Improve the condition of visitation rooms at CSP-Los Angeles County

Improve the condition of visitation rooms at CSP-Los Angeles County

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A​.​A Sepulveda-Miller started this petition to Visitors of CSP-LAC

I am creating this petition to share this with the warden or visiting sergeant at California State Prison-Los Angeles located in Lancaster, CA. The conditions of the visitation rooms could greatly improve. CSP-LAC is currently violating some of the visiting guidelines set by CDCR. The following are some observations/improvements that are greatly needed and the adult visiting guidelines that are being violated:

1.  According to the CDCR adult inmate visiting guidelines, "Some visiting  rooms have an area set aside for small children. The area is usually relatively small (about the size of a typical bedroom) and has toys, games, and books for the children. Children must be supervised at all times while on prison grounds by the adult who has accompanied them to the prison, including whenever the children are in the play area. Failure to adequately supervise children can result in the termination of the visit, but it can also result in a lack of safety for the children, so visitors should be diligent about supervision and not allow other adults (prisoners or other visitors) to supervise their children. No adults (neither prisoners nor visitors) are allowed in the play area except when supervising their children. There are NO toys for school aged-children to play with, except for connect 4 and similar games which can be hazardous for toddlers. There are NO books or toys for school-aged children in the visitation room.

2. The price of food items can greatly be reduced. The majority of family members visiting are from low socioeconomic backgrounds and low income. Knowing this, a vendor should provide prices that are reasonable. Currently the prices for a soda are $2/can and are $5-8 for a sandwich, there are frozen meals that are upwards of $12. According to the CDCR inmate visiting guidelines, Visiting rooms have vending machines stocked with food and beverages for purchase by visitors and consumption by visitors and prisoners. A visitor may not bring any food or beverage from the outside into the prison and cannot take out any food or beverage bought at the prison when he/she leaves. Vending machines usually have sodas, water, sandwiches (including burgers), and burritos, popcorn, candy, pastries, and coffee. At some prisons, vending machines may also include fresh fruits and vegetables. The prices will vary for such items but usually are about a dollar for a can of soda or bag of popcorn and three to four dollars for a sandwich. The visiting room has microwave ovens for the heating of frozen items." Families should have working microwaves in the visitation rooms. Currently there is only one working microwave in one of the buildings located in the visitation room. There are usually more than 40 individuals with their families visiting the same visitation room and having only one microwave takes away from the meals each of our families get to eat. 

3. Lastly and most importantly, the majority of state prisons throughout the state are able to visit their family members using the outside or patio area. According to the CDCR adult inmate guidelines, "Many visiting rooms have adjoining patios that prisoners and their visitors may use. The patios may have some grass, some play equipment for small children, and some furniture (benches, chairs, tables). The patios may be available for use during all visiting hours or only at restricted times." CSP-LAC does not allow visitation outside. It is important for health and mental wellbeing for families and their incarcerated loved one to be able to enjoy fresh air with their children or families. It is only humane to provide this right, as the outside area is still equipped with security cameras. It is fair to close them due to weather conditions but should be open the majority of the time, if the weather permits. 

Additionally, families should be able to have leisure time with their family member, including watching a working TV. TV's are located in the visiting room but do not work.

As visitors of our incarcerated loved ones, we would greatly appreciate if visitation rooms can improve and the guidelines that are being violated be improved for the wellbeing of all inmates and their families. It is not a privilege to see our loved ones, it is a right. 

Thank you. 

 

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