We're being contacted by many family members about family visiting and continuing problems. While this should not surprise anyone, it also shouldn't and won't be allowed to just ride. For those of you still experiencing issues, please do the following:
Have you read the new regs and believe you should be eligible under them? If not, go to the Resources tab on this website and read them now. If you've been denied, have you re-applied under the new regs? If so, has the denial come from a counselor (individual) or from a committee (as specified in the regs)? Has your lifer filed a 602, to no avail? Have you contacted the Ombudsman for your prison, and requested their input and help? (See the Resources tab on this website for Ombud contact info and always cc the Chief Ombud) And do you know the exact reason for the denial? Please take these steps before you contact us--but if you're not getting a response or still a no and you think you do qualify, then let us know that you've done what you can and still no movement. And we'll help you through the rest of the process. And while you're at it--ask everyone you can think of what's up with the Statewide Inmate Family Council, the CDCR reconstituted group that's supposed to be an extension of your local IFC in helping you solve problems. This topic, family visiting, should be right in their sphere of influence! We've spoken to several members of the SIFC and they would like the chance to be more active and helpful--so perhaps it's the rest of us who need to rally around them and push CDCR to do what they promised when they took it upon themselves to reorganize SIFC.
At my last meeting with Sec. Diaz he voiced his support for family visiting for lifers and indicated he expected the bugs in the regs to be worked out, personnel trained and the system implemented as expected. If that isn't happening, we need to pass the word up the line--and we will.