SIFC Quarterly Workgroup Meeting Minutes – May 2019
SIFC Visiting Work Group Notes – May 3, 2019
Call to Order: 8:30am
Statewide Inmate Family Council Members:
Mary Ann Ellis-Jammal, Chairperson
Allison Walters, Secretary
Maureen Mitchell, Member
Annette DeLaTorre, Member
Jacqueline Mullins, Member
Clara Velasco, Member
Beth Hall, Member (Submitted notes)
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Matthew Rustad, Correctional Lieutenant, FOPS/SH
Gordon Wong, Correctional Captain, FOPS/SH
Marjorie Cross, Correctional Counselor II, Statewide Visiting Coordinator
Peggy Andre, Executive Assistant for AD Miller
Yolanda Ledesma, Pelican Bay/Tehachapi
There was a consideration on the table to link VPASS with SOMS to eliminate visitors from making multiple appointments and selling them. It was determined that VPASS and SOMS will not be linked for multiple reasons including the access to personal information. The individuals making multiple appointments can be tracked on the system for future reference. CCll Cross will research the number of visits per time slot at the most impacted facilities to evaluate if more slots can be created. Visits per time slot are up to the Wardens discretion but no facility can exceed capacity levels.
Increased Visiting Proposal
Discussion was held about increased visiting hours for children to have more time with their parents. SIFC requested this be applied only at the top two impacted facilities at this point. Thoughts were expressed regarding interrupting inmate’s weekly activities and the cost to staff such extended hours. SIFC forwarded a Pilot Proposal to AD Miller for consideration.
Update Visiting Handbook
It was previously established that the current handbook is out dated and in need of changes. SIFC submitted some recommended changes to Ms. Cross. All SIFC members have a copy and will make changes that pertain to their visiting facility and bring to the next meeting if input is still needed. The goal is to make the handbook accurate and to change the attire restrictions to be less subjective and current with today’s fashion.
Cash allowance for vending
Increasing the cash allowance has been a discussion at multiple meetings. Surveys and proposals have circulated. Further consideration of price gouging was mentioned. Suggestion for another proposal from SIFC was recommended. **** By the end of the meeting day, it was announced there has been approval for an interim allowance increase and continued vending contract pricing review. The memo with details of the increased amounts will go out to the field soon.
SIFC expressed great appreciation.
SIFC submitted an edited version of CDC Form 193 (Trust withdrawal form) for consideration. Family Visits have been cancelled for lack of funds due to the confusing language of this form.
SIFC presented information showing the disparity in food selection for family visits at different facilities. The council is requesting some type of standardization for more choices and healthy, fresh items.
Statewide Visiting Staff training
CDCR is enthusiastic about meeting with visiting staff representatives from all of the California facilities on a Saturday to share ways to make the visiting process more consistent and positive. In order to accommodate this training day there will be no visiting statewide on a Saturday in the future. Notifications will be made when the date is confirmed.
Meeting adjourned at 10:00 am