SIFC Quarterly Visiting Workgroup – February 2019


SIFC Visiting Workgroup, February 1, 2019


SIFC Attendees:

Mary Ann Ellis-Jammal, Chairperson
Christina Maria Mendoza, Vice Chairperson
Allison Walters, Secretary
Annette De La Torre, Member
Maureen Mitchel, Member
Beth Hall, Member
Wilhelmina Astronomo, Member (Partial attendance)

CDCR Attendees:

Matthew Rustad, Captain FOPS
Peggy Andre, Executive Assistant for Amy Miller
Linda Leonard, EIS Telecon


The group participated in a telephone conference call with Linda Leonard from Enterprise Information Services (EIS), regarding VPASS.  The question was asked if the VPASS system could screen to allow only authorized visitors to establish a VPASS account. Ms. Leonard said not at this time. She explained that VPASS would have to be connected to the SOMS system. She added that they could look into what that connection would entail.   

There was conversation about multiple VPASS appointments being made and sold to others.  Ms. Leonard reported that they were aware of this issue and they have options to suppress it. They have data showing multiple appointments being made from the same IP address, this ability could be shut down but doing that could cause problems for families with more than one loved one to visit.

Concerns about facilities that run out of VPASS appointments within minutes of the site opening is still a problem.  Visitors that don’t cancel or show up cause grief for other visitors.  VPASS does not track “no shows” and CDCR does not want to have punitive consequences. Administration will send direction to remind visiting staff to process walk ins as soon as possible.

SIFC requested:

Data for the 10 prisons with the highest volume of visitors in 2017/2018

A possible pilot to increase visiting hours at the top two impacted prisons

To not restrict visiting as a punishment.  We ask that the children still have time with their parent.

Standardize Clothing statewide:

Captain Rustad reported that the visiting handbook is going to be edited to make it more current and less subjective. Ms. Miller announced that there will be a statewide visiting staff training to improve consistency.  The statewide training will be held on a Saturday and therefore there will be no visiting that day.


Vending prices and allowable cash are still being reviewed.

SIFC Communication:

CDCR has developed a SIFC Webpage for posting rosters, meeting minutes and notices.  There will also be links to other pages of interest.

IFC Training:

Ms. Miller enthusiastically agreed to attend training by the SIFC for IFC members. She will attend one in Northern CA and one in Southern CA. Dates to be determined.

Adjourn Meeting