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VICTORY: The PATH Act passed the Senate Floor, now up to Newsom to sign

Posted by Sara Cooper | Sep 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

AB 581 – Providing Access to Healing (PATH) Act – Streamlines the clearance process for rehabilitative program providers so community based organizations may more effectively provide life-affirming programs to incarcerated Californians.

From Track Bill –

AB 581 was amended by Senator Wendy Carrillo. Rehabilitative program providers implemented within communities.

Existing law requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to conduct rehabilitative programming in a manner that meets specified requirements, including minimizing program wait times and offering a variety of program opportunities to inmates regardless of security level or sentence length.

This bill would establish various clearance levels for program providers in state prisons, including a short-term clearance, an annual program provider clearance, a program provider identification card, or a statewide program provider identification card, short-term clearance, annual program provider clearance, and statewide program provider clearance, as defined.

The bill would create a procedure for a program provider to receive one of these clearances and an identification card to gain entry into the state prison and would require the department to provide state prisons with forms for program providers to obtain the clearances.

The bill would require the department to notify all program provider applicants for clearance of their decision to approve or disapprove within a specified timeframe.

This bill would require the department to designate a standardized approval process for people who were formerly incarcerated and who are applying for these clearances.

The bill would also require the department to notify all applicants of their right to appeal a clearance decision and of the process for filing an appeal. The bill would require the department to notify all applicants of their final disposition of appeal within 90 days.

This bill would require the department to enter into a contract with the Department of Justice in order to receive notifications of subsequent state or federal arrests or dispositions for program providers applying for an annual clearance, a program provider identification card, or a statewide program provider identification card.

The bill would require the department to reassess the annual clearance, the program provider identification card, or the statewide program provider identification card upon receiving a notification of a subsequent state or federal arrest or disposition for a program provider with these clearances, and would authorize the department to revoke the clearance if the department deems it warranted.

By authorizing the department to receive criminal history information, the knowing dissemination of which is a misdemeanor, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the department to submit to the Department of Justice fingerprint images and related information from a program provider applying for an annual clearance, program provider identification card, or statewide program provider clearance, as specified.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

More updates to come.

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