Ask Gov. Newsom to Sign AB 3228 to Hold For-Profit, Private Detention Facilities Accountable

Friday, September 11, 2020

Thank you for supporting my AB 3228. This bill provides accountability and oversight of for-profit, private detention facilities in California. We must ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Californians and make sure they are safe from COVID-19.

Below is a sample letter you may use or modify to send to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking him to sign AB 3228. It's important that you electronically submit your letter immediately. The Governor could make a decision on AB 3228 at any moment. The deadline for him to make a decision on the bill is September 30th.

Please submit your letter via the Governor's website at:

https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/

Make sure you select AB 3228 from the drop down menu so your letter is correctly routed.
Here's what the screen on the Governor's website will look like when you begin submitting.

Ask Gov. Newsom to Sign AB 3228 to Hold For-Profit, Private Detention Facilities Accountable

Sample Letter:

Dear Governor Newsom,

I respectfully request your signature on AB 3228 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, which seeks to provide accountability for health and safety in all private detention facilities in the state of California. In the wake of COVID-19, accountability in private detention facilities is an urgent issue to protect public health and human life. Each civil detention facility is operated through a contract that provides for specific standards with respect to the treatment of detainees. AB 3228 would ensure that all detention facility operators in the state of California adhere to the minimum detention standards agreed upon in the contract for the facility by providing for a cause of action in state court for any violations of those agreed upon standards. By providing this cause of action, California can ensure that these detention facilities uphold basic human rights and standards in the treatment of civil detainees. 

Especially now during this public health crisis, it is imperative that California takes steps to protect its residents and institute uniform and adequate standards for detention facilities within its borders. Over the past several months, we have seen hundreds of cases of individuals held in private detention facilities testing positive for COVID-19. What we are seeing in these facilities are blatant violations of human rights, and a complete disregard for the contractual obligations that these private operators are supposed to be beholden to.

California should ensure compliance and consistency with respect to standards, and monitor conditions within these facilities so that detainees, staff and the surrounding community are not endangered. By enacting this legislation, California will empower individuals subject to harm by third party operators who are acting outside of the requirements of their mandate to seek justice for the wrongs done to them.

By providing a cause of action for violations at private detention facilities through AB 3228, we are sending a clear message that no one is above the law, and that California will ensure the human rights, health and safety, and dignity of everyone in our state. We must now do what is necessary to ensure those facilities that remain open and in operation adhere to the standards set forth in their contracts, particularly at such a critical time for public safety. For these reasons, I respectfully request your signature on AB 3228.