Sample Letter of Support for AB 1270

AB 1270 (Ammiano) – Lift the Media Ban

Please fax or email to Hafsah Al-Amin, California Coalition for Women Prisoners at

fax: (415) 552-3150 or hafsah@womenprisoners.org

 Please add to your organizational letterhead

Date

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 558-3160

 Re: AB 1270 (Ammiano)  – California State Prison Media Access – Support

 Dear Governor Brown,

[Name of Organization/Association/Individual] is writing in strong support of AB 1270, which seeks to restore the media’s ability to conduct pre-arranged in-person interviews with specific people in prison under the discretion of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). This bill would allow the media to provide more balanced information about our prison system, keep the public informed, and keep our institutions both transparent and accountable.

The 2011-2012 state budget allocates $9.2 billion in taxpayer money to CDCR, yet public information regarding our prisons is limited by CDCR’s restrictive media regulations. Media representatives can only conduct random interviews with a pool of prisoners pre-selected by the CDCR under current regulations. Because prisons are closed institutions, the media’s role in keeping the public informed about how its tax dollars are spent is vital.

This bill enables media representatives to request specific in-person prisoner interviews and requires

CDCR to respond to requests within a 48-hour period. In addition, it prohibits retaliation against prisoners for communicating with representatives of the media, as well as ensuring the ability of the press to provide the public with the necessary information to reach intelligent and informed opinions about the operations of the correctional system.

The department would still retain discretion over all media requests, including the ability to deny requests that pose any safety risks to the institution, staff, or a member of the public. Any responses denying a request must be accompanied with a written explanation for the request denial. Crime victims and their families would be notified of the approved interview at least two days prior to the date of the interview.

 Optional – include two sentences about why you, your organization/association cares about lifting the media ban.

AB 1270 provides the appropriate balance between the need for media access and the need for prison security and autonomy. This is important legislation that deserves enactment into law.

For these reasons, [Name of Organization] supports AB 1270 and asks you to sign this bill into law.

Sincerely,

XX Name, Title

XX Organization

CC:

Cecilia Tran, Assembly Fellow
Office of Assemblymember Tom Ammiano
Fax: (916) 319-2114
Email: Cecilia.Tran@asm.ca.gov  
 
Hafsah Al-Amin, Program Coordinator
California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Fax: (415) 552-3150
Email: hafsah@womenprisoners.org

 

 

 

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