REFERENCE TITLE: prisoners; visitation; health care; ombudsman





State of Arizona

House of Representatives

Fifty-third Legislature

Second Regular Session




HB 2638


Introduced by

Representative Salman: Senator Mendez





amending title 31, chapter 2, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding section 31‑232; relating to prisoners.





Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1.  Title 31, chapter 2, article 2, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 31-232, to read:

START_STATUTE31-232.  Prisoner placement, visitation, health care and family programs; overnight visitation pilot program; ombudsman; program termination; definition

A.  Notwithstanding any other law, the Director shall:

1.  establish within the department an office that determines the placement of prisoners.  When making a determination for the placement of a prisoner, the office shall:

(a)  if the prisoner has children, place the prisoner in a facility that is as close to the children as possible.

(b)  Consider any other factor that the office determines is appropriate.

2.  adopt rules for visitation between a prisoner who is a primary caretaker parent and the prisoner's family members.  The rules must:

(a)  Allow a prisoner to receive visits at least six days per week, including Saturdays and Sundays.

(b)  Require all prison facilities to be open for visitation for not less than eight hours per day.

(c)  Allow a prisoner to have up to five adult visitors and an        unlimited number of child visitors per visit.

(d)  Allow a prisoner to have physical contact with a visitor unless the prisoner presents an immediate physical danger to the visitor.

3.  Provide parenting classes to each prisoner who is a primary caretaker parent.

4.  Provide trauma‑informed care to each prisoner who is diagnosed with trauma.

5.  Provide training to each correctional officer and every other employee of the department who regularly interacts with prisoners, including health care professionals and instructors, to enable the employees to identify prisoners with trauma and refer those prisoners to the proper health care professional for treatment.

6.  Adopt rules that allow an individual who was formerly incarcerated in a prison to visit a prison to Act as a mentor for prisoners and to assist prisoners in reentry.

7.  Ensure that female prisoners have access to a gynecologist.

8.  Make videoconferencing available to all prisoners free of charge.  This paragraph does not authorize the director to use videoconferencing as a SUBSTITUTE for in‑person visits.

9.  make the following health care products available to prisoners free of charge, in a quantity that is appropriate to the health care needs of each prisoner, and ensure that the products comply with applicable industry standards:

(a)  Tampons.

(b)  Sanitary napkins.

(c)  Moisturizing soap that is not lye‑based.

(d)  Shampoo.

(e)  Body lotion.

(f)  Petroleum jelly.

(g)  Toothpaste.

(h)  Toothbrushes.

(i)  Aspirin.

(j)  Ibuprofen.

(k)  Any other health care product that the director determines is appropriate.

10.  adopt rules that prohibit A correctional officer from:

(a)  Conducting a strip search of a prisoner who is of the opposite sex unless the prisoner presents a risk of immediate harm to oneself or to another person and a correctional officer who is of the same sex as the prisoner is not available to assist.

(b)  Entering a restroom that is reserved for prisoners of the opposite sex unless a correctional officer who is of the same sex as the prisoner is not available to assist and either:

(i)  The prisoner in the restroom presents a risk of immediate harm to oneself or to another person.

(ii)  There is a medical emergency in the restroom.

11.  establish a program that will allow a prisoner who is a primary caretaker parent and who meets eligibility criteria established by the director to receive overnight visits from family members.  In establishing the eligibility criteria for the program, the director shall require that a prisoner have displayed good behavior while incarcerated and prohibit participation by any prisoner who has been convicted of a violent crime as defined in section 13‑901.03.

B.  The director may not:

1.  Place A prisoner who is pregnant or in the first eight weeks of postpartum recovery in a segregated housing unit unless the prisoner presents an immediate risk of harm to oneself or others.  If the prisoner is placed in a segregated housing unit, the placement must be limited and temporary.

2.  Charge a fee for a telephone call made by a prisoner.

3.  Prohibit a prisoner who is a primary caretaker parent or who is pregnant from participating in a program of residential substance abuse treatment because the prisoner failed to disclose to any official before being incarcerated that the prisoner has a substance abuse problem.

4.  Assign the upper bunk of a bunk bed to a female prisoner who is fifty years of age or more.

C.  The attorney general shall designate an ombudsman to oversee and monitor all of the following within the department:

1.  Prisoner transportation.

2.  The use of segregated housing.

3.  Strip searches of prisoners.

4.  Civil rights violations.

D.  The program established pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 11 of this section ends on July 1, 2028 pursuant to section 41-3103.

E.  For the purposes of this section, "primary caretaker parent" means a parent who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health and safety of a child before being incarcerated or a woman who has given birth to a child after or while awaiting sentencing and who expresses a willingness to assume responsibility for the housing, health and safety of that child. END_STATUTE

Sec. 2.  Short title

This act may be cited as the "Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act".