Assembly Bill 717, introduced in the California State Assembly in February 2021, would require the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to provide all prisoners California ID cards or driver’s licenses upon their release from custody.
State identification cards or driver’s licenses are crucial to accessing resources that most clients are in dire need of when released from jail or prison. If you want to find employment, apply for housing, or get healthcare, you will likely need to provide proof of your ID. Since obtaining a state-issued ID can sometimes take weeks after an individual’s release, this can leave them without important resources for extended periods during a time when they may need them the most.
A similar bill was passed in 2014, though it only mandated the issuance of IDs to individuals that met several large hurdles—like having already obtained some ID prior to their incarceration, having paid off all fines and fees, and proving they are legally in the United States. AB 717 seeks to fill the gaps left by that bill and expand upon it, to ensure that anyone in CDCR custody can have these vital documents once they have completed their sentences.
The bill would also assist incarcerated individuals locate birth certificates, social security cards, and other identity-related documents that they may need to access resources upon their release. All in all, it is a welcome and necessary reform that could assist recently released individuals reenter society, and help them succeed once they do.
If you have a loved one in state or local custody and want to learn more about options they may have moving forward upon their release, give us a call at (619) 295-3555 to set up a case evaluation today.
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