New State Law: Incarcerated Parents Housed Near Kids

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Sacramento, California — A state bill by Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco), AB 1226, known as “Keep Families Close” bill, has passed and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Friday, July 21, 2023.

According to the bill, any incarcerated parent, legal guardian, or care giver to a minor child must be placed at the closest correctional facility to the child’s home. This also allows those who are already incarcerated to request a transfer to another prison closer to their children. AB 1226 doesn’t apply to those who have certain convictions, like violence and sex related offenses, that would prohibit them from having child visitation rights.

In 2019, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) stated only 25% of the inmates who are parents are placed in facilities less than 100 miles away from their homes. Families will find it harder financially and time-wise to travel to facilities further away from their home. According to data collected from the CDCR, about 50% of people placed less than 50 miles away from their home receive frequent family visits, while only 15% of those placed 500 miles away get visitors.