Community Health, Youth Voices
A new set of California regulations aimed at ferreting out contraband in state prisons threatens to make visits to family or friends behind bars a humiliating experience. Rules requiring visitors to submit to canine or strip searches become permanent this year, barring a reversal by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Criminal justice advocates fear the regulations could deter visits they say are central to lowering recidivism rates. One Fresno native says routine visits from his brother during his 20-year lockup helped him “feel part of society,” easing the transition to life outside. “My brother’s visits allowed me to feel connected to the outside… It’s a lonely and pathetic place to be when people just forget you and you’re left to rot away without anyone caring.” Read his commentary on The Know.