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Sacramento County California Prisoners Agree to Consent Decree

In a class action lawsuit prisoners entered into an agreement with county officials concerning conditions in the Sacramento County Main Jail (jail) and the Rio Cosumnes Correction Center (center) stipulating in all issues and constitutional claims against defendant officials before the court.

The rights of inmates and all relief available has been provided. The injunction includes:

The jail and center shall not exceed 2,000 inmates, each of whom will be provided a bed in “living areas” defined in the California Minimum Jail Standards.   

A law library shall be maintained for inmates which provides reasonable access upon notice. Both the jail and the center shall implement rules and regulations on updates of the contents made at reasonable intervals.

  • Female inmates will be assigned to jail voluntarily only.
  • Routine staff of two registered nurses per shift for screening but in no event less than one registered nurse per shift.
  • Dental services shall be provided to jail and center inmates 8 hours per day, five days per week, to provide permanent fillings and dentures when it is the opinion of the dentist that dentures are necessary to treat serious dental needs.
  • Sub-acute psychiatric unit inmates shall be provided good faith access to recreation areas.
  • No psychiatric inmate-patient classified to general population who is under out-patient psychiatric care in special housing due to his behavior shall be housed in the Roger Bauman facility of the center.
  • General population inmates housed in the Roger Bauman facility shall be permitted out of cell recreation no less than seven and a half hours per week. Inmates shall be provided reasonable access to exercise in the jail and access to dayrooms during waking hours.
  • The Sheriff's Department will consult with Dr. Edmund Bernauer for no more than 8 hours within 60 days after entry of the consent decree for utilization of indoor/outdoor recreation areas of the jail. Any recommendations made shall be property of the defendants and not to be used by prisoners for issues of litigation. Fees to Br. Bernauer shall be paid by defendants. Any alterations recommended by Dr. Bernauer shall be paid by inmate welfare fund.

Both inmates and officials agree all issues that could be raised are before the court and represented by competent counsel.

The injunction shall have no effect during an emergency and all services required may be provided by alternatives and equivalent means. Any alteration of the conditions ordered may be amended by notice personally served on the named attorneys for the pantries.

See: Joseph Walter Kaiser v. County of Sacramento, U.S.D.C. (E.D. Cal.), Case no. 2:91-cv-00300-WBS-GGH.

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Related legal case

Joseph Walter Kaiser v. County of Sacramento