Expanded Prison Access Subject of State Hearing

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jim Ewert with the California Newspaper Publishers Association says it’s cumbersome to interview a specific inmate.  He testified at the state Capitol that getting permission from a prisoner and getting on their visitor list is just the beginning: 

“Then wait in line for hours and hours on a Saturday or Sunday, and risk the chance  you won't get in because of all the families waiting to see their loved ones.” 

The Society of Professional Journalists says 90-percent of states allow reporters easier access to specific inmates.  But Debra Tate, sister of murdered actress Sharon Tate, says there’s the victim’s side… 

“What if you had to listen to your perpetrator use the media to sway a public mind.” 

State corrections officials have echoed those concerns…  Democratic State Senator Gloria Romero says she’ll continue efforts for added access in the coming year…