Inmate abuse allegations continue to dog SLO County Jail

November 8, 2018

Sheriff Ian Parkinson


More than a year after the FBI mounted a criminal investigation into alleged civil rights abuses of inmates at the San Luis Obispo County Jail, the Department of Justice opened an investigation into how the sheriff’s department is complying with federal laws. [Cal Coast Times]

As part of the investigation, the DOJ will look into whether the conditions at the jail violate the constitutional rights of its prisoners. If investigators determine the county is in violation, the federal government could mandate that the county implement changes and enter into an agreement to abide by constitutional requirements.

If the county fails to abide by the agreement, a federal receivership could occur.

Federal and state laws along with sheriff’s department policies and procedures are supposed to regulate the treatment of inmates. Nevertheless, it appears multiple rules and regulations were violated in the treatment of Andrew Holland, a mentally ill man who died in Jan. 2017 after being strapped in a restraint chair for two days in the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Following Hollands death, the county paid a $5 million settlement to his parents and agreed to make multiple changes at the jail. Those changes included restricting the amount of time inmates can be locked in the rubber room to 72 hours, discontinuing use of the restraint chair and decreasing the amount of time it takes for the transfer of an inmate who has been court ordered to a mental health facility.

Even so, multiple county staffers at the jail, who have asked to remain unnamed to avoid retaliation, said that some correctional staffers continue to order medical and mental health personnel to write mental health holds in violation of legal requirements, and to write prescriptions when doctors are unavailable.

In addition, staffers report several instances of custody staff using excessive force against mentally ill inmates. In one occasion, a guard hit a mentally ill man who was lying face down on the ground, a staffer said.

The Department of Justice investigation is estimated to take at least eight months to complete.

“We welcome the investigation and any assistance and guidance to further improve areas identified by the Department of Justice,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson said.

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Lets see how much Parkinson’s failure is going to cost the taxpayers this time?

The jail is a bad place to be, the traffic is noisy, and the bathroom stinks. Do we need to know this? I’d rather know who the sneaks, liars and cheaters are, then to be validated by the public process.

County Counsel Rita Neal said that the DOJ is looking at counties, one at a time and SLO is the third. What deceit, Orange County and LA County were investigated after allegations of wrongdoing and both were in trouble afterwards. Is Rita an attorney or a PR person?.

Why do all news media insest on calling all CMC county jail staff guards instead of the correct term correctional officer. Unless you work in that profession you don’t know what they go through. How would you like to have feces or urine throwen in your face and be unable to retaliate.Or Perhaps work sixteen hours or maybe even twenty four because of staff shortage.As they told me in the 60s and 70s you think that CO stands for correctional officer but it stands fo convicts orderly.

The Use Of the Law as a Defense for Killing or Harming People Is Not a defense  for Crimes Against Humanity …   Yes Folks Need to abide by the Laws  in the First Place , but folks with mental Problems are another… Shame on Em ! Right Cart ! 

Those poor correctional officers, no respect. How did they ever end up in there? (No offense, COs)