work of the SIFC shall encompass the consideration of systemic issues regarding the application of CDCR rules, regulations, policies, and practices.
SECTION 3: REPORTING STRUCTURE
The SIFC is an advisory committee with a goal of resolving systemic issues within CDCR.
The Associate Director, Female Offender Programs and Services (FOPS Associate Director) shall serve as a liaison between the Director, Division of Adult Institutions (DAI), and the SIFC.
These by-laws shall supersede and replace any other by-laws formerly drafted or adopted by or for the Statewide Inmate Family Council.
CDCR Statewide Inmate Family Council By-Laws
SECTION 1: MISSION STATEMENT
SECTION 1: MEMBERSHIP
ARTICLE III MEMBERSHIP
The SIFC shall not have more than ten (10) members. A concerted effort shall be made to select two (2) members from each of the following DAI missions:
- Female Offender Programs and Services
- General Population Males
- High Security
- Reception Centers
- Contract Beds
If two members cannot be found from each mission, the vacant membership can be nominated and filled with members from any local IFC.
SIFC Member Qualifications:
- Be a current member in good standing within a local IFC.
- Visit the institution for which they are a local IFC member at least 4 times each calendar year.
- Be available to regularly attend SIFC meetings in Sacramento, California four (4) times per year.
- Be able to work cooperatively and professionally with CDCR staff as well as other members of local IFCs and the SIFC.
- Meet the qualifications for an approved visitor under Title 15, Sec. 3172 and 3172.1.
- The CDCR shall ensure visitors are aware of the existence of the SIFC by posting notices on the CDCR website and in visiting rooms statewide.
- The CDCR shall post notices on the CDCR website and in visiting rooms when there are SIFC vacancies.
- Information regarding applications shall be made available online via the CDCR website, and shall be made available in the visitor processing areas.
- Completed applications can be submitted by email to: CDCR.Visiting@cdcr.ca.gov, or by mailing to P.O. Box 942883, Sacramento, CA 94283-0001, ATTENTION: STATEWIDE INMATE FAMILY COUNCIL.
- CDCR shall provide a copy of all applications received to the SIFC Chairperson for review.
SECTION 2: SELECTION/APPOINTMENT
Future members shall be nominated by a majority vote of current SIFC members, including SIFC Officers, and shall be forwarded to the FOPS Associate Director for final consideration.
The FOPS Associate Director has final authority to approve or disapprove nominees. Disapproval of nominees shall only be allowed if:
- The member does not meet the qualifications as listed in Article III, Section 1 of these by-laws, or
- The nominee’s presence would jeopardize the integrity of the SIFC, or
- The nominee was previously removed from the SIFC under the provisions of these by-laws.
SECTION 3: REPRESENTATION
The goal is to have a diversified membership with representation from local Inmate Family Councils.
SECTION 4: VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION
Participation in the SIFC is strictly voluntary. All members agree to work within the by-laws of the SIFC and the CDCR rules, regulations, and policies.
SECTION 5: TERMS
The term of office for members of the SIFC shall be two (2) years.
No SIFC member shall serve more than two (2) consecutive terms without a break in service of one full term.
SECTION 6: RESIGNATION
Any member wishing to resign from the SIFC shall submit a letter of resignation to the SIFC Chairperson, Recording Secretary and the FOPS Associate Director.
SECTION 7: VACANCIES/REPLACEMENTS
In the event of a vacancy, the FOPS Associate Director, or designee, will send notice of a vacancy to all IFC members in the respective mission. IFC members will be allowed thirty (30) days to submit an application for the vacant position. Every attempt shall be made to fill a vacancy within sixty (60) days from the date of the vacancy.
SECTION 8: REMOVAL/DISAPPROVAL OF MEMBERS
The FOPS Associate Director shall remove a member if the member no longer meets the qualifications as listed in Article III, Section 1 of these by-laws.
Recommendations for Removal
The SIFC members may recommend that the FOPS Associate Director remove an SIFC member for any of the grounds listed under mandatory removal or removal for cause. Upon a majority vote of all current members, including SIFC Officers, the SIFC shall forward recommendations for member removal to the FOPS Associate Director for consideration. The FOPS Associate Director has final authority to approve or disapprove recommendations for removal.
Removal for Cause
The FOPS Associate Director may remove a member for cause if the member:
- Engages in unprofessional or disruptive behavior which directly interferes with legitimate business of the SIFC, or
- Would jeopardize the integrity of the SIFC by their continued participation, or
- Discloses confidential information about the CDCR or the SIFC, or
- Fails to properly disclose and resolve conflicts of interest, or
- Violates any provision of these by-laws, or
- Is suspended from visiting any CDCR institution or office for any behavior which jeopardizes the safety and security of the institution or office, staff, inmates, or visitors, or
- Has unexcused absences from two (2) consecutive meetings. “Unexcused absence” is defined as an absence without notification or good cause. For an absence to be excused, notification shall be made to the Chairperson and/or Recording Secretary at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled meeting, or
- Has unexcused absences from two (2) consecutive internal meetings held directly before the regularly scheduled CDCR SIFC meetings. For an absence to be excused, notification shall be made to the Chairperson and/or Recording Secretary at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the scheduled meeting.
SECTION 9: REPRESENTATION
No individual member shall attempt to represent SIFC, either in writing or verbally, on any issue, without prior approval of the Chairperson.
In communications with outside entities, SIFC members shall not purport to represent CDCR’s position on any matter without the approval of the Chairperson and the FOPS Associate Director.
SECTION 1: NOMINATATION AND SELECTION OF OFFICERS
The SIFC members will nominate their officers, a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson and Recording Secretary, from among members interested in serving in those capacities. To nominate their Officers, every year during the first quarter meeting, the SIFC members shall nominate a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and a Recording Secretary. The nomination shall require a majority vote, including SIFC Officers, in order to be submitted to the FOPS Associate Director. The FOPS Associate Director has full discretion and final authority to approve or disapprove the nominations.
If the member appointed to an Officer’s position completes their term of SIFC membership before the end of the calendar year, the SIFC membership shall nominate a replacement Officer from the remaining SIFC members. The replacement Officer shall remain in place until the next first quarter meeting or the end of their SIFC membership term, whichever comes first.
SECTION 2: QUALIFICATIONS
Any SIFC member may serve as an officer of the SIFC.
SECTION 3: OFFICERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES
The Chairperson shall:
- Call meetings.
- Schedule quarterly meetings with the Director, DAI, and designated staff via the FOPS Associate Director and staff.
- Coordinate with the Recording Secretary the preparation of the agenda for meetings with the Director, DAI, and submit the agenda to the FOPS Associate Director at least fifteen (15) business days in advance of a scheduled meeting.
- Chair the meetings.
- Coordinate all written and electronic communications between the SIFC and CDCR.
The Vice Chairperson shall:
- Assist the Chairperson in his/her responsibilities.
- Assume the responsibilities of the Chairperson in his/her absence.
- Provide the SIFC webmaster with information about the SIFC.
- Ensure website content about the SIFC is accurate and current.
- Maintain member roster and update information on members as needed.
The Recording Secretary shall:
- Take and retain minutes of the SIFC internal meetings.
- Take and retain minutes of the DAI Director meetings with the CDCR HQ staff.
- Ensure that approved minutes of meetings are posted to the local Inmate Family Council network and for review by visitors at all institutions.
- Assist the Chairperson in coordinating all written and electronic communication between the SIFC and CDCR.
SECTION 4: MEMBERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES
All SIFC members shall work cooperatively and professionally with others on the SIFC and CDCR staff. SIFC members will provide notice to the Chairperson when unable to continue to serve as a member. Meetings between CDCR staff and the SIFC shall be to address systemic issues of wide application to inmates and their families and friends.
SIFC members shall refrain from discussing any issues unique to individuals of the institution where that member visits.
SIFC members are prohibited from conducting any fundraising activities on behalf of or in the name of the SIFC or CDCR.
SIFC members are prohibited from engaging in any activities to establish the SIFC as a separate or legal entity.
SECTION 1: FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS
The SIFC shall hold a quarterly meeting with the Director, DAI, and designated staff no less than every ninety (90) days, unless mutually agreed upon by CDCR and the SIFC.
SECTION 2: AGENDA
The Quarterly CDCR SIFC Meeting agenda shall be drafted by all members of the SIFC, with final review and approval by the SIFC Chairperson, and shall be submitted to the FOPS Associate Director and SIFC members at least fifteen (15) business days prior to a scheduled meeting.
SECTION 3: QUORUM
There is no quorum required for quarterly meetings to proceed with CDCR.
SECTION 4: TIME AND LOCATION
The time and date of quarterly meetings with CDCR shall be determined by mutual agreement of the Chairperson and the FOPS Associate Director.
If either the Chairperson or the FOPS Associate Director must cancel a scheduled meeting, notification should be provided seventy-two (72) hours in advance when possible.
SECTION 5: GUESTS
With prior approval of the FOPS Associate Director, the SIFC may invite up to three (3) guests to attend the quarterly scheduled meeting.
SIFC-CDCR HQ COMMUNICATIONS
Upon SIFC Chairperson and FOPS Associate Director approval, the Recording Secretary will post official communications (i.e. Minutes, by-laws, vacancy notices) on the approved SIFC website.
Any proposed amendment to the SIFC by-laws can only be considered through a written request, with supporting rationale, provided to the Chairperson. The SIFC Chairperson will circulate the proposed amendment for review and comment by all current SIFC members.
Upon review and receipt of comments, the Chairperson will schedule discussion and action on the proposed amendment at the next regularly scheduled business meeting of the SIFC.
Upon majority vote, including SIFC Officers, the proposed amendment shall be forwarded to the FOPS Associate Director. The FOPS Associate Director has full discretion and final authority to approve, modify, or disapprove any suggested amendments.