Code Section Group

Penal Code - PEN


  ( Part 3 repealed and added by Stats. 1941, Ch. 106. )


  ( Title 2.1 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1250. )

CHAPTER 2. General Provisions and Prohibitions [3501 - 3509.5]
  ( Chapter 2 added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1250. )


The Legislature affirms the fundamental right of competent adults to make decisions about their participation in behavioral research.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1553, Sec. 1.5.)


(a) Biomedical research shall not be conducted on any prisoner in this state.

(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), records-based biomedical research using existing information, without prospective interaction with human subjects, may be conducted consistent with this title. The use or disclosure of individually identifiable records pursuant to this subdivision shall only occur after both of the following requirements have been met:

(1) The research advisory committee established pursuant to Section 3369.5 of Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations approves of the use or disclosure.

(2) The prisoner provides written authorization for the use or disclosure, or the use or disclosure is permitted by Section 164.512 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 197, Sec. 2. (SB 1238) Effective January 1, 2017.)


(a) Notwithstanding Section 3502, any physician who provides medical care to prisoners may provide a patient who is a prisoner with a drug or treatment available only through a treatment protocol or treatment IND (investigational new drug), as defined in Section 312 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, if the physician determines that access to that drug is in the best medical interest of the patient, and the patient has given informed consent under Section 3521.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, neither a public entity nor a public employee shall be liable for any injury caused by the administration of a drug pursuant to subdivision (a), where the administration is made in accordance with a treatment IND or a treatment protocol as defined in Section 312 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 1995, Ch. 70, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)


Any physical or mental injury of a prisoner resulting from the participation in behavioral research, irrespective of causation of such injury, shall be treated promptly and on a continuing basis until the injury is cured.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1553, Sec. 5.)


Behavioral research shall be limited to studies of the possible causes, effects and processes of incarceration and studies of prisons as institutional structures or of prisoners as incarcerated persons which present minimal or no risk and no more than mere inconvenience to the subjects of the research. Informed consent shall not be required for participation in behavioral research when the department determines that it would be unnecessary or significantly inhibit the conduct of such research. In the absence of such determination, informed consent shall be required for participation in behavioral research.

(Amended by Stats. 1985, Ch. 1553, Sec. 6.)


Behavioral modification techniques shall be used only if such techniques are medically and socially acceptable means by which to modify behavior and if such techniques do not inflict permanent physical or psychological injury.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1250.)


Nothing in this title is intended to diminish the authority of any official or agency to adopt and enforce rules pertaining to prisoners, so long as such rules are not inconsistent with this title.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1250.)

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