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AB-2533 Inmates: indigence.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/03/2018 09:00 PM
AB2533:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 03, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 15, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2533


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 14, 2018


An act to amend Section 5007.5 of, and to add Section 5007.7 to, the Penal Code, relating to inmates.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2533, as amended, Mark Stone. Inmates: indigence.
Existing law authorizes the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish canteens at any prison or institution under the department’s jurisdiction for the sale of toilet articles and other sundries, as specified. Existing law requires the Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to deposit any funds of inmates in his or her possession in trust in the Treasury, as specified. Existing law authorizes the secretary to charge a $5 fee for each inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in the state prison, and requires the fee to be charged to the prison account of the inmate. Existing law prohibits charging an inmate who has no money in his or her personal account for the medical visit.
This bill would require that an inmate in a state prison who has maintained an inmate trust account with $25 or less for 30 consecutive days be deemed indigent. The bill would require that an inmate who is indigent be provided with sufficient resources to communicate with and access the courts, as specified, and not be charged for medical, dental, and mental health copayments. The bill would make conforming changes.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 5007.5 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

5007.5.
 (a) The Secretary of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is authorized to charge a fee in the amount of five dollars ($5) for each inmate-initiated medical visit of an inmate confined in the state prison.
(b) The fee shall be charged to the prison account of the inmate. If the inmate has no money in his or her personal prison account, or is indigent pursuant to Section 5007.7, there shall be no charge for the medical visit.
(c) An inmate shall not be denied medical care because of a lack of funds in his or her prison account.
(d) The medical provider may waive the fee for any inmate-initiated treatment and shall waive the fee in any life-threatening or emergency situation, defined as those health services required for alleviation of severe pain or for immediate diagnosis and treatment of unforeseen medical conditions that if not immediately diagnosed and treated could lead to disability or death.
(e) Followup medical visits at the direction of the medical staff shall not be charged to the inmate.
(f) All moneys received by the secretary pursuant to this section shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be expended to reimburse the department for direct provision of inmate health care services.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5007.7 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

5007.7.
 An inmate who has maintained an inmate trust account with twenty-five dollars ($25) or less for 30 consecutive days shall be deemed indigent. An indigent inmate shall receive basic supplies necessary for maintaining personal hygiene and is exempt from medical, dental, and mental health copayments. An indigent inmate shall be provided with sufficient resources to communicate with and access the courts, including, but not limited to, stamps, writing materials, envelopes, and paper. paper, and the services of a notary for the purpose of notarizing a signature on a document, as required.