----- Original Message -----
From: H Jones
To: 1 VIP list
Sent: Wednesday, February 05, 2003 2:04 AM
Subject: [patrickcrusade] Fw:FV LETTER FROM CUFJ
Californians united for justice
P.O.BOX 2206 | SHINGLE SPRINGS, CA. 95682 | 209-815-4971 | E-mail:CUFJ@JUSTICE.COM
February 4, 2003
Attorney at Law
305 San Bruno Avenue West
San Bruno, CA 94066
With this letter, we would like to lend our support for the current Gordon vs. California Department of Corrections [CDC] case, #322862.
The Family Visiting program has been in existence for over 30 years without any opposition from correctional line staff nor legislators. The only opposition has been from the Crime Victims Organizations, supported by the CCPOA and prior Governor Pete Wilson, as well as our current Governor Gray Davis.
There has never been a risk to the safety or security of any institution governed by the CDC due to the Family Visiting program. Matter of fact, the program has been proven as a valuable tool for correctional staff by providing a powerful incentive for all inmates to display good behavior.
Political pressure by Crime Victims Organizations and the CCPOA caused the Pete Wilson administration to introduce and support several bills during the 1990's promising to eliminate the Family Visiting program for some or all prisoners and their families. EVERY bill introduced died in the Assembly, or the Senate!
We are certain, this defeat in the legislature cause some officials to become creative with the available "Emergency Regulations" procedure available to CDC.
Although the current case is not looking at the horrible effect this caused to the families of the affected inmates, we would like to point out that over 50% of the affected prisoners are no longer married or have lost contact with their wives or children. Since CDC has stopped trying to rehabilitate offenders, but instead focuses on warehousing and punishing offenders regardless of their behavior, it stands to reason that keeping rehabilitative tools, such as Family Visits, are no longer needed.
The loss of family visits has caused untold numbers of children losing a parent or both parents, as well as causing severe depression and ultimately severance of relationships for some.
We have reports of children becoming affiliated with gangs after being denied their parent's affection. We have reports of wives undergoing mental health treatments after losing family visits with their spouses. We have reports from most of those affected stating the agony and feeling of being victimized after their family visits were taken away. There are hundreds upon hundreds of sad and traumatic stories and reports from those families that lost their spouses due to the absence of family visits. You see, the families, especially the children, are the REAL victims of this regulation change. Regardless of the crime committed by a prisoner, the innocent families should never be victimized to placate some Crime Victims group nor to further someone's political aspiration.
Most importantly, it is reprehensible for a State Agency in charge of those who performed illegal acts to illegally implement new regulations. If nothing else, the Department of Corrections should have an impeccable history of complying with all laws and should be held to the highest standards.
There should never be a statute of limitations for any California State Agency performing illegal acts affecting California citizens.