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AB-2550 Prisons: female inmates and male correctional officers.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/20/2018 09:00 PM
AB2550:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2550
CHAPTER 174

An act to add Section 2644 to the Penal Code, relating to prisons.

[ Approved by Governor  August 20, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  August 20, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2550, Weber. Prisons: female inmates and male correctional officers.
Existing law establishes the state prisons, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Existing law requires the department, when establishing inmate classifications and housing assignment procedures, to take into account risk factors that can lead to inmates and wards becoming the target of sexual victimization.
This bill would prohibit male correctional officers from conducting a pat down search of a female inmate unless the prisoner presents a risk of immediate harm to herself or others or risk of escape and there is not a female correctional officer available to conduct the search. The bill would also prohibit a male correctional officer from entering an area of the institution where female inmates may be in a state of undress, or from being in an area where they can view female inmates in a state of undress, unless an inmate in the area presents a risk of immediate harm to herself or others or if there is a medical emergency in the area and there is not a female correctional officer who can resolve the situation in a safe and timely manner without his assistance. The bill would require staff of the opposite sex to announce their presence when entering a housing unit. The bill would require documentation of a male correctional officer conducting a pat down search or entering a prohibited area within 3 days of the incident and would require that the documentation to be reviewed by the warden and retained.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 2644 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

2644.
 (a) A male correctional officer shall not conduct a pat down search of a female inmate unless the prisoner presents a risk of immediate harm to herself or others or risk of escape and there is not a female correctional officer available to conduct the search.
(b) A male correctional officer shall not enter into an area of the institution where female inmates may be in a state of undress, or be in an area where they can view female inmates in a state of undress, including, but not limited to, restrooms, shower areas, or medical treatment areas, unless an inmate in the area presents a risk of immediate harm to herself or others or if there is a medical emergency in the area. A male correctional officer shall not enter into an area prohibited under this subdivision if there is a female correctional officer who can resolve the situation in a safe and timely manner without his assistance. To prevent incidental viewing, staff of the opposite sex shall announce their presence when entering a housing unit.
(c) If a male correctional officer conducts a pat down search under an exception provided in subdivision (a) or enters a prohibited area under an exception provided in subdivision (b), the circumstances for and details of the exception shall be documented within three days of the incident. The documentation shall be reviewed by the warden and retained by the institution for reporting purposes.
(d) The department may promulgate regulations to implement this section.