For The First Time in 50 years, California May Raise Allowance for People Released From Prison

Written by Vincent Cain

A state senator representing Los Angeles, Sydney Kamlager, introduced a bill to raise the “gate money,” which is money received by people released from prison, from $200 to $2600.

“This is really about making sure that when people get out, we are not perpetuating a cycle of economic violence,” said Kamlager. “We have got to stop legislating poverty.”

This is the first significant effort to raise the gate money in a long time. California offers 200 dollars to those leaving prison, although those with shorter sentences receive less, which is already vastly more than other states. Texas, Colorado, and Florida offer $100, and Louisiana and Alabama offer just $10.

The last time this money was raised was in 1973, which, when adjusted for inflation, comes out to just over $1200, less than half of $2600. Of course, $200 was much more in 1973 than in 2022, but doubling that money when considering inflation, is ridiculous.

When speaking about the bill, Kamlager said she decided to introduce the legislation after receiving a letter from an incarcerated person, asking, “How do you expect any of us to make it if we’re getting out with just $200?” 

“In 2022, when the price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles is almost $5, it is unconscionable that the state of California still gives just $200 in allowance for folks who are getting out of prison,” she added.

Although it is pretty apparent why the cost of living is so high now, instead of attempting to fix that side of the issue, they would rather throw money at people as they always do.

Photo Cred: Rich Pedroncelli/AP