Settlement Of Class Action Jail Lawsuit

A settlement agreement of a class action lawsuit filed against San Bernardino County and its sheriff’s department relating primarily to the medical care provided to jail inmates and the use of force against them was approved by Federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips on Wednesday December 12, 2018.
Originally filed in 2016 by the Prison Law Office on behalf of inmates Rahshun Turner, Monique Lewis, Jaime Jaramillo, Joshua Mills and the “class and subclasses of inmates they represent,” the suit raised issues relating to medical and mental health care of inmates, restrictive housing practices, staffing levels, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, and use of force policies and procedures. The suit grew out of the Prison Law Office’s 2014 initiative to bring neutral experts into the jail facilities to review policies and procedures there and interview staff and inmates.
The resolution of the suit was based upon those experts’ findings and recommendations. The sheriff’s department and the Prison Law Office negotiated a remedial plan that was incorporated into a proposed settlement agreement and a now-signed consent decree, which will be implemented and monitored by court experts having reasonable access to jails, jail records, staff, and inmates over the next four years to ensure compliance with the terms of the settlement.
Prison Law Office Executive Director Don Specter said Sheriff John McMahon’s “cooperation and transparency” was key to the resolution.

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