Skip navigation

Jail Conditions - Inmate, Staff and Family Perspectives Report, Santa Clara Co CA, Moscone et al, 2016

Download original document:
Brief thumbnail
This text is machine-read, and may contain errors. Check the original document to verify accuracy.
Jail Conditions:
Inmate, Staff & Family Perspectives
Report to Santa Clara County
Blue Ribbon Commission
February 20, 2016

220 Montgomery St
Suite 2100
San Francisco
California 94104
Ph: (415) 362-3599
www.mosconelaw.com

Table of Contents
Introduction and Summary of Critical Issues………………………………………………………………………………1
Interview Methodology and Analysis…………………………………………………………………………………………4
Full Report of Interview Comments on Critical Issues………………………………………………………………..9
Issue 1: Grievances…………………………………………………………………………………………………………9
Issue 2: Gaps between policy and practice……………………………………………………………………16
Issue 3: Medical care…………………………………………………………………………………………………….23
Issue 4: Hygiene and sanitation…………………………………………………………………………………….36
Issue 5: Out-of-cell time……………………………………………………………………………………………….41
Issue 6: Classification and discipline……………………………………………………………………………..45
Issue 7: State prisoners in jail……………………………………………………………………………………….47
Issue 8: Understaffing…………………………………………………………………………………………………..50
Issue 9: Accountability………………………………………………………………………………………………….51
Issue 10: Inmate Welfare Fund…………………………………………………………………………………….54
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….58

Introduction and Summary of Critical Issues
During January and February, 2016, our team of 11 attorneys interviewed 944 inmates, 8 family
members of inmates and 33 jail staff. We conducted interviews with the promise of
confidentiality in order to facilitate, to the extent possible, an open dialog about issues
concerning jail conditions and operations. Our task was to be the voice of those who wished to
speak with the Blue Ribbon Commission (“BRC” or “Commission”) but who could not or were
unwilling to address the Commission directly. Our task was not to validate whether comments
made to our team were true or false, but rather to accurately report to the Commission what
we were told so the Commission can choose how to best make use of this information. Our job
specifically did not include investigating any particular incident, such as an inmate’s complaint
of use of force or a correction officer’s complaint about improper behavior by the Sheriff or
other officers.
Clear themes emerged from the interviews we conducted. Out of the broad range of issues
relating to jail conditions interviewees identified, interviewees frequently raised the following
issues and reported that these issues deeply impact inmates, staff, and families. Two other
issues—accountability and discipline for officers’ misconduct and the Inmate Welfare Fund
(“IWF”)—are discussed in this report because the Commission specifically identified these areas
of inquiry prior to the start of interviews.
Grievances and Complaints
Issue 1: Inmates, staff and families lack confidence in the grievance channels. Across all three
groups of interviewees, the overwhelming consensus is that the grievance system is broken.
Submitting grievance forms to corrections officers puts everyone—guards and inmates alike—
in a difficult position. Inmates also reported numerous ways, such as officers refusing to accept
grievance submissions, in which their grievances are not treated seriously. Inmates and families
identified the fear of harassment and assault by officers extending beyond the formal grievance
process into all methods of inmates asserting their rights.
Issue 2: Many inmate complaints arise from gaps between policy and practice. Though their
explanations of root causes differed, inmates, staff, and families all identified a need for greater
professionalism, defined as a greater coherence between policy and practice, among jail staff.
The reported lack of professionalism is most apparent in the gap between policy and practice
concerning:
 Unresponsive jail staff—The Inmate Rulebook advises inmates that they have the right
to be informed of jail rules, procedures and schedules, but inmates consistently
reported that officers are not responsive to inmate requests for basic information and
problem solving.
 Excessive use of force—Inmates and families often reported that routine jail movements
and lockdowns are often conducted with more force than is necessary and that, in
emergency situations, officers’ use of force does not always stop when the emergency
ends.
1





Demeaning language—Though the Inmate Rulebook states that inmates have the right
to expect that they will be treated respectfully by jail personnel, inmates consistently
reported that a significant percentage of officers use dehumanizing and belittling
language.
Officer discretion—The Inmate Rulebook also specifies that inmates have the right to be
treated impartially and fairly by jail staff, but inmates and families reported that officers’
discretion often results in favoritism and arbitrariness, due to officers making up their
own rules or interpreting the rules in ways that are inconsistent with other officers.

Issue 3: Inmates and families report avoidable delays and deficiencies in medical care. Inmates
consistently complained of long delays and outright denials of access to medical and dental
care. Common complaints included difficulty in getting medical attention, appointments and
prescriptions. Similar problems were reported by inmates regarding psychiatric care. Though
access to and quality of medical care was reported as a serious problem at all facilities,
complaints were significantly greater at Elmwood Women’s.
Issue 4: Inmates consistently complain of poor hygiene and sanitation conditions in the jails.
Uncleanliness was a major inmate and family concern. Inmates noted that the ability to keep
their bodies and surroundings clean has a major impact on their dignity, state of mind, and
physical health. Many inmates reported rashes, ringworm, scabies, and staph infections from
the lack of sanitation. Inmate and family comments focused on clothing (e.g., not having
enough clothing and clothing being very dirty; lack of cleaning supplies), officers not giving
inmates sufficient cleaning products to keep their dorms clean; and personal hygiene (e.g.,
lacking sufficient soap, menstrual pads, and supplies to maintain personal hygiene).
Issue 5: Inmates frequently were upset by insufficient and inconsistent out-of-cell time. Though
it varies by inmate classification and the physical configuration of the unit, complaints about
too little out-of-cell time are pervasive across all Santa Clara County jail facilities. It was
reported to be especially problematic for inmates in high security, mental health, and
protective custody units, where inmates get very little time out of cells. Surprisingly, it was even
reported at Elmwood’s Minimum Camp for men, which is the unit in the Santa Clara County jail
system where inmates have the most freedom.
Issue 6: Inmates complain about lack of transparency in the classification and inmate discipline
systems. Both the classification system and the disciplinary actions that play a pivotal role in
classification decisions are shrouded in a lack of transparency that, according to inmates,
impedes their ability to understand what is happening to them and make positive changes to
meet the jail’s expectations, and eliminates any opportunity for them to have a voice in
disciplinary actions and housing changes.
Issue 7: Inmates serving prison terms in the county jail regularly complain about the differential
treatment they experience in jail compared to that of serving time in prison. This issue affects a
subset of inmates, but those inmates report being impacted in very serious ways across
virtually every domain of their detention in county jail. Many inmates serving state prison
2

sentences in county jail believe that they are not being treated as the law requires. The most
critical aspect of the differential treatment they report is that, according to interviewees,
serving a prison sentence in County custody results in serving more time than would be
required if housed in a state prison. We were told that the jail is not equipped for inmates
serving long terms and who would have been in prison before realignment. These inmates
almost universally said that jail policies need to be revised to accommodate their detention.
Issue 8: Understaffing, and related issues such as poor morale among corrections officers,
creates many adverse conditions. Inmates and officers reported many problems that result
from the jail’s understaffing. Officers explained that past staff reductions make the jails less
safe for inmates and officers alike. It was reported that, even when programs are planned and
the schedule looks good on paper, the jails are not staffed sufficiently to implement programs
safely, which results in lockdown and cancellation of programs. Understaffing contributes to
the complaints by the overwhelming majority of corrections officers willing to speak with us
about poor morale and lack of leadership.
Accountability and Discipline for Officers’ Misconduct
Issue 9: The perception among officers, inmates, and families is that jail staff are not
appropriately held accountable for misconduct. We consistently heard from jail staff that they
believe that favoritism rather than objectivity pervades the department’s systems for
accountability and discipline, resulting in officers, lieutenants and captains who are in favor
with the administration not being held accountable for misconduct. The other side of the
problem is that jail staff often reported that leadership does not support officers and
sometimes rushes to hold officers accountable before culpability has been established. The
perceived combination of “sweep it under the rug” culture with “throw officers under the bus”
reactions from administration results in staff morale that is reported to be exceedingly low.
Inmates and families reported their inefficacy in impacting or correcting officer misconduct, as
well as their desire to see greater transparency in the outcome of grievances, complaints, and
Internal Affairs (“IA”) investigations.
Inmate Welfare Fund
Issue 10: Inmates are generally unaware of the Inmate Welfare Fund’s existence or purpose.
Generally speaking, inmates do not know that the Inmate Welfare Fund (“IWF”) exists. With a
few exceptions, inmates do not know how IWF decisions are made or how it is intended to
benefit them, apart from a vague awareness that it is connected to indigent hygiene kits, board
games, or incentives. Some of the few that are aware of the IWF believe it is being misused and
that inmates do not benefit from it.

3

Interview Methodology and Analysis
Inmate Interviews
Our team of attorneys began interviewing inmates at Main Jail North on January 6, 2016. We
proceeded to Main Jail South, Elmwood Women’s, and finally to Elmwood Men’s, including
Minimum Camp. We ended interviews on February 10, 2016, with a total of 944 inmates
interviewed over five weeks. Given that the daily population of Santa Clara jails averages
approximately 3500 inmates, our interviewers talked with 27% of inmates.
Almost without exception, our attorneys were treated professionally and respectfully by jail
staff, who facilitated rather than impeded our work. In particular, we wish to thank
Undersheriff John Hirokawa and Assistant Sheriff Troy Beliveau for ensuring we had the access
we needed and for responding to issues as they arose.
Our attorneys went into every dorm and announced who we were, the purpose of the Blue
Ribbon Commission and the interviews, the voluntary character of the interviews, the
confidential and anonymous nature of interviews, and the logistics of our process. We made
announcements in English and Spanish and we had a Cantonese-speaking attorney available, as
well. Each inmate who wanted to speak with our attorneys gave us their name. Our
interviewers often walked throughout the dorm, answering inmates’ questions about the
process and taking down names of those who wished to be interviewed. Each interviewee was
subsequently brought by officers to an individual interview room for an interview with one of
our attorneys. Inmates wore shackles during the interview only if their existing classification
level so required; all other inmates were unshackled. We conducted interviews in English and
Spanish.
The only unit where our process differed was in Minimum Camp at Elmwood Men’s. Because of
its different layout and the movement of inmates there, we posted signs about BRC interviews
at designated times throughout the Chow Hall, and officers posted signs in the barracks for us.
During scheduled interview times, some of our interviewers stood in the yard and talked to
inmates about the interview process and made rounds to the barracks to announce the
opportunity to interview. Three attorneys remained in the Chapel at the center of the yard to
conduct individual interviews three at a time, each in a different section of the Chapel. The
attorneys outside the Chapel kept a line of interested inmates and sent them inside the Chapel
to interview as each previous interview finished.
Interviews were allowed to differ one from the other, based on the interviewees’ experiences
and interests. Interviews were directed by our attorneys, as needed, to keep the focus on
conditions of confinement. Very few inmates misunderstood the purpose of the interviews or
sought legal counsel from our attorneys regarding individual criminal or civil cases.
Interviewing attorneys took notes of each inmate interview and later entered a summary of
each interviewee’s comments into a spreadsheet. Each interview was coded by the interviewer
4

for correlation with particular issues. Interviews were not recorded or transcribed, though
interviewers occasionally quoted verbatim from interviewees in their notes. As part of our
promise to protect inmates’ confidentiality and anonymity, the notes taken during interviews
have been destroyed. Some inmates chose to write a letter to our office rather than be
interviewed. Letters were transcribed and treated as interview notes. The Summary of Inmate
Comments is attached as Exhibit A. Additionally, an electronic spreadsheet of the Summary of
Inmate Comments with coding by issue is available by request from
blueribbon@mosconelaw.com. The spreadsheet with coding by issue area allows readers and
analysts to sort the interview comments by many different fields to delve into specific issues for
deeper inquiry. For Commissioners and other policy makers who wish to understand inmates’
perspective in greater detail, we recommend a close read of the interview comments contained
in these supplemental documents.
Many inmates expressed appreciation for us being there. We heard comments such as “we’ve
been waiting so long for someone to come talk to us,” “thank you for listening to what we have
to say,” and “thank you for doing this—no one ever asks what we think.” Spanish-speaking
inmates expressed particular appreciation, as well, seeming to be pleasantly surprised that
Spanish-language interviews were available.
Interviews of Jail Staff and Families
Our attorneys also interviewed 33 jail staff, including officers (also, “COs”) and non-badge staff.
We estimate this to be between 3 and 4 percent of the staff assigned to the jails. We conducted
most staff interviews off site in various Santa Clara County locations. Throughout our time in
the jails, our attorneys encouraged staff to talk with members of our team. We were
consistently told that staff was afraid to talk with us because of possible retaliation by jail
administration, despite our assurances that interviews could be done off-site and that we
would ensure anonymity to the greatest extent possible. The interviews with staff were openended. We solicited staff’s input regarding what they perceived as working and as not working
at the jails, solutions for things that were not working, and suggestions for how to make the
jails better, safer facilities for staff and inmates.
Our attorneys interviewed 8 family members at an office location in San Jose. We contacted
family members through the DeBug Silicon Valley organization, which spread our contact
information through its network of families of the incarcerated. Staff and family interviews
were similar to inmate interviews in the sense that they were voluntary, confidential, and
allowed to differ one from the other based on the interviewee’s areas of interest within the
overall topic of conditions of confinement. Attorney interviewers compiled staff and family
interview notes separately.
A summary of interviewee comments is present, organized by topic, as Exhibit B for jail staff
and as Exhibit C for family members.

5

Reports of Retaliation Related to Inmate Interviews
We gave interviewees the BRC attorneys’ business cards so they would have a manner of
reporting any retaliation linked to their participation in BRC interviews. Our attorneys did,
indeed, receive quite a few phone calls from inmates on a variety of issues, some of which
related to retaliation, and some of which did not. We received approximately 20 reports of
retaliation or interference with BRC interviews. Only one inmate gave us permission to break
his anonymity and report the matter to the Sheriff’s Office, which we did. The 19 others remain
anonymous and were, consequently, not reported to the Sheriff’s Office for further
investigation. Reports include:
 Two inmates said that deputies discouraged them from interviewing, which is why they
initially “refused.” They said that a deputy told them to only complain about facility
issues, not deputies. One reported the deputy told him the inmates wouldn’t want
anything to mess up anything with their legal cases, implying that’s what could happen if
they spoke with us.
 Inmate reported that COs came in early in the morning and began shaking down
inmates’ cells. COs emptied food contents and took hygiene products. Inmate had a BRC
business card. When the COs found it, one said “F*** the BRC”.
 It was reported that COs seemed to be retaliating by locking inmates down for no
reason after the BRC interview announcements.
 Inmates reported being locked down for 3 hours because a large number of them
requested to speak with the BRC interviewer.
 An inmate reported that other inmates wanted interviews, but believe the COs have
falsely stated that they decline interviews to avoid them talking to BRC.
 An inmate reported that he lost his job and was re-housed to a more restrictive setting
in response to talking to a BRC interviewer.
 Inmates told BRC interviewers that other inmates didn’t volunteer for interviews
because they were scared of retaliation for doing so and some of them had a lot to lose.
Occasionally, an inmate collected comments from others in the dorm and brought those
comments into the interview, with his or her own.
 We received a report that, the day after BRC came, the whole pod was strip searched,
understood by inmates as a warning or retaliation for talking to BRC. Each of the
inmates who talked to BRC was random searched. A few days later, we received a report
that the same unit was locked down again and strip searched again, which was
attributed by inmates as retaliation for BRC cooperation.
 An inmate reported that COs ransacked the rooms and did not allow TV time or program
time in apparent retaliation or intimidation after an inmate talked to BRC. COs have
harassed several people, and inmates are suspicious of talking to the BRC and afraid of
retaliation. The days that BRC interviewers are not in the facility, officers have reduced
the program time.
 It was reported to us that, as retaliation for interviewing, inmates did not get feminine
hygiene products for 7 hours, their out-of-cell time was wasted by COs making inmates
wait unnecessarily, and COs were angry and argumentative.
6






Inmate asked for second interview, during which he told BRC interviewer that the
deputies in the dorm instructed the trustees to discourage inmates from interviewing.
Inmates report that COs are talking with inmates about what was discussed in
interviews. COs ask inmates what was said and/or inmates just tell them. An interviewer
noted that, when COs were taking an inmate back to cell after interview, a CO made
comments about how long his interview lasted and that he was “spreading the
knowledge.”
Inmate said that COs called him out over the dorm intercom afterward for talking to a
BRC interviewer who came into the dorm to announce the interviews and sign up
inmates for interviews.

Analysis of Interview Data
Ten issues are the focus of this report. However, other issues identified in the interview notes
are also important and deserve the consideration of the Commission and other policymakers.
The other concerns raised in interviews were either not as frequently mentioned or not as
consistently presented as dire by interviewees. For example, complaints from inmates about
food were almost universal in the interviews, but the degree of the impact was not presented
to be as grave as the issues selected for emphasis below. The opposite is true, for example, of
sexual misconduct—while the impact of sexual misconduct is potentially very severe, it was an
infrequently-reported issue in interviews.
Readers of this report are advised to keep three dynamics in mind as they read and analyze the
information in this report. First, our attorneys have not sought to determine the credibility of
individual interviewees or the information they report. Interviewees’ comments were taken at
face value. Where an interviewee made a remark that seemed not to make sense, our
interviewers asked questions and tried to clarify an interviewee’s meaning, usually with
success. In the few instances where an interviewee’s mental state seemed to impair his or her
ability to give coherent comments, interviewers have so noted in Summary of Inmate
Comments.
Second, because all interviews were voluntary, those interviewed are a self-selected sample of
the overall interviewee pools. While approximately 1 in 4 inmates came forward to be
interviewed, 3 in 4 did not. The percentage of jail staff who volunteered for interviews was
small, with only 33 jail staff willing to be interviewed. And among families, who admittedly
received a smaller outreach effort than inmates and staff, the 8 who were interviewed is a very
small percentage of all inmate relatives. It is not possible to know whether the comments of
interviewees accurately reflect those of the inmates, jail staff, and families who did not selfselect to participate in this process.
Third, our interviewers observed variations between certain dorms or dorm-styles and the
percentage of inmates who volunteered to speak. For example, program dorms and dorms with
individual cells were more likely to have many volunteers while some open dorms and dorms
with group cells had fewer volunteers, reportedly due to “politics” and fear of “snitching.” One
7

dorm was unusual in that only one inmate volunteered to be interviewed. Some inmates also
spoke of an inmate culture that discouraged the reporting of acts of physical violence, even
when those acts are committed by the jail staff.
Some Commissioners, policy makers, or other readers may hesitate to base policy and practice
reforms on unverified comments given behind the safeguard of anonymity, for suspicion of
comments being tainted by personal agendas, manipulativeness, or an individual’s lack of
trustworthiness. However, the truthfulness, accuracy, and fairness of any one individual
interview does not significantly impact the content in this report. First, the number of inmate
interviews was sufficiently large—in fact, much larger than anyone expected at the outset—to
overcome misleading statements in any single interview. This report does not highlight issues
that were described in an anomalous manner by an inmate. This report captures trends
reflected in large numbers, indeed hundreds, of interviews in a way that we believe are
insulated from inaccuracies in any individual interview. Second, even if inmates’ impressions
are incorrect, those impressions are still drivers of behavior. For instance, an inmate may fear
retaliation for submitting a grievance even though, in reality, that inmate would not be
retaliated against. Both the perception and the reality result in the same outcome: the inmate
doesn’t submit a grievance and his or her problem goes unreported and unresolved. Thus,
whether the problems identified by interviewees are “real” or “accurate” or “fair” does not
change the reality that the interviewee perceives them to be problems.

8

Full Report of Interview Comments on Critical Issues
Inmates were tremendously responsive to the BRC interview process—with approximately 1 in
4 choosing to be interviewed. The result is that the Summary of Inmate Comments is a rich
source of information about inmates’ perspectives on current jail conditions. Given the number
of inmates who had long-term experience in Santa Clara jails, or experience in other detention
facilities and prisons, there are also quite a few comparisons in the Inmate Comments of how
current conditions have changed over time or how they compare to other facilities.
It is worth noting that many inmates articulated an understanding that jail is not supposed to
be pleasant. We often heard comments such as “The food isn’t supposed to be good—I mean,
this is jail, right? But…” or “I understand that the COs need to be stern with us sometimes to
keep the discipline. This is jail, after all. But…” For many, there was a recognition that some of
their remarks were “not a big deal,” while other issues were critical to them. A comment from
one inmate expressed the sentiment of many inmates that “Jail doesn’t need to be
comfortable, but taking away unnecessary stressors like cold temperature, insufficient clothing,
and fear of excess discipline would enable inmates to focus on their cases and on their personal
development.”
Though interviewees addressed a very broad range of issues related to jail conditions, ten
critical themes emerged from the interviews, as identified in the Summary. In this section of our
report, we allow the interviews to speak for themselves. With limited commentary, the analysis
below pulls relevant passages from interview notes, organized around each of the critical issue
identified in the previous section.
Grievances and Complaints
Issue 1: Inmates, staff, and families lack confidence in the grievance channels.
Across all three groups of interviewees, the consensus is that the grievance system is broken. Of
the 944 inmate interviews, approximately 690 inmates—roughly 73% of inmates interviewed
and 20% of the total jail population—spoke about the grievance process or retaliation for using
the grievance process. Complaints include problems obtaining a grievance form, officers not
accepting forms, and inmates not getting a receipt, response, or meaningful answer. The
resulting perception is that the formal grievance process is ineffective at resolving problems
and that retaliation is common, in major ways such as moving an inmate to more restrictive
housing, locking the inmate down more frequently, or infracting the inmate, and in less
extreme ways such as throwing food at the inmate or ignoring inmate requests for assistance.
Inmates and families also identified the fear of harassment and assault by officers extending
beyond the formal grievance process into all methods of inmates asserting their rights. Many
inmates refuse to complain, file grievances, or request anything from officers for fear of
adverse consequence.

9

Two complaints stood out prominently against the various grievance problems reported. First,
submitting a grievance form to an officer was roundly reported to be a major impediment.
Inmates wondered how it could possibly make sense for them to give a grievance form about
an officer’s conduct to that officer, or even a different officer, and expect it to be properly
processed, especially when grievances, they believe, are bad for an officer’s employment
record. Some officers also acknowledged that having inmates give grievance forms to them
“puts inmates in a very difficult position.” The fear of retaliation associated with handing
grievances in to officers was reported many, many times. Second, we heard repeatedly from
inmates that COs allegedly throw away grievances. While it was not within the interviewers’
scope to ascertain how often this happens, inmates’ perception is that it happens regularly, and
that perception contributes to their conclusion that the grievance system does not effectively
resolve problems.
Representative comments of inmates, jail staff, and families are identified separately below so
that their various perspectives on grievances may be understood.
Inmates reported a multitude of procedural hurdles in the formal grievance channels—
 If you have a grievance, why do you give it to the officer on duty? There should be a box
that is only opened by the Captain’s office. They shouldn’t go through the COs hands.
That’s why inmates don’t think grievances work.
 Inmate has filed a number of grievances related to conditions of confinement. However,
very few of them ever receive a formal response or complete the grievance process.
This failure to be processed creates two problems for inmates. First, many problems go
unresolved. Second, the failure to process the grievance prevents an inmate from filing
a civil lawsuit, for failure to exhaust the administrative appeal requirements.
 The grievance process depends on the officer—one CO ripped up inmate’s complaint.
 Guards often refuse to accept grievances that inmates attempt to file. They will simply
ignore the request from inmates in solitary confinement. A significant number of written
grievances are just not accepted by jail house staff.
 The supervisor refused to take a grievance, stating that the grievance could only be
presented in English, that no grievance could be presented in Spanish, and that there
was no translator or interpreter available. The grievance was “refused.” The inmate
remarked twice: “Even while you guys are doing these interviews.”
 You usually end up giving the grievance to the same guard who committed the act so it
just gets thrown out.
 She wanted to speak with Internal Affairs to report an issue related to her criminal case.
Jail staff refused to provide her with a phone number. When she did get in contact with
IA, the person said she would help but nothing was done and no follow up.
 There are issues getting the grievances getting past the officer to the superior. The onduty officer will reject the grievance.
 He can't read or write so he's never filed a grievance.
 Grievances work best when many inmates all file for the same problem, like a “class
action.”
10























Never filed grievance–nobody explained process, grievance forms are not in Spanish.
Grievance was returned to her with no written response; not sure whether she should
re-file it or let it go.
She tried to file a grievance and asked the mental health nurse for a grievance form.
Nurse asked her what grievance was for (not supposed to ask), then said it was not a
valid reason and wouldn’t give her a grievance form.
He hasn't heard of the grievance process and never received information on it.
It's bad for the guard's career, so guards don't want them.
He got the pink receipt the day he filed the grievance, but never got an answer.
When you ask for a grievance form, the officer asks why. Then they delay giving him a
form, sometimes for days or saying they’re out.
Sometimes the guards tear up the forms, throw them away, and never even give inmate
the pink copy. It has to go up the chain of command; the COs has to approve it going to
the sergeant, but the COs can deny permission to talk to the sergeant, so inmates are
stuck.
It depends on the COs; some won’t even give you a grievance form.
Guards don’t give out grievance form sometimes. They delay up to a month, and try to
persuade them not to file.
Some guards get angry when you ask for a form, so he won’t ask certain shifts for forms.
Internal Affairs didn’t answer when inmate called, so she abandoned IA process.
Inmate is unaware of other options like Jail Observer Program or Internal Affairs. Even
though their phone numbers are listed in the dorm, they are nowhere near the phone
and she’s never seen them or known what that list was for.
Internal Affairs and formal complaint to sheriff doesn’t do anything, either. The only way
to get your voice heard is to have a relative advocate on the outside try to help.
He called Internal Affairs, but they didn’t answer. Eventually, he got through and was
interviewed by sheriff’s office, but the investigator never took down sufficient detail to
investigate and hasn’t contacted him again, so inmate doesn’t think IA is investigating
incident.
Here, there’s only the jail’s grievance system, but no outside reviewer. He prepared a
group grievance for many inmates. A guard improperly told him “I will not accept your
grievance. If you file that, I will infract you and add 30 days to your sentence.” So inmate
called Internal Affairs about guard’s refusal to accept the grievance. IA told him it was
resolved because inmate ultimately submitted the grievance, but IA refused to address
the officer’s threat.
He has been trying to contact Internal Affairs about treatment for his medical condition,
but was unable to connect with them, as the process to call them was confusing and his
call dropped.
He contacted Internal Affairs about a use of force report. The lieutenant there said
someone had been throwing away his grievances so there was never an investigation
conducted. IA then conducted the investigation, but said his claims were unfounded,
even though there should have been video footage of the incident. He doesn't believe
they looked into it.
11



He called Internal Affairs and they took pictures of his injuries. They took his pictures
again a week and a half later after they healed, claiming they knew nothing about the
original set. When he was transferred to prison, all copies of his grievances had
disappeared - he had intended to file a lawsuit so it left him nothing for his case.

Inmates’ resulting perception is that the formal grievance processes are usually ineffective at
resolving problems—
 Inmates do not usually file grievances. Lately, people write the captain because that
works. The grievance will go to the CO who will write “resolved” but not send it up. The
CO will put the grievance in the desk then give it to the CO who is the subject of the
complaint. That discourages inmate from filing grievances. He has only filed one
grievance in three years because nothing happens and there are “loopholes.”
 Grievance process never results in feedback; "it's useless."
 Inmate doesn't use the grievance process because he does not think it will work since
the officer reviews grievances about him or herself.
 Grievances—they never make a difference. No point in filing them anymore.
 “You learn to be submissive over a while” because there’s no one to advocate for you.
You just turn timid.
 Sometimes the grievances go unanswered because they are not turned in or the
sergeants are too busy. Inmates together filed a grievance against an officer who
threatened the lives of inmates in a “joking” manner with another nurse. The sergeant
believed the inmates’ allegation about the comment because there were many inmate
witnesses.
 She has filed a number of grievances – she gets written responses back but with
unresponsive answers (e.g. they have no control over issue, or she needs to talk with
someone else). She is often concerned that grievances don’t actually get sent out.
 There’s no way to be heard—no good way to let higher ups know there is a problem.
 The results depend on what you grieve. Sergeants just concur with the COs, but never
resolve anything about guard conduct. But, if you grieve a condition like cockroaches, it
can work.
 He filed grievances about use of force and got no responses. He called IA, which came a
week later. Nothing ever got resolved and no response. A relative advocates for him,
too, but doesn’t get very far either.
 Problems don’t actually get resolved. Things happen all the time that need to be
reported, but they aren’t.
 You can call Human Relations—if you make a really big deal, they will try to help you,
but not for everything.
 Inmate won’t grieve an existing rule because doing so won’t change the policy. How are
inmates supposed to raise issues about policies that need to be revised?
Inmates reported that retaliation is common when they use formal grievance channels and
when they attempt to speak up for their rights—
 Guards put inmate in more hostile housing to retaliate for his complaints.
12




















She has tried to avoid grievances because she’s afraid of retaliation. When she told CO
she wanted to file grievance about rehousing, CO yelled at her and keeps harassing her
since then.
No one reports anything because they are scared that they will suffer retaliations, that is
why more people didn’t volunteer to speak to the Blue Ribbon Commission.
Inmate doesn’t want to grieve the people responsible for caring for him through this
medical crisis, because he thinks doing so will harm the medical care he receives. He’ll
consider a grievance after his medical crisis is over.
When inmates file grievances, the deputies will call out to the dorm and say they are
putting everyone on lockdown or they will move someone out of the dorm for filing a
grievance.
When she grieved an officer, the officer got mad and moved her to an ant-infested
room with a broken toilet as punishment in the middle of the night. Officer took her into
unmonitored closet at 2am. Another inmate’s mom reported it to IA, who took inmate’s
statement, and guard was moved to different unit.
When he was planning to file a grievance, the guards said they were going to
shakedown the whole barracks if he did, so he didn’t.
Inmates are intimidated against filing grievances because the guards are the ones who
control out of cell time.
He doesn't file grievances because he's seen people get locked down for a week as
retaliation. There's no real way to be listened to.
She never puts in a grievance because the guards retaliate by putting them on
lockdown, trashing their cells every 2 hours, or taking away their visits. They will make
up some flimsy excuse for why the inmates are being punished, but they know it’s
retaliation for grievances.
Inmates live in constant fear of retaliation of requesting any service, filing any complaint
or raising their voice about any condition. Retaliation comes in the form of abusive
language, threats of violence, harassment, and physical assaults.
Inmate stated that inmates are scared to talk to the Blue Ribbon Commission because
they like the programming in the dorm and do not want to be moved to another dorm.
They believe that if Officers see them talking to the Blue Ribbon Commission they will
be moved out of the dorm. The fear and threat of retaliation is real.
Inmates are often the target of retaliation by Correctional Officers. For example, filing a
grievance, voicing a complaint, or requesting toilet paper is often met with verbal
assaults, derogatory language or physical assaults by Officers. Officers use violence and
the threat of violence to intimidate, harass and degrade inmates.
Inmate witnessed a very serious physical assault of inmate by guards. Afterwards, the
guards came by each neighboring cell, and in a threatening tone, asked each inmate
what he witnessed. The manner and tone in which the question was asked left him and
other inmates with the impression that no witnesses should come forward and if they
did, they would be subjected to physical assaults. Inmate believes this was done to instill
fear and threat of retaliation if any inmate were to talk to Internal Affairs or any
investigative body about the incident.
13




















The most frequent form of retaliation is the use of violence at the hands of rival
inmates. Inmate discussed treatment he observed of another inmate who was more
vocal in his complaints and regularly used the grievance process--after filing a number of
complaints, his cell door was opened when a group of rival gang members were out of
their cell "on program." The rival gang members immediately physically assaulted the
inmate. The interviewee stated that he knew this would be the result of an inmate
consistently using the grievance system.
Inmate asked for more menstrual pads and got "written up" for it because CO said she
had attitude. So she was retaliated against and won't file a grievance again.
He's afraid to file one, even for medical, because then the guards will make your time in
jail uncomfortable by doing things like kicking your door, dropping food, trying to get
you to do something stupid.
She was going to file a grievance, but when guards saw it in her cell, they tore up her cell
and messed up her things. She didn’t file the grievance. “You kinda just have to bite your
tongue about everything in here.”
If you file a grievance, the guard will take programming away from the whole dorm.
When he filed many grievances, they put him in the corner cell as punishment. This
punishment makes many inmates not want to file grievances. They punish the inmates
by sending them to a different floor, especially to the unit at Main Jail called “Siberia.”
Guards retaliated when he filed a grievance against them by turning off hot water and
moving him to different housing.
He grieved a guard who was harassing him, and then the CO followed him to new
housing unit to keep harassing him.
Inmate got rehoused by guard she grieved. Put her in dirty cell as punishment; wouldn’t
give her supplies to clean it. She doesn’t use grievances unless it’s really bad because it
will come back on you.
Inmate’s dormmate did a grievance, and the officer immediately came to her and sent
her to disciplinary housing for the grievance. She’s scared to do a grievance because of
getting an infraction for doing so.
“If you grieve here, you get an infraction.” When inmate gave guard the form, guard
wrote her an infraction for being disrespectful.
When he asked for a grievance form, the next shift handcuffed him on the sundeck,
tossed his room, and put him on lockdown while other inmates were given out of cell
time. One officer sent a trustee to talk him out of it. The trustee told him the guard was
going to "roll him up" (move him to a different, less desirable cell) if he insisted on filing
the grievance.
He’s seen COs retaliate against an elderly inmate for filing a grievance. The guard got in
the elderly inmate’s face and said he would f*** him up for filing.
“There’s more bad than good that comes from filing grievances.” When his cellmate
filed a grievance, the cop came with the grievance form and tried to intimidate inmate
from filing it saying “I’m gonna make your stay here hell.” After seeing that, this inmate
won’t file one.

14

Staff commented that the grievance structure is difficult for officers and inmates alike—
 One reported that grievances haven’t been properly tracked for a long time.
“Grievances get lost because the captain or lieutenant says ‘make it disappear.’”
 One person said COs have intimidated inmates from filing grievances; others believe the
grievance process can work.
 Others believe the inmates abuse the grievance process by repeatedly complaining
about minor things (“this is not a country club”).
 Others acknowledged that having inmates give grievance forms to COs “puts inmates in
a very difficult position.” One person said that retaliation or the fear of retaliation is a
big problem.
 We were told that the current system is broken. “It would be better to have a box inside
each unit so inmates could directly put grievance form in the locked box and a guard
wouldn’t ever have to be involved in the grievances. Guards shouldn’t be able to open a
box like that, only a captain or some separate entity responsible for reviewing
grievances. Then the higher ups or outside folks would see how trivial many of the
grievances are.”
Families reported concerns about the effectiveness of the grievance channels and fears of
negative consequences if they or their loved ones speak up for themselves—
 Her son uses grievances a lot, but guards told him to stop filing frivolous grievances. He
called Internal Affairs, who won’t give him any information, so he doesn’t know if
they’re investigating.
 Internal Affairs was informed of the incident when her husband was beaten and
sprayed, and they looked into it, but wife has no idea whether the investigation is going
on or not, and no information on status of investigation.
 Grievances are perceived to be effective only rarely. After a while, most people give up
filing a grievance, because they don’t think they go anywhere.
 Inmates are threatened and don’t file a grievance. If you push the issue, life gets hard
for you.
 Guards have the attitude “please don’t make more work for me.” Some guards will
actually try to resolve the issue. Giving the complaint to the guard who hurt you makes
no sense.
 Forms are only in English.
 Generally, grievance forms come back with no explanation. Very few make it to Internal
Affairs. Most guys say the grievance never get off the floor.
 The family member called the facility Captain once, and it resolved the issue.
 Her husband uses grievances and sometimes they result in change for a bit, but not
long.
 The guards wouldn’t resolve the grievances, and the inmates wanted to be heard, so
inmates mailed completed grievance forms outside to family members, who filed them
with Sheriff’s Office from the outside. Neither the inmates nor outside family members
ever got a response. It was the only avenue to be heard because why one would
complain to the person who has hurt you? Too much fear of retaliation.
15



Mother reported excess use of force to IA. IA went to interview her son, but didn’t do
anything, just “swept it under the rug.” Officers told her son he shouldn’t talk to IA or
they would make his life difficult.

Issue 2: Many inmate complaints arise from gaps between policy and practice.
This issue is broadly about the collective attitudes, informal practices, and norms that impact
how official jail policies are actually implemented. Approximately 601 of the 944 inmate
interviewees addressed issues of culture and professionalism, while 458 interviews made
comments related to excessive use of force. Some interviewees spoke to both culture generally
and the specific use of force issue, for a total of approximately 698 interviewees that dealt with
the interrelated issues highlighted in this section. While our attorneys do not recall a single
inmate who said that jail staff was universally bad, very few inmates said the jail is free of
problems with unprofessionalism. We were told very, very often that “it depends on the officer,
like pretty much everything in here.”
Regarding these issues, it is particularly important to note the significant differences in inmate
responses. The variations in inmates’ comments often seem linked to the inmate’s housing
placement, the cultural norms in that dorm, the dynamics of a particular shift of jail employees,
and variations in skill levels and maturity across staff persons and inmates. As an example, one
inmate said that the guards in her current dorm “bring cheer, joy, hope to inmates” and also
said that some “COs treat inmates badly if they get pissed off at them, for example, refusing to
turn in inmate request forms as punishment.” This interview was typical of inmate and family
interviews, which strongly reflected the understanding that some jail staff try to do a good job
and treat inmates fairly according to jail rules, while other jail staff have very problematic
behaviors that the believe the current jail culture is not able to remedy.
The reported gaps between policy and practice are most apparent concerning the following
four issues, as further explained in the sections of interview comments below:
 Unresponsive jail staff—The Inmate Rulebook advises inmates that they have the right
to be informed of jail rules, procedures, and schedules, but inmates consistently
reported that officers are not responsive to inmate requests for basic information and
problem solving. This was described as a lack of a “public service mindset” amongst
officers, and was often attributable to officers spending significant time on their
cellphones rather than tending to inmate safety and concerns. Officers also noted onthe-job apathy in their ranks, and explained it as largely due to low morale related to
officers’ being unsupported by jail administration, and by a culture that discourages
officers from reporting wrongdoing.
 Excessive use of force—Inmates and families often reported officers’ use of excessive
force in routine jail movements and lockdowns. Interviewees emphasized that officers’
use of force does not always stop when an emergency ends; physical violence and
pepper spray often continue even after an inmate is fully restrained and no longer a
threat to anyone’s safety. Complaints of excessive use of force are more pronounced at
Main Jail and booking, with fewer complaints at Elmwood Men’s and Women’s. Inmates
16





reported that some officers use physical force against inmates who “talk back” to
officers and that a few officers use force disproportionately with vulnerable inmates,
such as those who are mentally ill, elderly, or without family, because these inmates are
less able to speak up for themselves.
Demeaning language—Though the Inmate Rulebook states that inmates have the right
to expect that they will be treated respectfully by jail personnel, inmates very
consistently reported that a significant percentage of officers use dehumanizing and
belittling language with them. The reported verbal disrespect unnecessarily exacerbates
tensions between guards and inmates, creating avoidable hostilities and safety issues.
Almost all inmates and families were quick to add that “not all guards are bad,” while
emphasizing that the “good” guards do not have the ability or support from superiors to
speak up or alter their colleagues’ misconduct.
Officer discretion—The Inmate Rulebook also specifies that inmates have the right to be
treated impartially and fairly by jail staff, but inmates and families reported that officers’
discretion often results in the practice of favoritism and arbitrariness, due to officers
making up their own rules or interpreting the rules in a way that is inconsistent with
other officers. There were many reports of a culture characterized by officers’ attitudes
that “this is my domain to do as I see best” during their shift, with little adherence to
established policy. Officer interviews also noted this phenomenon and explained that
officers’ arbitrariness in enforcing policy makes it very difficult on officers who do try to
operate by the rules, putting those officers at higher risk of grievances and discipline by
jail administration. Many inmates reported never receiving a Rulebook (even after
specifically requesting one), or receiving an out-of-date Rulebook, making it more
difficult for them to know which rules are “real” and which ones are made up by
officers.

Inmates consistently reported that officers are not responsive to inmate requests for basic
information and problem solving—
 Guards don’t have a public service attitude, so the inmates get no help.
 Officers always say they are short staffed when they get asked for anything.
 Cops are always on their cell phones in the Information Center. Guards should have to
leave cell phones in their cars, locker.
 He is a pro per defendant, and the court rejected his complaint because it was not holepunched. The jail would not let him hole punch it. The four deputies and a sergeant
ridiculed him in front of other inmates saying “you think this is fucking Staples?”
 When inmates have problems or need assistance, they mostly just get “band-aid”
solutions – not real help or solution. E.g., if inmates have commissary problems, they
have to go through onerous reporting process and paperwork to try to resolve problem
– and often problem doesn’t get resolved – rather than having someone sitting down
with them and helping them; if inmate is upset about something, COs ask what’s wrong
but don’t provide any real support or assistance – they just tell inmate not to worry and
then just send them back into the dorm.

17












Deputies are on their cell phones frequently so they do not want to be bothered if you
call to them for something so they get upset if inmates keep calling them. And, they are
not watching the inmates.
She uses request forms to find out when court dates are, etc, but she’s never even
gotten one back.
Guards never give a straight answer to inmates.
There are deputies on their cell phones who say "don't bother me." If you ask that
deputy for an inmate request form they say "no, we're out."
The majority of the officers are on their cell phones all the time. They yell at people to
“keep it down,” and he thinks they are distracted. They hide the phone use from the
sergeants and higher ups. The phone use concerns him because he does not know if
they are taking pictures or videos. A lot of times people actually start fighting because
the deputies are on their phone and do not notice it happening before it escalates.
The deputies are on their cell phones all day and all night. That is why the deputies deny
people medical attention or other requests (e.g. for a toothbrush). One time a woman
was having a seizure while they were on lockdown. Someone came to the door for help
and the deputies ignored them until eventually coming in much slower than was
appropriate for the situation.
Sometimes, guards don’t do cell checks either, so people can be really hurt and not get
the help they need.

Jail staff acknowledged that many have become apathetic due to, in their view, a culture that
does not encourage proactive behavior and to overall poor morale—
 Low morale makes COs not care and not want to be proactive. If they don’t care enough
to adequately staff the jails, then why should we care about how we do our jobs.
 The culture should be “if you see something, say something,” but it is not. Suggestions
about how to fix things fall on deaf ears.
 The culture is that it’s “too hard” to deal with problems directly; it’s easier to not look at
them. Improvement is not a priority; minimizing controversy is the priority.
 The “sweep it under the rug” culture is due, in large part, to staff not wanting to rock
the boat. The culture is to not take responsibility; to minimize things. It’s called “kiss up,
kick down”—kiss up to those above you and kick the problems down to others rather
than deal with them directly. Part of it also is officers’ desire to save face, “to not look
like you have a problem.”
 The administration promotes people based on who is a supporter of the Sheriff rather
than who is best for a position. This results in people not wanting to voice their concerns
because they will be perceived as not part of the team. It makes people think that doing
a good job won’t get them promoted, so they stop caring. If lieutenants and captains do
not do their jobs, it all flows downhill.
 There is no incentive for good behavior. Why not reward COs who solve problems?
 Effort goes unrewarded.
 Positive reinforcement is nonexistent.
 The department is reactive instead of proactive.
18




The Sheriff has undermined COs who want to be proactive.
Supervisors do not follow up and do their job. They’re on the internet all day, or just sit
in the chow hall and watch the officers come in and out.

Use of force is often disproportionate to the need for force, according to inmates—
 Booking officers are over aggressive and use too much force.
 He was beaten by 7-9 COs after he was booked, while he had shackles on his hands and
feet. He was kicked in the ribs and the head. While they had him on the ground they
pulled his pants down and tried to rape him with a foreign object (likely a baton) but he
yelled and resisted and they stopped. He heard one of the officers say "this one won't
knock out". His ribs still have a bump. After that, they placed him in an all red suit,
saying he was a gang member (although he denied it) and placed him in solitary on the
4th floor for one week.
 At least 3 or 4 COs took him to the basement and beat him - they knocked out his tooth.
They stopped when they heard the sergeant approaching. He did not file a grievance
because he feared retaliation; nobody ever gave him information on how to file
grievances. When they transferred him to another floor after the beating the COs (who
all talk to each other) poured all his shampoo and toothpaste over his personal effects
that he had in a bag. He had to sleep without a blanket and sheets until he washed them
because they were soaked in shampoo. On the second occasion, he was in a verbal
altercation with another CO. The CO pepper sprayed him and handcuffed him on the
floor - he started kneeing him in the genitals and hitting him in the ribs. A few other COs
came over and asked what happened - the CO told them he had attacked him. They all
started beating him and dragged his body and put his head in the corner, the sergeant
came and said “stop dog piling him, get the hell off him."
 The COs had beaten another inmate unconscious and other inmates were yelling and
banging on their doors in protest, but he was not. The guards singled him out anyway
and about 8 of them beat him up in his cell with his cellmate, pepper sprayed them,
punched him in the ribs and kicked him, kneed him in the back, and twisted his wrist so
that it felt like it would break. He told them the whole time that he was not resisting.
They also pushed his cellmate's head against the wall and punched him in the ribs. He
didn’t file a grievance about it because he was afraid of retaliation—he saw it happen to
another inmate who filed a grievance, then COs took him in his cell, pulled down his
pants and molested him and pulled his penis.
 He has witnessed deputies beat up mentally ill and inmates who had been homeless
“because they can” and because those people will not write a grievance. He cannot help
those inmates because deputies would retaliate and he would not back down.
 Deputies beat up the mentally ill and older people because those people are weak and
they do not know what is going on and they can send a message to other inmates this
way. It is a particular group of "bad apples."
 Deputies pick on the mentally ill, elderly, and weaker people to send a message to
stronger people; the mentally ill do not fight back “so you can send your message than if
you picked someone who fought back.” There have been incidents like a deputy forced a
19

mentally ill inmate to walk to his cell naked in front of everyone because he talked back
to the deputy when he tried to get him out of the shower. He was assaulted first. This
deputy repeatedly assaults mentally ill inmates. There was no grievance because
mentally ill people do not know what is happening.
Families, like inmates, reported that excessive use of force is common—
 Her son has suffered multiple incidents of beatings and pepper spray. Once an inmate is
restrained, he’s no longer a threat, but the guards keep beating them badly after that.
Documented in photos the guards took. Her son was denied shoes and bedding for 2
weeks after.
 The men cut their hair short because guards would pull them out by their hair.
 Her son was beaten by guards once for no valid reason.
 The guard would assault the inmate, and the guard would then charge the inmates with
assault. For some inmates, their charges get increased afterwards.
 On “elevator rides” where there are no cameras in the elevators, the guards beat
inmates. Her son saw a guard beat a young inmate “to a pulp.” Why aren’t there
cameras in the elevators?
 Husband got beaten and sprayed.
 Guards broke her son’s hand. When guards accompanied son to hospital, they told
doctors he was faking, trying to get out of jail, but the doctor x-rayed his hand and
found he was not faking.
Inmates very consistently reported that a significant percentage of officers use dehumanizing
and belittling language with them—
 Most cops are respectful, but some belittle them, saying things like “Are you f******
retarded?”
 Officer said to inmate: “I hope the inmates in here rape your ass.” A certain team is the
worst. They provoke the inmates and talk to the inmates like they’re trash.
 If the deputies could even just stop calling the inmates “bitches,” “J Cats,” or “nuts” it
might cause a change in the deputies’ perception and see the inmates as human.
 Guards regularly call the women inmates “bitch” and “broad.”
 Guards called inmate a “bitch” and a “pussy” while beating him.
 “They talk to us like we are animals.” I would rather be physically abused than talked to
the way they talk to us, cuss at us, say we're low lifes, bitches.
 Some guards are respectful, but some treat them with unnecessary disrespect like “take
that f****** thing down” and ripping a piece of clothing away, instead of simply giving
instructions civilly.
 Some guards are good, but others are awful—it comes through in speech, mannerisms.
There is a guard who calls the women “bitch” and “hoe” all the time, though that is not
typical of how most guards talk to them. Another guard purposefully embarrasses them
in front of all the others.

20















One of his old cellmates started losing it because he wasn’t getting any out of cell time,
and the officers threw him down and said things like “shut the fuck up, I’m going to
break your face.”
“Why are we being treated as less than animals?” Some guards are respectful, but the
majority of the guards—especially at the Main Jail—talk badly to the inmates. Even if
asking a simple question, some officers respond “why the f*** are you asking me a
question?” Officers are supposed to keep the peace, but instead, they disrupt the peace.
COs are rude, don’t greet inmates, yell at them if they’re away from their beds, and
scream curses at inmates who make too much noise (e.g., “f****** bitch”). COs are not
properly trained to oversee women inmates in a jail facility.
A guard called an inmate for pill call, but inmate was in bed and didn’t hear. The guard
came in and pulled him off the top bunk, twisted his arm, called him a “motherfucker,”
and said “I am the law” so the officer could do what he wants to with the inmate. Two
other officers laughed.
He has a physical impairment and the officers make fun of him, they call him stupid for
not understanding their English, since he is Spanish-speaking. Officers don’t have any
patience for people with medical issues.
9 out of 10 deputies have a mentality that the inmates are dirtbags and junk and a
scumbag and talk to the inmates that way e.g. cursing at them or calling them names.
They will do that when the inmate violates a particular rule when he just arrived and did
not know about it, e.g. walking with his hands behind his back.
Certain shifts are really belittling to inmates. They treat you like you’re a dog. It’s not
right. There’s racism; guards treat inmates different based on race, giving blacks and
Hispanics a hard time.
Deputies who are “good” look the other way when other deputies violate rules. For
example, there is a deputy who calls the inmates “cockroaches” but no other deputy will
tell him to stop.

Inmates report that officers have too much discretion to make up their own rules or interpret
rules inconsistently—
 Every guard has a different way of running things. Guards don’t follow the Rulebook, but
make their own ways. Inmates act out because of the inconsistency.
 Guards on a certain team do not follow the Rulebook. Those guards make up their own
rules, then infract inmates for not following them.
 “Sometimes, the guards make up their own rules. It should be consistent and it isn’t.”
 The guards make up their own rules for how to run things and don’t follow the
Rulebook.
 Inmates’ access to cleaning supplies is completely up to the discretion of the
Correctional Officers. There does not appear to be any routine or consistency as to
when and why supplies are handed out.
 Whether an inmate receives an infraction depends on the deputy; they can violate the
same rule and receive one from one deputy but not the other (e.g. forgetting to put on
the wristband after the shower.)
21
















Some of deputies are relaxed about the rules and some make up rules that are not in
the handbook. There is inconsistency between how different deputies run the dorm.
The COs also make up their own rules as they see fit and punish inmates for not
following them.
Guards sometimes cancel visitation. It depends on who the CO is that day. They
interpret the policy differently and have too much discretion to make family be 30
minutes early, 40 minutes early, not one minute late, etc. The jail should set a clearer,
consistent visitation policy.
Believes surveillance cameras everywhere would be helpful, officers have a lot of
discretion and it would be good to have more watchful eyes.
Guards won’t let her baby in to visit, saying “no babies under 1 year” but they’re just
making that rule up.
Some guards won’t give out disinfectant; they use their discretion, which hurts the
inmates.
Officers have too much discretion, especially in the infraction process.
There’s a lot of variation in how guards interpret the rules.
It’s up to the guards to decide whether to open yard or not.
There is a particular staff person engaging in serious misconduct and breaking the rules
without consequence. She wants it to stop because it makes her feel really
uncomfortable. But, there’s no good way to deal with the situation because, if she
grieves the staff person, everyone will know about it and she’ll be in danger because he
can seemingly do whatever he wants without being held accountable. It’s pervasive
behavior—“he goes by a different rulebook.”
There are inconsistencies between the deputies in terms of how the dorms are run. For
example, some deputies won’t allow the inmates to cuff their pants even though they
are too long. Some deputies make up rules.
There are unwritten rules that no one knows about when he first arrives and the inmate
is then infracted for violating that rule. There are deputies to make up their own rules
just for the sake of giving orders.

Staff also commented on officers’ use of discretion—
 Staff said that many officers make their own rules for how to run the jail during their
shift.
 They reported that, when officers make their own rules, it leads to unsafe
environments for officers and inmates.
 When one officer follows the rules, and the others don’t (for fear of having a
grievance filed or being reprimanded for harshness), it makes things really hard on
the officers who do implement the rules.
Families also commented on the lack of professionalism in the jail—
 The biggest problem is the gap between policy/procedure and the reality. On paper, it
looks very good, but in practice, it isn’t.

22
















The family member sees guards on cell phone all the time when she visits. It’s not all the
guards are bad; some are really good. The bad ones were bullied, and now act as bullies.
Guards told her to shut up. Many guards don’t serve the public; they treat families like
inmates, with disdain.
Some guards are constantly on their cell phones, socializing, chatting, eating, conducting
personal business on their phones, as if the families are not even there. Very
unprofessional.
Lack of consistency about when the lobby is open for visitors.
Dehumanizing language (such as “I have a body here” and calling the inmates “animals”)
is belittling.
Guards take things personally, when they should just be professional, instead. Her son is
paying for his mistake by being in jail, but should shouldn’t have to pay for it a second
time at the punitive hands of the guards, who just take matters into their own hands.
Even the officers/jail administrators who really want to help the family members can’t
show it in the jail because others on the jail staff get mad at them for being “soft.”
She’s seen people who didn’t speak English treated harshly.
Guards take everything so personally.
They change policy from time to time based on how they feel, not standard. There’s no
fairness there at all…instead of running things by the book, it’s too personal.
The guards just watch for someone to mess up, rather than supporting positive
behaviors.
All the guards have each other’s back, so even if one person changed, it doesn’t matter
because they all act together.
Most of the guards talk with inmates in a way that’s not nice, but not all the guards.

Issue 3: Inmates and families report avoidable delays and deficiencies in medical care.
Inmates consistently complained of long delays, denials, mistakes, and poor quality regarding
medical, dental, and psychiatric care. Common complaints included difficulty in getting medical
attention, appointments and prescriptions. Inmates reported that dental care is limited,
optometry is completely unavailable, and it takes weeks or months to see a doctor for urgent
health issues. We were told that medical emergencies are not recognized or treated as such,
and careless mistakes such as mixing up medications for inmates with the same last names, or
failure to secure refills for prescriptions before essential medication has run out were reported
to have grave consequences for inmates’ health. Similar problems were reported by inmates
regarding psychiatric care. According to inmates, the wait time to see a psychiatrist often
results in the worsening of symptoms and imposes severe withdrawal symptoms on inmates
who are reportedly forced off psychiatric medications on which they depend. Though the
mental health team was reported to be relatively responsive to mental health emergencies,
inmates reported that they need, but don’t receive, counseling, therapy, and non-emergency
mental health services. Access to and quality of medical care was a serious problem at all
facilities, though reports were more frequent and more severe at Elmwood Women’s.

23

Approximately 509 of the 944 interviewees (54%) spoke about their access to medical care or
the quality of medical care they receive. Approximately 260 interviewees (28%), some of whom
commented on medical care, also told interviewers about access to or quality of mental health
care. Many interviewees gave additional emphasis to the importance of their medical issues by
beginning an interview with a comment such as “my biggest concern is medical.” Below are
inmate comments that illustrate their concerns.
Inmates expressed difficulty getting medical attention, appointments and prescriptions:
 It makes no sense that white cards [inmate request form for medical attention] can only
be turned in at a certain time when some women can’t be present at that time. Why not
turn in white cards at any time?
 You can only turn in one white card, and only at the 11am pill call, which means you
can’t turn one in if you’re out to court or have multiple issues, so you can’t get what you
need. You can’t get a general appointment, like for a physical.
 When inmate was first booked, it took 2 weeks before getting her 3 times/day
medication for a chronic condition. She finally faked an emergency so she could get to
hospital and get her medication because she thought she would die or go unconscious
without it. She got infracted for faking, but it was worth it because they finally gave the
inmate her medication.
 Inmate came to jail with a broken bone, but didn’t get surgery to fix it for 30 days. While
waiting, she couldn’t get sufficient pain relief or medical care for the injury, not even at
Main Jail, 2nd floor. She went to the hospital 15 times in 1 month because the medical
care was so negligent. Some women inmates are in such physical pain for untreated
medical issues that they can’t even shower or move. The nurses are unprofessional and
don’t offer them proper care in that condition. It’s inhumane to make the older women,
especially those with arthritis, sleep on such thin mattress; they need more care than
that. Guards should take women’s medical complaints seriously, rather than thinking
inmates are just trying to game the system.
 Normal delay for an appointment is 6-8 weeks. Pill call nurses don’t care about the
inmates. “It’s so hard to get appointments and be listened to.”
 Inmate has been diagnosed with a tumor on his back more than 18 months ago. Despite
filing multiple white slips for medical service, he has not had any follow up medical care
 There's usually a 1-2 month delay to see a doctor, which is unreasonable. They only
accept white cards on Mondays--why not every day?
 When he got here transferred from another county they “misplaced” his medication
packet and it took him 2 weeks to get the medication he was already taking there for
HIV and cancer. It took a month to even see the doctor. He was vomiting. He was told
there was nothing the nurses could do until he saw the doctor. Today is the third day he
hasn’t gotten his medication, though he got it by end of day. He reports vomiting as a
result. The nurses told him that some of his medication is very expensive in response to
questions about why he is not getting his medication. He says he got no medication for
HIV from when he arrived in mid-December for 1 to 2 weeks. Nurse said one of his

24















medications was prescribed and administered at SF is not permitted here because of
potential for abuse.
Appointments delay up to 6 weeks or so. Even though doctor acknowledges the inmate
has a certain medical condition, doctor says treatment is not available for it in jail.
The pill call nurses don’t seem to care. They’re not responsive; just say to put in white
cards.
It takes about 5 white cards to get an appointment. She has sciatica & herniated disc
because of the horrible mattresses. She still hasn’t seen a doctor, but she saw a nurse
practitioner who did something weird—she pulled down inmates pants to do a rectal
exam, rather than having inmate pull down her own clothing. Provider tried to do rectal
exam again, but inmate stopped her. Her records show she has a herniated disc, but she
can’t get help. The untreated pain contributes to bad attitude; her state of mind is
better when her pain is better controlled. They keep promising her she’ll have an MRI,
but they never do it. Her situation is getting worse without proper treatment, and she’s
on a long sentence.
Inmate has been dealing with serious stomach and joint issues for the past 4 months.
His repeated medical slips have often been ignored and he continues to deal with
stomach issues that limit his ability to sleep and live without pain. Inmate believes that
unless he is near death, he cannot access medical assistance inside the jail. In fact,
inmate has stopped filing medical slips because he believes they simply go ignored.
Inmate was left cut and bleeding after an incident involving an officer trying to cuff him
with handcuffs that didn't fit. The cuffs severely cut both wrists, however, he did not
receive any medical assistance related to the bleeding, despite filing medical slips for a
few days. He cuts became infected and he has significant scars from the incident. He
never received any medical treatment related to the incident.
Inmate arrived at the County facility on crutches, as a result of an auto accident. Upon
arrival, his crutches were taken from him and he was forced to limp and stagger to his
cell. He filed medical request forms for a cane and/or crutches but did not receive a
response.
She was transferred from a different county. She had several fractures and a surgery on
her leg following a car accident. She is only being given 3 of the 5 prescriptions she
already had before being transferred here. They have “replaced” 2 of her prescriptions
with Tylenol and another over the counter medication and they cause negative side
effects. She now feels pain that she was not feeling when she was given the right
medications at the other facility. It took her about a month, but she now has an
appointment to see the doctor about her leg’s condition/pain management. She got an
X-ray here for a broken digit and the X-ray confirmed it was in fact broke. It’s been a
week and she has received no treatment. She was not even seen by the doctor or given
advice about how to care for it. The X-ray technician is the person who told her it was
broken and showed her the X-Ray.
He has serious symptoms similar to heart attack, paralysis 15 + times, and he has
collapsed. One doctor said he does have a condition, but they can’t help him. He finally
had to have the courts intervene and order that he be sent to Valley Medical Center for
25

















treatment. He feels it is obvious that he has health risks such as unstable heart rate and
unstable blood pressure, but he received no treatment. When he had a concussion, they
sent him to Valley Medical. Nurses are not always on duty, for example if they are on
lockdown there is no nurse at all.
He brought all of his medication with him to booking, but they replaced his medication
with whatever they felt was appropriate. His blood sugar-count shot up to nearly twice
as high as it had ever been before. It took about 2 months to get his medication
stabilized. He doesn’t understand why they didn’t use the medication he came in with
since it was all working for him.
He was prescribed a medication for a heart condition in prison, but the doctor at
Elmwood told him they don’t provide that medication because they don’t “believe it is
beneficial.” They did not substitute with another medication.
His feet are swollen and they haven’t given him anything to treat them, not even
compression socks. He’s been waiting 2 months for a response. When he sees doctor,
language is an issue as there is no one to translate for him and he can’t properly explain
his symptoms to the doctor.
He has seen a nurse tell inmates they don’t have a valid reason to see a doctor when
they requested an appointment. She refused to take the symptoms they were telling her
seriously. Pill call is also an issue when officers use that time to intimidate inmates,
telling them that if they don’t take their pills they will get transferred.
He was denied his asthma medicine for 15 days for no reason.
He had his arm broken when he was arrested and requested medical care - they put it in
a cast and said he needed surgery but it never happened, despite multiple requests and
filing a grievance. He was never given information on grievances. His pinky is also
broken. He also tried getting treatment for hepatitis C and never got an answer.
He was seen at Valley Medical for an unrelated injury last year, and the doctor found
kidney problems. The VMC doctors reported it to medical at the main jail, who never
followed up on it. He later saw them for a different problem and they denied he had
kidney issues despite his lab work to the contrary. He came to Elmwood and was
referred to a specialist - it was a year and a half from the time doctors found renal issues
to the time he saw the specialist. The specialist told him they needed a biopsy but it had
been too long since his kidneys started failing, so they were unable to do it. If they had
not delayed, he could have had the biopsy. He wanted to file a complaint but the doctor
told him it was useless unless he had a lawyer help him.
It took 3 weeks after entering the jail to obtain his seizure medications. He filed two
grievances about it and received no response. He never received information on
grievances. They made him wait almost a month for an appointment to get his seizure
medications- he complained to the nurse and the CO said he was being disrespectful.
He has injury that requires medication and has documentation from VMC re his
medication, but he’s been waiting over a month since he arrived to get the meds and
medical devices that he needs. He had his medication in his personal property when he
arrived and has been trying to get it for a month – he doesn’t understand why they
won’t give to him, and is concerned what will happen to it because it’s narcotics. He also
26










had to do drug test to get medicine in jail, but still waiting for meds. It wasn’t until he
threatened to file a grievance that he was able to get upcoming appointment with
doctor.
When inmates are really sick, COs just ignore until they’re almost dying. Inmates have to
go through lots of obstacles just to see doctor, so often they don’t even want to make
the effort when they’re really sick. Nurses are ok, but COs cause problems for nurses
and inmates trying to get medical care.
She needed to see a doctor for an abscess but a deputy told this inmate and four others
that they missed their appointments because the deputy was upset about the noise
level. Inmate had to wait another month to see the doctor while the condition
worsened. On another occasion, she had trouble breathing but was unable to see a
doctor because, according to the deputy, it was a holiday.
Inmate still hasn’t gotten her pills, even though the jail has her prescription already.
Even for a serious incident, you have to wait 2 weeks for an appointment.
Inmate’s left chest hurt when he breathed and two of his left fingers went numb. The
nurse told him nothing and refused service to him multiple times even though he wrote
it on a white card. She did not check his blood pressure or heartbeat with a stethoscope.
The next day he told the officer, who locked him down. He hasn’t seen anyone for
medical care since then, although sometimes his chest still hurts. He keeps requesting
medical care, but they have not responded to make an appointment. He has to keep
requesting continuations of his medications on white cards, and often goes days without
medications that he needs.
He has had problems getting access to necessary medicines and inhaler, even though his
condition is documented in his file. Nurse knows about his condition, but won’t give him
all necessary medications until he sees doctor for prescription – but he has to wait 1½
months for appointment with doctor. Jail is able to provide decent and fast medical care
in emergency situations – he received very good and immediate treatment when he fell
and cut his head.

Inmates reported that, when they do get a medical appointment, the quality of care is
insufficient—
 Inmate has a chronic health condition, and he almost died because medical wasn’t
managing his condition properly. Finally, he got a letter out to his family, and his family
called an outside entity who intervened. Here, he can’t get the medicine he needs and
his pain is really bad, so he can’t workout and keep himself healthy.
 Quality of healthcare is bad; she isn’t getting what she needs for chronic condition.
 She got TB in jail because of being placed with a super unsanitary person. The doctor
didn’t give her any info or explain the medicine’s side effects or anything.
 She has a chronic disease, and is not even getting her basic meds. The doctor just
doesn’t care.
 Medical care is terrible. The medical staff is very concerned with drug seeking behavior.
Will not prescribe pain management medication. He received Tylenol when he had
staples in his head. Sometimes it takes weeks for a white card request. Staff seems more
27














concerned with preventing the distribution of drugs than treating patients. In other
counties, they solve the issue by dissolving medication in water and watching inmates
drink it.
She needs surgery but the doctor says the jail won’t pay for it, even though the doctor
admits she needs it. She has been told that she could lose her eyesight if her condition
worsens.
She thinks her blood should be tested (for diabetes) more than 2 x per week as it is now.
Every time she is tested, the doctor says her levels are too high and increases her
medication. She feels the doctor is not listening to her. She feels the medical care is
really inadequate. She feels if she were not incarcerated, she could have gotten her
injuries taken care of a lot time ago. The pain wakes her up and keeps her up at night. A
white card request for a doctor’s visit is required for even over the counter medication if
the inmate needs more than one dose.
He is not sure if he is being given the right medications that were prescribed by his
doctor - they never asked him and did not let him take his own prescription medications
into jail. He is simply handed a cup full of pills each day and when he asks what they are
the nurses and COs dismiss him and are rude to him.
He had an aneurysm and they dismissed it as pinkeye, gave him ibuprofen. He was
finally taken to Valley Medical and had a scan that showed he had an aneurysm and he
lost some vision in one of his eyes. Doctor said he wouldn't have lost his vision if they
had sent him to ER sooner.
He is diabetic and the nurses wait too long to give him food after he receives insulin, so
his blood sugar gets dangerously low. Medical response time takes too long - if there is a
man down it takes the CO almost 10 minutes to respond and the medical staff is slow
and lackadaisical to respond - they don't treat it as an emergency although it might be.
They also will not let him refuse part of his insulin although he knows his body better
than anyone else - sometimes the full dose is too much; he feels the healthcare here is
the worst he's had while incarcerated.
He has a life threatening condition and they wouldn't continue his medication for it until
he had testing done to confirm it, although he brought his medical records. It took a
month before he received his medicine. He also had prior surgery that required part of
his body to be in a cast- they took the cast off immediately when he came in and the
bones have since grown crooked and disfigured, and are nearly poking out of his skin,
and it hurts. Medical says he is fine and will not even give OTC painkillers for it.
The inmate had cardiac surgery shortly before his incarceration and was assigned a top
bunk, against his doctor's orders (and letter that the COs ignored). His surgical site was
still healing and he slipped and landed on his hands, pulling the wires apart in his chest.
Eventually he went to VMC and they said there was nothing they could do - they told
him the same thing for a year and a half. They recently allowed him to have a plate
surgically placed in his chest. His doctor said that because the jail waited too long to
treat his chest that his sternum would never heal/fuse back together properly due to
scarring. A CO who dislikes him drove his transport van to VMC for his surgery and
stomped on the brakes/accelerated roughly on purpose - he hit his head on the ceiling
28







multiple times and had to grip the grate so he wasn't injured. They had performed a
procedure involving his thigh artery, and the doctors cautioned the CO to drive carefully
due to his condition. Instead, the CO drove back in the same manner.
He had a minor heart attack and went to the ER by ambulance because they refused to
give him his meds. When he returned they gave him the pills he was supposed to take.
He worries if he had a full heart attack that he would die - there was a man who had one
and was unconscious. The nurse saw him and just said "oh my god" repeatedly and went
to find a binder to figure out what to do. When the EMTs came they asked why she
hadn't at least done the basics to help the inmate, and she said she was looking for it in
the book.
Medical care is terrible - he had a mini stroke and told the medical staff did not believe
him when he told them of his symptoms and kept telling him to fill out white cards
when he told them he needed emergency care. It took them 5 days to send him to VMC.
He had more symptoms after his stroke and a CO helped him call man down for
immediate medical attention, because he knew he would not receive it otherwise. They
did not give rehabilitative therapy after the stroke although he needed it. If they're out
of medications the nurses will take pills from other inmates' daily pills and give them
away.
When she first arrived, the nurses were not providing her HIV medication at the time
during which she was supposed to take them, which matters. She filed a grievance, but
the deputy found that the grievance did not have merit even though the deputy did not
consult with a medical professional to determine whether the inmate’s medication was
time sensitive.

Inmates said that medical emergencies are not recognized or treated as such, and it take weeks
or months to be seen for urgent health issues- Inmate is not getting the care he needs. He was obviously in pain during the interview
and has been on bed rest for weeks with some sudden, unexplained, very visible
infection. The guards left him waiting 4.5 hours in transport to go to hospital, when he
was in tremendous pain, which was very upsetting to him. The hospital gave him the
wrong medication that didn’t work. He was also misdiagnosed. He’s very worried about
his future health because this is a really serious infection that is not getting properly
treated. He finally talked to the sergeant, who got the ball rolling when medical care
was being non-responsive.
 It takes so long to get to medical, then the problem is gone. Delay is 6 weeks, approx.
They will sometime send to a hospital, but only if you convince them it is a really urgent
issue. Otherwise, they just leave you there.
 If one person gets sick, the whole dorm gets sick. If someone needs cough syrup or
ibuprofen, it’s a 4-day process because they have to fill out a white card and get it
processed.
 She was experiencing bleeding on her back from burn injuries, and it took a week and a
half to get an appointment.

29











When she got a staph infection, she had a blister with green puss. She showed the
deputy and put in a white card. It took about a week to see a doctor. When it was
swabbed and tested, it was found to be MRSA (anti-biotic resistant staph infection).
They gave her information that said she might be quarantined, but they determined it
was not bad enough. She got a fever and felt pretty sick.
This inmate came into jail pregnant and ultimately had a miscarriage. The nurse would
not send her to the hospital or let her see a doctor; the nurse told her that until she had
“toilet full of blood” she would not see a doctor. She asked the nurse 4-5 times over a
two-day period and was only allowed to see one after she pretended to go into labor.
The doctor at Valley Medical told her that the miscarriage could have been prevented if
she were brought to hospital earlier.
Even simple issues like diarrhea the nurses say that they can’t help him, even just with
pepto-bismol. With issues like that it makes no sense to use a white card because by the
time it gets approved the problem is gone.
There was also an inmate complaining of medical issues in his dorm - he kept saying he
felt unwell but was ignored - he died in his cell. Many medical complaints are not taken
seriously, the nurses always tell people to put their requests on a white card the next
morning, regardless of whether it's an emergency or not.
Inmate broke her arm in jail - hit a window. Asked to call nurse but they said to wait
until pill call. Asked for help at pill call and just got ice. They told her to put in a white
card. Took 3 days to get a response. Finally got an x-ray and it was broken. So she sat
with a broken arm for 4 days, with just ice. Doctors are terrible. They are understaffed
and don't take you seriously.

Inmates say that careless mistakes happen often and can have grave consequences—
 A lot of times here the staff placates him and say, “you’ll get it to, don’t worry,” but his
medication doesn’t come. He has HIV and cancer and the pill nurse told him today that
she didn’t have any more of his medications.
 Frequently the pill nurses don’t have the medication they need. Sometimes they get
nervous and give the wrong pills. One time he got someone else’s medication and he
drank it and it made him really sick. He lost consciousness briefly when he was coming
down the stairs and other inmates caught him before he fell. Some of the pill nurses
check off that medication was distributed when they haven’t distributed it yet, so they
are not following proper procedures for record-keeping and pill administration.
 Inmate says that the nurses regularly do not have the necessary or needed prescription
medications that have been prescribed to inmates. He and others depend on daily blood
pressure and diabetes medications. However, the pill cart is often out of these
medications, forcing inmates to often go without the proper medications.
 He isn't getting all of the medication he needs, and the medical staff tell him they don't
have it.
 Once the pill call nurse, who was a trainee, was insisting she had to take pills that she
knew she was not supposed to take. They repeatedly insisted that she needed to take
the pills, and got angry she was refusing. They later finally realized that they had
30













confused her with another inmate with the same (common) last name. The nurse said
she checked her PFN, but she must have only looked at the name on her wristband and
not bothered to confirm the PFN. This has happened to other inmates in this dorm.
Once the pill nurse gave her medication that caused her to experience seizures and the
staff locked her in a holding cell, waist-chained and shackled for 4 hours for observation
until they finally called an ambulance to transferred to Valley Medical. She feels this was
very inhumane treatment for a person who was experiencing a medical emergency.
He filed a grievance at the main jail about the failure to provide him with medication for
neuropathy and diabetes, and the nurse merely told him that he wouldn't receive the
meds because they were a certain brand not used by the jail. After a week he was finally
informed that he would get a generic replacement - he does not know why they couldn't
have provided him those medications in the first place.
Lots of miscommunication between COs and medical staff. Nurses have her under the
wrong name, so she doesn’t always get called for pill call. It can be very difficult to get
meds when needed – she needed ibuprofen for an injury, but it took her approximately
1 week to get it; COs made her put in white card, then kept giving her wrong type of
pain med; COs were very aggressive when she tried to get proper meds.
Nurses give inmates the wrong medication; she has been given other inmates’
medication.
There have been a few times where he does not receive his insulin because of
“miscommunications” (their words.) He thinks two of the nurses were doing it on
purpose. A deputy backed up the nurse. They will stop giving him medication altogether
so he has to re- request and re-see the doctor. He then has to repeat his medical history
to the doctor all over again. Whenever his wife calls and speaks to medical it is fixed
temporarily. The doctor does not know what he is doing or why he is there when he
arrives.
He informed the nurse and doctors of his medication allergies but they tried to give him
one of these medications during pill call which he discovered because he is vigilant. The
nurses do not check his blood sugar before giving him insulin which will harm him.
They constantly mess up his pills and the nurses don't listen. He was given about half of
his daily pills and had to ask the nurse repeatedly to check his file before she gave him
the correct number. The nurses also show up at diabetic call without insulin.

Problems with medical care were reported to be worse at Elmwood Women’s—
 “Medical is hopeless here.” When she came here, she had open wounds from prison
that were still being cared for. The nurse & doctor misdiagnosed her and did a surgical
procedure right there in her dorm, then sent her back to her cell without bandaging it,
and then didn’t have follow up visits. Doctor said she should be checked twice a day, but
guards didn’t check her at all, and infection worsened. She got hugely infected and had
to be admitted to the hospital twice for lack of ordered follow-up care. Jail doctor still
hasn’t seen her. Medical appointment keeps getting cancelled here, so still isn’t getting
the meds the hospital ordered. She has a chronic health condition that makes follow up
necessary.
31

















A girl in her unit was having a miscarriage, and the nurses didn’t respond for 2 hours,
even though they knew about it. When a fellow inmate/nurse tried to help, the guards
wouldn’t let her. Only when a bad incident resulted in another inmates’ death did
medical start responding.
She went in for testing and they said they’d call if anything was wrong. They didn’t call
her, but she put in a card for an appointment to go ask about test results because she
was concerned. It turned out she did have a chronic disease, but medical had not told
her the test results. The doctor was horrible. He wouldn’t give her any information and
wouldn’t treat it as an emergency, so this woman can’t get treatment for this chronic
disease she just found out she has. Doctor was so rude and hateful to her. She’s worried
about other people in here who never get called back with positive test results and are
walking around with communicable diseases they don’t know about.
She came in addicted. Medical wouldn’t give her a “kick pack” to help detox, even
though they give them to some people. She was so sick, but they gave her a laxative
rather an anti-diarrhea medication, which made her have blood in her feces. She
couldn’t sleep for 3 weeks, nor eat for 1 week, but they wouldn’t even prescribe Insure.
She couldn’t get a medical appointment for 3 weeks, and she continues to have 3 week
delays for appointments. One doctor won’t even listen to her; told her she could only be
seen for 2 things at once, even though inmate had multiple things wrong.
When she was having a miscarriage, she was bleeding so much, but nurse wouldn’t give
her help and didn’t believe her that she’d been pregnant.
It’s horrible. Her roommate miscarried. The baby was dead inside her for 3 days before
she got treatment. The doctor misdiagnosed her, thinking the baby’s heart was beating,
even though it was the mother’s heart.
This is a big deal. She had exceedingly heavy menstrual flow after recent delivery of
baby. Doctor never examined her. They just drew her blood and said it was normal, but
it wasn’t at all normal. Outside of jail, her doctor would have sent her to the hospital
immediately, but she got no care from the jail staff.
She was detoxing from drugs when she came in. Medical didn’t do anything to help. She
thought she was about to die, but all they did was give her advil.
She had a miscarriage here. She told nurse she was spotting, but nurse just said to do a
white card. When you have something urgent, a white card is totally insufficient to
address it. They eventually took her to the hospital. Med staff thinks inmates are always
just trying to game the system, but the inmates have valid medical needs that need to
be listened to.
Inmate has chronic health condition that requires medication multiple times/day, but
guard wouldn’t let her out to get it because she was late.
"There's nothing you can do. They just leave you to die." Inmate has a serious internal
infection that she is not getting help for, plus a growth that the nurse won't look at. It
takes a long time to get an appointment, then the doctor doesn't do a physical exam,
just asks questions, and the nurses just take her blood pressure and give her Tylenol.
There's nothing more the inmate can do to get help. She was clearly in tremendous
pain, so the interview was cut short.
32







She was prescribed medication for chlamydia although she had never taken a urine test.
When she insisted on being tested, she tested negative. This was all while she was
pregnant. Then they did a pap smear, colposcopy, and cut a piece of the cervix all while
she was 3 months pregnant. The doctor told her she had cervical cancer before she even
had the colposcopy. She was encouraged to consider abortion more than once. The
doctor also said she had 2 fetuses that were conceived at different times. One of them
miscarried, and the doctor recommended using suction to remove the deceased
embryo, but she asked a nurse she knows and they said this procedure would be very
dangerous to the remaining fetus.
She has rare medical condition and has received extremely inadequate/incompetent
care, despite providing diagnosis, documentation, instructions on care, etc from outside
doctors. Doctors in jail frequently tell her that necessary medications / treatments are
not provided in jail, and provide no substitutes. Her condition has deteriorated and she
is very concerned that she will need amputation as a result.
She has been hospitalized at VMC emergency room for her condition – even when ER
doctors told jail doctors what she needed, the jail doctors said that they don’t provide
those treatments. She requested to see her own outside doctor, but jail doctors refused
– said that they can provide treatment here, but have done anything further nor
referred her for further care. Jail doctors have also changed many of her meds and/or
tried to make her give up prescribed meds – told her that they don’t give / don’t allow
her prescribed drugs, so gave something different.

Though the mental health team was reported to be relatively responsive to mental health
emergencies, inmates reported serious problems with access to psychiatric care—
 Doctor told inmate to put in a white card for psychiatrist appointment, so she did, but
appointment is delayed for 6 weeks. She can’t get the medicine she needs, even though
she was on those meds before. Doctor said it’s not allowed, but alternate medicines
don’t work for her
 She had to wait 1 month to see a psych and get the meds she was on when she came in.
 MH does not come see her right away, waited 1 month. Then they gave her meds for a
different condition she doesn’t have, and no information about the new drug, and it
wasn’t right.
 It usually takes a month to see a mental health doctor so if inmates are already on
medication when they are incarcerated, they will be without that medication for a
month.
 It takes a month to see the psychiatrist. He thinks they need more psychiatrists.
 Has been three weeks without his mental health meds. He can’t sleep without meds.
 Mental health comes to see you once every 6 to 8 weeks – he has to talk to certain
psychiatrists because his pills need to fluctuate with his mood; they don’t come to
adjust medication; the psych had an attitude and cut him off a few of his meds without
explaining why
 The inmate was housed at the main jail with a mentally ill inmate, who started hurting
himself because the jail didn't have his meds.
33





She was transferred to Elmwood from another county jail and brought her psychiatric
medications (three types) with her. She had to wait one month to meet with the
psychiatrist and did not receive two of those types of medication that entire time. She
received the second type after talking to the psychiatrist but the psychiatrist refused to
provide her with her third medication, stating that it was a narcotic. Without being on
that medication, her anxiety has been terrible, she cannot function, she cannot talk to
people, and she is shaky and nervous. She did not file a grievance about this issue
because it will not help. The second medication she is on has given her many side effects
that she previously did not have (when having taken the medication outside of jail) even
though the medications are supposed to be identical. When she told the psychiatrist,
the psychiatrist suggested taking her off of the medication so now she lies and says the
side effects are gone because she is scared he will take her off of it.
He was told there was a three month wait for a psychiatrist so he lied and said he was
hearing voices so he could see the psychiatrist in a few days. The psychiatrists
overmedicate inmates and prescribe serious drugs like lithium and Depakote
unnecessarily. The doctor who actually prescribes the medications spends five minutes
with the inmate and does not explain side effects of these medications.

The lack of prompt psychiatric care was reported to result in the worsening of symptoms and
imposes severe withdrawal symptoms on inmates who are forced off psychiatric medications—
 It took 10 weeks to get his medication that he had sent to the jail. He went into detox
from his prescribed medication. It caused him to lose consciousness while he was in a
single cell and hit his head. He woke up in the E.R. and had to stay at Valley Medical
Center. He has made requests to see the doctor and it generally takes 2 months. He has
not received the pain management he has been prescribed. He gets Tylenol with
codeine 2x per day and he is still in a lot of pain.
 When she came in, she told doctors about her outside medications and gave them her
doctor’s contact information, but the jail only gave her one of her medications and took
her off the others cold turkey. They also put on a psych med she’s unfamiliar with, and
she’s not sure if it’s safe for her to take it.
 He was on medication to wean him off of drug abuse before he entered the jail, but
here they just took him off his medication cold turkey.
 The pill cart is often out of psychiatric medications, forcing inmates to often go without.
These inmates are denied medications that allow them to program with other inmates
and keep them calm. They often miss these medications and it results in dangerous
situations in the dorms.
 Inmates often receive the wrong medications and there are significant delays in the
distribution of new prescriptions. These delays in distributing psychiatric medications
expose inmates to dangers from fellow inmates who need treatment and proper
medication.
 This inmate has anxiety and entered jail on anxiety medication. It took her five weeks to
see a psychiatrist and she was forced to be off of the medication “cold turkey” this
entire time period. The result was that she had daily panic attacks with no treatment.
34

She called for the emergency mental health staff but those people would not help her
because she was not suicidal.
The jail’s dental care is insufficient to meet inmates’ needs, according to interviewees—
 They don’t do cleanings or anything preventative, only teeth pulling and fillings, which is
really a problem for long-time inmates like him.
 After more than 6 months of filing white slips related to his tooth, inmate was forced to
kick his door and scream in agony to get attention for his tooth. His tooth had become
infected and began to cause swelling in his jaw and throat that resulted in blocking his
air passage ways. After kicking and screaming, he was reviewed by a nurse who had him
immediately sent to the hospital for emergency surgery. Inmate is also a cancer
survivor. However, since being held in County jail, he has not been able to have any
services related to his cancer diagnosis. He is fearful that this neglect is placing him at a
higher risk of relapse and successful recovery.
 Inmate had a significant dental issue that took more than 10 weeks to resolve. Inmate
had a toothache and injury around the tooth that began to bleed. He submitted a "white
slip" to request dental assistance. His request took more than 2 weeks for a response.
After two weeks, he received a Tylenol. The tooth continued to bleed and interfered
with his sleep and ability to eat. After more than 10 weeks of limited response, he had
to have the tooth extracted.
 At first, they wouldn’t give him a dental appointment, then they did, but it was
scheduled for several weeks out. When he finally said he was going to file a grievance on
the dentist, the dentist finally gave him some help for his infection.
 Inmate was in need of dental services for an infected tooth. After filing out a white slip,
it took more than 8 weeks for his tooth to be assessed. It also took multiple white slips
and multiple grievance forms for him to get formal assessment from medical staff. Once
he was assessed, the tooth was immediately removed.
 Dental appointment was put off 3 weeks. If you don’t have a fever at that moment, you
don’t get seen. Dental only wants to pull teeth, but she needs her teeth to eat—would
be better to fix them than pull them.
 Dental—there’s no preventative care, and there’s a 2-3 month wait for appointment.
 Inmate has been trying to get dental care for a rotten tooth for more than 6 months. He
has filed a number of white cards requesting service and has filed a number of
grievances related to his inability to get dental care. Upon finally receiving a dental
appointment, he was transported to the dental location but the dentist did not arrive.
Upon returning to jail, the Officers asked him to sign a refusal form. However, he did not
refuse the dental service, the dentist did not arrive. He is still seeking dental services for
a painful toothache.
 He has been dealing with an abscess in his teeth. He has been told that it can kill him if it
ruptures. He has requested a stronger pain medication because it throbs while he is
sleeping and it is painful to chew. He has a stack of at least 10 white cards. The nurses
say that he needs to keep submitting white cards.

35

Inmates report that eye care is completely unavailable in the jail, even with a court order—
 Inmate needs prescription glasses to see. He has received a Federal and State Court
order to allow him to receive eye care to address his vision concerns. However, the
County facility will not allow him to access a doctor to address his vision issues. They
have ignored his medical requests. He has also filed a grievance over the issues, but it
has yet to be resolved. According to inmate, he has followed all the necessary legal
steps to be allowed eye care, but the jail continues to neglect and refuse his requests.
 It took inmate 18 months of filing white cards to finally receive eye glasses, which he
needs to see more than 4 feet in front of him. His first day in custody he filed a white
card regarding his eye glasses. He was initially told that the County facility did not allow
for vision care. He continued to file a white card requested glasses every day for the
next two months. Contrary to the initial information he received, the facility eventually
scheduled him an eye exam. 12 months later he finally received his eye glasses, after
filing multiple grievances and multiple white cards for medical service.
 A judge twice ordered the jail to take this inmate to have his eyes examined, but the
doctor will not refer him, stating: “we do not do that.”
Issue 4: Inmates consistently complain of poor hygiene and sanitation conditions in the jails.
Approximately 803 of the 944 inmates interviewed—85% of interviewees and 23% of the jail’s
total population—identified hygiene and sanitation issues as a concern. For many inmates, this
was the first topic out of their mouth, and it was one inmates emphasized. In fact, some
inmates agreed to interview solely for the purpose of talking about hygiene conditions.
Inmates often described the jail as “our house” and noted that the ability to keep their bodies
and surroundings clean has a major impact on their dignity, state of mind, and physical health.
Many inmates reported rashes, ringworm, scabies, and staph infections from the lack of
sanitation. Inmate and family comments focused on clothing, lack of cleaning supplies and
personal hygiene. Both official jail policies and informal practices were reported to function as
barriers to better jail sanitation, and inmates often indicated that the problems would be
relatively easy to reverse:
 Clothing: Most inmates report that they receive only one set of clothes at a time,
exchanged once or twice a week, so they must live, sleep, and exercise in the same
clothes for several days in a row. Clothing is often still dirty when it comes back from
laundry. Both the scarcity and dirtiness of clothing often force inmates to wash their
own clothes or hide extra pairs of underwear and socks, exposing inmates to infractions,
which can extend an inmate’s time served and can result in an inmate being rehoused to
a more restrictive dorm. Such consequences seemed disproportionate to many inmates
who simply wanted to maintain good personal hygiene.
 Cleaning supplies: Inmates consistently reported that officers will not give them
sufficient cleaning products to keep their cells and dorms clean throughout the week.
Inmates are not given sponges or washcloths to apply products when they are provided,
and inmates are not permitted to have an extra towel—other than one used for their
personal hygiene—to clean with. The lack of supplies is particularly problematic due to
36



the presence in the dorms of mold, leaks, insects, and bodily fluids from inmates who
are sick or detoxing from addiction.
Personal Hygiene: The lack of sufficient soap in the dorms and restrooms was often
cited as a major, and fixable, concern. Female inmates regularly noted that they are not
provided with enough pads for menstrual cycles. Many inmates explained how they are
all affected by indigent inmates’ inability to maintain good hygiene because indigent
hygiene kits do not include shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, or enough soap or
toothpaste.

Inmates’ families were also concerned about the hygiene issues, though officers did not often
raise the issue in interviews.
Inmates complain that the scarcity and condition of clothing impedes their personal hygiene
and puts them at risk for disproportionate disciplinary responses—
 Inmates are not allowed to have more than one set of clothes per week. They are
provided one pair of underwear, one pair of socks and one pant and one shirt for an
entire week. This is unsanitary, as inmates are forced to live, eat, workout, and sleep all
in one set of clothing for the week. This differs significantly from other counties in the
area. He is unclear on why they are only provided one set of clothing per week.
 Inmates wash their clothes in cells every day since they get sweaty from exercise, only
allowed one each of underwear, socks, shirt, have to wear for 7 days; other jails provide
extra towel, underwear, and socks.
 They need clean clothing more frequently. He had his extra clothes confiscated and was
infracted for this. The Lieutenant punished him by sending him to isolation for 7 days.
He appealed to the captain arguing the punishment was too harsh but has not heard
back (1 month later). He has received clothes with poop stains, holes in the socks.
 Clothes are exchanged too little; they receive infractions for washing/hanging clothes
 inmates wind up washing their own clothes in cells because jail only provides 1 set of
clothing, and laundry is only once a week.
 At other jails & prisons, they give inmates extra clothes and towels. Here, inmates only
get one set of clothes, and only get to exchange them 2 times/week (Tuesdays and
Fridays). If inmates work out, they have to wear sweaty clothes – causes them to break
out in rashes. If COs find someone with an extra towel, they take the towel and take
away programming.
 Underwear has blood marks on it. Have to wait 3-4 days to change our clothes.
 They should not get into trouble for washing their own clothes.
 They need clean clothing and towels more frequently. People are forced to hoard
clothes and then the deputies overreact when they find extras by raiding the units and
locking down inmates, but the punishment depends on the deputy.
 Clothing is torn, wrong size in poor condition, old, dirty. They’re unhygienic, especially
underwear – inmates break out in rashes from clothes; wash their own underwear to
ensure that it’s clean. They give inmates same towels for showers as used for floors –
there should be separate shower and cleaning towels. Sandals are broken and not
37



















disinfected – COs refuse when inmates ask for replacement, or tell them to just buy
their own from commissary; some inmates have to sew their sandals to hold together.
Sandals get wet in shower, then start to mildew and get clothes wet.
They don't pass out thermals although it's cold.
They should get their own set of clothing as the clothing isn't laundered properly and is
permanently stained (especially the underwear). He has been to many prisons, but says
this jail broke his spirit.
Inmates need long sleeve shirts for the cold during winter – can only get thermal if
prescribed by doctor.
The inmates do not receive clean clothes frequently enough and what they receive
(sheets, towels, underwear) have blood, other “questionable stains” and rips. He pays
the trustees to have first pick of sheets and clothing. The inmates clean their own
underwear because of the stains or to keep the same underwear if it is new. There is
one deputy who will see the clothes drying, check if the inmate has a second pair, and
then confiscate the hanging pair.
They don't have clothing in his size, so he keeps his clothing and washes them himself.
Sometimes he gets a "new" set of clothes that fits but they're dirty and when he washes
them he sees dirt coming out of them. He wonders if they're washed at all.
The inmates receive pants only twice a week, even though the inmates bleed through
the pants because their maxi-pads are too short. The deputies will not exchange the
pants for those inmates.
If clothes are not available in inmates’ size during clothing exchange, they don’t get any
clothing at all for several weeks. Clothes not washed well – inmates get scabies, staph
infection, rashes from clothes. Inmates used to get thermals for cold, but not anymore.
Inmates have no place to hang wet clothes – they’re supposed to be allowed to hang
clothes, but COs often make them take clothes down.
Inmates shouldn’t get infracted for having another set of clothes or washing their
clothes, which leads to more time in jail just for trying to keep yourself clean. Some
weeks, they don’t even get clean clothes, if there’s a problem in another part of the jail.
Clothes are really gross and dirty.
The workers' clothes get soaked with water and covered with rancid food and grime as
part of their work on kitchen/scullery crew. Normally, they get clean clothes at the end
of the 7-hour shift. One officer has now decided not to give them clean clothes at the
end of their shift, starting last week. It's unsanitary that the guys have to take their
soaked, filthy clothes back to the barrack and continue wearing them.
There’s often not enough clothing available at clothing exchange, so inmates get stuck
with the same clothes for days in row. Inmates try to wash their clothes by hand to have
something clean to wear, but COs don’t like when they hang wet clothes to dry.
Inmate has experience in other county facilities in California. The protocol of only
allowing one set of clean clothing per inmate per week is inconsistent with the practices
throughout the state. It also fosters a lack of cleanliness, hygiene and cell sanitation.
They should be able to wear shoes out of dorm. They have to walk to meals even when
it’s raining, so socks get wet, and only have 1 pair, so have to have wet feet all day.
38



For oversize "big boy" clothing, they only send new clothes one time per month. The
bigger guys smell bad because they can't change their clothes and having an extra set is
an infraction.

Inmates consistently reported that officers will not give them sufficient cleaning products to
keep their cells and dorms clean throughout the week—
 Once he was transferred to a cell with feces on the wall and had to wait a long time
before they gave him supplies to clean it off. Also, they run out of toilet paper.
 Jail provides small amount of Comet, solution, and scrubber supposed to last a week,
but insufficient; if ask for more, told to wait.
 They're in lockdown for 72 hours and are expected to clean their cells without adequate
cleaning supplies; they end up using shampoo, soap, and their toilet paper to clean.
They're not given enough toilet paper.
 They do not have enough cleaning supplies so it ends up making many people sick,
especially because everyone is in close proximity with one another.
 Unit infested with roaches; showers are filthy, have grime and clogged drains, and are
only cleaned once a week.
 Inmates are required to clean cells and resort to using clothing to clean cells because jail
doesn’t provide supplies; inmates requesting mops during out of cell time are told mops
unavailable
 Rooms are unsanitary and they give you a broom and some cleaning solution but
nothing to actually scrub. You can't ever get your room actually clean.
 There was a unit with black mold, the deputies knew about it but no one fixed it. The
trustees tried to clean it but they did not have bleach. The inmates were moved because
of the mold after 9 months.
 The jail does not provide the inmates with supplies to scrub the bathrooms--there only
six sinks for 60 men and one has been clogged for a month, middle shower is clogged
which causes flooding, and the toilets overflow.
 The inmates clean the bathroom everyday but it is never sanitized. They receive only a
small ½ cup of comet and two spray bottles of cleaning salutation which is spread
among all inmates. The inmates dump half of the spray bottle in the mop bucket. The
rest is for the bathroom, dayroom and pod. That ½ cup of comet must be used for each
toilet, stall and sink.
 The showers are filthy. The black mold is visible. They do not receive enough cleaning
supplies to clean the entire bathroom and dorm and they need bleach.
 If it’s not Wednesday, they have to ask for cleaning supplies daily. Sometimes the guards
won’t give them cleaning supplies; it depends on the guard.
 The lack of clean clothes and cleaning products place unnecessary stress on inmates and
prevent them from meeting weekly clean cell checks.
 Inmates receive insufficient cleaning supplies. They are required to have their cells
checked for cleanliness on a weekly basis but are not provided supplies to keep their cell
space clean. For example, many inmates must use commissary purchased soap and
shampoo in order to clean their cells.
39



Inmates withdraw from drugs when they arrive and they are not provided with any care
or attention. The inmates vomit and defecate on themselves and throughout the unit
but hazmat does not come. The other inmates have to clean this up.

Inmates were very concerned about jail policies and practices that make it very difficult to keep
themselves clean and healthy—
 She has to rely on the indigent hygiene kit, and it’s just so horrible. There’s no shampoo,
so her hair looks greasy and people call her “J Cat” to mean she’s crazy, when she’s not,
she just looks bad because she can’t take care of her hygiene properly without basic
supplies.
 Inmates use sinks to bathe, ask for floor towels to keep floor dry; if cell is searched,
guards take floor towels; using showers is too time consuming and takes up out of cell
time;
 Jail provides very small soap bars that don’t last, so inmates buy soap and shampoo,
very expensive.
 Need to put hand washing soap dispensers in all bathrooms, as soap is currently
inadequate for both showering and handwashing.
 Some inmates can't afford soap and they never pass out free soap anymore.
 Blanket exchange should be done more often, as blankets become dirty and unsanitary.
 Inmate did not get feminine hygiene products for 7 hours.
 Inmate needs more pads - not enough per menstrual cycle. Need more soap.
 Women only get 2 menstrual pads per shift; it’s not enough.
 Some guards don’t give them enough menstrual pads, and the pads are very bad quality,
so it’s not enough.
 Guards say they don’t have any soap. Soap from Commissary comes only on
Wednesdays, which is sometimes a long time. Need more soap!
 The new rule is that indigent inmates don’t get indigent hygiene kit when they arrive—
have to wait until Commissary day. If they’re off the streets, their poor hygiene affects
all the other inmates until the new inmate can get cleaned up.
 They don’t give inmates enough soap, so they have to buy their own. When he asked
for soap, they only give 3 tiny bars/week – each bar only lasts 1 shower, but inmates
want to shower more often (every day), especially if they work out.
 Many guys steal an extra towel so they have one to clean body and 1 to clean cell/floor.
They need 2 so they don’t have to be unsanitary by using the cell cleaning towel for
their bodies.
 They receive only two little pieces of soap a week that lasts two days. The only way to
get more soap is to buy it. The Cos will not give them soap when they ask for it. He sees
the COs get mad because they just asked the day before.
 They can’t have an extra towel to clean their cell with, so they’d have to use the same
towel for their body and cell/floor, which is unsanitary.
 They need another towel, one to clean their cell and one to clean their body. They have
to steal, and then they get disciplined. How are they supposed to keep their cell clean?

40






Inmates are often tasked with using their bath towel in order to maintain the cleanliness
of their cell, which is inspected for cleanliness on a weekly basis.
Upon arrival, you’re not given deodorant. You have to buy it from Commissary, but if
you’re indigent and can’t buy it, it’s a real problem for your cell mates. Deodorant
should be given in hygiene kit when you come in.
Indigent kits need deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, too.
For indigent inmates, the facility does not provide any toothpaste, deodorant or
shampoo. Many inmates do not have any financial support on the outside. As such, they
must live with very little soap or hygiene supplies. This creates sanitation issues in the
dorms and cells, often resulting in other inmates being required to take care of fellow
inmates’ hygiene needs.

Families were also concerned about the hygiene conditions faced by their relatives—
 The jails are filthy, including Elmwood. The inmates get staph infections.
 The clothes are filthy, and inmates get punished (sometimes severely) when inmates
have an additional pair of underwear, just to keep themselves clean.
 It took 4 months to get nail clippers for her son to keep himself tidy.
 Sometimes, the jail says there are no clean clothes, and inmates have to wear the same
pants another week.
 There’s no hot water in Main South.
Issue 5: Inmates frequently were upset by issues related to insufficient and inconsistent out-ofcell time.
Complaints about too little out-of-cell time are pervasive across Santa Clara County jail
facilities, with the exception of a couple of dorms at Elmwood Women’s. In total,
approximately 481 inmates interviewed, or 51%, spoke to interviewers about the issue of outof-cell time. The concern is especially acute for inmates in high security, mental health, and
protective custody units, who get very little time out of cell. However, it is reportedly also true
even of “yard time” or “out-of-barrack time” at Elmwood’s Minimum Camp for men, which is
the unit in the Santa Clara County jail system where inmates have the most freedom.
Inmate comments often varied by their classification and the physical configuration of their
housing unit. Most inmates in single or double cell dorms reported that they are out of their
cells for only 30-60 minutes a day, many times going several days on lockdown, which means
those inmates cannot shower or make phone calls to family or legal counsel, until the lockdown
is lifted. Many inmates reported that the amount of time they are out of their cells is entirely
dependent on the officer on duty. Inmates and officers explained that the uncertainty about
when inmates will be given out-of-cell time leads to build up of psychological stress that puts
inmates and officers at unnecessary risk for avoidable violent outbursts.
Even where inmates’ comments were consistent across different dorm configurations and
classification levels, limited “out of cell time” can look quite different for different inmates. For
41

example, Level 4 inmates in maximum security and Level 1 inmates at Elmwood’s Minimum
Camp both reported having insufficient time to shower, call their families, call legal counsel,
and exercise. However, the 30-60 minute “out of cell” time is likely to be the only time the Level
4 inmate has out of his or her cell, while the Level 1 inmate may be “out of barrack” for many
hours a day on a work shift, though locked down to his barrack at almost all other times.
Though inmates and jail staff call out of cell time “programming time,” it is important to note
that “programming time” involves no structured programs. “Programming time” is inmates’
time to shower, make phone calls, get hot water for soup, move around, and interact with
others. In this report, we refer to such time as “out of cell time” to avoid the misrepresentation
that inmates have organized programs or classes during this time. We refer to structured
programs such as GED, parenting, and addiction recovery courses as “programs.”
Many family members, and a good number of inmates, were also concerned about the
deficiency of formal programs for their rehabilitation and constructive use of time, but it did
not rise to the level of universal concern among interviewees. Inmates and families who
expressed this concern often said that programs should be available to all inmates, rather than
limited to certain housing units. The issue takes on particular importance in the context of the
jails’ shift to long-term housing of inmates serving state or federal prison sentences and those
awaiting trial for many years. We heard multiple reports of inmates who had been in county jail
for 7 years and counting, some of whom had come directly from juvenile detention, who were
very concerned with the lack programs because of their own cognitive decline, mental apathy,
and lack of preparation for successful reentry to society.
Complaints about inconsistent, insufficient out-of-cell time are pervasive—
 There's no consistent time out of cells. The new guards don't give out of cell time
because they're not trained enough. When guys don't get time out of cells, it makes
people more aggressive, agitated. The inconsistency means that you tell your family that
you'll call, but then you can't call them, so then they worry.
 They do not get released from their cells because the deputies are on their phones. They
were let out 45 minutes a day this week.
 They don’t have time to shower, so they do bird baths in their toilets in their cells.
 Some guards give enough out of cell time, but not others. There's a lot of variation. The
problem is that, without time out of cell, you can't call family, shower, cook, exercise,
etc. It "messes everything up" not to have it. If they're loud, they get locked down early.
Everything depends on which officer is on duty.
 Time out of cell is only 30-40 minutes. Inmates even recently were on lockdown for 2
days, and the guards usually don’t tell them why. Guards--the deputies like to play on
their phones rather than give time out of cell. The old guards are responsive, but the
new guards say “it’s not my unit” like they don’t have authority for full management of
their unit, but they do.
 When they don’t have time, they can’t talk to their attorneys, which interferes with
accessing legal services. Some guards are always on their cell phones. Sometimes, the
42



















guards write lies in the log book, so that it looks like they had out of cell time, but they
didn’t.
It’s gotten better since Tyree died. Now, there’s more programming and out of cell time.
Everyone is happier, more mellow because there’s more out of cell time. There is a
misunderstanding that 3 hours/week is sufficient—it’s not, but some guards think it is.
They only have 3 hours/week, which isn’t enough. He needs more time to call his
attorney, who only works M-F, 9-5.
There’s not enough yard time. All levels need more yard time and exercise. Across the
units, they rarely use the yard. They spend too much time on their bunks and even have
to eat on their bunks. Also, the mattresses are really bad, so because they spend so
much time on their bunks, their bodies hurt a lot.
Inmates don’t get enough exercise time to keep healthy. Why not on the weekends or
anytime? The guys build up too much testosterone with no chance to work it out, have
fun, exercise.
Inmates in Protective Custody and in Solitary Confinement do not get daily out-of-cell
time as required by law. Most PC inmates are housed with other PC inmates. As such,
they are allowed out with other inmates they can align with. However, in solitary, PC
inmates are housed in pods and dorms that also house active gang members. As such,
the PC inmates are rarely allowed outside of their cells and often have their out-of-cell
time shortened, ignored or skipped to allow out time by active gang members.
Time out of cell in many dorms is very limited. It largely depends on the mood and
ability of the officer on duty. The more experienced officers who know how to talk to
inmates and handle themselves often allow inmates out of the cells. However, there are
a large number of officers who lack people skills and have a very combative relationship
with inmates. These officers tend to require inmates to stay in the cells for extended
periods of time and cancel programming (and phone calls, showers, and activities). In
the past few weeks, inmates have been required to stay in their cells for 2 to 3 days in a
row, as a result of officer staffing issues.
Group punishment in the form of lock down leads to less time to use phones.
Sometimes inmates don’t get out for 5 days at a time.
They usually get 30 minutes a day, but sometimes they don’t get out of cell time at all. It
depends on the officers. He doesn’t have enough time to make phone calls and shower.
Inmate’s dorm is locked down 23 hours per day. He thinks it’s because there are so
many different classifications of people. They are lucky to get 1 hour per day, most days
they get less than an hour. 23 hours a day in the cell makes him start to feel pretty
alone.
COs have authority to do as they please - some only let them out for 30 minutes per day
although they are supposed to come out for 3 hours.
They open the yard from 8 to 11 a.m., when they know the inmates have class from 8 to
10:45 a.m., so they don't have adequate yard time.
Inmates should get time outside to get fresh air—inmates in her pod are not allowed
outside at all. They only get time out of their cells 5 times/week, for 1-3 hours, but it’s
never a set schedule, just random amounts of time. They only get out if COs want to let
43








them out; if COs need to attend to other inmates, they have to go back into cells and
don’t get to make up lost time.
When BRC attorneys got here, guards started opening the big yard for exercise, but
before that, it was only once a month.
They are not being let out. Once, they went three days straight (including no shower)
without being let out. When they threatened a grievance they were given 40 minutes.
They get 1x per day 30-45 minutes. The officer said it because they have multiple levels
in the same unit.
Inmates in psych units get very little time out of cell. According to Rulebook & Title 15,
all inmates have right to certain amount of exercise. Inmates in psych units don’t get
any real outdoor time or opportunity for exercise – just enclosed cement volleyball
court.
The biggest problem is the inconsistency about when they are let out of cells. He'd
rather a CO just tell him he's not getting out today rather than say he doesn't know if
he'll get out. "Prison sounds glorious" compared to this because at least you're allowed
out of your cell in prison.

Officers also note problems with the amount and unpredictability of out-of-cell time—
 Inmates need regular time out of their cells and inadequate staffing has led to COs not
being able to give inmates regular time out. This frustrates inmates and they take their
frustration out on COs.
 If inmates, especially mental health inmates, can’t count on getting out they get upset;
it’s a recipe for disaster.
 If inmates don’t get regular time out, they may end up hurting themselves.
Many family members were concerned about the deficiency of formal programming—
 Program offerings are very limited for her son. The conditions of no programs
exacerbate mental health problems, stress. Just staring at a wall all day makes people
apathetic. Their IQ slips away. The lack of programming really impacts behavior and
mental health, and probably physical health (no direct sunlight). Nothing to do. Many of
them are there for years with nothing to do. There’s a spiritual impact, too. Can’t go to
church. You get handcuffed and strip searched if you ask to see clergy (because you’ve
seen a stranger).
 There’s a room of board games, supposedly, but they’re not out. Very few basketballs or
board games. There’s always a reason for the guard to deny the requests.
 The traditional 12-step programs aren’t available in the jail. They want to try and get AA
into the jails. The problem is that the jail won’t let almost any inmates meet in groups,
which is the main barrier to this and so many programming deficits. The jail also says
there’s not room to have programs, but there is.
 Her husband did an academic certificate by mail correspondence and worked on his
case. Wife sends him printouts of books. This is a big issue, though, because the jail isn’t
providing any programs. For reentry, one day the inmates are going to get released, and

44



what skills are they going to have? They need anything except just sitting there. Just
sitting there means that other things kick in—mental illness, anxiety.
Her son has no access to constructive activity. Family sends him books, but that’s all.
They need to give them something to do—otherwise they would go crazy.

Issue 6: Inmates complaint about lack of transparency in the classification and inmate discipline
systems.
Inmates believe that both the classification system and the disciplinary actions that are
reported to play a pivotal role in classification and housing decisions lack transparency.
According to inmates, the absence of information impedes their ability to understand what is
happening to them, their ability to make positive changes to meet the jail’s expectations, and
their opportunity to have a voice in the disciplinary actions and subsequent housing changes
taken against them. Inmates often mentioned a 30-day review of classification status, but
added that they were never informed of the results of that review or the rationale behind it,
nor given the opportunity to have input in the review process or to appeal decisions.
The two primary components of the disciplinary system the inmates complained of were
infractions and custody inputs (“CI’s”.) Inmates apparently have the formal right to tell their
side of the story in an appeal of an infraction, though the inmate consensus was that “sergeants
always side with the officers,” making the appeal right one in name only. CI’s were sometimes
called “silent infractions” because inmates are not told when they receive a CI, do not have
access to them in their file, and do not have an opportunity to tell their side of the story. Both
are reportedly used to reclassify and re-house inmates for reasons that are opaque to them,
leaving them with no information to improve their behavior. Inmates often reported their belief
that officers abuse their authority by giving infractions arbitrarily, classifying inmates based on
stereotypes, and moving inmates to more restrictive housing as punishment.
An aspect of the classification system that, while not affecting all inmates, was reported to be
particularly problematic is the classification of mentally ill inmates. Our interviewers conducted
a number of interviews, particularly in group cell units such as those at Main Jail South, in which
inmates complained of being housed with mentally ill inmates in general population cells.
Inmates reported that some inmates in those cells were too mentally impaired to care for
themselves. For example, our interviewers heard multiple complaints that inmates had to make
certain cellmates take a shower, as they did not know to do it themselves and started smelling
bad after days or weeks of not bathing. Inmates said that COs routinely pass the responsibility
for the care of mentally ill inmates to their non-disabled cellmates, which endangers all parties
involved. There were multiple reports of attacks by mentally ill inmates on their cellmates, and
of non-disabled cellmates placing mentally ill inmates in dangerous situations. They are also
particularly vulnerable targets in group cells, as their erratic behavior often triggers angry or
violent reactions from others, and they are unable to report abuse when it occurs. Inmates
believed that COs do not have the training to handle mentally ill inmates, and that COs often
turn a blind eye to inappropriate conduct towards inmates with mental illness.
45

Inmates report a need for greater transparency in classification and discipline to help them
understand the expectations for their behavior and to challenge decisions, if necessary—
 Inmate got upclassed very suddenly and got no explanation why. “We don’t have to tell
you anything.” She couldn’t find out if she had any CI’s or what the problem was. How
can she correct herself if she doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong?
 She got upclassed and doesn’t know why, though she thinks it was due to Internal
Affair’s investigation, as retaliation. She has asked what she needs to do to get
downclassed, and no one tells her. Inmates get CI’s the inmate can’t see and can’t
explain their side of story, but the CI’s get used to make classification changes.
 Inmate was originally housed on another floor and was a "pod worker." He asked to no
longer serve as a "pod worker" and, only days later, he was moved to solitary
confinement and has remained on the floor for over a year. He has filed multiple
grievance forms over his classification but has received no response other than that he
is properly housed. According to inmate, there is no opportunity at the County level to
challenge or have your housing classification challenged or reviewed.
 She was moved to Level 4 for no reason. She was told she had excessive write ups,
called CIs. She twice filed a grievance about the move but got nothing back.
 Classification system is unclear—they do a review monthly, but he hasn’t gotten
downclassed. He wants an explanation of why he is in this restricted custody; it doesn’t
make sense to him.
 Classification/downclass decisions can take a long time and the inmate doesn’t know
what’s going on. Need more transparency and updates about classification requests so
inmates can set their expectations accordingly.
 Inmate got upclassed after she was attacked and responded in self defense. The jail
acknowledged that it was self-defense, but still upclassed her. Inmate can’t get
information or challenge the decision because classification just says “resolved.” Some
good guards will call classification to find out what’s going on for you, but there’s no
transparency about why she was moved or how to get back.
 He has also been repeatedly denied re-classification to a lower security level multiple
times for no reason - they never give a justification.
 He also feels classification is messed up - he is typically a level 1 inmate but is housed
with people facing life sentences - it puts him in danger. They have not given him a
reason for his classification.
 Their cell move requests are always denied. He also requested to be downclassed
multiple times and they keep saying he would be notified of downclassing soon, but it
never happens.
 There is supposed to be a routine review process to downclass and believes he has not
been even reviewed. Has submitted a grievance form about his classification and was
only told he was properly housed, but there was no further explanation. Was taken to
max units in old jail, for absolutely no reason, no write-ups or anything.
 He is here on a misdemeanor charge but is improperly housed with killers. He's
requested a move and merely told he was properly housed without explanation. He
turned in a grievance about his classification and did not hear a response.
46











The deputies lie in the infractions and there is no way to challenge them. She has not
seen a sergeant interview anyone with respect to an infraction. The staff will offer the
inmate a plea and will tell the inmate how much worse the “sentence” will be if the
inmate takes the issue to “kangaroo court” (the formal infraction process). When she
went through the process in 2012, she was not allowed to bring a witness.
Inmate and many in his dorm have been in solitary confinement for more than 10
months, with no classification hearing or any idea of how long they will be held in
solitary. They are being held permanently in solitary confinement with no ability or
procedure to challenge or be heard on why they are housed in the solitary dorm, or to
downclass. In comparison, at the state prison level, all solitary housing classifications are
reviewed every 30 days and inmates receive a hearing at which they can hear why they
are being classified in solitary confinement. No such practice exists at the County
facility. Inmate has filed grievances challenging his classification, but he has not
received a final response; many of his requests have simply gone unprocessed.
She has been given infractions frivolously. For example, she agreed to watch her friend
through the glass of the door while that inmate was receiving an infraction (to be a
witness). Inmate was then infracted for inciting a riot. She successfully fought two of the
charges. Inmates used to be entitled to hearings on infractions where they could call
witnesses. They still have the ability to have the Lieutenant talk to witnesses but they
do not have hearings.
In a disciplinary action against an inmate, sergeant-level told him “whatever you tell me,
you’re gonna be found guilty.” It’s a kangaroo court. But, inmate doesn’t get a copy of
that appeal because the forms aren’t in triplicate that high up. That makes it hard to
follow up later on because there’s no paper.
She found out deputies have placed negative notes in her file but she does not know
what the notes say. This should be changed because how can she change or reform her
behavior if she does not know what she is doing wrong?

Issue 7: Inmates serving prison terms in the county jail regularly point out the adverse
differential treatment they experience in jail compared to that of serving time in prison.
This population is a subset of inmates, and these concerns do not necessarily impact inmates
not serving a state prison sentence. However, the number of inmates in this population is large,
and those inmates report being impacted in very serious ways across virtually every domain of
their detention in county jail. Inmates told us the jail is not equipped for inmates serving longterm prison terms who would have been in prison before realignment. These inmates almost
universally said that jail policies need to be revised to accommodate their detention. Inmates
serving state prison sentences in county jail report that they are not being treated as the law
requires. We often heard, “I would rather have gone to prison.”
We do not have a way of readily determining how many inmates addressed this issue in their
interviews. In part, that is because inmates described the problem in many different ways: Title
15 treatment, AB 109 inmates, 1170(h) prison sentences, realignment problems, serving prison
sentences in jail, prison v. jail differences, DOC treatment, CDC policies, prisoners in jail, et
47

cetera. It is also due, in part, to the fact that the significance and prevalence of the issue
became clear only as interviews progressed, so our attorneys had not been consistently
tracking the issue from the beginning.
The many ways this is a problem for those serving prison sentences in county jail, according to
inmates, include:
 More time served than if serving time in prison (“third time” in prison, “half time” in jail)
 Not being paid or receiving the “good time” credit they are due for days worked in jail
 No educational or vocational opportunities beyond GED for successful reentry
 No contact visits with their children for some inmates, including those in protective
custody
 No access to outside review of grievances, such as prisoners have
 No access to the Title 15 Rulebook, only the county jail inmate rulebook
 No access to eye care, thicker mattress, storage bins, sufficient clothing, and other
issues impacting daily life over the longer term
Some jail staff also report it being a problem that they do not know which set of rules to follow
for inmate treatment, transport, and access to services, given that the jails house federal, state,
and county inmates in an integrated manner.
Inmates serving state prison sentences in county jail report that they are not being treated as
the law requires—
 Most important issue is that inmates serving prison sentences in jail are being
discriminated against, not getting what the law requires. They are given a Rulebook for
county jail, but not a Title 15 Rulebook. When he has grievanced it, the response is that
the jail doesn’t have to give him one. First, the prison has more rehabilitation to help
guys for reentry, but they are being denied reentry services here. Second, if they were in
prison, they’d be getting “third time” on their sentences. They end up doing more time
here because they are low level, which doesn’t make sense. Third, prisoners can send
complaints to an outside entity in Sacramento, if informal resolution at the jail fails to
solve it. Here, there’s only the jail’s grievance system, but no outside reviewer.
 The guys serving prison sentences in jail aren’t getting Title 15 protections. The jail
won’t give them a Title 15 Rulebook, so inmates can’t enforce their own rights. Also in
prison, they’d be getting more credit for time served than they do in jail. These
conditions matter a lot because some of them are serving long prison sentences (e.g. 7
years) in jail, so the difference in time accrual is significant. Big problem is that the jail
doesn’t abide by Title 15 for inmates serving prison time. First, inmates don’t get as
much credit for time served in jail as they do for time served in prison (“third time” v.
“halftime”). It’s a disservice to inmates; if they’re violent, they go to prison and get to
serve less time, but if they’re non-violent, they have to serve more time in jail. Those
serving prison terms need to get same treatment as in prison, too, like payment for
work, more clothes, and programs. Most men in Minimum Camp have to work, which is

48













mandatory, but they don’t get paid, like they do in prison. That’s unfair, and an extra
layer of punishment on top of the sentence punishment.
He’s not getting the treatment or benefits (e.g. education above GED) he would if
serving time in prison. He’s 19 and already has his GED, but if he doesn’t get some
education, he’ll be back in jail all his life. He doesn’t get as much credit for time served
as he would in prison. They’re not getting “good time” for working. They don’t get paid
for work, nor any kind of benefit or shorter sentence.
Unlike prison, they don’t get paid for work here, nor Title 15 treatment, nor Title 15
Rulebook; treated as county inmates. He would serve less time if he would have been
sent to prison.
Big problem—the jail is not equipped for inmate serving long-term prison terms who
would have been in prison before realignment. “I would rather have gone to prison.”
Now that prison inmates are here, the jail needs to take a look a lot of things. It’s a
problem for inmates who are here serving long sentences (ex. mattresses are horrible,
no writing pens, too little space to store belongings).
The rules need to be revised now that prisoners are serving time in jail, to accommodate
people on long sentences.
Now that prisoners are here, jail needs to reconsider its policies to respond to long-term
prisoners. Examples: thicker mattresses, eye glasses, more storage bins, different
programs. Prisoners should be housed separately from jail inmates. “I would rather be
in prison” than jail because we don’t get the things here that prisoners should.
Women serving prison sentences should be moved to a different dorm all together
where they could have their rights like they do in prison. They need programs like
college by correspondence, which they can’t do at Elmwood. They need trade
certificates and college to be prepared for reentry, or they won’t have skills to survive.
There’s also no eye care/glasses in jail, though there is in prison.
There are a many inmates serving extended sentences (more than 4-5 years) inside the
County facility. But, there is a complete lack of incentive programs for inmates at the
County, which has resulted in many State inmates housed at the jail as serving longer
sentences than for inmates with the same sentence and record during confinement in
prison. For example, many prisons offer incentive classes and allow inmates who keep a
clean record to shorten their sentence by reaching certain incentives and maintaining
clean record while incarcerated. However, an inmate held at a County facility does not
have these opportunities because the programs simply do not exist at the County level.
According to inmate, this results in longer amounts of time served for inmates serving
time at County.

Jail staff also commented on the rules confusion for different classes of inmates—
 Much of the reason the jail doesn’t know what it’s doing is because it doesn’t know if
it’s a jail or a prison.
 “There are competing rules/requirements for housing federal prisoners, state prisoners,
county inmates, and ICE inmates. But, the jail doesn’t know which one it is or which
rules to follow, which results in confusion all around.”
49

Issue 8: Understaffing, and related issues such as poor morale among corrections officers,
creates many adverse conditions.
Inmates and officers reported many problems that result from the jail’s understaffing. In fact,
every staff person interviewed described insufficient staffing of the jails. Staff explained that
past staff reductions make the jails less safe for inmates and officers alike. Inmates most often
noted long periods on lockdown, missed medical appointments, and lack of sufficient shower or
phone time due to insufficient staffing for the safe conduct of these activities. It seems that,
even when programs are planned and the schedule looks good on paper, the jails are not
staffed sufficiently to implement activities safely, which results in cancellations. Unlike some of
the other issues, understaffing is a shared concern of both inmates and officers.
Inmates reported cancellation of appointments and activities due to short-staffing, or at a
minimum, to short-staffing being used as the excuse for cancellation of scheduled activities—
 There are not enough officers available to take level 4 inmates to and from their medical
appointments. It often takes months to get an appointment unless there is a medical
emergency, but even then, it could be a couple weeks.
 Her medical appointment was rescheduled 6 times because jail was short staffed.
 At times, they have a hospital appointment, but the guards won’t take them, so then
they lose the appointment, even if their condition is serious.
 He had an appointment at Valley Medical but the deputy told him he had a lot to do
that day and it would be better to take him 3 days later. The inmate agreed, but he
didn’t have an appointment for 3 days later.
 Inmate was pepper-sprayed in a fight, and guards didn’t give her new clothes or towel
for 2 days, saying it was a staffing issue--too many inmates and not enough staff. So she
had to sit in pepper sprayed clothes and hair for 2 days. Staff said they didn’t have time
to search for clothes her size. Also a staffing issue for yard time. Sometimes they don't
get to go into the yard because it's short staffed. Some days they don't go into the yard
at all.
 There aren’t enough guards to give them yard time if there’s anything else going on in
the jail.
 Staffing shortages in units also cause inmates to spend much more time on lockdown
due to lack of COs – not even allowed out to shower.
 When COs are short staffed that might only get of cells once and for a short time -- not
enough time for everyone to be able to shower and make phone calls.
 Inmates are told they are short staffed or on lock down on the weekend so they can’t
get out of cell time.
 Visitations are too short, a half hour, and only two a week. They give them an excuse
that they are short staffed.
 Program time is cut short. Sometimes the COs say they’re short staffed and he just sees
them on the floor doing nothing. They say they’re under lockdown and don’t let them
out but he doesn’t think they’re actually under lockdown. They cancelled his visit

50






because they said they were under lockdown, but he saw that other visits continued and
they kept bringing them up for other people.
They are on lockdown a lot and he feels like for those serving long sentences that they
should be allowed to do something instead of being stuck in a cell all day. the COs are
short staffed and it happens frequently. It causes the inmates to become aggressive and
fight.
Some COs are great, but others sit on their phones and lock them down for 4 days,
claiming to be short staffed when they have the same number of staff members.
The jail is understaffed which makes everything hard for everyone, especially the
doctors who have seen too many people in one day to give each person care and
attention.

Almost every jail staff member interviewed reported concerns relating to understaffing—
 In past the jails were “fully staffed” and this made the jails safer for COs and inmates.
 Staffing cuts increase tension and that increases danger.
 Ideal staffing level at the Main Jail is six deputies on a floor: One each pod, one at the
control desk, one supervisor and one overseeing movement of inmates. Minimum
staffing is supposed to be four deputies: one in each pod and one at the control desk.
However, often they have only three deputies on a floor, which means inmates can’t get
let out of cells as often, programs get cancelled and visitation times get cut short or
cancelled. Also, officers are alone in a pod with up to 90 inmates and almost no back up.
 Staffing shortages are unsafe for officers and unfair to inmates. Inmates need a routine,
but inadequate staffing means their routine constantly gets disrupted.
 They are trying to save money by putting personnel and inmates at risk.
 Under the old civilian system, there was enough money for the jails. But, part of
bringing the jails back under the Sheriff was the Sheriff’s promise to cut the budget. So,
under the Sheriff, there are massive cost controls in place. The Sheriff doesn’t staff the
jails appropriately, instead relying on mandatory overtime and leaving positions unfilled.
 Staffing has been way too thin since the jails came back under the Sheriff’s office.
 Staffing has been better since the BRC was created, but it will go back to inadequate
levels after the BRC goes away.
 Lack of adequate staffing also makes things unsafe because COs cannot do as many
searches for drugs and contraband.
 Insufficient staffing means staff can’t do what they need to do.
 Staffing cuts means inmate welfare checks are inconsistent.
Accountability and Discipline for Officers’ Misconduct
Issue 9: The perception among officers, inmates, and families is that jail staff are not
appropriately held accountable for misconduct.
Approximately 512 of the 944 inmates interviewed or 54%, addressed discipline and
accountability of officers. We also heard from jail staff that the jail administration sometimes
51

does not hold officers accountable for misconduct. May staff members believe that if an
officer, sergeant or lieutenant is “in favor” with the administration, then they will not be held
accountable for misconduct or unethical behavior. On the other hand, officers believe that if
you are not perceived as part of the Sheriff’s team, then you may suffer unduly harsh discipline
or other punitive consequences. Many people complained of a culture that they variously
described as one of “fear,” “intimidation,” or “retaliating against you if you rock the boat.” The
other side of the accountability problem is that jail staff often reported their perception that
leadership does not support officers and sometimes rushes to judgment against officers before
culpability has been established. The combination of “sweep it under the rug” culture with
“throw officers under the bus” reactions from administration results in jail staff morale that is
reported to be exceedingly low – “the worst it has ever been.”
Inmates and families reported that the jail’s culture is to turn a blind eye to problems, rather
than to address them. When misconduct does come to light, inmates and families do not see
officers being held accountable. The notable exceptions are the officers implicated in the Tyree
case and related current investigations. Inmates and families reported a sense of inefficacy in
their ability to impact or correct guard misconduct, as well as a desire to see greater
transparency in the outcome of their reports through grievances, complaints, and Internal
Affairs investigations.
Several officers were strongly in favor of adding more cameras, both fixed cameras within the
pods and body cameras. The advantages they cited were that cameras would keep inmates in
line, keep officers in line, and when incidents occurred there would be clear evidence about
what happened. Several inmates also suggested increased use of cameras.
Inmates see little to no officer accountability for their actions and would like more oversight—
 There’s no accountability for COs if they beat inmates or do other misconduct.
 There’s no accountability for COs – inmates don’t even see any supervising staff around
dorms. He tried to contact a supervisor re his placement in PC, but he’s been waiting a
week with no response.
 Guards are never held accountable. Internal Affairs and formal complaint to sheriff
doesn’t do anything, either. The only way to get your voice heard is to have a relative
advocate on the outside try to help.
 There is no accountability among the staff. They should have a Men’s Advisory Council
like in prison, where inmate representatives meet and address concerns with staff with
the assistance of a mediator on a monthly basis.
 No accountability for COs – nothing ever gets changes; she has no hope that things will
improve.
 COs never held responsible, just sweep things under the rug.
 Sometimes the sergeants don’t come by at all.
 Sergeants come by o

52













Once every two weeks or so. It varies.
There should be more assessment and oversight of COs themselves to maintain integrity
and accountability. Most CO misconduct happens when COs are alone, or sometimes
with other COs who go along. She did hear about IA investigation of one CO based on
inmate’s grievance.
If the beatings were on videotape or a sergeant were around they wouldn’t be doing it.
There is supposed to be a sergeant or video for every cell extraction. Sergeant claimed
he was present overseeing 4 cell extractions that happened at the same time, which
isn’t really possible.
He sees the sergeants do a walk-through for inspection about once a week. The floor
staff doesn’t like them to talk to the sergeant, and tells the inmates that if they have an
issue, they should talk to the floor staff and not the sergeant.
Inmate believes an independent person should review the complaints because all the
COs just cover for each other. They should also have recording devices and record their
actions for accountability.
Sometimes things change for the better in the jail, but then things fall apart later. There
should be something ongoing, like ongoing BRC visits, unannounced, so that things can’t
just fall apart again in a couple years. When visitors are coming in, the guards make sure
things are “fixed”, but it’s not like that all the time.
Jail needs independent monitor to see how inmates are treated.
Inmate suggested that officers wear body cameras. He suggested that cell extractions
are a major source of conflict between inmates and officers. Inmates are often assaulted
during these episodes and have no recourse against the offending officers. Body
cameras would provide a lens into the actual facts of the extraction, not just the report
of the officers.

Jail Staff also expressed concerns about lack of accountability and leadership—
 Several people said that leadership does not hold COs accountable for “bad” behavior.
“COs investigate themselves, so nothing happens.” “The Sheriff can’t stand negative
attention so bad behavior goes uninvestigated.”
 Some complained of what they believed have been “unethical” practices by
“leadership” and that “unethical leadership causes unethical behavior” by corrections
officer. “All of the problems come from the top—senior management.”
 We were told of several officers and supervisors who staff believed were retained and
even promoted despite serious misconduct -- “that sets a tone.” “The disciplinary
process is different if you are ‘liked.’”
 Many expressed the belief that supervisors are promoted based on who they know, not
on how they do their jobs or how much experience they have. We were told that a lot
of officers don’t think the new sergeants are qualified to be in their position. They felt
only “yes men” were promoted.
 Interviewees told us that lieutenants and captains are not held accountable, so it trickles
down. To change it, “you have to hold the supervisors accountable and get rid of the

53




Sheriff and the people who have been re-hired by the Sheriff, who have charges against
them. Clean house. Get rid of people who have bad backgrounds.”
Several interviewees said they have reported misconduct by other officers and nothing
has happened.
We were told that an officer who brought misconduct to light was suspended for 2
weeks and transferred to another facility, and that another officer was demoted
because he did not support a program that the Sheriff supported.

Families’ comments align with inmates in identifying a lack of accountability and a desire for
change—
 She sees no accountability to officers for their misconduct.
 If there is any accountability, it’s not transparent.
 The culture in the jail is, when you see something wrong, to look the other way and not
open your mouth about it.
 Even the officers/jail administrators who really want to help the family members can’t
show it in the jail because others on the jail staff get mad at them for being “soft.”
 Methods of public feedback need to be much more visible. Now there’s the Jail
Observer Hotline, but the information is very limited, not in clear form.
Inmate Welfare Fund
Issue 10: Inmates are generally unaware of the Inmate Welfare Fund’s existence or purpose.
Generally speaking, inmates do not know that the Inmate Welfare Fund (“IWF”) exists. Of the
944 interviews, only 163 interviews, or 17%, touched on this issue, and often only to the extent
that “Inmate has not heard of IWF.” Some dorms had an IWF budget posted near the phones,
but that generally did not increase inmate understanding. There may be changes that are
needed on the policy or administrative side of the IWF, but from the inmates’ perspective,
relatively few of them had anything substantial to say about recommended changes. Many
inmates also spoke of an issue that is directly related to IWF, phone call rates. Inmates often
said that phone call rates were too expensive, which is problematic because the cost impedes
their ability to call their families.
Inmates reported a general lack of understanding and benefit regarding the IWF—
 Inmate has discussed the lack of Fund items available to inmates for the past 3-4 years
with multiple Sheriffs and has written letters to the Sheriff's Office regarding this issue.
Inmate is unaware if any items supposedly funded by the Welfare Fund are actually
received by inmates.
 Believes IWF is mismanaged and needs oversight because inmates have no input.
 If there is an Inmate Welfare Fund, then how come "nothing comes back to the
inmates?"

54
















He is familiar with the welfare fund. However, in more than 12 months he does not
believe any of the items from the list posted in each cell have actually been provided to
inmates.
He believed that the county took money out of the inmate welfare fund, millions, to hire
officers.
Inmate hasn’t heard of it, even though she’s been here over 7 years.
His understanding is that the IWF is supposed fund items for inmates, but he does not
think that it is being used.
He hasn't seen any improvements supposedly made by the Inmate Welfare Fund that
they post on their budget allocation sheet. They don't even give out chess sets and all
their books come from a charity.
There are no chess sets, a complete deck of cards, or library.
Inmate is aware of the Inmate Welfare Fund, but he is not aware how the funds are
spent. He has not seen any items provided to inmates that are paid for by the fund.
He knows what it is, that it is supposed to fund cable TV, games, etc. Their TVs get
purchased by it. He doesn’t know how it works, though.
Inmates with funds do not like having to subsidize cost of supplies for inmates without
funds.
She has seen IWF signs which suggest that there is money owed to inmates. She does
not how to receive the IWF benefits.
IWF is a “rip-off.” They have never seen games, basketballs or books, or anything else
from that money.
There is a list posted of the items the IWF is to pay for but they have never seen any of
those items. What they have is very old (e.g. Monopoly.)
Where is the money going? There’s supposed to be a fiscal budget of funds to benefit
inmates, but inmates don’t see any of the benefits. Money is supposed to go for items
like hotpots, board games, etc – but many hotpots don’t work well, inmates have to put
in repeated requests for board games, TV’s are very small, etc.

Some inmates knew the IWF pays for indigent kits from Commissary—
 The Inmate Welfare Fund charges people for basic necessities for personal hygiene.
They shouldn't be charged.
 He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but has heard of the indigent package in
Commissary, but thinks it's unfair because they charge the inmate for it anyway if the
family puts money on the inmate’s account in the future.
 He thinks the indigent welfare kit needs 2 toothpastes not just one because it’s so small.
He doesn’t’ think it’s right that they are charged for the kits since they are supposed to
be free.
 Indigent inmates get charged if money is put on their accounts later.
 The inmates may receive an indigent kit if they do not have money. But then
commissary charges the inmates who could not afford it. They are charged $100s of
dollars every time they come in and out of the jail. The jail will use any cash he had on

55









him when he is booked in the jail toward his outstanding commissary bill from the last
time that he was in jail.
The inmates have to pay for the “free” indigent kits. The hygiene kits do not have
deodorant so he smells like body odor because he cannot afford it.
Money was deducted from his books because of indigent kits he received in the past.
There are people with -$75 balances and those inmates will not put money on their
books because of the negative balance even though they do have money. The negative
balance follows the inmates whenever they return to jail.
She does not use the IWF because she does not want to owe money.
Inmates have negative charges on their bills because of the indigent kits.
She has not heard of the IWF, but she has seen an “indigent kit” on the commissary kit.
The kit says “$1.25” so it is unclear if it actually costs money.
He does not know much about the IWF except that there is money that is supposed to
go toward recreation and hygiene but they did not see those things for a long time. They
see it a little now like free soap.

Some inmates knew of IWF as the fund that pays for incentive sodas given as a reward for work
or cell checks—
 Roughly 3 years ago, inmates at the facility would receive "incentive beverages" for
maintaining clean cells. After Wednesday cell inspection, inmates who passed inspection
would receive a soda/beverage paid for by the Fund. These incentive beverages have
not been passed out for a number of years. The money for these beverages, however,
continues to be a line item in the annual Welfare Fund budget, according to inmate.
 Inmate believes that incentive beverages were paid for by the welfare fund. However,
over the past year or so, none of the beverages have been distributed and he does not
believe the program is still used. He is unaware of any other programs that are provided
for by the Fund.
 Inmate believes the Welfare Fund pays for incentive sodas and incentive meals for
inmate pod workers. Inmates who clean the floors and hand out meals are often
rewarded with drinks and extra meals. He believes the Fund provides for these extra
meals.
 One time, two years ago, he received an incentive soda for passing cell inspection, but
he has never seen them since.
 He's heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund beverage incentive but they never received
anything, and they haven't had soda in the jail for years.
 The cleanest dorm is supposed to get soda from the IWF, but they never do.
 IWF is a joke. Supposed to be used for incentive sodas or meals, and games but they
never see it. Would like to see a chessboard or something.
Approximately 293 inmates also spoke of an issue that impacts IWF directly, phone call rates—
 He has never heard of IWF, but finds phone calls too expensive.
 He is under the impression that the IWF is supposed to help pay for phone calls

56















Phone call are too expensive, which means inmates can't make them and morale
suffers.
He thinks phone call costs recently went down, but sometimes he goes weeks without
talking to someone because it is so expensive.
Calls are way too expensive - her family can't pay.
Inmates who don’t have money should get at least 1 free call/week. It’s very hard to
feel singled out because she can’t afford phone calls, and very hard to be isolated from
loved ones.
Phones are too expensive, especially for inmates without much money. Local calls
especially should be cheaper. They just got access to phone cards, which allow for a few
more calls, but still should be cheaper.
Phone rates just dropped, but vendor GTL is still not even going by their own rates. He
has lost lots of money from GTL system and knows they’re being sued in many states.
Calls are more expensive than in prison and keep him from calling his family.
Rates are cheaper in prison.
The phone is expensive and was taking money off his brother's card automatically,
without his permission. His brother had to discontinue it so now he can't call him. He
can't call his family due to the cost.
Inmate would call his kids if it weren't so expensive.
Phone calls are too expensive for his mother, so he does not call home.
The phone service is very expensive and the price often results in his ability to use the
phone to call his mother and wife. The price is a prohibitive factor in his ability to access
close family members on the outside.
Phone calls are really expensive. Jail makes a lot of money off inmates. Guards cut off
yard time with no notice, which wastes the inmates’ and families’ money.

Some inmates suggested that the IWF fund particular things—
 It should provide better mattresses.
 Welfare fund should pay for indigent telephone use.
 They need books and more or better exercise equipment.
 Funds should also be invested in programs to help inmates rehabilitate for reentry.

57

Conclusion
Although well over 50 pages, this report is merely a summary of the wealth of data provided to
us by a large number of individuals who genuinely seemed excited about having a chance to
express their views about conditions to this Commission. We were struck by the generally
focused and earnest attitudes of inmates, staff and family members in their attempts to give us
their perspective on problems at the jails. Not surprisingly, many individuals had their own
issues or “axes to grind,” but rather dwell on those issues they provided us with their
perspective on the broader picture we were striving to portray.
While many individuals spoke of their fear that they would suffer adverse consequences from
speaking with us, many others spoke of their fear that the spotlight thrown on jail conditions by
this Commission will quickly fade and that their concerns will become yesterday’s news. It is our
hope that the information we have collected can help this Commission push for real,
permanent changes that improve the jails for those incarcerated there and their loved ones,
and for those who perform day-in and day-out the extraordinarily difficult and critical jobs
associated with housing 3,500 inmates in a safe and humane manner.

58

Exhibit A

SUMMARY OF INMATE COMMENTS

MAIN SOUTH
1.
Temperature—really cold, guards brought them an extra blanket, so guys have to lay in their beds
all day and not get their exercise because it’s too cold to get. “There’s no reason we should have to
lay up in our blankets all day long and not be able to get up and move around.” Grievance—he has
not gotten any responses to grievances. Before Tyree’s death, guards would physically assault
inmates who made grievances. After that, the atmosphere changed. Sergeants are a lot more
attentive. It’s just a matter of time before things go back to the way they used to be. Out of cell
time—they can be out all the time in the day room. Cleanliness—it’s very hard to keep things clean.
These guards are good about giving inmates cleaning supplies daily. There aren’t enough toilets or
showers for all the guys. Medical—inmate has a chronic health condition, and he almost died
because medical wasn’t managing his condition properly. Finally, he got a letter out to his family,
and his family called an outside entity who intervened. Here, he can’t get the medicine needs and
his pain is really bad, so he can’t work out and keep himself healthy. He didn’t want to say anything
bad about the jail conditions for fear of retribution. “I know when to keep my mouth shut.”
Programs—They have no programs here. Accountability—guards are never held accountable, as far
as he can see. He doesn’t ever see job changes. One of the night guards works by intimidation…he
talks harshly to everyone and embarrasses the inmates, using really demeaning language. That’s
what starts up the resentment around here.
2.

Grievances—sometimes they officers say they don’t get them. It seems like their opinions don’t
matter just because they are serving time as punishment for their mistakes. He just tries to resolve
directly with the guards. Culture—officers sometimes come at them with an attitude, which
escalates the situation. Officers treat them with disrespect, and then the inmates do the same. The
officers who have personal problems at home then take it out on the inmates. Everything depends
on which guard it is. Guards often say they’re too busy. The older guards aren’t so responsive.
Cleaning—if it’s not Wednesday, then they have to ask for cleaning supplies daily. Sometimes the
guards won’t give them cleaning supplies, soap, or razors; it depends on the guard. Guards say they
don’t have any soap. Soap from Commissary comes only on Wednesdays, which is sometimes a long
time Need more soap! Big concern--the jail is dirty, and they have a hard time getting the supplies
to keep themselves and their unit clean. Medical—sometimes there’s a 2-3 month delay for an
appointment, but it varies. Programs—there’s nothing here. They asked for board games recently,
but otherwise have nothing to do. It would be great to have programs, to get their minds off the
problems. He doesn’t want to just waste his time because he’s in jail. He will be in a long time, but
that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop learning. The culture among the inmates in this dorm is really
constructive—they have ways of talking to each other like a therapy group, to help each other.

3.

Hygiene—need more soap for all of them, especially the new guys who come in off the streets.
When they ask, some guards don’t give them soap. Commissary takes a week, so the new guys who
are dirty off the street are nasty, which impacts all of the other inmates. They’re given soap when
they come in, but it’s not enough. Grievances--they might work and they might not, and the cops
might think he’s asking for too much, even though it’s something that’s permitted “Who do we have
to talk to be treated like humans?” Programs—this is a big deal. There are no programs here. Why
not? Surely, they should have at least GED and drug treatment. Roadmap to Recovery is available,
A-1

but it’s only 12 books and then you’re done. Programs would help them pass the time, encourage
them to develop as humans, and to help them when they get out. “Everybody’s just forgot about
us.” Medical & mental health—long delays to be seen. Inmate Welfare Fund—he’s never heard of it.
Visitation—it’s a problem for them to just be on weekends, need to have weekday options, too, for
some family member.
4.
Corruption/Internal Affairs—Some guards cooperated with outside law enforcement in attempting
to set the inmate up to deter inmate from cooperating with the prosecution in a big case. The
guards planted drugs in his cell and planned for other inmates to attach him. He called his lawyer
and family to let them know he was in danger when he saw signs that something was not right.
After the inmate stopped the attempts, he was transferred to another dorm, where the guards tried
to intimidate his physically. He called Internal Affairs, but they didn’t answer. Eventually, he got
through and was interviewed by the sheriff’s office, but the investigator never took down sufficient
detail to investigate and has not contacted him again, so the inmate does not think IA is
investigating the incidents. The inmate has since been transferred back under the same guards
involved in the set up, and the inmate still thinks he is at risk for being hurt. Out of cell time—They
only get time in the yard 3 days/wk. They should have a lot more time in the fresh air, for health and
exercise and keeping from getting sick because the air in the jail is dirty. Food—the food quality is
horrible, shouldn’t be fed to humans. How can they stay healthy and avoid medical problems by
eating horrible food? The Commissary has only junk food, no nutritious food. That’s really bad for
the long-term inmates.
5.

Sanitation—the cells are dirty, and there are cockroaches and holes in walls. Guards---they use their
words to bully and to intimidate when it’s not necessary. About 50% of the guards are bad; the
others are fine. Clothes—are really dirty when they bring them. They say they’ll bring him clean
socks, but they don’t do it. Dental—he needs his teeth cleaned and has teeth problems, but they
won’t help him other than to offer to pull a tooth, which he doesn’t want. Mail—sometimes comes
very late. He can have books, but sometimes relatives send books that never arrive. Rulebook—not
given one. Medical—if they need pain medicine, they can get it ok.

6.

Grievances—sometimes when they ask for a form, they guard won’t give it, and will intimidate the
inmate, or escalate the situation so that the inmate is provoked. The whole dorm has been
punished by major shakedowns when someone filed a grievance against a guard. The guards take
their food/commissary bags consistently. He’s seen people be taken out and busted up by the
guards. Culture—things have gotten better since Tyree’s death. They got rid of the old guards here
and brought in the new guards who just got out of training, and the new guards are more polite.
The old ones would look for any reason to take guys into a holding cell or hallway and physically
assault them—there’s no cameras there. The CO's gang up when they attack, not individual assaults.
The other inmates can hear it. Sometimes the guards don’t bring the newspapers regularly, which
has increased as a problem after Tyree’s death. The guys like to hear the morning news, and they
can’t if guards don’t turn on the power. Even with thermals, it’s still really cold. Cleaning—they only
get cleaning supplies once a week, but they need cleaning supplies more often, and some guards
won’t give them any. There’s mold on the ceiling and cockroaches. Programs—none of that here.
That’s a big complaint. They should have programs to help them constructively manage stress,
which they need because jail is a super stressful environment. More board games and books would
be good, plus classes on interpersonal skills, GED, music therapy. Trustees--guards are giving
A-2

trustees extra privileges. Food—it’s the most processed food there is. You have to be Muslim or
vegetarian to get decent food. Some of it is expired. Yard—all you can do is stand around or play
with the little rubber balls, no hoops or basketballs. It’s enough time because of the limited things
they can do out there. If there were more activities, more time in yard would be good. Rulebook—
he got one after he got here. Accountability—he never sees guards be held accountable for
misconduct, not even guards getting moved around. Maintenance—the guards made the inmates
resolve a broken faucet issue instead of having maintenance attend to it properly.
7.

Culture—he’s seen multiple beatings by correctional officers. Officers are rude and aggressive with
words. Guards make sexual comments to inmates, and call them “gay” demeaningly. Guards are
trained to be abusive. All the guards yell with no reason, except 2 who are respectful. They are
better since Tyree’s death. Accountability—in the past, guards didn’t think they’d be held
accountable and the sergeants were on their side, but now they’re nicer because they see that the
guards who killed Tyree were held accountable. Grievances—they’re not handled correctly. Before
Tyree’s death, grievances weren’t looked at or were thrown away. Abuse has been going on here 10
years, and people reported it, but nothing happened. “I was afraid of filing one. If the grievance isn’t
going to be viewed, then what’s the point?” Hygiene—this place is really dirty. When inmates ask
for cleaning supplies, sometimes the officers say no. It varies by guard. Medical—the doctors are
lazy. He told a doctor about a problem and had an x-ray, but they never fully evaluated him or told
him how to take care of his health. Classification—He wrote classification and told them he doesn’t
feel safe…he wanted his own cell and programs. He had to send 5 forms in order to get a program
request form. It takes a long time for classification to respond. They said he’s ineligible, but didn’t
explain why. Inmate safety—he told guards and sergeants he doesn’t feel safe, but they won’t move
him.

8.

Things have been going better since Tyree’s death. More courteous and thoughtful of inmates as
people since then. Before then, too much aggression from the guards. These newer guards are
doing much better than in the past. Booking—bad guards and culture. Grievance—they take a lot of
time to get resolved. He thinks they work; it just takes a long time. Out of cell time--Big deal is that
they need more time in the yard. They get it 3 days/week, but some time each day would be great.
They have enough phone access in his unit. Showers—they get pulled out down the hall every other
day. Would be better to shower every day. Programs—there’s nothing. They can request it and get
moved over there for a bit, but there’s not enough capacity. There’s a waiting list. If you’re in here
and not doing something constructive, you’ll just go back to the bad activities you were doing. But,
if you do programs, you can get skills to do well on the outside. Inmate Welfare Fund—never heard
of it and doesn’t see any evidence of it. Got a Rulebook. Gets enough cleaning supplies. They should
tear this old jail down because it’s in really bad shape.

9.

Grievance—he doesn’t have confidence in the system because it goes to the person he is grieving.
There is no confidentiality & he doesn’t file them. Jail doesn’t take grievances seriously. There
should be a consistent outside source to hear the inmates’ issues, like keeping the Blue Ribbon
Interviews ongoing, because the issues are recurring, and the inmates need someone other than
officers to tell about it. Grievances should not be put in the hands of the officers. Visitation—each
visitor has to get approved and it takes a long while, hindering family visits. Mail—really sluggish.
Programs—they don’t have any here, and the jail isn’t offering the programs. No one is inquiring if
anyone here needs help. Religious service—no spiritual guidance, and he wants it. The chaplain
doesn’t come to visit this area at all, and no religious services. Inmate Welfare Fund—doesn’t know
A-3

it exists. Got a Rulebook. Hygiene—the showers flood to their ankles, which is unsanitary and keeps
them from showering. They’ve told the guards about it, but it’s not fixed. Upon arrival, you’re not
given deodorant. You have to buy it from Commissary, but if you’re indigent and can’t buy it, it’s a
real problem for your cell mates. Deodorant should be given in hygiene kit when you come in.
Clothes/Sheets—you get 2 thick blankets, but they never get cleaned. The blankets smell and are
nasty, unsanitary, and lead to bed bugs. Blankets should be washed. Medical—big delays for
appointments, no sense of urgency when people feel sick, so the whole time someone is sick,
they’re exposing all the other people in the cell.
10.

Grievances—this is a really big problem. Guards used excessive force on him when the guard could
have simply explained the policy. Inmate still doesn’t understand what he was doing wrong. Guards
handcuffed him backwards, which hurt his wrist badly because it was on wrong. Medical came to
look at him, but it took 3 hours. He thinks it cut a nerve, but they didn’t give him sufficient
treatment for it. He filed a grievance and got a response. Response was insufficient, though,
because it didn’t solve anything. Accountability--Officers are never held accountable and don’t take
responsibility for their action. Culture--There’s usually one guard in the group that’s reasonable, but
they all have each other’s backs. Programs—if you can get downclassed, the programs are really
good. But, you can’t get downclassed. The guards can upgrade your classification, and then it takes
you that much longer to get downclassed. Hygiene—The showers flood, and then it’s gross and they
don’t want to shower. This is a big problem. Rulebook—he was given one. Out of cell time—The jail
changed the yard, so it’s just like outdoor cells. It affects all the inmates, even the minimum security
guys who don’t need extra security. Why does it have to be this way?

11.

Classification—The way to fix subsequent problems is to get people housed correctly. The jail does
too cursory a review and doesn’t get enough information first. Classification needs to talk to people
longer and be much more sophisticated, but if classification is having a bad day, you get classed too
high. They mix the new guys in with the guys with a lot of jail time, which is a problem. They need to
listen to whether the people want to better themselves and put them in programs accordingly.
Inmate safety—Even if you’re not racist, you have to align racially, or you’ll get attacked. One
person leads each race’s gang, who calls the shots. That’s the root of what’s really going on here
and what the problem is. Inmates then take it out on the streets. Culture--some guards are good
guys, but some have real power issues. The guards are a gang, just like Green Wall. The guards don’t
call themselves that here, but they function the same way. Since Tyree’s death, it’s better and some
guards understand they have to be more professional. Inmate has had had excessive force used on
him many times.

12.

Medical--There’s such a delay to get a medical appointment, so you’re communicable to your
cellmates the whole time. Grievances—He got beat up by the guards, but didn’t grievance it (and
guard didn’t write inmate up) because they “manned up” and both took responsibility for their
actions. He won’t use grievances. Out of cell time—they can go to the Yard, but there’s nothing to
do there (e.g. no basketball or anything), so it’s not worth it. Phone—there’s enough phone access
in this dorm, but not in all the dorms. Inmate Welfare Fund—hasn’t heard of it and doesn’t see any
benefit from it. Rulebook—he asked for one but they didn’t give it to him. Finally, a cooler guard
gave him one. Culture--Some guards just want to go out of their way to make his life hard. They
probably have problems at home and take then out on the inmates. Officers just respond over
aggressively and don’t care about the inmates. When an inmate asks for something that’s
permitted, guards want inmate to “tuck your tail” to ask for it, or they accuse you of having attitude.
A-4

They’re bullies. Some do their job peacefully, but not others. Programs—none are available in this
dorm. Food—inmates are supposed to get two hot trays a day, but that doesn’t happen here. Some
breakfasts are only cold food. The food is so unsanitary, he mainly eats from the Commissary.
Hygiene--showers are nasty, people get staph here a lot, it is so unsanitary.
13.

Culture-- Guards are disrespectful. They take things personally and in an inhumane way. The guards
prejudge everyone, even if they aren’t convicted. Guards want to impress the higher ups, so they’re
overly combative. Guards are just waiting for him to make a misstep so they can use force against
him. Guards will talk to you really loud to you so they embarrass you in front of everyone else and
get you to shut up. Guards abuse their authority. Even when they say they’ll bring you something,
they don’t. Dental—he has teeth problems. At first, they wouldn’t give him an appointment, then
they did, but it was scheduled for several weeks out. When he finally said he was going to file a
grievance on the dentist, the dentist finally gave him some help for his infection. Food—asked for a
diet without sugar because he has a rotten tooth. But, they won’t change it. Grievance—guard
asked him to change his statement, and wouldn’t accept his grievance as it was. Retaliation—he
thinks jail will move him to Elmwood for talking to Blue Ribbon Commission, which he doesn’t want.
When we’re gone, it’s just us and them, and the guards will do what they want to rough you up. If
you go over their heads, they resent it. Classifications—they do what they want to with you. In
other states, they treat you like a human, but here, they don’t and they lord it all over you.

14.

Has talked to other attorney and the consulting frim. After he talked to BRC the C.O.s ransacked the
rooms, did not allow any TV time, no program time, and turned off the TV during football game in
apparent retaliation or intimidation. C.O.s have harassed several people, and inmates are
suspicious of talking to the BRC and afraid of retaliation. The days that BRC are not here, they have
reduced the program time. One C.O. allows only 20 minute programs, but pretends they are 1:30
program lengths. Has had problems with mail being returned to family without reason. Grievance
process is not explained and the C.O.s hassle the inmates for turning in grievances. Welfare fund
should pay for indigent telephone use. Mirrors in cells are useless. Toilets clog up often and are not
sanitary. Toilets not unclogged as punishment, Not allowed to exercise with partner for no reason.
Pulled late for visits for no reason. Fee to add money to an inmates account is too high. Sergeant
encourages use of power over inmates. Rewards should be provided to C.Os who do a good job -opposite of "grievance" -- or commendation, from prisoner to guard should be allowed.

15.

Inmate asserts that he is being set up for attack by a group of individuals. He has presented many
grievances and nothing is done.

16.

Vents don’t work well. Subjected to a physical assault, and C.O.s took his property. Filed a
grievance, but the response was that the property was "properly disposed of." Too a month to
provide that response which did not address the problem. The cops from outside are worse than
the C.O.s .

17.

Attacked in jail twice. Mafia has paid for him to be killed. Improper effort to move him to different
state.

18.

Would like there to be areas where rehabilitation activities/experiences are done, as opposed to
just detention experiences. Has presented a grievance that CO spent too much time on cell phone
and not doing job. Had a "fight" with that officer before the grievance was resolved. That officer
A-5

then made him move rooms. Complained that the officer complained about gets the grievance first,
and then the Sergeant. Complained that COs on 8th floor were "lackadaisical" and not as attendant
upon needs. The COs need to be more respectful. CO "fatigue" needs to be dealt with -- When the
COs become fatigued is when there are problems.
19.

Has been assaulted while being moved from Palto to Main South. It took 2 months for proper
health care for his injuries from the assault. He has turned in many grievances, to which he received
no response until an outside investigation started after the BRC started. Reluctant to talk to
investigator because he is one of them. Nurses ignore his medical complaints and delay treatment
by doctor. Placed in cell with clogged toilet "full of feces" as punishment. Later abdominal pain
complained of, which resulted in ambulance trip to Valley Med. No heart monitor taken. First told
he would immediately be taken to surgery, then just held for 48 hours. Grievances are not
answered or are frivolously answered. Yard time is unfairly provided to those who "ask first."
Basketball court has no backstop. Presented grievance about inability to contact bail bondsman - no
reply for over a month. Indigent inmates still charged for hygiene items, etc., by running a negative
balance on account. No response to his medical grievances. Concerned that they are trying to cover
it up. Complained of excessive hours in chains

20.

Grievance process really delayed to just have Sergeant tell you you're wrong. After BRC
announcements, seem to be retaliating by locking down for no reason. Has not provided grievance
himself because it is a waste of time - nothing happens. C.O.s are not meeting minimum time out of
cell. Classification is a problem, and doesn't seem to be based on reasons. More programs for
rehabilitation needed. Also needed: Board games, new TVs, dip and pull up bars. More than
minimum time out needed. Religious services only once a week and sometimes not during program
time. Grievance process is considered a joke. Information about what is a proper grievance and
what the inmates' rights are should be provided. Present grievance only to be told it is not in their
rights. Need to know what the rules are. If C.O.s do something wrong they are just reassigned, not
punished.

21.

Day after BRC came, the whole pod was maximum strip searched. Understood as warning or
retaliation for talking to BRC. Not let out enough. Could be let out 3 times a day. Sometimes locked
down for days. 72 hours is maximum experienced in 3 months. Grievance process wont do
anything. In 3 months, presented 5 - 10 grievances and nothing was done. Jaw broken in riot, taken
to dr. but no treatment for 3 days. No x-ray for 1 year. Presented grievance about 3 day delay and
no response. Need to retrain old officers who have just been doing the same thing for years, while
newer officers follow the protocol.

22.

Grievance -- Cell gets raided right after and they tear up your room. Cellie did it and nothing was
done about the grievance. Has not presented grievance because of fear of retaliation and no
knowledge of how to do it. Have to wear same clothing for too long. Jail is dirty and not enough
supplies provided to clean. Searches are extreme and one officer grabs genitals hard. Showers are
filthy. Not enough program. Locked down on holidays so they cant call their families. Day after BRC
announcement the whole dorm was searched and randoms have increased. Each of the people who
talked to BRC got random searched.

23.

Did not experience retaliation initially. Would be locked down if cell not clean, but not given
clearing supplies. If given cleaning supplies, they would be confiscated during search. Showers are
A-6

never cleaned. Grievance is not taken care of. Told it was forwarded, but no action taken. Took 2
months to be told that. Scared to do a grievance because of retaliation of cell search or strip
search. Complained of medical issue but told just to wait and see if it went away. Dental tooth
pain, dentist did work but it hurts more. Only 4 phones during program time, and not enough time
allowed for everyone to use the phone. Too long between changing clothes -- 1 pair of underwear
for 4-5 days.
24.

Grievances do seem to get where they need to go, but take a long time to be responded to. The
grievances are not looked at fairly and are "lost in the sauce." The inmate infraction process is not
fair, and sometimes results in multiple punishments for one infraction. Inmates are not allowed to
know their rights in the system. They give you a handbook when you come in, but take the
handbook away when they do a search. Also, fear of retaliation prevents inmates from presenting
grievances. Blanket exchange should be done more often, as blankets become dirty and
unsanitary. The COs' attitudes have changed dramatically over the last 90 days, and they have
become more understanding and human.

25.
There is a cockroach infestation in the jail, he had one fall from the ceiling onto him while he was
trying to take a nap. He kept it to show the officers and wrote a grievance about it but nothing has
been done. There is no access to cleaning supplies to try and keep things clean. There are also no
programs down in the south part of the jail. They only have bible study and only sometimes. Has
asked for soap and the officers act like they are asking for take-out or something. Officers are also
always on their phones. The bathrooms in the south part of the jail are a dump. There’s also no
privacy, other inmates can see when you’re showering. The bulletin board in the dorms t should at
least have bail bonds listings, calendars of when you get things, inmates shouldn’t have to ask
others, they should give them this information. Hasn’t been able to make a call because the officers
haven’t given him the pin he needs, had to ask another inmate to use his phone credits and account
to talk to his wife. Food looks like cat food, there are times that it is so hot its burnt. You eat it or
starve. There hasn’t been hot water in south jail for a while and they haven’t fixed it. In other
counties, you have family deposit money into your commissary and then you get a receipt, here,
they don’t do that, they give a list of everyone’s account, which should be confidential.
26.

There is not enough time outside of cells, on the fourth floor people are locked up for 47 hours in a
row. He thinks this is a Title 15 violation. They have asked several times for Title 15 handbooks but
they get denied. Sometimes they pull inmates out 20-25 minutes late for a visitation and they don’t
get to make it up. Getting medical attention take a long time. An inmate’s hand was fractured by a
confrontation and beating by an officer and it took them 3-4 months to look at it and get x rays. Has
heard of officers getting inmates up in the middle of the night, chaining them up and going to the
yard and beating them up. The food is very disgusting and some officers take away the hotpot so
they can’t even make their food from commissary. Inmates aren’t always allowed to shave when
they are supposed to, in particular during trial. The grievance process doesn’t work most of the
time, maybe 35 % of the time you get a response.

27.
There are officers here that are very disrespectful of inmates. If an inmate is sleeping and food
comes, they knock on their doors, hard, just to frighten them. There are no programs down in the
south jail. Elmwood is nice because they give them classes. In the main jail, Southside they don’t
A-7

have any programs. Elmwood is also a lot cleaner, they also have hot water, and there hasn’t been
hot water in the south jail in a while. The showers are dilapidated and the vents are all clogged.
There are periods of time here that inmates don’t see the sun. Medical attention is hard to get in
the jail, you have to be dying. The food is also horrible. A year ago, he saw an inmate shackled and
arguing with officers, and two officers slammed him against the wall headfirst and they started
hitting him, when they picked him up it looked like he was dead. The next day officers came with
cameras to record the scene but they had already cleaned up all the blood. He never changes his
clothes he washes them and keeps them, because when he exchanges them they come back dirty
and smelly. He has asked officers for requests forms and gotten no response and no form.
28.

Has had an issue with an officer in the last year. During shakedown one day an officer thought he
had been purposefully keeping an extra set of underwear from him. The officer got mad and put
him in a chicken hold while another officer comes and pushes his head as hard as he can into a
metal wall. He then told to look at the officer in the eye when he talked to him, then he punched
him, he did that twice. Then the other CO hit him in the ribs again. When they were both done, they
told him to get up and leave. The next day they told the next shift about what happened and that
they wanted to put a grievance, they told them that they couldn’t they have to put in the grievance
to the night shift, when the incident happened. There was an investigation but nothing has come
from it. Has also seen on one occasion, three officers beating up an inmate, it was bloody, he was
older, likely almost 50, he could hear him say, “sorry, sorry” but the officers didn’t care. During that
incident an officer asked him whether he had seen anything, he said no, and the officer lead him to
believe that he knew he did but that was the right answer. Has had his safety in jeopardy by having
an officer tell the inmates in his dorm that the shakedown they were doing was because of him. He
thinks the officers on the nightshift are the worse. He has seen officers make fun of a guy that had
dialysis needing to use the bathroom. Clothing is issue, he said they only getting one set at a time.
There is only one shower for 50 people. The white card process takes a long time, it can take up to
15-20 days. Officers have there own TV that they watch while working, they even get mad if
inmates are too loud.

29.

He thinks there should be a bulletin board that has a schedule of when they eat, what they are
going to eat, bail bond numbers and other instructions. Right now if someone comes in new they
have to ask other inmates about the process and schedules. There are hazards in the bathroom, big
holes, rust, and green mold and mildew on the ceiling. In his dorm there is only one showerhead
that works. He thinks they should also have more days when they get commissary. Inmate requests
forms aren’t accessible he has asked three times recently for one and has yet to get one. The food is
also really unhealthy, they need to provide more greens, more leafy greens. He has had to wait a
day to get a medical device that is necessary for him because a nurse had forgotten about him.

30.

He has been at the jail for several years now, and even back when he first arrived there was never
really anyway to keep the areas, in particular the bathrooms clean. Even in terms of clothing, if an
inmate is sick, there is no exception to the clothing policy allowing them only one set. The structure
in Southside is not setup for long-term sentences, maybe short term. They send people in here
without hygiene product, toilet paper, soap, etc. They expect other inmates to give them things
they need instead of providing them with basic necessities. There is also only one nail clipper for
hundreds of inmates, it is unsanitary, people have diseases. The food they serve to the inmates is
also atrocious, they don’t prepare it well, beans are as hard as rock. It is food he wouldn’t even feed
his dog. There is no programs or classes in the Southside so inmates can’t really rehabilitate. He
A-8

thinks there should be programs and books offered. He has seen officers beat up a mentally ill
inmate. He has also seen an older man who was shackled beat up by four officers; there was no
reason to do it. No one reports anything because they are scared that they will suffer retaliations,
that is why more people didn’t volunteer to speak to the Blue Ribbon Commission. Has had
problems getting medical attention because the white card process takes to long to be reviewed
and get a response. The housing assignments also don’t make sense, they house inmates that are
mentally ill with inmates with no problems and that creates conflicts. Inmates like himself feel like
they are acting like nurses, therapists and nannies because they have to take care of other inmates.
To use the TV they have to stick their hand in to the electronic panel to change the channel, they
are going to get electrocuted.
31.

There is no hot water in the Southside; inmates can’t even take warm showers. The food is bad, it is
bland and the portions are small. Not all dorms have hotpots like his, so they can’t heat up soaps or
coffee from the commissary. The TV they have is old and the buttons are broken, they have to use a
piece of paper with an eraser on the end to change the channels. The calling system is expensive; it
costs at least 5 dollars to make calls. If inmates are doing a prison term in county jail they should get
the prison privileges at the county level too. The older cops are respectful, some of the younger
cops, have a chip on their shoulder. If officers were more understanding things would be different.
The housing assignments don’t make sense, dropouts feel like they need their own sections.
Inmate’s mental health issues are not addressed, that’s why housing is a problem, mentally ill
inmates need to be housed where they can get treatment. People that have been in prison should
be housed with other inmates that have been in prison. They hold them for hours in tanks when
they have court.. Some of the officers will give them attitude when they give them requests forms.
For inmates that don’t speak English getting the phone set up is not easy. Commissary is also
expensive, especially compared to the prices in prison.

32.

The grievance process is problem. Inmates have gotten together and asked to submit a group
grievance and they have been told by officers that they can’t do that so when they later ask for
individual forms officers are hesitant to give them all grievance forms. The process only seems to
work when they grievance things that are out of the officers control, like chaplain services. Officers
usually try to persuade inmates not to use grievance forms. The officers can be very unprofessional,
he has had an officer try and intimidate him by taking him to a room with another officer and asking
him if wanted to get something of his chest, insinuating that they could go at it and fight. He even
reported that incident to internal affairs and has heard nothing from them. He thinks officer have
too much discretion, there is no accountability for their actions. The conditions of the facility are
horrible, the water is dirty, and there are bugs everywhere. Things like commissary and calls are
expensive. Housing is also an issue; they house gang dropouts with sex offenders in protective
custody but that created problems. Dropouts should be housed together. The food they serve the
inmates is also very unhealthy and mostly bland and overcooked. Before the Tyree incident, officers
down on Southside would take inmates on “elevator rides” which meant putting an inmate in an
elevator with no camera and beating them up. They also conduct strip searches more often then he
thought was allowed, like during shakedowns.

33.

His biggest issue is with the access and quality of medical attention inmates receive. He has put in a
white card for multiple medical issues he has and the response is slow, currently he’s been waiting 2
months for a response. His feet are swollen and they haven’t given him anything to treat them, not
even compression socks. When he is able to see a doctor, language is an issue as there is no one to
A-9

translate for him and he can’t properly explain his symptoms to the doctor. He thinks they don’t
give big enough portions of food. Also they are not given sufficient supplies to keep things clean,
especially those that are there for a long time, like those serving federal sentences, they need to
keep things clean. They have gone weeks without hot water in Southside. Some officers use
excessive force, he once saw at 3:00am a guy get beat up by officers, they even splattered the wall
with blood and cleaned it up immediately. The facilities are also falling apart, the room he was first
put in, was shutdown because of leaking water, it was horrible. Officers on the night shift spend
there time watching TV and make the inmates stay quiet so they can watch their shows. They also
give inmates yard time at 6am when it is cold and now raining. Commissary is also very limited here,
mostly rice and soup.
34.

There are no shower curtain that work in the dorm, he had to make one, there really is no privacy in
the bathroom. The mattresses are horrible, there is no cushion left in them. He thinks commissary is
pretty expensive. Classification and housing is a big issue, inmates that come in that are detoxing off
drugs they should have a tank. Cleaning is also because they don’t get enough supplies to keep
things as clean as they should be. Clothing, they need to give them two sets, so they can wash them
and let them dry. The officers also pass at mail way too late, they always pass it out at midnight,
lights are out, no one can read it.

35.
There are definitely problems with some offices; he has seen them knock an inmate off a top bunk.
Also, is an inmate tries to help other inmates they can get in trouble. In terms of medical attention,
they use to charge them $3 to put in a white card just for simple pain pills. Visitation is also been
issue because they will cancel visitation for someone if the visitor is just 5 minutes late. He has also
seen Cockroaches in food trays that were sealed. Inmates have put in requests forms to fix the
facilities, like the mirrors and they never get responses. The commissary is very expensive and they
often throw them their bag of stuff and it is missing items, they can’t really argue that because they
just get told they are lying. He also said that they often get dirty clothes back, and that in federal
prison they get more than one set of clothing. He thinks they should let those serving prison
sentences more clothes sine they will be there for a long time. The grievance process isn’t helpful
because officer get mad when they ask them for forms and when they do get forms they end up
getting retaliated against, usually by having their security level changed. Housing could be better; it
would make more sense to keep all inmates who are serving federal sentences together. Because
there are no programs in Southside the least they could do is provide books, especially books in
Spanish.
36.

The inmate believes one of the biggest issues is with housing, he thinks that federal inmates should
be kept separate from state inmates. The food is also a problem, it is not healthy especially for
someone like him who is diabetic and they don’t understand that he has to eat more often to
maintain his blood sugar levels. The officers abuse their power, they recently placed shackles on his
ankles too tight causing lacerations and they didn’t care , even though he is diabetic and something
like that could be very serious. Commissary usually doesn’t come complete and inmates are missing
things they ordered.

37.

They give them yard in the morning, too early so no one comes out. They also only have one nail
cutter; he doesn’t use it, its not hygienic. The food is bad and he never eats it, mostly relaying on
commissary that is expensive. There is also not enough variety. On the Southside there’s often no
A-10

hot water. There’s also a big water leak in their dorm. There is also no access to programs in South
or even access to games, he has seen a storage area full of games, but they never get them. Clothes,
they only get one set, it should at least be two so they can wash the other. In terms of housing he
believes that the federal and state inmates should be in separate areas. The federal inmates should
get the same privileges they would get if they were in federal prison. Also there are people with
mental health issues that should be on 8th but they are mixed in with everyone. Currently there is
only one showerhead for 50 people in his dorm.
38.

The food they serve at the jail is bad and commissary is expensive and most of the food they sell is
very unhealthy. Phone calls are too expensive for him to make calls. He would like to see them get
another pair of clothes, they only get one pair and if they get extra clothes they get taken away. It is
also difficult to get medical attention, the white card process to takes too long. Also for non-English
speakers there isn’t always a translator to help communicate with the doctor. There are no
programs in the South jail; they don’t even give them books. This is not a place for inmates that are
serving long sentences. In his dorm they have one showerhead for 80 people, the facility really isn’t
up for the use it gets. There are some officers that cross the line in their treatment of inmates, they
are constantly telling them to be quiet when they are out at yard.

39.

The food they give inmates is horrible, it’s bland and pretty much no one eats it. They don’t get
fresh vegetables. Housing assignments could be better; it makes more sense to house federal
inmates separately. Inmates can’t even talk or watch TV; they aren’t allowed to make any noise.
Most officers are just rude, disrespectful they shout about everything. They only take them out to
the yard once a week. He would like to see them get contact visits. The holding cells for court are
horrible and ridiculous; they stage them for 4-5 hours before their court appearances. He would like
to see them give inmates that are serving long sentences an extra set of clothes. The facility itself is
bad, they only have one showerhead for about 80 people and when it rains it leaks. It takes a long
time to get seen by medical; you need to be very sick to see someone soon. There is always a
problem with commissary, there is always stuff missing, it’s also expensive and doesn’t have much
variety. They don’t offer any classes or programs in the south jail, they don’t even provide books.
The officers give them yard at 6am in the morning when its cold and no one wants to go out. He has
also noticed that mail takes a long time to reach its destination, two weeks within the city limits.

40.

He thinks that the mixing of state and federal inmates is a problem and causes issues within the
dorms. The lack of programs offered to inmates in the south jail could result in severe psychological
issues. He has seen officers use excessive force on an inmate, beating him up in the yard and then
later having to deny he saw anything to the officers for fear of retaliation. He has a physical
impairment and the officers make fun of him, they call him stupid for not understanding their
English, since he is Spanish-speaking. Officers don’t have any patience for people with medical
issues.

41.

He has not gotten proper medical care, he has two hernias and they refuse to operate they just give
him pain medication. The unit he is in needs better cleaning, it is only cleaned every three days it
really needs to be cleaned twice a day with the number of people in here. They don’t give them
enough cleaning supplies either. The air in the jail is really cold and they only recently gave them
thermals and extra blankets. Officers wake up the inmates at 3am to go to yard. When they do
shakedowns they have thrown away his stuff, stamps and photographs, he put in a grievance and
they said they only threw away contraband and even said the sergeant was present during the
A-11

shakedown when he was not. They did not have hot water for two weeks until the Blue Ribbon
Commission came. Inmate safety is also an issue; they have protective custody inmates that are
gang dropouts getting haircuts by active members. The lack of hotpots in the south is unfair since
the north has them. Commissary is also very expensive like calls, he lost $60 on two phone calls and
there is no way to fight it. The officers take advantage of the weakest inmates, like older inmates.
He once saw an officer go into a cell of an older man who had very little hearing left, and they
pushed the guy up onto the wall and hit him in the ribs.
42.

There is no hotpot for his unit and they haven’t had hot water for weeks. They barely got hot water
back when the commission came in. Requests forms take forever, he has seen them take all day to
pick up the forms from inmates. When the forms do get picked up the response time is slow. In
terms of clothing, they only get one set. The cleaning situation is very poor, other counties you
always get broom and mop twice a day here they barely give them Ajax and a scrubber. This
situation leads to infections and diseases. Officers give them yard time so early in the morning that
no one wants to go out. They throw people that have mental issues with others and there are issues
and violence. These issues would be resolved if the housing assignments were better thought out..
The dorm is not sanitary there is mildew and mold. Officers act rude and unprofessional; they
actually talk to you in other counties, here they just yell and ignore inmates.

43.

The Southside has been without hot water for weeks, he contacted Internal Affairs but never heard
anything. It wasn’t until the Blue Ribbon Commission came that the water was fixed. These officers
treat inmates like crap. The yard is disgusting, they have segregated kennels and there is mold
everywhere. The officers are on their phones all the time. The whole main jail south is unsanitary.
There is also no programs or classes offered in the south. Most inmates are afraid to put in
grievances. The food they provide is also garbage.

44.

He thinks that inmates in protective custody should be in separate individual cells. Inmates also
need more privacy especially in the bathroom.

45.

The hot water in the south jail has been a problem recently, it was just fixed, but before that they
had no hot water. The housing and classification of dropouts leads to compromising their safety.
Dropouts in protective custody are sandwiched between general population, people that want to
beat him up. It takes a long time to get medical attention; it is harder than it should be. He thinks
they look for reasons not to send someone to the medical floor. The food is garbage. He would like
to see them give inmates contact visitation, especially for inmates that don’t have violent charged.
Phone calls are very expensive; they are cheaper on state prison. Commissary is horribly overpriced,
99 cents for a top ramen soup. Bags of coffee here are $6 at state prison they are $2.

46.

The conditions of the south jail facility are horrible, the ceiling is really old, and the whole facility is
falling apart. They should be able to use the chow hall for meals instead of eating at their beds. It is
so hard to get a book in the south jail; they should have a jail library. There hasn’t been any hot
water for weeks, it wasn’t until the commission came around that it was fixed. The commissary is
really expensive and there are few healthy options. The mark up in this county jail compared to
prison is ridiculous. They are only given yard two times a week. Some inmates fear using the
grievance process because of fear of retaliation. Officers treat the mentally ill really poorly, they put
them in chicken wing holds often. Inmates requests to use the restroom during booking, and they
won’t let them go so they end up peeing on the floor. Clothing should be made more available to
A-12

inmates, they only give them one set, they need two or three. In his Southside unit there is only one
showerhead for 80 inmates. Mail has been a problem because there is no way to assure that their
letters are being delivered.
47.

The grievance process has not worked for him, the last time he submitted a form it took 4 months
to get a response and he was just blown off. There has been retaliation for inmates that use the
grievance process. Officers are always busy on their phones and if an inmate disturbs them they get
mad and punish the whole dorm and tell them it’s because of one inmate, singling them out. He
believed that the county took money out of the inmate welfare fund, millions, to hire officers. Once
when he had mobility issues he was jumped by three officers, they twisted his arm out of his socket.
The medical attention he received from valley medical was horrible. The brutality of the guards is
protected by the county.

48.

He has personally suffered abuse from the officers, some are ok but some will give them black eyes.
They also ignore their requests to fix things like the hot water. Grievances are also not taken very
seriously. The temperature is always cold; they blast the air in the dorms. They have little access to
proper cleaning supplies.

49.

There hasn’t been any hot water in the south jail for weeks. The officers also are very stingy with
the soap, sometimes only giving the soap every two weeks. The commissary has been coming late
and there have been problems with receiving their mail

50.

Use of Force: NT18 discussed the regular and routine excessive use of force by the correctional
officers. The officers will regularly use the interview rooms and showers to physically assault
inmates they have issues with. For example, the correctional officers will pull inmates out of their
unit in the middle of the night, take them to the showers or interview rooms (which are hidden
from sight of units) and physically assault them. Prior to the Tyree incident, this was being done
regularly and consistently. NT18 stated that even for minor disagreements between officers and
inmates would be handled in this fashion. Retaliation: NT18 had his bed and bunk searched
everyday for over a month in retaliation/response to him filing a grievance against a correctional
officer. According to NT18, under policy and procedure, correctional officers are supposed to
randomly search a handful of beds a day. However, these searches are used to hassle and
discriminate against certain. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT18 is unaware of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Grievance Process: NT18 has used the grievance process, however, he understands that filing a
grievance will earn him harassment from correctional officers. He knows that it is a consequence of
filing a grievance.

51.

Use of Force: NT35 was the victim of a physical assault by a Correctional Officer. During the assault,
his left eye was severely injured and he was repeatedly kicked in the head. He was repeatedly
punched and kicked in the back and the ribs after he was cuffed and shackled. He believes the
assault was in response to a former cellmates altercation with another correctional officer.
Retaliation: NT35 stated that the fear and threat of retaliation by correctional officers is well
understood amongst inmates. He stated that inmates must balance the consequence of filing a
grievance, i.e. guaranteed harassment at a minimum and an assault at its worst, with the low
probability that their grievance will be fairly evaluated by prison staff. NT 35 does not file
grievances, and has not for a number of years, stating that its not worth the repercussions. Inmate
Welfare Fund: NT35 stated that be believes the Welfare Fund pays for incentive sodas and
A-13

incentive meals for inmate pod workers. Inmates who clean the floors and hand out meals are
often rewarded with drinks and extra meals. He believes the Fund provides for these extra meals.
Medical Care: NT36 has been diagnosed with a tumor on his back. He was diagnosed with a tumor
more than 18 months ago. Despite filing multiple white slips for medical service, he has not had any
follow up medical diagnosis or service. NT36 would like to receive medical attention regarding this
issue.
52.
Medical Care: NT36 needs prescription eye glasses. He has filed a number of white slips requesting
an eye exam. However, his requests have been met with denials of service. He is informed that he
cannot get eye care while housed in the County facility. Without a prescription, NT36 has a difficult
time seeing. This creates a security threat to himself and others. Dental Care: NT36 has been
waiting for dental service for more than 8 months. He has filed numerous white slips requesting
dental care related to an on-going toothache and has yet to receive a dental appointment. He
continues to make requests for appointments but is having a difficult time getting an appointment
scheduled. Medical Care/Pain Killers: NT37 had a hernia removed while he was incarcerated at
California State penitentiary. During the procedure, a mistake was made resulting in significant and
chronic pain in his lower abdomen. As a result of this post surgery injury, he received some pain
killers at the State prison. He continues to experience pain and discomfort related to this injury.
Although his injury is well documented and has been evaluated by the State prison system, the
County facility continually denies his request for ANY medical attention related to his chronic pain.
While NT37 understands that the facility cannot just simply pass out pain relievers to any and all
inmates who request them, NT37 believes he should have some access to pain relief for his well
documented injury. Programs: NT37 discussed the importance of programs (educational, art,
religious) for inmates. While very few programs are available for inmates, when they are available
there is a noticeable difference in inmate behavior. For example, a few months back an "art
contest" was conducted in a number of the floors. The contest generated allot of interest from a
variety of inmates and broke the monotony of jail life for a few weeks. It was a well implemented
program that brought some joy and excitement to grim circumstances for many. Religious Services:
NT37 stated that the religious services and meal options are very minimal for non-Catholics. The
religious services, other than Catholic, are insufficient for the number of non-Catholic inmates. For
example, NT37 stated that there needs to be more services available for Jewish inmates and
followers of the faith.
53.

Commissary: NT37 complained that there are insufficient cleaning supplies and cleaning materials
available at the Commissary. For example, NT37 has experience at other jail facilities. At these
other facilities, wash clothes and soap/shampoo is readily available for purchase by inmates.
However, at the County facility inmates are not allowed to purchase wash clothes or sufficient
cleaning supplies. He is unclear on why they are prevented from purchasing these materials.
Clothing: According to NT37, inmates are not allowed to have more than one set of clothes per
week. They are provided one set of underwear, one pair of socks and one pant and one shirt for an
entire week. This is unsanitary, as inmates are forced to live, eat, workout, and sleep all in one set
of clothing for the week. This differs significantly from other counties in the area. He is unclear on
why they are only provided one set of clothing per week. Retaliation: NT37 witnessed the physical
assault and death of an inmate at the hands of Correctional Officers in late summer 2015. After the
incident, Correctional Officers came by each neighboring cell, and in a threatening tone, asked each
inmate what he witnessed. NT37 said that the manner and tone in which the question was asked
A-14

left him and other inmates with the impression that no witnesses should come forward and if they
did, they would be subjected to physical assaults. The inquiry was made multiple times with the
same tone and expression by the Correctional Officers. NT37 believes this was done to instill the
fear and threat of retaliation if any inmate were to talk to Internal Affairs or any investigative body
about the death of the inmate.
54.

Grievance Process: NT38 has filed multiple grievances over living conditions in the South jail. For
more than a year, NT38 and other inmates in the South facility have lived in cells with non-operative
lights, no hot water, a cells infested with roaches and mice. Despite filing grievances, they have not
received any formal response or if they do receive a response it simply states that work orders have
been filed to address the sanitation issues. However, there has no improvement of the conditions
for more than a year. NT38 explained that he and many other inmates have lost faith in the
grievance process. Use of Force: NT38 has witnessed a significant amount of physical assaults of
inmates by Correctional Officers. In particular, he stated that inmates in protective custody are
often the target of these attacks, as the guards can assault them without consequence or fear of
violence from fellow gang members. Similarly, NT38 discussed how Correctional Officers often open
doors of inmates under protective custody while active gang members are outside of their cells.
Active gang members are required to assault inmates in protective custody when the opportunity
presents itself. Officers are well aware of this active gang code, as such, they often create
opportunities for active gang members to assault protective custody inmates by opening doors are
opportune time to allow for assaults on vulnerable inmates. Sanitation: As discussed in the
grievance section above, NT38 discussed the sanitation issues within the County facility. For
example, when NT 38 arrived in the South jail, his cell was covered in hair, had blood on the walls
and was covered in a weeks worth of old food containers. He did not receive any cleaning supplies
to address the conditions in the cell for more than two weeks. In general, inmates are not provided
sufficient materials to maintain clean cells, let alone clean cells that they inherit. Laundry/Clothing:
Inmates are only provided one clean set of clothing per week. This is insufficient and unsanitary for
inmates to sleep, workout, eat and reside in only set of clothing a week, according to NT 38.

55.

Access to Legal Materials: NT39 has had all of his legal materials and documents thrown away by
Correctional Officers on at least 3 occasions. His case research, documents and filings have been
thrown away and trashed by Officers. The motivation for this was NT39 was documenting
Correctional Officer behavior. When they learned of his documentation, they entered his cell and
threw all away all of his legal materials that he had gathered over the course of more than 2 years.
Retaliation: As discussed above, NT39 was the victim of retaliation for asserting his legal rights.
Retaliation is also very evident for any inmate considering filing a grievance on a Correctional
Officer. The process requires that an inmate ask an Officer for a grievance form, and then the
inmate must submit the grievance to the officer (perhaps the very officer who he is filing the
complaint against). This process creates numerous opportunities for conflict and for harassment
against inmates who even consider filing grievances. Mail: NT39 stated that his mail often fails to
arrive at his cell or his mail is delivered to the wrong inmates, exposing confidential materials to
other inmates. Correctional Officers are negligent when distributing mail and often make mistakes
that result in the loss of mail. Correctional Officer Training: NT39 believes that the County hires a
large number of Correctional Officers with low IQs. He finds many of them very difficult to interact
with and a large number of them come across as stupid to NT39. He believes that if the County
made an attempt to hire more Officers with a college education, there would be improved relations
between the inmates and jail staff. Child Support: NT39 has filed many information requests and
A-15

56.

57.

grievance forms to get assistance on how to pay his child support payments while he is in the
County facility. Despite his requests for assistance, he has been unable to pay his child support
payments and is receiving notices that he is delinquent in his payments. However, he has the
resources and interest in paying his support payments but is unclear how to set that up while in the
County facility. Correctional Officer Behavior: NT39 reported many instances of Correctional
Officers being the source of rumors about inmates that motivate and instigate violence against
inmates. For example, Officers often tell other inmates that an inmate has been talking to Gang
Intelligence, when in reality the inmate is at Court or meeting with a doctor. The Officers start
many rumors that expose inmates to violence or threats of violence.
Medical/Eye Care: NT40 needs prescription glasses to see. He has received a Federal and State
Court order to allow him to receive eye care to address his vision concerns. However, the County
facility will not allow him to access a doctor to address his vison issues. They have ignored his
medical requests. He has also filed a grievance over the issues, but it has yet to be resolved.
According to NT40, he has followed all the necessary legal steps to be allowed eye care, but the jail
continues to neglect and refuse his requests. Haircuts: NT40 is in protective custody. According to
NT40, the only inmates that are allowed to cut hair are active gang members. In order to get a hair
cut, NT 40 is shackled and cuffed in a barber chair with an active gang member holding clippers and
scissors close to his head. He believes this is an unnecessary risk, especially for vulnerable inmates
on protective custody. Sanitation: Inmates are not provided enough cleaning supplies to keep and
maintain clean cells. Similarly, there are not supplies available for cleaning their cells at the
commissary. Despite being required to keep tidy cells, they are not provided the materials to keep
the cells clean.
Retaliation: NT41 reported that Correctional Officers are keeping track of inmates that speak to the
Blue Ribbon Commission. Information that an inmate has talked to the Commission is beginning to
be met with subtle harassment of inmates by officers and he anticipates that assaults will begin
when the Commission is no longer in the facility. Medical Care: According to NT41, no medical
issues are treated at the County facility. They simply create delays, excuses and neglect to treat any
issues that are not immediately life threatening. And even under those conditions, everything is
done to avoid providing actual medical treatment to an issue. Similarly, they use delays in
scheduling to avoid treatments. Often requiring inmates to sit in a small room, shackled for 9-10
hours before receiving service with no access to water or bathrooms. This prevents many inmates
from trying to access medical services. Sanitation: NT41 states that in the South facility, he has not
had access to hot water in more than 8 months. No hot water for cleaning, for showers or for
coffee or commissary items that require hot water. They also do not have a hot pot on the floor to
allow inmates to distribute hot water to each cell. As such, they go months without any hot water
in the facility. Visitation: Despite a lengthy on-line approval process and on-line scheduling,
Officers often enforce obscure rules related to visitation that prevent family members, many of
whom travel far distances, from seeing their family and friends inside the County facility. He
believes the rules are randomly enforced to prevent certain inmates from seeing family members.
Inmate Welfare Fund: NT41 is aware that funds are taken from inmate phone calls and other
sources to provide a funding for programs and services available to inmates. However, over the
past few years, NT41 is unaware of any programs or services made available to inmates from the
Fund. It appears that all of those services have been stopped. Programs: There is a complete lack
of educational, religious or alcohol/drug related courses available to most of the inmates at the
County facility. This lack of programs does not provide inmates with any of the necessary skills or
opportunities to improve their lives before they re-enter society. NT41 would like to see more
programs to help inmates transition back into society.
A-16

58.

59.

60.

Inmate Safety: NT42 has been the victim of two physical assaults by other inmates in recent
months, both resulting in him being in the hospital. Both attacks were caused by Correctional
Officer neglect and laziness. NT42 was assaulted by another inmate who was able to slip out of his
shackles and proceeded to beat NT42 with his chain and shackles. NT42 was beaten while he was in
shackles and was unable to protect himself. Similarly, NT42 was assaulted by rival gang members
when a Correctional Officer allowed rival gang members to enter a dorm while NT42 was still out of
his cell and in the shower. This incident caused serious physical harm to NT42. He believes both
incidents could have been avoided by Correctional Officers upholding safety and security
procedures. Sanitation/Cleaning Supplies: The facilities in the South jail are filthy and unfit for
inmates. The cells are filthy, the walls often covered in blood and urine. The cells are also infested
with roaches and mice. Inmates are not provided with the cleaning materials that allow them to
maintain clean cells. This just exacerbates the already dirty conditions. Soap: Inmates are not
provided soap. Inmates that cannot buy soap from the commissary, they are not provided any soap
for hygiene. This creates issues within the cells and amongst cell mates. Inmate Welfare Fund:
NT42 is not familiar with the welfare fund. Mail: NT42 complained that his mail is regularly
delivered to the wrong cell, often to mentally ill inmates who refuse to return it to the proper dorm.
This delivery to the wrong cell often releases confidential information and pictures to the wrong
inmates. NT42 stated that he has found pictures of his daughters in other inmates cells due to
these mistakes by Officers delivering mail.
Sexual Misconduct: NT43 discussed incidents of sexual misconduct between Officers and Inmates.
In the South facility, he stated that he has heard rumors of sexual relations between Officers and
Inmates. According to NT43, there are old tunnels below ground that run between the jail and the
court house. These tunnels are used for sexual activity between inmates and Officers. Drugs: NT43
stated that drugs are rampant inside the facility. Most drugs are readily available to inmates, if they
have money to purchase them. Drugs are often brought into the facility by Correctional Officers,
according to NT43. Retaliation: NT43 stated that most inmates are scared to complain about
anything that happens inside the jail for fear of retaliation by Officers. From verbal harassment to
physical assaults, inmates are vulnerable and often the victims of retaliation for even standing up
for themselves, let alone filing an actual grievance. Sanitation: The conditions in the South jail are
filthy, according to NT43. Problems with ants, roaches, and mice are a regular concern. Many of
the dorm rooms leak, exposing inmates to leaking water and standing water on the floors of the
jails. Similarly, there is no hot water available to most of the South jail. However, this past week,
and in response to Blue Ribbon lawyers being inside the facility, warm water has returned to the
cells and showers. NT43 expects the water to be cold again once the Blue Ribbon Commission
lawyers are no longer inside the facility. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT43 is not aware of the Inmate
Welfare Fund.
Dental Care: According to NT44, the only dental care available at the County facility is tooth
extraction. NT46 has lost two teeth due to delinquent dental services. For example, after
complaining of a tooth ache and filing a request for dental care, it took more than 6 months to get
an initial appointment with a dentist. At that point, the toothache had become infected and he was
forced to remove the tooth. Clothing/Hygiene: NT44 only receives 1 set of clothing a week. One
set of underwear, one set of socks, one pant and one top. The laundry often returns filthy so
inmates are forced to wash their own clothes in their cell sinks. They are similarly only supplied one
small bath towel per week. This towel is often used as a bath towel, a towel to clean up spills in the
cell, and also used to keep their cell clean. NT44 has experience in other Bay Area jail facilities, this
is the only facility that only provides one towel per inmate. It is not enough for the amount of
issues that the towel needs to be used for. Commissary: The Commissary does not sell any wash
A-17

61.

62.

63.

clothes. Again, in comparison to other facilities, this County jail is very minimal in items to provides
and allows to its inmates. Most other Bay Area county facilities allow the sale of wash clothes. Also,
related to Commissary, items are often removed from the Commissary list and/or not delivered to
inmates. Inmates do not get compensated for many of these items. They pay for items that are
discontinued and not delivered. Medical Care: According to NT44, many of the nurses are unware
and/or unknowledgeable about the prescriptions and medications that they disperse. They are
often unaware of what they hand to inmates and do not know the purpose of many of the
pills/medications distributed. Yard: NT44 and other inmates were informed that Pull-Up bars and
other work out materials were going to be made available to inmates in the yard outdoor spaces.
The bars have arrived, but they have been sitting outside in the rain and are not accessible by
inmates for more than a month. NT44 would like the exercise equipment to be installed, as
promised, so inmates can begin to use the equipment.
Medical Care: NT45 is still in need of medical attention for a hernia related issue. He has been
waiting for more than 6 months to see a doctor related to his hernia, despite his regular filing of
medical request forms (that until recently cost him $3 a piece to file). He stated that there is very
little medical attention or services for any inmates. Requests for attention are ignored and unless
you are bleeding on your cell floor, you are unlikely to get any medical attention or services.
Retaliation: Inmates are often the target of retaliation by Correctional Officers. For example, filing
a grievance, voicing a complaint, or requesting toilet paper is often met with verbal assaults,
derogatory language or physical assaults by Officers. Officers use violence and the threat of
violence to intimidate, harass and degrade inmates. The culture of the South jail is that inmates are
treated like dirt and should feel lucky if they are not assaulted by Officers. Sanitation: NT45 stated
that the conditions in the South jail are very dirty. Many of the cells are infested with ants, lice,
roaches and mice. Inmates are not provided enough cleaning supplies to maintain clean living
areas. Similarly, the dorms are not regularly swept or mopped so the filth just continues to build
with little to nothing done to ever clean it up. Mental Health: Inmates with mental health issues
are often the targets of assaults by Correctional Officers. Similarly, they are often denied proper
cells and are often neglected of mental health services that they need. No Hot Water: NT45 has
been in the South jail for more than 18 months. Before the Blue Ribbon Commission arrived, he had
never had warm water in his cell or shower. As the Blue Ribbon attorneys arrived, suddenly warm
water was readily available in cells and in showers.
Showers: The water in the showers is always ice cold. However, when the Blue Ribbon lawyers
arrived, the water suddenly got warm and has been warm for the past two days. Use of Force:
NT46 has not been in the facility very long, he has seen nothing but professional conduct from the
Correctional Officers.
Food: NT47 stated that inmates are regularly served food that has expired. Many of the packaged
fruit products have expired before they are served to inmates. Also, the quality of the food is very
bad. It is often served frozen and undercooked. This often leaves inmates without enough food to
eat and hungry for most of the day. Harassment/Retaliation: NT47 stated that inmates are often
harassed by Correctional Officers and are often the victims of verbal and physical assaults. Officers
quickly resort to physical confrontations and combative interactions over small and inconsequential
issues. NT47 has witnessed inmates be physically assaulted in the cells for requesting additional
toilet paper. Clothing: Inmates are only provided with one set of clothing per week. Inmates must
live, workout, and sleep in the same set of socks and underwear for the week. This does not
provide a clean environment and creates unsanitary conditions amongst inmates. NT47 has been
incarcerated in other Bay Area facilities, he is not aware of any Bay Area facilities that only provide
one set of clothing per week. Mail: NT47 stated that his mail is regularly not picked up or delivered.
A-18

64.

65.

66.

His mail regularly ends up in the hands of other inmates or goes lost. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT47
is unaware of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Haircuts: Protective Custody inmates are given haircuts by inmates who are often still active gang
members. The rules of jail house gangs require active gang members to assault inmates in
protective custody when the opportunity presents itself. As such, many protective custody inmates
are hand cuffed and shackled and placed in the barber chair, where an active inmate may be
required to cut the inmates hair. This creates a very dangerous and vulnerable situation for
protective custody inmates. Cleaning Supplies: NT48 stated that inmates are not provided enough
cleaning supplies to keep and maintain the cells in a sanitary. Inmates are only provided a small
amount of cleaning supplies once a week. The amount provided does not allow inmates to clean
the entire cell, let alone enough for the remainder of the week. Inmates need to be provided with
more cleaning supplies. The lack of sanitary conditions inside the facility create unhealthy
environments, exposing inmates to infection and disease. Hot Pots: Many of the hot pots in the
South Jail no longer work. Many dorms do not have access to any hot water. There is no hot water
available in the cells and there is no hot water distributed to inmates throughout the day. The lack
of hot water prevents inmates from eating many items available through the commissary. Medical
Care: Medical Care is non-existent in the County facility. According to NT48, unless you are dying
on the floor, you will not get medical attention in the facility. Sanitation: NT48 stated that the
South jail facility is filthy. There is significant mold on many of the walls. Many of the dorms leak
water and the facility is rarely swept and mopped despite the high amount of foot traffic that comes
through the facility. Retaliation: According to NT48, inmates do not complain, do not file
grievances, and do not talk to Correctional Officers unless necessary because there is a legitimate
fear of assault and violence from the Officers. Inmates have learned that you cannot complain
about treatment by Officers without severe repercussion.
Haircuts: Protective Custody inmates are given haircuts by inmates who are often still active gang
members. The rules of jail house gangs require active gang members to assault inmates in
protective custody when the opportunity presents itself. As such, many protective custody inmates
are hand cuffed and shackled and placed in the barber chair, where an active inmate may be
required to cut the inmates hair. This creates a very dangerous and vulnerable situation for
protective custody inmates. Use of Force: According to NT49, the Correctional Officers often
spread misinformation and rumors about protective custody inmates creating tension and rivalries
amongst inmates. For example, Correctional Officers will often spread misinformation about which
inmates have been talking to the government about cases or other information. This information
can quickly put inmates in danger and expose them to assaults and physical harm. This tactic places
inmates in danger without the Officers having to physically assault inmates themselves. Hygiene:
For indigent inmates, the facility does not provide any toothpaste, deodorant or shampoo. Many
inmates do not have any financial support on the outside. As such, they must live with very little
soap or hygiene supplies. This creates sanitation issues in the dorms and cells, often resulting in
other inmates being required to take care of fellow inmates hygiene needs. Clothing: Inmates are
only provided one set of clean clothing a week. Laundry is only delivered once a week. Inmates
must eat, sleep, workout and live in one set of underwear a week. This is not enough clothing.
Inmate Welfare Fund: NT49 is aware of the Inmate Welfare Fund, but he is not aware how the
funds are spent. He has not seen any items provided to inmates that are paid for by the fund.
The jail is overcrowded and not in compliance with state standards - he wrote the state department
of corrections and they agreed. He was received infractions for filing grievances and complaints
seeking better conditions of confinement and trying to obtain medical records. He was blocked from
obtaining medical records and filed a grievance. However, the only way he thought the grievances
A-19

67.

68.

would reach the proper authorities was to send it as legal mail. When the jail staff found out he'd
sent grievances as legal mail the COs, lieutenants, and captain retaliated against him by giving in
infractions and placing him in isolation for filing the grievances. Medical care is poor - it took 18
months to receive an x-ray for his back, which showed he had degenerative disc disease. Despite his
condition he was cleared to work and re-injured his back there. The CO's behavior towards him
triggered his anxiety and he received mental health services. The COs made fun of his mental illness
on the way to his appointment. He filed grievances because they held him in a room for 2 hours on
his way to the appointment but it was denied. He's seen COs treat mentally ill inmates with hostility
and beat them. He's also seen the COs use insulting, profane language and excessive force against
other inmates.
They receive too few cleaning supplies and too little clothing. There are no programs; he was placed
on a waiting list for Roadmap to Recovery. Commissary is expensive and the food is low quality.
They unfairly racially stereotyped and classified him as an active gang member. He wears a red shirt,
which affects his criminal case when he appears in court labeled as an active gang member.
Classification will not downgrade him. He wrote a grievance about being improperly classed as a
gang member and they informally agreed he did not have significant infractions warranting a level 4
classification, but nothing was done. He was placed in solitary confinement despite not having
write-ups or a history of violence. He was given an infraction for protesting with other inmates
when the guards kept searching their cells and throwing their belongings everywhere/destroying
property, and humiliating an inmate by making him squat, cough, and spread his cheeks. The
infraction was used improperly as reason for not moving him to a lower classification. The COs also
confiscated his legal mail and intimidated him, saying he shouldn't tell anyone about it. He filed
grievances but they never received any meaningful resolution, and he was retaliated against for it they brought him outside and threatened to take away his visitation if he kept filing them. Phone
calls are expensive and keep him from calling his family.
The inmate filed multiple grievances and complaints in the past with no meaningful results. Some
were not assigned tracking numbers, showing they were not submitted properly and only
responded to by the offending CO, who dismissed it, and some never received responses at all. He
was assaulted on 5 to 6 occasions by COs, who used excessive force against him. When he
complained the COs wrote a false account of what happened, and the sergeants and captains
always sided with them. The CO's account of what happened was impossible with the way they
were situated in the room. Nobody investigated his grievance or spoke to inmates who witnessed
the beatings. He stopped writing grievances out of fear they would hurt him again. The COs also
retaliated against him for filing grievances. After one assault, he filed a complaint and was placed in
solitary confinement in a cell with no proper ventilation, where he was held for 6 months under
lockdown. They also harassed him more after that and would not help him with small things, such as
giving him toilet paper and giving him infractions so he looked like he had behavioral issues. He also
tried to see a doctor for back pain and they denied him, saying he was lying. He filed a grievance and
it took 6 months before he received an appointment. During that time he also had an infection in his
jaw, but was never seen by a doctor or given pills. The doctors don't want to provide care to
inmates and do the minimum possible. He had specialists from VMC prescribe medications, but the
doctors at the jail would not honor them. The COs also prevented him from seeing his doctor - they
took him out to the yard and made him miss his appointments. The grievance process will never
work if it is run internally - they need outside oversight, investigation, and enforcement of the
grievance procedure. He feels completely separated and isolated from the jail in ad seg, and the COs
only check on him every 2 hours. If he had an emergency he would likely die in there. There is no
hot water/hot pot, and insufficient cleaning supplies.
A-20

69.

70.

Before Mike Tyree's death there was a lot of physical abuse by the guards. He heard them dragging
inmates out and beating them in a remote area at night while they were handcuffed - you could
hear them screaming in pain/for help. They now turn off all the TVs if an inmate is being too loud he feels unfairly punished for the actions of others when they turn off his TV as it takes his mind off
his case and from jail. Some of the COs have bad attitudes towards the inmates, and don't speak to
them like grown men. One CO yelled at him for trying to talk out of his cell to another inmate and
accused him of checking out the nurse. The inmate, who was in his cell, got into an argument with
the CO. The CO called for backup and 4 or 5 COs came and dragged him to an interview room and
cuffed him to the floor and left him there for 4 or 5 hours, during which he could not go to the
bathroom. They also cuffed him too tight and the handcuffs cut into his wrists. They do this a lot to
punish inmates, sometimes leaving them there for 5 or 6 hours without bathroom breaks, and the
inmates end up going to the bathroom on the floor. He hasn't tried filing a grievance or complaint
because this kind of treatment seems normal here, and he's seen COs throw grievances in the trash
and retaliate against people who file them by tearing up their cells and messing up their things.
Nobody ever gave him information on grievances. They don't go outside enough - they go to the
yard three times per week for an hour and a half. Shower time is separate and there are only three
working showers. The water is ice cold (there is no hot water) and they only shower every other
day. They don't wash the clothing enough. The food is not very good and he is often still hungry
after they eat and commissary is expensive - the ramen is marked up tremendously. They have giant
cockroaches in the cells. He has reading glasses but he needs prescription glasses and filed a white
card for them. It took a month and they only scheduled him to see a nurse who had him read an eye
chart on the wall, but he still has not seen an optometrist and it has been 3 to 4 months. He still
does not have prescription glasses. He's heard of the Inmate Welfare fund through the free
stamps/envelope kit, but you have to pay the money back. Telephone calls are too expensive and
so are toothpaste and toothbrushes - they should give out more of those. They should take the
grievances and complaints out of the hands of the COs – the COs are not objective and they’re not
going to investigate – there’s an “us against them” mentality. 99% of the time the sergeant will
come in and sign with the officer; the person reviewing needs to be someone in a position with no
stake in it. • They want them to clean every Wednesdays – it isn’t always clean and they haven’t
been providing a broom and a mop every week and they have to clean their own cells; they used to
have an extra rag and they took it away, they said there’s no such thing as a floor towel. They only
get toilet paper with twice a week; it’s not enough to last them, sometimes the COs don’t bring it to
them.
The hot water doesn't work and it's not very clean or sanitary in the cells. They don't give many
cleaning supplies or clean around the toilet although they're housed with people who have staph
infections. The showers are ice cold and the water comes up to their ankles because the drain is
clogged. The COs just laugh at them and give them a plunger. The shower floor and drain is filled
with hair and there are feces on the ground in the showers from the flooding. There is also black
mold on the ground. There are CO officers who are still very aggressive with the inmates. He's seen
them snatch someone out of the shower and slam them into a wall. One CO gambles with the
inmates and curses, another appears at work smelling of alcohol - they are very unprofessional. He
heard the COs drag someone out of his cell and beat him - they told him to shut up. When medical
arrived to examine him after they'd beaten him the first thing medical told the inmate was also to
shut up. He was in a program once - Road to Recovery, and the instructor was unprofessional and
rude and called them "stupid f__s" although they were supposedly trying to rehabilitate them to
enter society. He never received information on how to file grievances. If you file a grievance, they
send you to more maximum security, kick your lunch at you, they come in and pull you out of your
A-21

71.

72.

unit, slam you against the wall, chain you in the cell and don’t let you go to the bathroom - people
go to the bathroom in there on the floor. The COs need to be retrained, fired, and tested regularly.
He fears for his safety because of some CO's Some of them also do a poor job of protecting inmates
from each other when they fight. They turn their backs on inmates fighting and let a guy attack him
in a group cell – he kept telling them that the guy was being aggressive and threatening him, he
asked them repeatedly to move cells because he feared for his safety and the guy ended up
physically attacking him – punching him – it took the COs more than 15 minutes to intervene. They
just put them both in handcuffs and chained him to the floor. The COs just laughed it off. The
inmate who attacked him was transferred to another group cell where he attacked someone else
and was finally moved to his own cell. He was afraid to be seen by medical for his injuries after the
attack because medical often writes up an event as if it was your fault and you end up having
charges pressed against you. He is being treated for mental health and the COs are rude to mentally
ill, mocking them and calling them names. At pill call they announce that the inmate is getting
mental health pills, telling his confidential health information to the whole floor. • The mental
health care here is poor – they come see you once every 6 to 8 weeks – he has to talk to certain
psychiatrists because his pills need to fluctuate with his mood; they don’t come to adjust
medication; the psych had an attitude and cut him off a few of his meds without explaining why.
Some of the food is uncooked and they don't pass out soap. The clothing is washed with so much
detergent that they make him itch. He has been in Roadmap to Recovery and found it helpful but he
would change a lot about the programs. They should be held in a group and he would have
someone appointed to assist the individuals with the help they need; you can’t expect an addict to
figure out something he hasn’t figured out in 20 years, especially if they had little education and
can't read well. They need someone to take the time and break it down for them to understand. The
teachers are also full of rage – the teacher didn’t help in that situation and his attitude was
discouraging. He had to ask other inmates, his family, and his lawyer for help with reading the
material and managed to graduate. He feels afraid for his safety because the inmate was killed - he
wonders if he could be next. Classification is poor - he politely asked the officers to help him when
another cellmate was threatening him and they just moved him to maximum security. The officers
need to be taught about sexual harassment/abuse – sometimes they come in and play porn on their
phones loudly and over the PA system, they’re not supposed to be on their phones at all. Phone
calls are difficult to make and expensive.
The inmate is speaking on behalf of himself and his cellmates. The showers are unsanitary and there
are only 3 working showerheads and no hot pot. He is not sure the number of inmates to the
number of sinks and toilets is hygienic. They have too little clothing and they don't get clean
clothing often enough - it's unsanitary. They've filed complaints regarding the showers and it has
never been fixed; it's been a problem for a few years now. He's seen inmates file grievances against
COs, if it's serious they see a sergeant but they're always biased in favor of the officers. The COs are
aggressive when they don't have to be and snatch people from their pods - he's heard them yelling
and screaming in pain down the hall. He eats food from commissary but without a hot pot he can't
cook it properly. They don't come out enough - twice a week for one hour; they took away their
basketball courts and put up kennels so they go out and stand there. They shower every other day it's not enough. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund and the phone calls are expensive and
prevented him from calling his family. They give too few cleaning supplies to keep the cells clean. It
also takes 30 to 90 days to see a doctor after you submit a request for medical care (white card). He
never received information about the grievance process.
The COs retaliate against inmates who file grievances; they shake down the cells and toss everything
on the floor, then tell the other inmates the person who filed the grievance and say "You can thank
A-22

73.

74.

___ for the shakedown," endangering that inmate and causing conflict - other inmates could take
revenge if they wanted. The inmate turned in a grievance about this, but grievances they turn in end
up being given to the CO they're complaining about, even if they give it to a different CO. He was
called "chickenshit" for complaining on a another CO's shift by the offending CO. They received a
response back saying the inmate was disrespectful and that they could conduct security searches
anytime. There are a few COs who are very disrespectful to the inmates, who generally try to be
respectful. They don't feel the issue was properly addressed, and the person reviewing grievances
should be more independent and open minded, and actually consult with the inmates about what
they heard to verify the inmates' side of the story. With regard to their cells, they have to run water
for an hour before it gets warm. He's heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund beverage incentive but they
never received anything, and they haven't had soda in the jail for years. The Roadmap to Recovery
program was helpful and changed his way of thinking, but they should reward the students with a
movie day for good work to take their mind off the tension in jail. The teachers and COs can add
tension to the environment. They also don't give the inmates enough to do (such as board games or
other activities); he feels they wouldn't be doing things they shouldn't in jail if they had more to
occupy their them. People also become aggressive and lash out at each other. There are times when
he's been housed in open dorms where he's felt in danger. Also, some inmates can't afford soap and
they never pass out free soap anymore. The cost of calls can also be expensive and he hasn't spoken
to some of his family because of it. The outer set of clothing is also changed too little - once a weekand gets dirty from when they clean their cells. He also feels that the tables are too small in the
group cells for large groups of people, many inmates have to eat in their bunks there.
The walls of the building are moldy and the roof is caving in. The bathroom floors are flooded and
there are feces floating on the floor in the shower, so he doesn't use the showers, he just takes bird
baths. They are supposed to be let out in the yard every other day, but they only get out every 3 to
4 days for an hour, and the COs only offer to let them outside at 6AM. They are supposed to rotate
times but it never happened. They don't have a hot pot, and less program than other floors with the
same security level. The inmate wrote a grievance about the hot pot and they were retaliated
against. The inmate and his cellmates were taken to the showers and had to wait there while the
COs raided and trashed their cells and took away all their underpants, shirts, socks, and any extra
uneaten food. He never received information on the grievance process from the jail. The inmate
requested to go to a program dorm two weeks ago but has not received a response. He was not
aware of the other programs from Inmate Welfare Fund although he's heard of some other
programs and is interested, but does not know how to enroll. The phone calls are expensive and has
kept him from calling his family. The cell conditions are poor- they are old and run down and they
are not able to clean them as much as they'd like. There is no hot water. The socks are stiff and the
towels are black when they should be orange. The inmates have floor towels that are thrown in the
wash with the regular towels -he feels it's unsanitary. They're supposed to go outside but they never
really go out and the COs try to discourage the inmates from going out by saying that it's raining or
damp because they don't want to take them outside. He doesn't do a good job of protecting
inmates from each other - they just ask inmates when there's a conflict if they've settled it between
themselves. The inmates say yes to avoid talking to them.
They only receive one set of clothing per week. They're in lockdown for 72 hours and are expected
to clean their cells without adequate cleaning supplies; they end up using shampoo, soap, and their
toilet paper to clean. They're not given enough toilet paper. The food is disgusting and he won't eat
it - he gets commissary instead but it's expensive. He's filed grievances with other inmates over time
outside (in the yard) and the air conditioning, which is turned up too high. It takes 3 to 4 months to
even receive a verbal response, and it usually isn't a real response. He's seen COs use excessive
A-23

75.

force against inmates - it's happened randomly and usually comes from the same CO's It's happened
2to 3 times in the past few months. When they go out in the yard the inmates can't use the
bathroom outside as it's very unsanitary - nobody will use it. Nobody has given him information
about the grievance process and he's never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. They go for days
without hot water in the cells and they don't shower every day. One of the cells had a sewage leak
and there was flooding with feces leaking out. You could smell it in the tier and they asked the CO to
clean it- he said it wasn't his job and had a trustee clean it two days later. They pass the phones
back and forth and the cords drag on the ground - it's unsanitary. The visitations are hard – you
have to be here an hour before your visit – his wife has 2 kids; it’s not fair for them to sit a whole
hour – sometimes they don’t let them see them – they say there’s a facility lockdown but it’s not
even in that area, but they don’t get to see their family. The phone is too expensive and the food is
expensive in commissary compared to anywhere else; they’re not getting sodas
The inmate feels he is improperly classified. He started as a maximum security inmate, but was
downclassed to general population and then downclassed again to a program dorm. He was then
spontaneously "upclassed" and sent to maximum security. People are usually sent to maximum
security from lower security levels for fighting, new charges or some infraction. He filed multiple
requests to be downclassed to the captain, some of which never received responses, and when she
responded she said his complaint would be forwarded to the Lieutenant of Classification who would
respond to him. Sometimes he did not receive responses to his requests for classification and had to
file a grievance or a second request after waiting for a few months with no response. The
classification department would then deny him by simply stating that he wasn't qualified and that
he needed to show a period of good behavior. The inmate then filed grievances regarding the
denials. The same Lieutenant who denied his classification request then responded to his grievance,
saying that he was not qualified to be downclassed and said he needed a period of good behavior.
The inmate feels he does not have infractions on his record that warrant the classification. He had
three infractions total since entering the jail, two of which were dismissed by the lieutenant or
sergeant. The only remaining infraction on his record occurred after he was placed in maximum
security without explanation, and was not related to violence or fighting. It was an infraction for
having leftover food in his cell that he had not eaten from breakfast (the inmates have 30 minutes
to eat their food). To improve the grievance procedure, he would have all grievances be forwarded
to the captain for review; in reality the grievances only stop at the COs or sergeants, or at most the
lieutenant and the captain doesn’t know how the grievances are being resolved. The captain could
oversee if certain grievances are handled correctly and if there are patterns of mishandled
grievances, which would assure accountability from top to bottom. He also feels the jail does not
give enough cleaning supplies and he cleans with comet and shampoo, and the floors are not swept
or mopped for weeks. He’s in Roadmaps to Recovery program – it’s usually difficult to get in
because there is a long waiting list. He didn’t really like the program because it focuses on
awareness on how to stop social behavior with drugs and alcohol – when he started he was already
2 years sober from being incarcerated; certain aspects of the program are good for someone on the
streets, but they should have a program geared towards inmates re-entering society. He received a
jail handbook when he came in with the grievance procedure, but there is a more thorough step by
step version of the grievance process online that he had his mom print and send to him. For their
time out in the yard, there are cages on the sundeck and there's nothing to do out there - there's
just a cage, a camera, and a floor. There is only a small portion of the yard that's uncaged where
they can play handball, but they only allow 2 people on at a time; when he first came there was a
basketball and handball court and 4 people were allowed on at one time. They built pullup and dip
A-24

76.

77.

bars but only did that after the lawsuit. They only get showers every other day. Phone calls are
expensive but his family supports him, so he is able to call them.
The guards use excessive force and he has been beaten by the COs around 4 times since he's been
in this jail. On the first occasion the COs shoved him against a wall and twisted his arms behind his
back when they asked about his tattoos and he didn't want to talk about them. In the other cases
they beat him while he was handcuffed. He filed a grievance about the beatings and it was returned
without resolution, only saying that he could take legal action; he called internal affairs and they
told him they would investigate but could not tell him the outcome of the investigation. The same
officers who beat him still occasionally work his floor. Recently, he was recovering from surgery and
the COs were angry at someone else for working out loudly and told him to control them although
they were in a different cell. The inmate told the CO that was their job. They later came and did a
sweep of the cells, strip searching the inmates and giving them new clothes that were all too small.
They opened the door and handcuffed him in the back of his cell and grabbed him by the hair and
started beating him and his cellmate and placed his cellmate in an empty cell. When they came back
to the cell the guards had thrown everything everywhere and destroyed their property. There were
footmarks on the pillows, destroyed personal items, and ripped family photos. He suffered two
black eyes and other injuries from the beating. He called internal affairs and a CO came in the next
day and intimidated him, saying he was snitching to internal affairs and filing grievances. The inmate
had to file a grievance for the CO to be kept away. He was transferred to another floor, but still visits
the inmate's floor regularly. The grievance that he filed against the CO was given to an officer on
another shift, but that officer gave it to the CO who he complained about, although he does not
even work on their floor, which is outside protocol. It is supposed to go to officers working on the
same floor and eventually to the sergeant overseeing that floor. The same CO that he had written
the grievance about had written on the grievance that his allegations were false and put it in his
gate, showing nothing had happened with it. He never received information on how to file a
grievance when he came to jail. He’s filed over 25 grievances – all in response to being beaten by
the CO's He always gets responses from sergeants and lieutenants saying that his accusations have
no merit, and he does not feel the process is meaningful in any way. He wrote a letter to the captain
two months ago to appeal the grievance and has not heard any response. The clothing is in bad
condition and not changed often enough - they have to wash their clothes with their own soap, but
they don't receive enough soap either. They also do not receive enough cleaning supplies. There
was sewage leaking out for four days on their floor and the COs were dragging phone cords and
food cart through it and walking in it. It is unsanitary. They also have too little time in the yard - only
1.5 hours 3 days per week and there is nothing to do there - they are just dog kennel cages with
nothing inside them. He has also been repeatedly denied re-classification to a lower security level
multiple times for no reason - they never give a justification. They used to review peoples' cases
every 69 days, but they don't do that anymore. He hasn't received glasses after requesting them
over a year ago. The jail said there is nobody to pay for it. He saw the doctor in the jail; they set up
an appointment after he filled out a white card; a nurse had him read a line on the wall and read it 5
or 6 times in each eye – she told him to read the same line in the right eye and he remembered it
and told her; she said there was nothing wrong with his eyes. His family has a hard time getting a
spot to visit him as the slots are limited. They used to have to stay in the lobby overnight to ensure
that they'd get a spot to see him.
He has requested to be re-classified multiple times to a lower security level and is always denied for
no reason. He has not had a disciplinary issue for over a year, and the charges were dropped for the
original disciplinary issue that had him moved to the maximum security floor in the first place. He
filed grievances about the classification issue but they kept giving him a response saying that he’s a
A-25

78.

threat to general population inmates and that he’s properly housed; he has not tried to file again as
he feels the process is meaningless. He never received information from the jail on the grievance
process. He was also retaliated against for filing grievances - he was denied an open cell that he
wanted for no reason and the CO said the only reason he could have been denied was probably
because he had filed a grievance in the past. He’s had COs use intimidation against him and they put
on their shackles too tight while they searched his cell. He has seen the budget posted for the
Inmate Welfare Fund but does not know what it is. Visitation is difficult because there are limited
spots for family members and they fill up almost immediately. In the South jail they only have
visitation four days per week and his family can only get certain days off work to see him. He tried
to access medical care but sometimes they don’t receive the responses they want – he was having
irritation in his throat/tonsils and they just gave him cough medicine although he didn’t have a
cough. He also has trouble scheduling appointments- they’ll give a certain day for the appointment
and then change it without warning; they tend to schedule them on days they have court. It has
taken a month and a half to see a dentist after he put in the request and they only do the bare
minimum - filling cavities and pulling teeth. The attorneys are only allowed to see them at a certain
time lately – they only have a window from 9 to 11 in the morning (he’s not sure if it’s certain days)
and they’re under lockdown a lot and their attorneys have busy schedules and find it difficult to see
them now. They don't receive clean clothing often enough and have to clean their clothes with their
own soap. A lot of the clothing is ripped (like the underwear) and full of holes. The officers are
known to search the cell, damage personal property (such as family photos), and throw away food
items – sometimes they do it to retaliate against someone on the tier, for example if someone is in a
verbal dispute with the officer. They do out of cell time in the yard either too early or too late - at
6AM or 10PM. He doesn’t see the purpose of the kennels outside – they go from one cage to
another and they just bring you and your cellmate; there’s only one bathroom that’s pretty dirty out
there and they tell them to wait until they go back in. The food is not very good and he relies on
commissary, and there is rarely hot water to bathe with – it is usually cold.
Mental Health: Doesn’t like to take medication, but he thinks they are going to give him
medication. He has met with mental health before and he finds it comforting. He’s afraid if he tells
some things to the doctor that he will get locked on a psych ward or in an insane asylum.
Sometimes he gets very frustrated because he has memory issues and sometimes he misses court
dates because of it. When he gets really frustrated, he wants to just cause chaos because he wants
the world to suffer with him. He’s afraid if he tells mental health about some of these thoughts
they’ll do something bad to him.
Use of Force: Has seen a good change with the officers recently. Usually when the inmates get
treated poorly it’s because they are acting up.
Culture: The inmates kind of keep themselves under control. The inmates police one another's
behavior because they won't want one inmate to ruin things for everyone else. Out of Cell Time:
Gets about an hour twice a day. Sometimes only 20 minutes. Within the dorm they are broken into
small groups, but he does seem to think that was for legitimate reasons. Programs: Would be nice
to have art. Need more writing materials, like normal sized pencils. Reentry: There is a place called
“reentry” but he hasn’t ever used it. Medical: Pretty responsive in emergencies. Hygiene/Cleaning
Supplies: Doesn’t get enough soap. Don’t get deodorant. Need rags or something to clean. They
have to put their hand in the toilet and clean with the green scouring pads. Would be nice to have
gloves but doesn't think they will get them. IWF: Forgets to request the indigent soap. He has
memory issues from falling on his head. Razors: The staff disciplines them when they keep razors.
They are restricted from being out of cell with other people. Some people use the razors to sharpen
their pencils because the pencil sharpeners don’t work. He says there wouldn’t be a need to steal
A-26

79.

80.

the razors if they had a working pencil sharpener. He seemed to suggest that razors might be
coming in from outside but he didn’t come out and say that to me. He says security is tighter here
than in prison. Games: The game boards are very old.
Mental Health: Gets medication for mental health. Also has consultations to ask how the
medication is working. A lot of people get put on a lot of psych medication. Basically it just makes
people tired. Everyone seems to get the same medication “Risperdal,” “Depakote,” and “Rimrod.”
He was on medication to wean him off of drug abuse before he entered the jail, but here they just
took him off cold turkey. Some people are walking around here like zombies.
Use of Force: One time he was handcuffed after being maced, and got kneed the face multiple
times although he was not resisting and he was already on the ground. He has seen in other
inmates get DA referrals if they tell the nurses or lieutenants or sergeants about inappropriate use
of force. After the incident when he was kneed in the face, the sergeant told him they were
debating whether to give him a DA referral or just a write up. He feels like the Sergeant told him
that for a reason, and that reason was to keep him from reporting it. Housing: Thinks it would be
better if the sundecks were all combined, but he thinks they are broken up because there are so
many protective custody inmates. They have games in the cell and TVs. There are no windows in
the cell. The vents are really dirty, and blow out black soot. Today there is no hot sink water. There
is no hot (boiled) water in this area so they can’t get cup of noodle or rice or anything that needs
hot water. In other counties, sometimes they bring a big hot water thermos and serve it twice a
day. They do not get a pillow. They have to buy it from commissary. Culture: A lot of the deputies
are fine, but the living conditions are bad. Guards pick up bad habits from other guards. Often they
are just playing with their phones. Out of Cell Time: Get about 1 or 2 hours twice a week. In the
sundecks that have handball, there is a very narrow space. Got more time out of the cells when he
was in North. Programs: There is nothing productive to do. Both programs are “run of the mill”
typical programs. Would be nice to have a pre-release program. Would be nice to have more
programs for people with mental health or addiction issues. No rehabilitation here, just sitting
around waiting. Some inmates are prevented from participating in some programs because of
classification problems. Reentry: There is a reentry center across the street that is really good if
people are willing to use it. Usually probation office lets them know about it, and a coordinator
does come around, but inmates kind of have to find out about it themselves. Some people might
not know about it. Some people get out at 10 at night and there is nowhere for them to go.
Medical: Terrible. Just stopped charging people for white cards. Very concerned with drug seeking
behavior. Will not prescribe pain management medication. He received Tylenol when he had
staples in his head. Sometimes it takes weeks for a white card request. Staff seems more concerned
with preventing the distribution of drugs than treating patients. In other counties, they solve the
issue by dissolving medication in water and watching inmates drink it. Phones: Cost too much.
Need a new carrier. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: There are very large cockroaches. Get one set of
clothes, and take showers every other day in cold water. Only get clean clothes twice a week. Take
“bird baths” to keep clean. Need an extra cleaning towel. Inmates receive no washcloth to wash
their bodies with. Classification: Inmate files are to be reviewed every 30 days. But he hasn’t been
downclassed despite the reviews. He hasn’t had any incidents. Many people don’t get downclassed
for over a year.
Visitation: No problems yet. Grievance: Filed one grievance and was told they couldn’t do anything
about it. Sergeant actually talked to him about it but said he basically didn’t have a legitimate
grievance they could solve. Culture: Night officers are grumpier. Don’t get soap at night. Don’t give
them program time. Out of Cell Time: Get about 4 hours per week. Used to be a big yard, but now
it’s broken up into smaller “kennels.” Programs: Doesn’t think there are any programs here. The
A-27

81.

82.

programs are mostly on 7B. Reentry: He has never been told about any reentry programs.
Medical: Inmates get a physical once a year. They gave him an X-Ray of his chest and he's not sure
why. He has never submitted a request. Phones: Cost went down recently, but they drop the calls
a lot and they can’t get reimbursed. The telephone guy will say maybe the call recipient had bad
reception but he’s calling a landline. The deputies sometimes turn off the phones while they are
mid-call. Commissary: Best part of jail. He consistently gets what he orders. Food: If he didn’t have
commissary he would starve. For him it would definitely not be enough food but he says he eats a
lot. The meals don't really cover all the nutrients they need. The meat isn’t real meat.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: It is not sanitary at all. Showers are broken. For at least 5 months the
showers haven’t been working in his area. They have to use neighboring showers and they smell like
urine. They are permitted to shower every other day, but there isn’t enough time. They only let
the trustees clean the showers every other day. The drains in the shower don’t work so they have
to plunge it. 40 people are using the same 3 showers. The other set of 3 showers are not working.
He has never gotten dirty clothes. They get laundry twice a week. That’s not enough. They wash
their clothes themselves. They usually wait until they get good quality clothes and keep washing it
themselves. The trustees often are able to keep an extra set of clothes. They get 2 blankets now,
but didn't used to. It’s very cold down here.
Visitation: Sister couldn’t visit cause they said his appointments were booked up even though he
had no visitors. Grievance: Never got a response when he filed a grievance about medical.
Accountability of Jail Staff: Only sees the sergeants once a week. Out of Cell Time: Gets yard 3
times per week. About an hour or an hour and a half. Programs: Never been told about programs.
Reentry: No services. Medical: Been in a lot of pain over an injury to his face. The doctor doesn’t
believe people. Doctor gave him Tylenol and said if it keeps bothering him he can see a specialist.
Hasn’t been able to sleep well. He has to live with the pain. The ibuprofen he got messes with his
stomach. He had to wait about a month and a half to be put on a list to see a specialist. Even
though the doctor knows people are in pain but tries to push the problem down the road to delay
treatment. Phones: Sometimes when he buys a phone card he never gets it. He can’t reach his
attorney. Food: Food is nasty. He heard they are supposed to get 2 hot meals a day but usually
they don’t. He doesn’t eat any of the food, only commissary. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Showers
are clogged up so the water is clogged up to their ankles. 3 showers for at least 40 people.
Sometimes people get soap but sometimes they run out.
Visitation: This area only gets visits on Saturdays and Sundays. They don’t let his visitors schedule
far in advance anymore. Visitors have to schedule it the day before the visit. If the visitor doesn’t
show up they have to wait for the whole hour anyway. Grievance: They don’t advertise it.
Programs: Not on this floor. Culture: If fights are going to happen, it’s going to happen in the snake
pits. (A guard told me this area is called the snake pits because the inmates are packed so closely
together). Out of Cell Time: Gets yard twice a week for an hour. Reentry: Just started a reentry
process but it’s not for everybody. Only for people on probation or parole. Generally don’t hook
people up with resources. Medical: Takes about a month to see the doctor. Phones: Phones stay
on pretty much all day. Phones are cut off sometimes, so they have to use more money to call back.
If the call is dropped in under a minute they reimburse you. If it’s over a minute they don’t. The call
recipient has to call to complain to get reimbursed. Food: Food is nasty here. The cooks are bad.
They have a meal they call "cat food." Other jails have better food, but the portions are bigger
here. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Used to shower in their unit, but they’re broken so they have to
shower in a different unit which is usually flooded. There is no hot water in the unit (sink). One of
the 2 toilets doesn’t work. In one sink the cold water doesn’t work either. Inmates get one roll of
toilet paper once a week and it’s not enough. Inmates get laundry twice a week. Laundry isn’t
A-28

83.

84.

clean when it comes back. Don’t get soap if there is money on their account. Costs $1.20 at the
store. Inmates have to have a 0 balance to get the free soap. But if they have a good rapport with
the officers they can get soap. Staff don’t give out toothpaste. The only get a small tube when they
first come in. A lot of people do “bird baths” because the shower water is so cold. Clothing: Just
started providing coats 2 days ago for when they are in the yard in cold or rainy weather.
Mental Health: Got a mental health assessment when he came which consisted of them asking if he
felt like killing himself. If you want to see mental health for stress, you really need to keep
requesting it over and over again. Use of Force: Quick to threaten the pepper spray. He has seen
people come back after a confrontation with guards with black eyes. During cell extractions he has
seen someone get their heads slammed against the concrete floor. When people have military
training, the officers will use more force. Grievance: When they file one, they do get a piece of
paper back and often it does have a sergeant’s name on it. Retaliation: Every time an inmate puts
in a grievance, they raid the rooms. Only happens whenever someone files a grievance. He thinks
people didn’t want to talk to us because they would be retaliated against. Accountability: Sergeant
comes by once every 2 weeks or so. It varies. Housing: Beds squeak, it’s cold, 12 people sharing 3
showers, toilets and sinks are leaking, the floors were wet constantly for about a month until a
plumber came. Out of Cell Time/Culture: Get out of their cells every 2 or 3 days. They are supposed
to go out in the freezing cold, in the rain at 6 in the morning. They will be stuck out there for an
hour. The guards laugh at them. Guards will harass them and slam the doors and do a check when
people are sleeping around 2 or 3 in the morning. Guards can be disrespectful. Usually the
younger guards are more disrespectful, though that is not always the case. Depends on who is
doing the training. He thinks this county is very corrupt. Programs: He isn’t aware of any programs
except in 7b. Medical: He has been dealing with an abscess in his teeth. He has been told that it
can kill him if it ruptures. He has requested a stronger pain medication because it throbs while he is
sleeping and it is painful to chew. He has a stack of at least 10 white cards. The nurses say that he
needs to keep submitting white cards. When they go to medical, they are put in a nasty holding cell
for a long time. They don’t do vision care here. Phones: Can’t tell his family what’s going on
because the phone calls are recorded. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Cockroaches are running around
in the showers. They have black mold in the showers. Smells like urine. There are piles of hair,
feces, and dirt in the showers. Inmates are not allowed extra towels or clothes. Only get one set
twice a week. Women at Elmwood get extra clothes. Inmates here wash their clothes in the toilet.
He doesn't get the free soap. He has to get other people to buy soap for him. He received soap in
other units, but not where he is now. The brooms and mops are so dirty that it won't help clean
their cells. They use cardboard from their lunchboxes to sweep the floor. Before people come to
visit, the staff clean things up. They won’t show us the medical holding cells (urine, blood, vomit,
feces, spit), the court holding cells. Food: It’s nutrition but it’s nasty. Bologna everyday. Breakfast
at 4. Slice of bologna, maybe a bagel, jelly and milk. Fruit every now and then, or cereal.
Sometimes you can’t even tell what it is you are eating. Sometimes there is stuff he wouldn’t even
feed a cat. Vegetables are overcooked and no longer seem to have nutritional value. Only get 15
minutes to eat their food. If they want to keep the fruit, it gets confiscated. Officer sensitivity – this
inmate needs two sets of cuffs because of an injury. The officers tell him he is not going to get
special treatment. He was told they will only accommodate his injury if he gets a “chrono” (white
wristband signifying that he has a medical issue).
Mental Health: It takes 2 weeks – 1 month to see mental health. If you say you are having suicidal
thoughts, they take all personal items away from the inmate, leaving only a mattress. Use of Force:
One of his old cellmates started losing it because he wasn’t getting any out of cell time, and the
officers threw him down and said things like “shut the fuck up, I’m going to break your face,” and
A-29

85.

stomped on his bare feet with their boots. The cuffs were tight enough to leave marks on his wrists.
Visitation: He always gets brought to visitation late, and he doesn’t know why. Grievance: He
doesn’t file grievances because he knows that the deputies will retaliate against them. The deputies
will slam inmates against the wall, and their cells get searched. When the deputies are retaliating,
they will mess up the whole cell, throw things on the ground. Wants a place where they can keep
their legal papers cause they all go missing when they search the cells. Seems like they do it cause
they don’t want to work. When they do file grievances they do get a written response. One of the
arrested officers said he repeatedly threatened to check the inmates buttholes and he and fifteen
other inmates filed complaints. The sergeant dismissed his grievance because his charges were
serious. Basically the sergeant said, your charges are so serious, how can you feel threatened by
anybody. Accountability of Jail Staff: Sees the sergeant in the dorm once a week. When people like
us come through the jail, that’s when the staff are on their best behavior. Out of Cell Time: They
usually get yard time at 6 in the morning. Today they had it later in the day and he thinks it is
because we are here. Programs: 7B is the only dorm with programs. Isolation: The isolation floor
has the worst deputies. They go out of their way to mess with inmates. They used to knock his trash
into his cell. Phones: They turn off the phones from 5 to 7 in the afternoon because of shift change.
Commissary: The dorm needs a hot pot to eat a lot of the stuff, but in this dorm they don’t have
any hot water. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Bathrooms are horrible. The shower area is dirty (dirt,
hair, trash/lint, feces), they get flooded, they have seen really big cockroaches. The drain gets
clogged up regularly. Food: His cellmate gets diarrhea very often. They filed a grievance but got
retaliated against. No flavor. Just enough to not starve. Go to sleep hungry everyday. Dinner is a
little bigger. Clothes: Only get laundry twice a week.
Visitation: It’s hard to get visits. The appointments are first come first serve so visitors have to
schedule them at midnight sometimes. The visitor rooms are very dirty. Inmates safety: Doesn’t
have to worry about other inmates hurting him. Culture: Some of the guards are pretty cool, others
are lazy and don’t get them things that they need, so they have to file grievances. Use of Force: He
asked a guard to help him because he didn’t get a full set of clothes he was a little mad. The guard
slammed the door, came back and searched his room, throwing photos and legal papers and coffee
on the floor, the guard tried to grab him and he threw the guard off. The guard threw him against
the wall in his cell, he got on the ground when he realized more guards were coming, 15-20 guards
came in, grabbed him, used a camera to video tape. A guard twisted his hand and threw him
against the ground, stomped on his feet. He fractured a bone. Grievance: He put in a grievance for
use of force and never got a response. Housing: Only get hot water in the sink in the morning, the
rest of the day it’s cold. Here they have to use the phones through a slot in their cell gate. When he
was in 4 there were cockroaches. Court holding cells have no toilet paper and they are very dirty.
Out of Cell Time: Gets about twice a week for about an hour and thirty minutes in the “dog cages”
in the yard and sometimes it’s at midnight or 1 am. He’s freezing and wet. The guards typically
make them wait to use the restroom. Only put 2 people in each “dog cage.” Programs: No
programs in his dorm.
Medical: Had an injury that left him swollen and in pain. Took about a month. His bone was broken
and they kept giving him ice but he didn’t get an X-Ray for a month. The guards took his bandages
away. Then he had to wait another 2 months to get another bandage. He asked his lawyer to help
him get an appointment. His lawyer recommended that he file a grievance. He never filed one
cause he didn’t think it would work. He made a medical request for itchy skin and they gave him
dandruff shampoo. Phones: Have to set a time for the dorm to make calls. Sometimes they get
cut off if they are making a call at the shift change time. They don’t get a warning. Sometimes the
calls get dropped. Commissary: No boiling water available in the dorm for the food. Has to use the
A-30

86.

soap from commissary to clean everything. Food: Can’t eat the food they give him because it is so
bad, he only eats commissary food. IWF: They have gotten more workout equipment.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Washes his own clothes. Has had the same pants for 4 months. Cleans
cells with the soap he buys, cause the Ajax isn’t enough. Have to sneak extra towels to use for
cleaning. Only have access to showers every other day. They barely give out any soap and they
don’t really work. People have gotten scabies. He get rashes he thinks from dry skin. This dorm
doesn’t have a trustee to clean the cells. Haircuts: only do it once a month or less. Sometimes
there isn’t enough time to get to everyone. The people who cut their hair aren’t professional and
don’t seem to know what they are doing. Clothing: It’s pretty old. Bins: Only get one bin to keep
personal items. Nowhere to keep his paperwork. Searches: Even when they keep all there stuff in
their bins, they still get dumped during a search sometimes. Plumber: The thinks the plumber
purposely breaks things to get more work. Vision care: Need vision care. They gave him an eye
test, said he is nearsighted but he never got a prescription.
Mental Health: Once a year they come in and ask if people are suicidal. Use of Force: There was a
fight in his dorm and everyone in the area got maced. Two officers who have since been put on
leave or fired told him they would take off his cuffs if he wanted to fight. They didn’t, but one of the
deputies backhanded him while he was cuffed. The officer that backhanded him saw him in a
different dorm later and pulled him out of his cell, and insinuated publicly in front of the other
inmates that he was coming to inform on the other inmates. They brought him into an interview
room and tried to find out if he was going to file a grievance. Threatened to fight him again. He said
no, he wants to talk to his attorney. He told the deputy, if he would just leave him alone, he
wouldn’t file a grievance or a lawsuit. Once he said that, they took him back to his cell. The other
deputy tried to apologize to him. Seemed like he knew the other deputy was in the wrong, but
wasn’t willing to stand up to him. Hasn’t had any other incidents. Has seen other inmates get
beaten to the point where they are crying. Sometimes even after the inmate is subdued, the
officers keep going. Visitation: Get 2 one hour visits per week. Until about a year ago, visitors had
to come at midnight and wait because visits were first come, first served. 4 visitor days per week.
Grievance: He gets a response when he files grievances. He has grievance the grievance process.
He was told that his grievances weren’t being processed outside the floor. Sergeants were signing
off and lieutenants weren’t reviewing them. Sometimes it doesn’t even go to the Sergeant. He was
told that even if the grievance is checked as resolved, a sergeant does review it. Inmates have been
told that group grievances are not allowed, but he reviewed the handbook and it says that group
grievances are allowed. Accountability: In the last month or so, there are a lot more tours and
people conducting interviews. Sees sergeants about once a week. Rarely sees the lieutenants or
captains maybe once every six months. Never seen the Sheriff herself in here. Some of the officers
are great. Others are hotheaded. Housing: Always have leaks, but plumbers come. He thinks they
purposely don’t fix it so they get called back. Once, everyone’s toilets flooded. Culture: When he
was getting yelled at by the deputies who he had an issue with, they threatened to tell the “OG”
inmates that he was being disrespectful. Sees a drastic change in the deputies behavior since a lot of
incidents have been in the news. They used to raid their cells more often. They have been more
courteous, received more workout equipment. Use older/more respected inmates to keep younger
inmates in line. Out of Cell: 3 hours a week in the yard “dog kennels.” Only taken out there with
their own cellmates. They are able to talk to the other inmates in the dorm, but through fences.
Just enough space to do push ups and jumping jacks, and now they have dip bars. Programs: Have
12 step program. No GED or further drug and alcohol classes unless you are on the 7th Floor.
Medical: No eye doctor. Has glasses that aren’t his prescription. He was able to receive a court
order to see an optometrist because he is pro per. He was told that his options were to get help
A-31

87.

from friends outside (they would come with random glasses and see if they work) or to have his
family pay $18,000 for transportation to the optometrist. Phones: They have a phone on wheels
and they have access to the phone for 1 hour per day while they are in cells. IWF: Doesn’t know
where the money is going. They do have TVs. They used to give out soap fairly often but they don’t
seem to hand it out anymore. Thinks maybe they give them if you ask for it. Sexual Misconduct:
During cell extractions, they have pulled the inmates’ pants off and drag them down the hallway, in
one case they grabbed him by his underwear. More like humiliation than sexually motivated
though. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Give a green gleaning solution and comet. A green scouring
pad. Usually they give out a floor towels, but sometimes they confiscate them. Food: Better than
Alameda county. Classification: Some people have been classified in this dorm for more than two
years. When they file requests, they are informed they are properly housed. Nobody gives them
any information about how they can be downclassed. He got moved because of an altercation his
cellmate was involved in. He was put in solitary confinement. He believes this was a punishment
without due process. Doesn’t seem to be any way to get out of double red.
Mental Health: He sees people degrade from the person they are when they come in and when
they get to the end of their time here when their case is finally adjudicated. Use of Force: He has
been kicked in the head and thrown to the ground, punched in the ribs, his cellmate got beaten
when he still had stitches from surgery, yanked out clumps of hair, dragged out of their cells half
naked, slammed against walls. Has permanent scars from the handcuffs from this day. Maced for
no reason (thought they were flushing contraband but they weren’t). Yanked their underwear hard
enough to cause rug burn. Cellmate had black eyes.
Visitation: Have to log on around midnight to be able to get a visit. Their visits get cut short cause
they don’t always get there on time because there is a lot of traffic. Consistently gets two visits per
week. Grievance: Usually gets ridiculous responses to them. In one case, he got a response from a
higher ranking officer, but the response didn’t have anything to do with his complaint, it seemed to
be more of a motivational message. He also got an infraction during one of the incidents that lead
to one of his grievances, the officer that signed a statement about the incident was not even there.
Usually get an answer to pacify the inmates or shut them down. Only get the forms back about half
the time. He thinks the process is a joke. He has been able to write the captain. Had to request a
form from an officer who admitted he hadn’t seen one in a while. Accountability: If the beatings
were on videotape or a sergeant were around they wouldn’t be doing it. There is supposed to be a
sergeant or video for every cell extraction. Sergeant claimed he was present overseeing 4 cell
extractions that happened at the same time, which isn’t really possible. Housing: Afraid of getting
cancer because there is asbestos in the walls. The deputies have admitted they worry about the
same thing. Stuff is caked on the walls. Deputies have told him, that when they have to repair the
walls that they have to quarantine the area because there is asbestos. The plumbing is always an
issue. Multiple times the hall has been flooded with up to 6 inches of water for hours. They are
stuck in the cells for that. Have been handcuffed to chairs for hours in the dining area. There is
feces and cockroaches in the water. Water spews out of the drains. They are not regularly taking
out the trash so people are flushing trash down the toilets to keep from attracting cockroaches. He
has woken up with cockroaches on his body. There are a few hours of warm water in the showers
or sink in the morning and that’s it. Out of Cell: Usually get 1-1.5 hours three times per week. In
the kennels. No bathrooms, no way to get water. If one person needs to use the restroom, they all
have to go back in. Hasn’t seen the sun overhead in 4 years. Usually take them out early in the
morning or late at night. Lately they have been taking them out after 11 p.m. 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 a.m.
Even in the rain. Programs: One recovery program for people in this dorm but that’s it. It’s just
books. Friends or family can purchase books and send it through catholic charities. Can also get
A-32

88.

them through the Chaplain. Culture: Sometimes it seems like the beating are just sadistic and not
for discipline or to keep order. Has seen a lot of changes in the last 6 months. Finally got 2 blankets
and pull up bars in the yard, but the bars aren’t installed yet. Isolation: Inmates in isolation cells are
more susceptible to being beaten up because no one can see. Medical: He has been denied
medical care because the doctor says he’s worried about getting in trouble for prescribing too much
medication. Has had a half done root canal for 3 years. Doctor said he would put him on a low fat
low salt diet but it costs three times as much as the regular food. Phones: Phones cut out
sometimes. The phone guy is actually pretty good about bringing them up to date on the phone
policy and checking the accounts. Commissary: Gets something cheaper than what he ordered.
Get charged if they open the bag, but don’t know what they got until they open the bags. Aramark
is pretty good. Looks like rats have chewed on the bags of stuff, it’s smashed together. IWF: It’s a
joke. Supposed to be used for incentive sodas or meals, and games but they never see it. Would like
to see a chessboard or something. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Get a scouring pad and a silver dollar
worth of comet once a week, and a lot guards allow a floor towel in this dorm. But sometimes they
do raid them and get infracted for it. Every time they get an infraction they get put in solitary,
usually for 10 days. Food: Doesn’t eat the food much. It’s unhealthy, always covered in gravy. Has
talked to the doctor because he has very low energy. Clothing: Don’t get clothing that fits. Don’t
have large outfits. Classification: Got upclassed 6 months into his stay, although he was a victim.
He has grievance it, tried to talk with classification, and the answer he always gets is that he is
properly housed. He was involved in 2 incidents. He was assaulted in his cell twice, once over
clothing. HE refused to exchange his clothing cause they didn’t’ have anything big enough to wear
(he’s pretty tall and broad shouldered). Got sprayed by deputies who were accusing him of flushing
contraband. Boiled Water: Don’t get any boiled water for commissary food.
Mental Health: He has received no mental health assessment. Use of Force: When he was young,
he would have altercations with guards when they were rude, but now he knows what will upset
them and just lets it go. Visitation: Inmates are taken to visits late and visitors get stuck waiting for
20 minutes. Grievance: He received a response from a higher-ranking officer, but the response was
dismissive and didn’t seem to investigate the issue. Accountability: Sergeants come by about once
a week. Out of Cell: Inmates in his dorm get 1.5 hours of yard time 3 times per week. The yard is full
of muddy puddles and inmates are not provided with equipment to clean it. The yard is about 30
feet by 30 feet. There are pull up bars but they haven’t been installed yet. The daytime deputies
only take them out once in a while and they typically only take them out late at night. Programs:
There are no programs in this dorm. Inmates can make a request for AA to come visit, but there are
no other substance abuse programs available. Isolation: When he was in an isolation dorm, he was
once strip-searched by 10 guards and while he was searched, other guards trashed his cell. The
staff put him in a filthy cell. Using his bath towel, it took him 2 days to clean the cell and he wasn’t
given any cleaning supplies. Medical: The dentist told him that this facility will start root canals but
don’t finish them and they don’t do teeth cleanings. He got a temporary filling about a year ago,
but it’s starting to get painful again. The dentists pull teeth, but they don’t fix them. Phones: It’s
expensive so he can only make calls once every other week or so. Commissary: It’s expensive.
Soap and shampoo are very low quality and leave a film on his skin. There is a shower gel, but it
irritates his skin and gave him a rash for 3 months. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: The vents and bars
are covered with dust and asbestos, there are cockroaches everywhere, and he has woken up to
cockroaches crawling around his bin. The hallway leading to the cells only gets cleaned about once a
month. Get a watered down disinfectant fluid to clean their cells and comet for the toilet and sink,
and a scouring pad. Only get one set of clean clothes for 4 days and they need at least 2. Inmates
are only permitted to shower every other day and only get one towel. The shower floor needs to be
A-33

89.

scrubbed better because he gets cuts between his toes every time he takes a shower, so he takes a
“birdbath” instead. For the last year, the hot water has been oily. Food: He is on a low salt, low fat
diet. Otherwise he gets stomachaches and heartburn. Letters: He has not received any of the cards
or letters that his girlfriend has sent him. He sent a letter to the district attorney to ask for them but
received a response that they don’t have them. She doesn’t receive any of the letters he sends her
either. He has never received an explanation for why the mail has been intercepted or where it is.
Classification: Doesn’t have any violence in his charges or background but he is classified as double
red. He thinks it is because they are trying to make him miserable so he will turn on his codefendants. Sandals: His sandals smell bad and make his feet itch but the staff will not give him new
ones.
Mental Health: He feels he could benefit from some therapy for self-reflection. The mental health
staff is only concerned with whether inmates are going to kill or hurt themselves or others. Use of
Force/Culture: Some of the staff is rude, and he thinks that causes some inmates get violent. He
thinks the guards on other floors beat inmates up in cells where no one can see them. He thinks
some of the guards are on steroids because of they way they talk, the magazines they read, and
they have boils that seem consistent with steroid use. Inmate Safety: If there is a fight, the guards
jump in. Visitation: It’s hard for visitors to get an appointment in a maximum-security tier.
Grievance: He has never received any response for any grievance he has filed. In prison, there is a
30-day limit by which the inmates must receive a response. He says the inmate orientation
handbook doesn’t explain the grievance process. Accountability: Sees sergeants about once a
week. Out of Cell: 3 times a week for 1.5 hours. This is an improvement from a few years ago. The
inmates are put in a small cage in the yard with their cellmate. The other inmates are in other cages
with their own cellmates but they can speak to one another through the fences. Programs: There
are no programs at all in this dorm. There is something called “Roadmap to Recovery” but it merely
consists of packets that are dropped off and picked up by program staff. The young inmates really
need programs because otherwise when they get out, they have the same mentality landed them in
custody in the first place, or worse. Isolation: There is no system for receiving new books so they
don’t have anything to read, and inmates start to lose their sanity when they have no friends to talk
to. Inmates in isolation only get one hour out of their cells every other day. There is a place called
“Area 51” where inmates are completely isolated and don’t talk to anyone, but he doesn’t know
where that is. Reentry: There is a resource center across the street and it’s really helpful, but he
only learned about it in prison. Medical: It takes 3 weeks to a month to get an appointment to see
the doctor. Phones: Sometimes he doesn’t have enough money to make calls. Calls get dropped
sometimes, for example, yesterday his call was dropped 3 times. This dorm has a phone on wheels
so they have enough time to make calls. Commissary: The noodles cost $1, which is way too much.
This dorm doesn’t have any hot water to cook the noodles, so they soak it in cold water.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Inmates only get one set of laundry twice a week. In Santa Rita the
inmates get three sets, once a week, so they can wash the clothes. The inmates at Santa Rita are
also permitted to hang the clothes to dry, but not in Santa Clara County. The inmates sometimes
receive a small amount of disinfectant, but receive a sizeable amount of Ajax regularly. The inmates
need a washcloth, right now they have to sneak an extra towel from the laundry. The blankets and
the thermal shirts are never collected to be laundered. Food: Inmates receive no salt, pepper, or
butter. They get milk twice a day. The bread is usually stale. They don’t get enough meat.
Classification: Some of the inmates have prison classifications that are very old and haven’t been
reevaluated. He doesn’t have any violence in his history for the last 8 years, but is classified as
double red. Because of the prison classification he received, he cannot be downclassed unless he
A-34

90.

91.

goes back to prison and is reclassified. This jail needs to have a procedure to downclass the
inmates.
Use of Force/Inmate Safety: When he has had fights, the guards can be a little rough, and use
pepper spray if people don’t comply with their orders. Sometimes they pepper spray innocent
bystanders, too. Visitation: He has to remind the guards about his visits when the time comes.
Otherwise they get transported to visitation 30 minutes late, which cuts their visit short. Grievance:
The offending officer himself responded to his grievance, and wrote that it was resolved. One of his
grievances did go up the chain of command, but the higher-ranking officer just referred him back to
the offending deputy’s response. He received an infraction that he thinks was in retaliation for filing
a grievance. Accountability: The sergeants come by about once a week. He doesn’t feel like they
really know what is going on. He hasn’t had a good experience talking with sergeants. Housing:
Hot water has been out for about a week, but that isn’t a typical problem. Out of Cell: Typically
they are taken out to the yard 3 times per week for 1.5 hours. There is a small amount of room to
walk around. Sometimes they aren’t able to go out to the yard if they are on lockdown. Sometimes
they make up the time on another day, but sometimes they don’t. Programs: No programs in this
dorm. Reentry: He has never been informed about any reentry programs although he has been
released from this jail before. Medical: He has had to wait over a month before. Doctor told him
his injury had to heal on its own. He had his wisdom teeth pulled at the facility, and he thought they
did a good job. He received Vicodin for the pain and when he ran out and was still in pain they gave
him more right away. Phones: Sometimes the calls are dropped and they are expensive. Family or
friends who put money on a card get charged a fee every time add value. Commissary: Sometimes
they replace the item he ordered with something else. It’s expensive. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies:
The welfare kit only includes a toothbrush, a small tube of toothpaste, aspirin and a spoon. He does
not automatically receive the soap, he has to plead with the guards for the soap, but he is not
charged for it. Food: He doesn’t think they get enough protein. Usually they are served a lot of
sandwiches with just a slice or 2 of meat, and only with lettuce about once a month. He has never
seen a tomato. Sometimes there is a small amount vegetables on the side. The meals mostly
consist of starch or soy. He thinks they aren’t getting fed enough. The mealtimes are odd:
breakfast is 3 or 4 in the morning, lunch is around 11 or 12, and dinner is around 3 or 4. Other:
Clothing: twice a week they receive laundry including, one pair of socks, underwear, 1 towel, 2
sheets, 2 blankets, 1 pair pants, and 1 top. The inmates have to wash their clothes, in between, but
they need another set of clothes to wear while they are doing the laundry. They also need an extra
towel to clean the floors.
Use of Force: Sometimes the guards put the handcuffs on too tightly, or slam him against the wall
unnecessarily. When he got in a fight, they beat him up pretty badly, yanked his arms up behind his
back and lifted him off the ground. There is a chair in booking that if the inmates move at all, it
tightens the chains around their waists. He was in the chair for 6 hours following that fight. They
didn’t allow him to use the bathroom or get water. If the inmates urinate, the guards beat them up.
Grievance: He does get a written response, but they usually either say they can’t assist him, or tell
him to go through another process. Housing: There is no hot or warm water in the sinks or
showers. Culture: The guards are more likely to use force against inmates who are not in gangs.
Some of the guards are disrespectful. Out of Cell: 3 times per week they are brought to the yard for
1.5 hours. They are put in a cage with only their cellmate. Programs: There is a writing program but
nothing else. Medical: Takes about a month or more to get an appointment with a doctor or
dentist. The dentist only pulls teeth, he doesn’t fix them. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: The inmates
need disinfectant. Usually they only receive trash bags. The hallway doesn’t get swept. When the
toilet overflows into hallway, it gets left like that for a week. The inmates asked if they could clean
A-35

92.

93.

it, and they were told it wasn’t their job. Eventually they had a trustee clean it. Food: The food is
“nasty.” It’s not healthy either. He doesn’t think they get enough vegetables or protein, but he eats
it because he’s hungry
Use of Force: Once the guards were raiding the cells, and another inmate started swearing at the
deputies, and when he looked up to see what was happening, they beat him up. They also beat up
4 other inmates who were also looking to see what was happening. A guard pulled him off his bunk,
threw him on the floor, then 2 other guards came in and they kicked and punched him. They kicked
the side of his head against the floor, one guard pulled off his pants (for no apparent reason at all),
swore at him, called him a “bitch” and a “pussy.” They pulled him backwards towards the elevator.
They took him to the basement to a holding cell and beat him up. They left him there for about 5
hours. He had cuts from the cuffs, couldn’t feel his thumb, had bruises and cuts on his face, and
chunks of his hair had been ripped out. He thinks this happened as a group retaliation for them
counting out loudly during one of their workouts and not stopping when they were told they were
making too much noise. Visitation: He gets visitors on holidays, and things generally go pretty
smoothly. Grievance: Doesn’t seem like the grievances get investigated. Sometimes it’s the
offending deputy they have a problem with that responds, sometimes a sergeant responds, but
once he made a grievance after getting beaten up, and the sergeant who was present was the one
that responded. When he got beat up, Internal Affairs came to talk to him after he called them.
They interviewed all of the inmates that got beaten. I.A. said they would do an investigation and
send a letter upon completion, but it’s been about a year and the inmates never received a
response. Accountability: Sergeants come for inspection about every other week. Sometimes they
check in with the inmates to see how they are doing. Housing: The hallway outside the cells are
dusty. They only get cleaned about every other week or once a month. Sometimes they don’t have
any hot water. Out of Cell: The inmates are taken out to the yard 3 times per week for 1 to 1.5
hours. Lately it’s been raining so sometimes they don’t do it, or they will do it early like 6 am or
around midnight. Most of the time, they get yard time during the day. The yard area is about 8 by
15 feet. Programs: No programs are available in this dorm. He wants to get his GED, but because
he is double red he can’t. Isolation: It’s lonely in isolation, but they get out of their cells every other
day. When he was in isolation, he didn’t usually go outside because it is only an hour and he needed
to take a shower. Medical: He put in a white card to have his face examined when he was beaten
by the guards. They took X-rays of his cheekbones because they were hurting. He also received
pain medication. It took about 2 weeks to get an appointment. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: The
guards pass out comet and disinfectant once a week. He uses his own soap to clean his cell
sometimes. He washes his clothes with soap or shampoo because the clothes from the laundry are
not clean. The guards have been giving them extra towels to clean their cells recently, but when the
guards search the cells, they take them away. Food: Some of the dinners give him a stomachache.
The vegetables don’t seem fresh, and the food can be oily. Commissary: The inmates in this dorm
don’t get boiled water for commissary food.
Use of Force: When they got in trouble for working out, the guards came in and beat up 8 or 9
inmates for “resisting.” When this kind of thing happens, they make them lie down face down in
their bunk, but instead of cuffing him, they twisted his arm up to his shoulder blades which was very
painful, and as soon as he moved because of the pain, they said stop resisting and 3 more officers
jumped on him and started grabbing his legs and twisting him up, supposedly in an attempt to
restrain him. Once he was cuffed, they slammed him against the back wall. As I interviewed him, I
could see that his cuffs weren’t double locked so when he moved, they tightened, leaving a red
mark on his wrists. Visitation: Before they could make appointments online, visitors had to get
here before midnight and wait all night long. His wife used to sleep in the daycare area in the lobby.
A-36

94.

Now that appointments can be made online, it’s easier, but they open at midnight, and they will run
out of appointments by the morning, so the visitors have to log on at midnight. Grievance: The
inmates in his dorm filed a grievance when the inmates got written up for working out in their cells
and the guards wrote that it was gang activity. His grievance went up the chain of command for 3
rounds of hearings with a sergeant, lieutenant, and eventually the captain who said they shouldn’t
have been found guilty of infractions, despite the decisions by the lower ranking officers that the
infraction would stand. Accountability: He sees the sergeants do a walk-through for inspection
about once a week. The floor staff doesn’t like them to talk to the sergeant, and tells the inmates
that if they have an issue, they should talk to the floor staff and not the sergeant. Housing: There
has been no hot water in the dorm for a week. They said someone came to fix it today but it’s still
not working. During the summertime hot air blows through the vents. During the winter, cold air
blows through the vents. Out of Cell: 1.5 hours 3 times per week in a small cage in the yard with
their cellmate. They are able to talk to other inmates through the fences. There isn’t any
equipment in the cages. Medical: It takes about a month to get an appointment. The inmates get
no privacy with the doctor, there is always a correctional deputy standing over their shoulder. The
care he received was pretty effective. When he cracked a tooth, they tried to convince him to let
them pull the tooth, but he convinced them to fill it. Commissary: It’s expensive. IWF: He has
brought up the budget with the sergeant. They used to give incentive beverages. He sees that it is
still listed on the budget, but he hasn’t seen them in years he has been here. One sergeant told him
they would look into this and later responded that just because the money was budgeted for
incentive beverages doesn’t mean they have to spend it on that. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: It’s
hard to get cleaning supplies. The inmates only get Ajax and a scouring pad. They don’t receive
disinfectant. He would like a washcloth or some kind of cleaning towel. Some of the officers will give
them a floor towel, but if they find one, it will be used as an excuse for a write up. If they get a
write up, they will get a hearing with a sergeant and potentially an infraction. Food: The inmates
are served no fresh vegetables, they are all burned or steamed beyond recognition, no salad either.
Every once in a while they get lettuce with their sandwiches. They don’t get much meat. They get
soy burgers. Classification/ Programs: He has been classified as double red for 3.5 years. He has
never received a write up, never received a rules violation, and has never been told why he is
double red. He has never been before a committee. He can’t do the GED program because of his
classification. He has put in requests to be downclassed, and he is told he is properly housed with no
other explanation. In prison they had a process to downclass, and they were given justification for
why they are put in a high security classification.
Use of Force/ Inmate Safety: Once, when he got in a fight with another inmate, and the guards
pepper sprayed him badly. His face was very swollen, and it looked like he got beaten up. He has
seen other inmates get beaten up by guards. Visitation: Visitors are supposed to arrive an hour
early. If they are one minute late, they are told the visit is canceled. The visit itself is only an hour.
Grievance: He doesn’t know much about the process. Once everyone in the dorm filed a grievance
for an infraction they all received, and it went to the sergeant and lieutenant told them they needed
proof of innocence to have the infraction dismissed, but they appealed to the captain and the
captain checked off a box saying the infractions were dismissed. He says the form did not explain
why it was dismissed (Although another inmate in the same dorm told me the captain found that
there was insufficient evidence of an infraction to begin with). When they made a group grievance,
their cells were raided in retaliation. Sometimes the guards will even take away things the guards
gave them. Sometimes when they don’t find any contraband, they will take their commissary items,
soap, or shampoo. Accountability: He sees the sergeant about once a week, sometimes every other
week. Inmates can’t really report staff misbehavior to the sergeants or higher-ranking officers
A-37

95.

unless they have proof because otherwise the sergeants will just believe what the staff says.
Housing: The hot water was out for a week. The guards said they are fixed, but it’s luke warm. The
“water closet” leaks. Culture: Lots of things changed since Michael Tyree’s death. Out of Cell:
Typically they are taken to the yard 3 times a week for 1.5 hours. Once they didn’t get out for 7
days. There is a big cage for just the inmate and his cellmate, but they can talk to people through
the fences. There are pull-up bars in the yard area, but they haven’t been installed yet. Programs:
He put in a request to do the GED program, but he was denied because he is a double red inmate.
Medical: He got a rash on his arm. He received hydrocortisone. He made a request for vision care.
They gave him a “number” reflecting his vision based on a DMV or elementary school type of
preliminary vision test, but he knows this is not the same number an optometrist would provide for
a prescription. He has seen inmates be taken to Valley Medical Center to see the optometrist to get
glasses. He was told he would have to pay out of pocket and they have never seen it done.
Commissary: Sometimes the inmates get charged for items that never arrive. The shoes are very
cheap and rip open after about a month. IWF: He usually passes inspection, but he says just one
time, two years ago, he received an incentive soda and he has never seen them since.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Inmates don’t get a broom or a mop to clean the cells. They aren’t
supposed to get extra towels. They only get one set of clothes, but when they work out, they have
to wash their own clothes and wait for them to dry. The laundry doesn’t come back clean. Indigent
inmates only get two small bars of soap each week, and it takes a whole bar to wash their bodies.
That’s what they also would have to use to wash their spoon or cells. Food: He doesn’t eat the food
because it is so bad, he just eats commissary food. Spoons: They get small sporks that are too short
to stir their coffee. Classification: He made multiple requests to be downclassed weeks ago and has
not received a response. Has been double red for at least a year and a half. The charges that cause
him to be classified as double red were dismissed more than 6 months ago, and he still has not been
downclassed
The tier is unsanitary and has been repeatedly flooded with sewage/feces. Cockroaches come out of
the sewers and they've never allowed them to clean their cells with a broom and mop, even though
they have feces on their shoes from stepping on the floor when it's flooded. Classification has
housed him in maximum security for an excessive amount of time. He was housed down here for
covering his window to go to the bathroom when the female nurse came by; he’s never been in jail
before and other individuals with violent offenses have been downclassed. The medical care is poor.
He had an aneurysm and they dismissed it as pinkeye and gave him ibuprofen. He was finally taken
to VMC and had a scan that showed he had an aneurysm and he lost some vision in one of his eyes.
The doctor said if they had sent him to the ER sooner he wouldn't have lost his vision. There’s no
difference from the 3rd tier that they shut down due to poor living conditions and the floor they are
on now. He feels the jail is trying to cover up for the poor conditions by giving them blankets and
thermals because the ventilation isn't working. The yards are flooded during the rainy season –
nobody sweeps the yard – some mentally ill inmates defecate out there on the floor – it then gets
flooded and they have to stand in the water – the conditions out there are bad and they expect
them to refuse the yard but it’s the only time they get out of their cells. The conditions in the cells
are also unsanitary - they aren't given enough cleaning supplies to pass their weekly inspections and
there are feces around the toilets - he believes staph and scabies have been transmitted around the
jail this way. They sometimes get less than 3 hours per week outside and have put in grievances but
never receive a response. The majority of the time the COs working on the tiers will fill it out and
write that the situation is resolved when it isn’t. They’re being classified in maximum security for an
indeterminate amount of time and keep getting told that they’re being considered for a downclass
in the near future. He’s never had an infraction as an individual; he put a request in a month and a
A-38

96.

97.

half ago and his last response told him to maintain positive behavior and he’d be notified of his
move soon even though he's never had a disciplinary issue in the jail– he still hasn’t heard anything
about being moved. They’ve heard rumors they were supposed to shut this tier down –
classification is supposed to re-evaluate everyone’s case and get them moved out, but classification
came and said everyone else had to be moved before them. He feels like the inmates on his tier are
the test dummies for everything – they were the first to get the dog kennels in the yard and the
inmates feel treated unfairly here. He’s experienced retaliation for grievances he’s filed – they come
on the floor calling them snitches.
He needs orthopedic surgery but the medical providers said they do not have the resources to
operate on him. He has difficulty walking and is taking painkillers but they only help a little bit. He
filled out multiple white cards for medical appointments and it takes about a month before he had
an appointment. The doctor sees him every three to six months for his leg. He’s never filed a
grievance – when he came in nobody gave him information about the grievance process. Based on
his treatment from the medical team he feels like a grievance would be pointless. Living conditions
in the jail are poor. There is no hot water for their showers and it tastes of chlorine, there is dust on
the bars outside their cells that they breathe in regularly - they don't get trustees to clean it. They
have too few sets of clothes - only one per person and they are often in poor condition; they have
to hold on to the same pair for 3 days and it's unsanitary. The mattresses are in poor condition and
wear out easily. Before Mike Tyree's death the COs would find any way to restrain an inmate and
they tried to provoke them into fights so they had justification to beat them. When he came in the
COs called him names and tried to provoke him to fight, but he ignored them because other inmates
warned him they would use it as an excuse to beat him. He's seen them use excessive force against
people - they took a drunk man who had just come in and restrained him for no reason - he was not
resisting. He also saw COs accidentally allow out two cells at the same time containing inmates from
enemy groups. He has not heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund, but has used the envelopes and
stamps in commissary. Phone calls are expensive. He doesn’t feel they get enough time out of their
cells – they get 4.5 hours per week; the yard is full of small cages – and he doesn’t understand why
they can’t put a basketball court in the larger yard and put in a few groups at a time – they always
keep you with your cellmate so you don’t see anyone else – it makes him feel a bit isolated.
Classification keeps refusing him for re-classification, he puts a request in every 3 months and they
say he’s properly housed; he hasn’t had any incidents since he came in; they haven’t had any
hearings to see if he’s eligible for reclassification
He's filed grievances in the past but the COs don’t really look into details – lately they have after
Mike Tyree's death and there haven’t been as many issues. However, in the past they shackled him
in a cell for no reason for hours and didn’t let him use the bathroom; they simply said that he was a
maximum security inmate – they said they saw him pass him something to another inmate but they
didn’t see anything and assumed that he did it; the CO came to his cell with 3 other COs, they strip
searched him and put him in a cold room for 4 hours straight. When he came back his cell after
being held his cell was wrecked – there was lotion and coffee all over the floor, they disposed of
personal items; they crumpled his letters and photos. He doesn’t feel like the grievance process is
effective, in the past they used to put “resolved” and said he was a maximum security inmate and
could be restrained without any further explanation but they never actually resolve any of their
issues; the COs continue working the same shifts and never get in trouble. Lately they’ve written
grievances about the puddles in the yard and the drains weren’t working right – they try to fix it, but
it’s only certain COs who try to do it; they were complaining about the cold temperature in the jail
and most of the tier put in a grievance and they gave them extra blankets. They don't clean the cell
floors with mops or brooms so they use their own towels to clean them. Sometimes the COs give
A-39

98.

them an extra towel for the floor but others on a different shift will take them away. There's dust on
the bars but nobody cleans them and they breathe the dust in. The water temperatures are very
cold - there is no hot water. It has been that way for a week. In the past they had shakedowns –
they would do it once a month – they were all working out one time and the COs asked some
inmates to stop but they kept going, so the next week they did a shakedown and gave everyone
clothes that were too small and they were put in the yard for 3 hours, and their things were
destroyed; it’s a certain group of COs, they try to humiliate them, taunt them and provoke them (to
give them an excuse to beat them). They were also beat up and sexually harassed; the COs pulled
their hair and one grabbed an inmate by his underwear and pulled them hard; many of the inmates
wrote grievances for the shakedown. None of the COs were reprimanded after multiple grievances
were filed about these shakedowns – some moved and some moved to classification; one of the
inmates had to add a page to the grievance describing what happened; the sergeant wrote on his
grievance that he should stop spreading rumors about them. The process to move cells on the floor
is unfair - they have to go through classification to request a cell move even though it's not like that
on other floors. Their cell move requests are always denied. He also requested to be downclassed
multiple times and they keep saying he would be notified of downclassing soon, but it never
happens. He last put in a request 3 or 4 months ago. He has not filed a grievance over the
classification issue because he feels the COs all know and protect each other. He would suggest that
someone independent and above the COs and sergeants review the grievances. it doesn’t matter
what you file on the white card, they give you a cold setup for a week – an allergy pill, Tylenol, and
cough syrup and if you don’t get better in a week you have to ask again; they give you the same
thing no matter what it is; it can take 2 to 4 weeks to get an appointment when you put in a white
card. He has heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but doesn't know what it's for and hasn't enrolled in
any programs. He doesn’t use the phone as much, phone use sometimes gets disconnected; the
calls are expensive. They get the minimum time of 3 hours required by law but it's at odd hours sometimes they are out until 2AM; the guards pick odd hours hoping they refuse but they go
anyway because the guards will say they refused and they don't make up the time. They also pass
out razors at odd hours - 4AM or 10PM - many of them are asleep at those hours. They only have
haircuts once a month - lately it's been two since the COs have been changing a lot. He has issues
getting mail – he’s sent a few letters that never got there; sometimes it takes a while to receive
mail; a lot of people complain about pictures – the jail takes away pictures because they are gang
related when it’s pictures of their families. It's hard to get spots for visitation. When they pulled him
out to speak to the Blue Ribbon Commission the officer was rude to him. *The author notes that
the officer approached the blue ribbon commission after the interview and told them that the
incident was taken care of already by the lieutenant and sergeant and they the inmate was talking
to everyone about his side. The blue ribbon commission refused to discuss what the inmate told
them and he kept insisting that it was taken care of and tried to discredit the inmate. The inmate
finds phone calls are expensive and charge more than advertised so he can't talk to his family (calls
are supposed to be $5, but he was charged $10 per call). The food is terrible. He ordered stamps
from the Inmate Welfare Fund a month ago and hasn't received them.
He was in an altercation with the police before he came into jail. At booking one of the COs saw that
a female officer had scratches on her. The sheriffs in the booking department brought him to a
holding cell and pulled his underwear up very hard – all his weight was suspended by his private
parts. They were prodding him with objects and they had his hands in handcuffs and twisted behind
his back. He reported the incident to internal affairs who never notified him of a resolution,
although they interviewed him about it years ago. Nobody gave him information on the grievance
process when he came in. He’s seen mental health care over the incident but it takes them a long
A-40

99.

time to respond to requests for care. He’s not satisfied with the care he’s getting from them – it is
impersonal; he sees the workers but they change all the time – when he goes to the interview
they’re ill prepared and haven’t read his file – he sees them once a month. The psychiatric
medication he's taking isn't effective, but they won't let him have the prescription psych meds he
was taking outside of jail. • He’s never filed a complaint against mental health care b/c he’s afraid
they’ll cut off his meds; he’s seen it happen to other inmates numerous times where if they
complain they get cut off their meds – they can sometimes get back on if their condition becomes
acute. He’s heard negative things about filing grievances from other inmates – there’s retaliation –
the COs don’t give you soap or don’t let you shower. it seems like little stuff but it’s important to
them because if they miss a shower they don’t get to shower for 2 days. He feels like they should
make the grievance process more personalized. People file grievances and never hear anything
back. Instead the receiving officer should sign it in front of you or resolve to work on it so the
inmate isn't waiting forever without a response. The food is poor and commissary is overpriced, and
they only have the choice of one vendor - it is a monopoly. They don't have clothing in his size, so he
keeps is clothing and washes them himself. Sometimes he gets a "new" set of clothes that fits but
they're dirty and when he washes them he sees dirt coming out of them. He wonders if they're
washed at all. They don't get enough cleaning supplies to effectively clean their cells. He doesn’t
feel like they get enough time out of their cells – they’re supposed to go out 3 times per week but
they let them out at 2AM – they know the more awkward the hour the more chance they’ll refuse
so they won’t come out; the inmates go to yard during the crazy hours because they’re afraid they’ll
take it away if they don’t go. Sometimes they don’t run yard – he’s gotten less than 3 hours per
week numerous times; the cages outside are very small and there’s no bathroom - it can be
uncomfortable and some of them have medical issues. It would be nice to have interaction with
others aside from their cellmates – it would be nice to use the big yard again, he heard they used to
rotate 6 people – it makes him feel isolated to only see his cellmate all day. There is black dirt in the
cell vents that they can't remove - he's concerned they're breathing it in. There has been no hot
water for a few weeks. He has not heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but was in the 3 Rs program
and liked it. He wishes there were more board games and books to keep them occupied. They have
TVs but they're very small. He’s had problems getting care from the optometrist – he requested care
multiple times and had to have his people get an old prescription filled and send the glasses to him.
The phone call rates are expensive and kept him from calling his family. There is also an excessive
lag in receiving mail. He received legal mail that they had held so long that the 6 month appeal
window on the legal decision had already passed by the time he received it.
He was beaten twice by COs – there was a fight between two groups of inmates and he happened
to be outside when it happened – he was pepper sprayed and they handcuffed him. At least 3 or 4
COs took him to the basement and beat him - they knocked out his tooth. They stopped when they
heard the sergeant approaching. He did not file a grievance because he feared retaliation; nobody
ever gave him information on how to file grievances. When they transferred him to another floor
after the beating the COs (who all talk to each other) poured all his shampoo and toothpaste over
his personal effects that he had in a bag. He had to sleep without a blanket and sheets until he
washed them because they were soaked in shampoo. On the second occasion, he was in a verbal
altercation with another CO. The CO pepper sprayed him and handcuffed him on the floor - he
started kneeing him in the genitals and hitting him in the ribs. A few other COs came over and asked
what happened - the CO told them he had attacked him. They all started beating him and dragged
his body and put his head in the corner, the sergeant came and said “stop dog piling him, get the
hell off him." After that he was moved to maximum/lockdown – his name got around and the COs
would all come around and intimidate him and twist his arms, saying “you want to attack us?”
A-41

100.

Classification said he’d never downclass because he attacked a CO; he tried once and they said he
would never be eligible because he’s properly housed. Since the death of Mike Tyree they COs are
trying to behave – sometimes the COs are still rude and don’t want to do anything for them; they
ask for phone changes and sometimes they walk out and pretend they don’t hear them and don’t
transfer the phone to the next cell. He’s seen COs retaliate against an elderly inmate for filing a
grievance against him – he was getting in his face and swearing at him saying he would f___ him up
for filing them and intimidating/threatening him. He filed a grievance once when the inmates tried
to not give him yard for 3 weeks and they were doing a gang related workout – it took them 3 to 4
days before they heard something – everyone in the tier filed; the charges for that ended up being
dropped; when he sees people filing grievances they don’t get a response for 3 to 4 months; they
didn’t resolve it quickly – there was a lieutenant or captain who interviewed them and called them
all liars; they told them they would lose yard for 3 weeks along with commissary and TV – they all
filed grievances again – they came back and said the grievances were overturned after that.
However, afterwards when they went to shower their cells were torn up by the CO's The water is
very cold. He feels isolated being locked up 72 hours a day – the only time they go out is when they
go to the yard – they have dog cages and they don’t get to interact with anyone; they don’t have a
basketball court or handball; most of the time they don’t let them out in the big yard; they usually
close it off. They only get out 3 times per week. He washes his clothes once a week, most of the
time the clothes stink even though they’re new and they only get one pair. His sandals are also too
big - they don't have ones that fit his feet. The food is disgusting and he won't eat many of the
meals. Outgoing mail is slow and is picked up maybe one time per month. Incoming mail is ok. Using
the phone is expensive and it drops his calls. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare fund but was in
a program dorm - the 3 Rs, which he liked but thought the instructor could have been more
engaging. After they knocked his tooth out he filled out a white card to repair his tooth, but the
dentist refused to treat him. He filed a second request and the second dentist knew him from
juvenile hall and fixed his tooth. Razors – lately they pass them out two times per week; they should
get them more than that but they pass them out at breakfast at 4AM – they don’t want to shave
then; it’s too late and the lights are off; they cut themselves because it’s too dark.
The water is always cold and they have too little clothing - only one pair of underwear. The food is
gross - he eats from commissary and it's expensive there. The temperature is always cold in the
cells. Depending on the COs the cleanliness is ok, some COs will let the trustees go into the cells
with a broom to sweep - they usually get passed out every 4 days. He hasn't tried writing a
grievance because they don't seem to go anywhere; nobody gave him a handbook on grievances
when he came in this time but he was given one in the past when he came in. Some COs go on
power trips and are demeaning to the inmates - they speak to them like they're not people. He’s
seen COs use excessive force down in the holding tanks – when he first came in he saw them beat
up an inmate for screaming and getting crazy – the cops told him to be quiet and he wouldn’t, so
they handcuffed and started restraining him for yelling; they were choking him out although he was
just yelling; lately he hasn’t seen excessive force used. Phone calls are very expensive and has kept
him from calling his wife and family. His wife also can't visit him because she has a record from
almost 10 years ago. He doesn't not know why she shouldn't be allowed to visit since it's behind
glass. He complained and they told him to write to the captain. He wrote and never received a
response. He suggests that they could improve the complaint process by actually responding and
giving a good justification for denying inmate requests, rather than dismissing them for no reason.
They don't get much time out in the yard - maybe 3 times per week for two hours. He doesn't mind
much since there isn't anything to do out there. A basketball court or some other type of
A-42

101.

recreational facility would be nice. He has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but was in
Roadmap to Recovery and enjoyed it. It was not difficult to get in.
A CO attacked him for no reason while he was walking back from court. He filed two grievances and
there was no response to either. He contacted internal affairs and spoke to the contact person; the
lieutenant there said someone had been throwing away his grievances so there was never an
investigation conducted. Internal affairs conducted the investigation and said his claims were
unfounded. There should have been video footage of the incident but he doesn't believe they
looked into it, otherwise they wouldn't have dismissed his claims. They should perform psych
evaluations on the COs and make them all wear cameras, make it easier for inmates to obtain video
footage, and protect inmates better. On a separate occasion, the COs had beaten another inmate
unconscious and the other inmates were yelling and banging on their doors in protest, but he was
not. The guards singled him out anyway and about 8 of them beat him up in his cell with his
cellmate, pepper sprayed them, punched him in the ribs and kicked him, kneed him in the back, and
twisted his wrist so that it felt like it would break. He told them the whole time that he was not
resisting. They also pushed his cellmate's head against the wall and punched him in the ribs. They
handcuffed him too tightly and took him out. He didn’t file a grievance about it because he was
afraid of retaliation – he saw it happen to others; when they filed grievances, they retaliated – the
COs took him in his cell, pulled down his pants and molested him and pulled his penis; he went crazy
and they took him out and beat him; he filed a grievance they came back and beat him again – there
were 3 or 4 CO's There was second inmate who they also beat, he filed a grievance and they beat
him again. On another occasion they shut down the whole tier for no reason and took his extra
bedding (they thought it was extra but it wasn’t – it was his sheet and pillow), so another inmate
became angry and threw his milk. He didn’t want to be in the pod so he said he did it – the COs took
him out and beat him in an interview room – there were 6 of them; they kept him in an interview
room shackled for 8 hours – it hurt his wrists/hands and they had deep red marks the next day; they
wouldn’t let him go to the bathroom or see medical during that time; at one time he had to yell man
down because he fell and the chains were tight and hurting him and he couldn’t get back up. They
took his milk at breakfast the next day; he filed a grievance about the incident and never received a
response – he didn’t appeal it because he’s written the captain multiple times and never received a
response so he didn’t bother. On another occasion, he didn't receive breakfast because they
miscounted and they didn’t have any more food – he said it was a violation of their rights – they said
they were ordering one and he never got it; he filed a grievance. In retaliation they fired the trustee
who was on breakfast duty and the COs pulled him into an interview room and said they would beat
him up if he filed anymore grievances. Because they fired the trustee one group blamed another for
the firing and tensions became very high in the dorm - someone could have been stabbed over it.
The COs should know the rules of the inmates and their conflicts a little better for safety reasons.
The cells are unclean (especially the floors) and he believe there is a dead animal in the air vents - it
smells like decaying animal when the air blows out of it. The food is terrible quality and his cellmate
had food poisoning from eating a spoiled egg. Instead of sending him to medical to make sure he
didn't have a virus they just gave him medications for nausea and diarrhea. The clothing is bad – a
lot of times it has stains on it, it’s still dirty, there’s mildew and mold on it and paperwork still in the
pocket. He’s had a cavity for a month and hasn’t seen a dentist; he’s filled out 3 or 4 white cards
and hasn’t seen the dentist- they gave him ibuprofen for swelling but there’s nothing for pain,
infection, or anything; he was also getting a prescription for Vicodin for an old back injury but they
won’t give it to him because they said he’d sell it to other inmates. Half of the mail doesn’t make it
in, even though family members confirm they sent it. He’s put in multiple grievances and they
blame the post office – they say it’s thrown away for being over postage, but the post office doesn’t
A-43

throw away mail; every time he sent out a letter, they tried to find anything small they could pick at
to prevent him from sending it; they’d tell him to fix it and then he’d do it and they’d refuse to send
it anyway. The yard is all cages – like for a level 4 prison although this is a level 1 jail. There’s no
reason to separate everyone – it’s traumatizing and not right – he feels isolated; they took away the
basketball court and only let them have handball. They only get out 1.5 hours 3 times a week - he
feels it isn't enough. He’s never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund – he got his certificate from a few
programs – Roadmap to Recovery and graduated them; the teachers are horrible – they talk down
to you, make you feel horrible, downplay, minimize, they do everything they can to make you feel
bad; a teacher wrote him up for passing a test an hour early and said he was cheating; he took the
test 7 times already and knew all the answers – they got in an argument and she said he was
unintelligent and not doing anything; she wrote up another guy for no reason because she didn’t
like him. They need better teachers for the programs and screening teachers to see if they’re
capable of doing it. He’s tried accessing mental health services- some are good, but he’s asked for
some to come and they never came; he talked about conditions in the jail, they tried to justify what
was happening in the jail or disagreed about it; he saw many people who worked there so the
program is mainly good. He feels like the jail is targeting him and sabotaging everything he does –
when he puts in paperwork it gets denied – like requests for cards, chessboard, request to see the
chessboard, motions to file – he sends them back and says he doesn’t do it right – his lawyer won’t
help him – it makes no sense; someone on the staff told him that if he keeps fighting the system
they would kill him – they were trying to warn him to be careful
102.

The inmate was taken to the VMC for medical care and got into a dispute with a CO over using the
bathroom. The CO kept insisting he use the commode in the room with the door open, while he was
on camera and in front of the nurses. The CO said “do you want to use the f__ing bathroom or don’t
you?” –; he said if he went to the bathroom he'd have to go with the door open, and he could see
him on the camera. The CO said he had no choice and had to use the commode – but he didn’t fit in
the commode. He finally convinced the CO to let him go to the bathroom in the hallway to preserve
his dignity, but the CO shackled both legs and his waist, chained his arms to his legs, and dropped
shackles on his legs on purpose to injure him, kept pushing him towards the restroom, and took
away his toilet paper in retaliation. That night the COs kept coming into his room and turning his
lights on and off – after they went to the restroom they’d leave the door open so he could smell it;
they must have come in 15 times. He went to sleep and a new CO woke him up aggressively and
started shaking his arm in his chains told and cursed at him. He called for a witness and asked to see
a nurse and the CO threatened to kill him; he called down and asked to talk to his doctor. Another
CO walked out and said “I don’t think you want to do this”; he said “I f___ing feel sorry what’s going
to happen to you p__ of s__.” The doctor came and he told her he was threatened by the COs; he
complained that the COs would not let him talk to anyone else. The doctor said she’d send him back
to his unit with antibiotics and he asked to be transferred – he asked her to keep in mind what he
spoke about in case something happened to him. He was transferred back to the jail in a van and
the acting sergeant was there filming the trip; the video has audio so the COs didn't talk – they
asked if they had done him any harm on the way there and he said no; while the CO is talking to
him, the officer is behind the camera flipping him off and making gestures behind the camera to
show they thought he was crazy. When he came back his cell was trashed and he heard the COs
talking about him - he was worried they were plotting something against him. He was then elevated
in classification for no reason. He started writing a letter about the incident and couldn't stop crying,
so he asked to see mental health. He asked five times in the evening and they did not send anyone
until the next morning when usually they respond instantly.
A-44

103.

104.

105.

There is no hot water and the showers are ice cold. They don't give enough cleaning supplies so the
cells are very dirty. They don't give enough clothing and it gets dirty because they don't let them
have an extra set. They don’t have a hot water pot for the food and they can't cook commissary
food. They have sink water but it’s kind of unsanitary. The food is gross and the menu unvarying.
Commissary is expensive. Fights break out regularly - inmates pass each other on the floor and start
fighting. The COs do their job of containing it quickly but often end up using excessive force once
the person is subdued. The COs also single out inmates that they're familiar with and search their
cells/tear up their things. He filed grievances a few times, once because the CO gave him an
infraction for no reason; another CO said they’d give him an infraction for not having a wrist band
although other inmates didn’t have their wrist bands on – he sent the grievances out and they never
came back. He does not feel the disciplinary system is fair. He has little faith in the grievance
process. Nobody gave him a handbook on how to file grievances and he never gets responses. He
would suggest that the COs actually follow through on grievances. He also sees them avoid
disciplining people that they should because they don't want to do the paperwork. It puts the
inmates in danger. Classification is biased - if they don't like you they place you in a bad cell. He was
placed in a cell with mentally unstable inmates because they did not like him. Medical care can be
unresponsive - it sometimes takes 3 or 4 requests before they make an appointment. He once filed
a grievance over visitation because they sent out the wrong person and he missed his visitation
entirely. They responded by saying that he should file for another visit but his mother lives far away.
He was in the Roadmap to Recovery program and enjoyed it, but it was difficult to get in. The
phones are expensive and calls sometimes drop. There is nothing to do in the yard - they just put
them in cages out there. They need a basketball court.
There is no hot water pot and no hot water for showers. The food is not edible- he eats commissary
instead but it's expensive. They receive too little clothing - they should at least have 2 pairs of
everything so they can change when it gets dirty. The cells are dirty and the toilets don't work
properly in there. He filed grievances in the past at Elmwood when they put him on lockdown for
over two weeks and did not let him out to shower for a week. He also filed a grievance there for
cutting off his visitation. He was also handcuffed and left in a cell for 8 hours for requesting medical
care and excessive force was used against him while at Elmwood. At this jail, the COs were moving
from inmates from cell to cell and beating nearly all of them, two by two, when they protested. He's
seen COs use excessive force on multiple occasions, such as multiple COs beating a much smaller
inmate who was not being physically aggressive. He would change the grievance system so that the
inmates would actually receive responses to them. He feels they should let them out once per day
and put them in the large yard. He finds the phone too expensive. He hasn't heard of the Inmate
Welfare Fund but feels they have more programs at Elmwood, and that a parenting class at this jail
would be helpful.
There is no hot water in the showers - the boiler always breaks, and they don't have a hot pot to
heat food. They put too many people in the group cells at once - he feels endangered because
tensions get high with too many personalities. The toilets often don't work. He once filed a
grievance because the COs threw away a lot of his food during a random cell search - he receive a
response agreeing with the CO's He does not feel the grievance process is effective. He did not
appeal it because the COs told him it would go to the same officers. He was never given instruction
on how to file grievances, and they should have a designated independent individual to investigate
grievances. The holding cells while waiting for court are unsanitary - they often place 15 people in
the same cell for 3 hours with a locked door and there's an open toilet in there that smells awful.
He's not usually housed with those inmates and sometimes they become aggressive - it is
dangerous. They don't let them out enough to the yard - only two times per week, three at most.
A-45

106.

107.

Hygiene is also an issue because they don't give out soap and indigent inmates can't obtain
toothpaste. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but feels the indigent commissary package
is too small and does not last more than a week. The phone is expensive. They also don't have reentry programs in the jail that would help transition out - they have better re-entry
coordination/programs at Elmwood. He's seen multiple COs use excessive force about three times,
usually the inmate is handcuffed and not resisting. They take them to the elevator and beat them
and he can hear them screaming and pleading.
The shower water was hot today, but before today it's always been cold. Commissary food items
require a hot pot, which they don't have. The COs are overly aggressive and he's seen them use
excessive force two or three times, at least once with a mentally ill inmate. He was talking to himself
and the CO became fed up and came up and twisted his arms behind his back and made him cry.
When he came in nobody gave him information on how to file grievances. He notices some COs are
meaner after they file grievances, but some become nicer towards the inmates because they don't
want another grievance filed. He feels like classification sometimes overpopulates a dorm with a
certain race - it causes tension and endangered by it since they form gangs based on race here.
Classification also housed a mentally ill inmate among them - he felt he should have been in special
housing, and that it placed the mentally ill inmate in danger to be with the general population.
Another inmate was beaten badly by his cellmates for protecting the mentally ill inmate and sent to
the hospital for serious injuries. He is also not sure why he was classed as a high security inmate
when his offense was not violent. The phone is weird and calling collect is confusing - it's kept him
from calling his family. Regarding the Inmate Welfare Fund, he was enrolled in the 3 Rs program
and enjoyed it. The food is low quality and has no taste - he can't tell what kind of meat they serve.
They don't get out enough from their cells and need more activities in the yard - people are more
aggressive from being stuck inside, and not having proper workout equipment (pull up, dip bar)
outside.
They don't have a curtain for the shower or the toilet so they have to do everything out in the open
- he feels it's humiliating. The inmates make shower lines but they make them take it down. On
some floors they don't let inmates out of their cells until late at night - it prevents them from
contacting the people they need to, such as their lawyers. They don't have showers frequently
enough - only every other day. The clothes are not changed out enough - it's unhygienic. Many COs
are disrespectful and rude and ignore requests from the inmates for basic necessities. They are also
rude to inmates with special medical needs - some of them take medications that make them
drowsy and he's seen them hit the arm of an elderly inmate and bang on the bunk above him to
wake him early in the morning. They are supposed to have haircuts once a week but only get them
once every two weeks or once a month. Medical care takes a long time to respond to emergencies.
They had a man down in their cell and it took them 30 minutes to arrive and 45 minutes to take him
out. The medical staffed strolled into the dorm in no apparent hurry when it happened, when they
didn't know what type of medical problem the inmate had - it could have been life threatening. It
also took them 4 months to respond to two medical requests he made. Dental also takes a long time
to schedule and they only pull teeth; they don't perform cleanings. He's written multiple grievances
at this jail and at Elmwood and never receives responses. The grievance process would be improved
if they answered them. Visitation is too short. Classification placed him in immigration detention
when he asked to be transferred to Elmwood although he is not an immigrant. It took 6 months to
receive a letter sent to him in the mail. Food is unvarying and commissary is overpriced. Phone calls
are expensive and they do not have enough time out for everyone to use the phone. He doesn't like
going to the yard because it's just being transferred from one cage to another - they need a
basketball court. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund, but believes they could use a
A-46

108.

109.

parenting class at this jail. They downclassed him when they sent him here but the higher security
floor had hot water in the shower and a hot pot.
He is diabetic and the nurses wait too long to give him food after he receives insulin, so his blood
sugar gets dangerously low. Medical response time takes too long - if there is a man down it takes
the CO almost 10 minutes to respond and the medical staff is slow and lackadaisical to respond they don't treat it as an emergency although it might be. They also will not let him refuse part of his
insulin although he knows his body better than anyone else - sometimes the full dose is too much;
he feels the healthcare here is the worst he's had while incarcerated. He is allergic to the clothing
and it gives him a rash - although he's made multiple medical requests they haven't responded. The
showers are very cold. He also feels classification is messed up - he is typically a level 1 inmate but is
housed with people facing life sentences - it puts him in danger. They have not given him a reason
for his classification. He's noticed COs are overly aggressive and 6 to 8 of them will respond to a
situation when only 1 or 2 are needed to contain it. He's seen them use excessive force at booking,
smashing people's heads on windows and twisting their arms because they're unresponsive and
sleeping due to being on drugs, even though they're barely conscious and non-violent. He hasn't
been able to use the phone because it's too expensive, so he can't speak to his family or make
arrangements for his life outside. The cells are unclean and there is no partition for the toilet so you
have to do it in front of everyone, it is humiliating. The hygiene among inmates is poor, and they
improperly house mental health inmates with the general population - they had one mentally ill
cellmate and they had to make him shower because he didn't know to do it himself. The quality of
the food is terrible.
There is no hot water in the showers and black mold inside the mattresses and under the paint; the
dorms are very cold. He complained about the water to the sergeants who said it was fixed, but it
wasn't fixed. Food is unvarying. He feels disciplinary action here is unfair - they chained him in a
room for 6 or 7 hours for arguing with jail staff. They didn't let him use the restroom so he had to go
on the floor in there because he had no choice and they put him on lockdown for a month and only
let him out to shower every other day or every 3 days. He is a mental health inmate with multiple
severe mental health diagnoses and feels that he is not properly housed- certain conditions related
to living with the general population exacerbate his mental health condition - the conditions
sometimes make him want to harm others or himself. He told this to psych and they said they
would look into having him rehoused but couldn't promise anything. He feels his housing is
retaliation by classification - he was initially housed in mental health housing but they moved him
for no reason. The COs do not have a good understanding of what mental health inmates need or
how to handle them and should have additional training so that they can deal effectively with it.
They don't have a library and many inmates are very bored. Dental doesn't do cleanings - they only
pull teeth. Nobody gave him information on how to file grievances. Regarding the Inmate Welfare
Fund, he was in Roadmap to Recovery and rates it a 5/10 - it's very redundant - they should have
more personal interaction and therapy instead of just giving homework. He's seen the fund
allocation sheets for the Inmate Welfare Fund but hasn't seen any changes with the things they've
supposedly funded - they haven't even fixed the hot water. They were also approved for hot water
pots over a year ago and never installed them. The food is unvarying and bland. There is black mold
in the mattresses, and too little clothing given - they need a second set. The cells are very cold and
have no natural light coming in. The yard is a bunch of cages designed for ad seg activities, not
general population inmates. He also saw COs use excessive force against an inmate - they took him
out and beat him up because he protested when they didn't give him his special diet food. He had
another cellmate who was handcuffed and beaten in the elevator by 6 COs after booking. The
phone is very expensive and the cost keeps him from calling his family, making him feel isolatedA-47

110.

111.

112.

113.

they live far away so they can't visit often. He does not feel complaints are evaluated fairly because
all the COs protect each other. There should be an outside agency that handles complaints that
actually responds and resolves them.
The COs are rude at intake and used excessive force against him when he came in and when he was
released. A sergeant witnessed what happened to him at intake and did nothing. He was beaten
upon release in an interview room by a CO for giving his sheet to a cellmate. He did not resist while
they beat him - they twisted his arms so he flinched in pain and they said he was resisting and beat
him further. Afterwards he limped home and his toe was swollen - he had to go to the ER for it. He
hasn't filed a grievance because he never received information on it and doesn't know how to do it.
The cells are cold and COs don't allow them to save food, which is a problem because they often
don't get enough. Classification houses people based on their first impression of them - they gave
him a much higher classification than warranted because the COs beat him at intake, although he
hadn't been physically threatening or violent. He feels the COs always side with each other no
matter what and has little faith in the fairness of the disciplinary/complaint system. The yard has
very little to do and is boring - they need a basketball court. The food is poor quality and he would
like a hot lunch for once. The phone is too expensive for too short ad time- it keeps him from calling
his family and girlfriend. The bedding is of poor quality - the mattresses are too thin and they don't
get pillows.
The showers have no hot water. He's seen the COs use excessive force at least twice. He doesn't
want to complain for fear of retaliation and he never received information on how to file grievances
or the use of force. Since Tyree's death there hasn't been as much rudeness from the CO's He has
heard of the indigent package from the Inmate Welfare Fund but they charge for it, and take away
money from inmates' families when they send it to pay off the debt. He hasn't heard of their
programs. They should give extra sheets and exchange the blanket more than once per year. They
don't get enough time out of their cells - only 1 hour 2 to 3 times per week. He doesn't go outside
anyway because the yard is enclosed and the let the inmates out too early - often at 7AM. There is
nothing to do out there as they're just in cages, and they have to stay out for the whole hour.
The inmate is improperly housed in a general population dorm when he has physical and mental
disabilities. He is also a level 1 inmate who is housed with level 3 cellmates. The COs in the jail do
not understand how to accommodate physical or mental disabilities and don't care if inmates have
special needs - which they state bluntly- they need training on the subject. He is unsatisfied with
the medical care - it is very difficult to get an appointment and he has orthopedic issues that cause
pain, for which he took prescription painkillers outside. The staff won't even give him over the
counter painkillers until he sees a doctor, but they keep ignoring his requests for medical care. It has
been months and nobody has responded. He hasn't made a complaint because the COs and medical
staff tell him the proper avenue is to keep filling out medical request cards. He also hasn't filed a
grievance because he fears retaliation - he knows that they re-classify people who file grievances in
undesirable parts of the jail. He feels the grievance process is pointless anyway as the COs and
medical all side with one another. They also have no hot water and oversized clothes are hard to
obtain. They don't have enough yard time and the yard has nothing to do but stand in a cage. He
hasn't seen any improvements supposedly made by the Inmate Welfare Fund that they post on
their budget allocation sheet. They don't even give out chess sets and all their books come from a
charity. He has heard of COs using excessive force in the past, beating inmates in the elevator with
night sticks.
COs used excessive force against him in the past. He was supposed to be transferred to Elmwood
and they left him in a cell for 7 hours and he fell asleep. A CO came and when he didn't want to
wake up he called backup. Ten COs came- they threw him against a wall and twisted his fingers,
A-48

114.

injuring them. He asked medical to fix them but they wouldn't do it. They usually don't fix injuries
caused by COs to avoid leaving a paper trail. He is also disabled and has limited mobility. Recently a
CO came into his screamed at everyone to get up, but the inmate's physical disabilities prevent him
from moving quickly. The CO screamed at him when he said he had a disability, and said he did not
care, and that the inmate was not housed in a medical dorm. He feels improperly housed in the
general population dorms- his classification was based off one nurse's observation that she did not
see him use his cane much on the few occasions she saw him. They did not let him use a cane in his
cell for four months, although he needs to use it constantly, exacerbating his symptoms. Some COs
understand how to accommodate his disability, but the CO who told him he didn't care about his
disability is training new COs, and they all have the same attitude. He is yelled at for not moving fast
enough (despite his disability) and COs call for backup and beat him when he can't do what he's
told. His request to be re-classified to a medical dorm was denied for no reason. Medical care is
poor and he has had persistent migraines for 6 months, but they told him they have no money to
conduct a CT Scan when he requested one. They postponed his appointment to be seen for his
migraines by 2.5 months. At first they only gave him over the counter medication, and the
medication he now receives doesn't help. He is still waiting to see a doctor for GI problems and his
meds are ineffective. He needs constant access to a bathroom but was moved from the second floor
where he had his own toilet to a group cell where he has to share with 14 inmates. It is unsanitary
and difficult for him. Many of his cellmates have severe mental illness and are also improperly
housed with the general population. They don't know how to bathe themselves and can be
dangerous - one mentally ill inmate beat another cellmate with a cellmate's cane. They brought the
mentally ill inmate who attacked his cellmate back to the same cell afterwards. He's never filed a
grievance and never received information on them, but he knows that inmates have to give them to
the offending COs, who throw them out. The food is terrible and phone calls are too expensive. He
has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
The COs don't treat the inmates with respect. Many of the inmates housed in the general
population have mental and physical disabilities, and the COs have no desire to learn or understand
how to accommodate them. He feels housing mentally ill inmates in their cell endangers everyone.
One mentally ill cellmate beat another with his cane. The mentally ill inmates are unable to take
care of themselves and sometimes endanger themselves unknowingly, but the COs claim they have
no room to put them elsewhere. It affects his own mental well being and he has to take psych meds
for the stress he experiences from living there. The COs also belittle the mentally ill inmates - they
are very rude and call them derogatory names. When the disabled inmates don't understand them,
they say "Quit being a dummy, you know you understand me." He has also tried to speak to them
about accommodations and they just say "I don't care." He also saw around 16 COs jump on an
inmate in a wheelchair because he refused to give up his wheelchair when he arrived to the floor
where he was housed. They wrenched his arms and dropped their knees on his back; he didn't see
the inmate afterwards, but the same COs continued working the floor. The medical wing is not
much better than general population dorms- he was housed there and was under lockdown most of
the day - he got out 20 minutes twice a day- he didn't see a reason for it. They had the ADA come in
and consult who should be placed in which cell to best suit their needs. Afterwards the CO said he
ran the place and moved everyone to different cells. Medical care is poor, and he often waits hours
in the shower room for his appointment - it is hard on him physically due to his condition. It takes a
long time to get an appointment - up to a month. He has a life threatening condition and they
wouldn't continue his medication for it until he had testing done to confirm it, although he brought
his medical records. It took a month before he received his medicine. He also had prior surgery that
required part of his body to be in a cast- they took the cast off immediately when he came in and
A-49

115.

116.

the bones have since grown crooked and disfigured, and are nearly poking out of his skin, and it
hurts. Medical says he is fine and will not even give OTC painkillers for it. He hasn't filed a grievance
because he heard of many instances of retaliation; he was not given information on grievances.
Food is poor and is cold or burnt; the menu never changes. The problem COs are training new
recruits to treat the inmates badly. They conduct random searches and trash their cells, destroying
personal property, such as family photos. He's never seen the improvements the Inmate Welfare
Fund claims to have made - they don't have board games or books and they charge for the indigent
kit. Commissary is overpriced and phone calls are confusing and expensive. His psych meds are not
working.
The inmate has HIV and was fired from his job by a CO. His doctor called and told them they
couldn't do that and they re-hired him. However any time the CO sees him working he fires him
again and he has to have his doctor call to have him re-hired again. This has happened multiple
times. The CO who fires him also goes around telling people his diagnosis and asks him within
earshot of other inmates why he's not fired - leading them to question what his issue is. He filed a
grievance but never heard back. Some of the COs make him feel like he should be quarantined and
make a big deal out of it. He also has mental health issues and ended up decompensating and
cutting himself - he told the CO he needed to be taken out and restrained, but they ignored him
until he made his cuts much worse. It took them an hour to take him out to the psych floor. The
doctor told him to file a grievance and the CO responded saying he didn't wait long enough to be
taken out and that it wasn't the CO's fault. He never received information on grievances and never
appealed it. He felt like they overloaded him with psych meds when he came in, and that it led to
his erratic behavior - he's cut down on them and feels much more stable now. He sees many
mentally ill inmates improperly housed in the general population dorms. They can't take care of
themselves and he has to tell them to shower. They also should not house them with people who
are detoxing - they defecate on themselves and need to be in a hospital. They ask the COs to have
hazmat clean it but they never come, so the inmates clean it, at the risk of contracting a disease.
Phone calls are expensive and the cost prevents him from calling his wife. He was in the Roadmap to
Recovery but thought it was poor- the teacher was terrible and wrote rude and derogatory things
about him when he did not turn in his assignment on time due to his medical condition. The food is
bad and clothing isn't laundered properly - inmates often wash them before wearing and squeeze
dirt out of their "clean" clothes. The yard is dehumanizing - a series of dog kennel-like cages.
The cells are dirty and there are no dividers for the toilet or shower - it is gross. The phone is
expensive and he can't afford to call his family members, who don't even know he's here. He asked
to move cells and put in 5 requests but they just keep saying they'll forward it to classification. It
takes two weeks to see the doctor and multiple requests, and the nurse tried to diagnose him
without seeing him. He's never filed a grievance because he's heard of inmates not receiving
responses or being beaten in retaliation. Dental is not good -they only pull teeth instead of filling
them. Classification is biased and based on whether the person there likes you or not. He was
classed on a higher security floor because classification didn't like him because they saw him in a
verbal argument with their friend at booking. Mentally ill inmates are also improperly housed with
the general population, which endangers the mentally ill inmate - he could be beaten up by his
cellmates for his erratic behavior, or injure someone without knowing. Another inmate was placed
in the cell and detoxing and was moaning in pain - he should have been in the hospital. Another
inmate was detoxing and asked to see the doctor, they simply sent him back with water and said he
was dehydrated when he needed more serious medical care. The COs do not have the ability or
training to deal with disabled or sick inmates - classification should especially be trained to catch
these symptoms. They also disproportionately populate the cells with certain races, which causes
A-50

117.

118.

conflict and makes the minorities feel threatened and outnumbered. He's seen 3 fights in the cells
based on race, and one inmate had to go to the ER. They should keep the races proportionate to
each other. The COs are too aggressive. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. The food is ok
but they ignored his special diet request. They don't have enough clothing to last a week. The yard is
too small, and they should offer more educational programs other than the GED and drug programs,
and parenting classes to help with re-entry.
He is a representative for his cell. There is no hot water or hot pot to properly cook food and the
cells are overcrowded. There is 1 toilet and 2 sinks for 14 inmates. They have too little clothing.
There are people in his general population cell who should be housed in psych and two medically
fragile inmates who should be in the medical dorm. It is dangerous for the mentally ill inmates, since
some may react badly to their behavior. The food is poor quality. He's heard the COs use excessive
force against two of his cellmates - they were kicked and beaten while handcuffed for not agreeing
to a bunk change, and the COs were not held accountable for it. He's afraid of being retaliated
against by being rehoused for speaking to the blue ribbon commission, as he knows that they
retaliate by moving people to higher classifications/worse units. The filed a grievance about the hot
pot in the past; the CO just signed it and gave it back. He never received a grievance handbook
although he was supposed it. His cellmate asked for a dental appointment and they told him to
come back in 3 months, and haven't scheduled him since. It also takes a long time to see medical
staff, and the care is poor- one inmate was bitten and told to put gauze soaked in hot water on the
wound. Since they don't have hot water he asked what to do and the nurse just said she didn't
know, and didn't offer any solutions. Mental healthcare is also poor, a cellmate said he heard voices
and they sent him to the 8th floor, but they sent him back to his general population cell a week
later. Inmate visits are cut short, and phone calls drop but are still charged. When the jail cuts
phone calls before certain times they can't be reimbursed for the calls. Calls are expensive and keep
the inmates from calling their families. There isn't enough time out in the yard - they go twice a
week and rarely go to the big yard. There is nothing on the big yard except handball, and you can't
go to the bathroom out there. He's never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Living conditions are poor. They only provide one pair of clothing every 4 days. The cells are
overcrowded, with only one working shower for over 30 inmates in his dorm. He's written
grievances but nothing happens to them. Some COs are aggressive and rude. He witnessed COs
using excessive force against inmates twice. There were three COs vs. one inmate both times. He
heard a deputy training new COs and telling them to hit, push, and twist the arms of inmates to
make them comply. He feels they should supply nail clippers at the same time they supply hair
clippers instead of making them cut their nails in the yard. Many inmates don't want to go to the
yard, which looks like dog kennels. The COs also shut down their time out of the cells early when the
inmates are too loud - they scream at them and turn off the TVs. He feels it is unreasonable to
expect 60 men to be quiet when they are let out so little. The times they allow them to use the
phone is also often too late for him to call his family. There are many fights that break out in the
cells between inmates and the COs are not even aware of them. One inmate had a serious medical
condition and was told he had two wait two weeks for an appointment but ended up having to be
taken to the ER immediately. Another inmate's shackles cut into his foot and caused an infection his foot is swollen, but the nurses won't send him to the doctor. He feels it's inhumane. The food is
poor and commissary is expensive. He also feels his mail was unfairly kept from him. Classification
improperly houses mentally ill inmates with the general population. They are abused by other
inmates in plain view of the guards, who laugh at them. The COs tell the inmates it's their
responsibility to care for their mentally ill cellmates and have no understanding of how to
accommodate the mentally ill. He has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund and feels the
A-51

119.

120.

indigent packet is unfair, as inmates have to pay for it eventually. He has filed grievances but
nothing happens. He feels the process of filing grievances should be more clearly explained - he
never received information on how to file them.
The COs use excessive force. When inmates with medical conditions can’t get up fast enough when
they order it, they slam them against the wall; when people are drunk at booking the like to twist
their arms painfully. He also sees an excessive number of COs responding to a situation - although
an inmate will already be restrained by 5 COs, they call backup and 30 of them will come and jump
him. They retaliate against one inmate who has a lawsuit filed by not allowing him to have any
clothing in his cell and placing him in solitary confinement without any of his personal effects. He's
written grievances but never receives meaningful responses - he feels they are pointless. There was
a mentally ill inmate improperly housed in his cell who put himself in danger by consuming the
blood another inmate had spit into the urinal. They told the COs and they still refused to have him
moved to more appropriate housing, despite being a danger to himself. The same inmate later
attacked the inmate. Another mentally ill inmate attacked his cellmate with a cane. The COs are
understaffed and as a result many of them do not let them out of their cells much. It is also difficult
for attorneys to visit inmates because their visiting times are very restricted. There was also an
inmate complaining of medical issues in his dorm - he kept saying he felt unwell but was ignored he died in his cell. Many medical complaints are not taken seriously, the nurses always tell people to
put their requests on a white card the next morning, regardless of whether it's an emergency or not.
Some COs also seem to be on their phones all day and they frequently don't see fights happening
between inmates. Some of them also treat inmates inhumanely, harassing them and telling them to
get up while they're on the toilet. Clothing is not exchanged often enough, the food is poor and
commissary is expensive. It is very cold and there is no hot water. They are never let out on the big
yard, and the smaller yard is divided into cages. There is no basketball hoop or any type of
recreation equipment out there. They have very little time out. He is in a workbook program and
enjoys it, but wishes the jail had more books
He came in with a bad back condition and had an MRI done with significant findings. He filed a
request to see a doctor and did not see one until he filed a grievance after 6 months of waiting. The
doctor did not believe him about his condition and asked to see his medical records before he
would treat him further. He tried to obtain his medical records but was unable to because the
phone was too difficult to use. The doctor prescribed him Tylenol but the pain continued for three
months and he couldn't sleep. He asked for an extra mattress for his back but was denied. He was
sent to physical therapy but they were unable to do anything because he has to remain chained
during the appointment and they can't get around them. He has given up on trying to obtain
medical care and has not filed any more grievances because he feels the process is pointless. He was
never given information on how to file grievances when he came in. Sometimes his packages don't
come in commissary even though his family has paid for them, and they have to call commissary to
reissue it. He also stopped receiving magazines that he subscribed to in the mail although there was
no discontinuation in his subscription. He has also been requesting to be put in a lower classification
for a year and repeatedly denied. The classification department keeps telling him that he is eligible
but needs to wait another month - they have done this for 6 months now. He obtained the inmate
handbook and it said for any infraction you’re supposed to get a disciplinary hearing within 30 days
– he’s seen people come in for a month and go back where they’re from even when they were
upclassed for being violent, but they just told him that he was housed properly because of his
charges. He filed a grievance about not being downclassed and he never got it back – he didn’t even
get a receipt. He feels like the grievance process is broken – he feels like it should go to someone
who can do something about it, and they should actually get feedback. They only get 2 visits per
A-52

week for an hour – he wants more. His family has to drive down and wait and sometimes they don’t
even get in – it’s happened a few times, and making the trip is hard on them. Sometimes they cut
visits short or they are pulled for their visits 15 minutes late because they’re serving a meal, so they
miss part of their visitation time. He has seen COs use excessive force against inmates and they tried
to provoke him in order to beat him up. One CO made up story about him saying something about
his mother in Spanish, then stripped all the inmates, put them in pants and tops that were too large
for them, and dragged some people off the floor by their hair and beat them up. While in a holding
cell, they pinned him to the wall, unshackled him and asked what he was going to do to them. He
said nothing because he knew they wanted the excuse to beat him if he allowed them to provoke
him. They returned him to his cell. The COs also used to shake down the floor in the early mornings,
dragging people off the top bunks and saying they weren't complying with their orders because they
weren't getting up fast enough, but it was very early in the morning and the inmates were asleep or
just waking up and didn't know what was going on. Visitation is difficult because of the limited
number of spots available for families to see them. The phones can be hard to use and can be
expensive to call - they lowered the price but it's still high - it's kept him from calling his family. He
hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but has heard of the indigent package in commissary but
thinks it's unfair because they charge the inmate for it anyway. He's having trouble getting mail - he
doesn't receive magazines he's supposed to and he sees the COs keeping magazines and reading
them before giving them back. They mix up peoples' mail as well and give other people their
pictures. It also took mail a while to arrive over the holidays because the staff wasn't working. To
improve the grievance process he suggests they actually look into the matter and not just respond
to the grievance. They shouldn't be summarily dismissed.

MAIN NORTH
121. He has been in and out of SCC Jails since the 1990s.

Five deputies beat him up to "teach him a lesson" for
having committed a burglary in a certain neighborhood. They had actually mistaken him for another inmate.
The grievance process is "a joke." Nothing happens when you file a grievance. A deputy poked him with his
baton while he was shackled to the point that it left marks. He filed a grievance and nothing happened. The
doctors wrote the marks off as a "rash." He has told an officer before that he wanted to make a complaint
about a deputy but nothing happens. One time he was told that the rule is that he is to speak with the
deputy about his complaint first and he is to give the grievance directly to that deputy. He feels that the
deputy will change or throw away the grievance, and he feels forced to confront someone only to get in
trouble for doing so. No matter what the complaint is about, there is no response. There has been a problem
with not enough soap. When people complain, the deputies will say "file a grievance" in a way that suggests
that they think the process is a joke. There is a term known as an "elevator ride" when deputies take you in
an elevator and beat you up which they can do only in elevators that do not have cameras; this was
something that happened in the past. Deputies may push you into the wall if you're handcuffed, they beat
people up, they knock their teeth out, or break their face. You can't defend yourself because you will "catch
a case." The "prime" example is the man who was killed. Deputies beat up the mentally ill and older people
because those people are weak and they do not know what is going on. They do this to teach other people
lessons. It is a particular group of "bad apples." There is retaliation back and forth between the deputies and
inmates. There are deputies who are professional. Deputies are on their cell phones frequently so they do
not want to be bothered if you call to them for something so they get upset if you keep calling them. And,
they are not watching the inmates. People are let out of their cells only 30 minutes a day and the deputies
do what they want to do in terms of how they let people out and who they let out. Some deputies let them
out for more than 30 minutes; it depends which deputy it is. There is a general understanding among
inmates that people will talk on the phone for only 15 minutes each and people do not have enough time to
A-53

122.

use the phone. The phone calls are too much money and if they are locked down right when they make the
call they lose that money. Sometimes the phone cuts out for no reason and they lose that money. He cannot
receive calls and cannot speak to his attorney confidentially by phone. Deputies have taken legal mail and
told other inmates about certain charges of different inmates so those people will get beat up. Deputies will
throw away your personal items if they do not like you. He did the drug and education programs after
waiting for a month to get in. He found it to be beneficial. But, the programs are a package deal. He thinks
you should be able to pick just drug programming or just education. There is a problem with food: the
portion sizes are too small. He only receives a small bag of cereal for breakfast (he did not discuss other
meals). He is aware that the IWF is state money that you are supposed to "get" but says that if you do
receive the money then later get money on your "books," they will deduct the IWF money from your books.
There is a list posted of the items the IWF is to pay for but they have never seen any of those items. What
they have is very old (e.g. Monopoly.) The cells are unsanitary. They do not allow the inmates to use cleaning
materials unless they "throw a fit." "They" come by with a stinky bucket. Their clothes are washed once a
week, except for t-shirts, underwear, and socks which are washed two times a week. He has to eat at 3am.
He feels it is just to keep him uncomfortable. He is handcuffed unnecessarily. He was shackled on the sun
deck but the cuffs on his ankles were so tight he could not stand. The atmosphere since the man was killed is
totally different, but he could not explain how.
Programs: They need more rehabilitative programs for the large number of inmates. He wants to help
himself but no one is helping him. He has “put in request after request” for anger management and
domestic violence classes. He feels like without the help he will have the same problems when he gets out.
He was told that he needed to move to a lower security level first. He thinks everyone should be able to get
help no matter what security level. A lot of people give up because the help is not available. Other: mail:
“Trustees” have been allowed to pass out the mail. Other: Officer cell phone issue: the majority of the
officers are on their cell phones all the time. They yell at people to “keep it down,” and he thinks they are
distracted. They hide the phone use from the sergeants and higher ups. The phone use concerns him
because he does not know if they are taking pictures or videos. A lot of times people actually start fighting
because the deputies are on their phone and do not notice it happening before it escalates. Hygiene: There
is not enough soap. They give you toothpaste for a week but it lasts two days. The toothbrushes also last
two days. Other: Food: The portion sizes are too small. The toothpaste once a week is gone in 2 days.
Culture: The COs get upset and retaliate if inmates are too loud or if they distract them from their phone.
Cell time: They are let out maybe 1 hour a day because too many levels are mixed. Phones: They are not out
long enough to use the phones. Inmate Safety: the emergency lights in the cells do not work. He has seen
several people with medical issues push the button and nobody comes. He has seen the button pushed,
heard fights, and no one came. Sometimes they do not come at all or they come 20 minutes to one hour
later. They do not pay attention to the light because they tell people to press it for everything such as
requesting razors, pill calls, etc. Grievance: He filed a grievance because an officer cussed at a group of
people. It did not go far enough up the chain to understand what the process is. It is difficult for it to get to
the sergeant. There is no resolution after a grievance because once it reaches a supervisor that person will
just back up the officer; their voice does not matter or count. One time he did not have the energy to pursue
the claim when the sergeant came to talk to him because the sergeant gave him “the third degree.” The
sergeant told him that the guy was great and professional. Use of Force: The officers let inmates they are on
good terms with to do what they want. There is an arrangement between a handful of inmates and a handful
of officers where they do things for the officer like beat up or threaten an inmate for the officer. They officer
orchestrate it. One time he heard an officer tell the sergeant that he had a “cell ready for” him in a Sureno
gang unit; he’s protective custody. The sergeant said no put him in non gang unit. And he was put there.
They will shackle you in a cell all day too tightly, torture and harass you all the time. Everyone knows this. No
one wants to make a fuss. Retaliation: He had a lawsuit for use of force with SCC in 2006. He thinks that
officers know about that. Officers will tighten restraints and make it hard to walk. They “man handle” him
and bang him around. They leave him in an interview longer with the restraints. They do this to other people
as a form of control. IWF: He does not know anything about IFW. It is not available as “real money.”
Hygiene: Officers give them tiny soap and it only lasts two days. Other: Food: The portions are so small that
A-54

123.

124.

a lot of the inmates are digging out of the trash can. People are pan handling in the jail for food.
Grievance/Retaliation: People do not file a grievances (about the food) because it does not matter and there
will be retaliation.
Programs: He spoke with the Buddhist chaplain about the conditions in the jails, and he likes speaking with
the chaplain because he is becoming Buddhist. Housing: they do not get out of their cells or see the sun.
Hygiene: They receive one pair clothes for three days, the same underwear shirt socks every three days, and
all other clothes 1x a week. They wash their own clothes in the sinks but they cannot hang dry them because
it’s a fire hazard. Grievance/Health Care: The inmates wrote the captain about the soap issue. He has
written grievances. One was because he contracted scabies and he requested a doctor multiple times for
two months. He had to pay $3 for every request but he had to do it because the rash spread up his entire
body. After 2 months, he received cream. His cellie also had it. He has scars. He couldn’t sleep because of
the itching. Another time, he woke up blind. He told the nurse who told him to put in a white card. He
waited until that night when it was a nurse he was friends with and she took him to the ER where he was
diagnosed with a condition that causes temporary blindness and requires medication. He has lost feeling in
his pinky and his elbow constantly cracks. He has been trying to get help for five months. He has to write
another grievance about it because the doctor says there is nothing wrong. Use of Force/Retaliation: He has
witnessed COs beat up mentally ill and homeless inmates “because they can” and because those people will
not write a grievance. He cannot do anything about it because they would retaliate and he would not back
down. Lately, the guards have backed down. Culture: He deals with the violence by making little jokes with
the CO's There are no issues with the “old” CO's If you have a problem with them you “square off.” You go
on the sun deck and fight. They have respect. The new COs cuff you and beat you. Commissary: He tries to
help the indigent people; those people are charged for the hygiene packages. Hygiene/Commissary: He has
special privileges so he receives extra clothes and an extra container. Everyone should be allowed this, and,
at the very least, be allowed to buy these things. They exercise which causes their pants to smell. Lately,
they have received more soap. Housing: They need music or a radio and they should sell one in the
commissary. It would cause fewer fights. They need a library and they could have library cards if that were
an issue. Many people do not have books. They finally received a basketball. Cell time: With the mixed levels
they only receive 30 minutes of out of cell time, three times a day. If they are short staffed, there is church,
or a lockdown, they are not let out. Other: Rule Book: He received a rule book when he first arrived (5 years
ago), but it is only English. The book says you can have it translated but how would someone who does not
speak English read that in the book? There should be an orientation for new guys who have never done time
because right now the gang members pull in the young guys. Grievance: People know about the grievance
process. It takes a while to get processed. He filed one was six months ago. Grievances get lost. He has
friends who called internal affairs and they do not respond. Retaliation: Someone called IA, and a CO who
was the subject of the call threatened the inmate. Use of Force: COs go for people who are weak. Someone
recently had his jaw broken. Before the person was killed in 6, there was violence in the jail 1-2x a month.
Culture: The problem COs are the younger ones, not the “old school” ones. Phones: There was a change so
now you can pay for the calls yourself where before only the receiver could pay. This is nice.
Housing: combining the units was unfortunate because the guys who were moved had all been together a
long time with no issues. Other: federal issue: He is stuck in main jail because he is a federal inmate. Cell
Time: Mixing the levels affected how much time they are allowed out of their cells. Before it was 2-3 hours
out at a time. Now it is 30-45 minutes. When church comes they cannot leave their cells. They were not
allowed outside of their cells at night for a month because the deputies were short staffed. Certain levels get
more time than others and the lower levels are upset because technically they should be in an open dorm
room but they are in secured housing. Inmate Safety: Being in a “cage” that long affects how people interact
when they are let out including the energy and how loud people become. Culture: The “old school” COs are
more experienced and know how to deal with inmates. The rookies are not sure so they puff out their chest
to show they’re in charge. He feels like “this is our house” and the deputies just monitor. Grievance: He has
never filed a grievance. A lot of people do not say anything because they have to live here. He has privileges
that he does not want to lose if he were to start a problem with deputies. Retaliation: They are not
supposed to retaliate, but they do it little by little. They lock you down. They search your cell. The little
A-55

125.

126.
127.

small things they will do add up. This causes inmates to become violent. Inmate safety: The community
goes after an inmate if he is messing up their ability to get time out of their cell. This is not necessarily
violence. IFW: He had not heard of IWF. They recently received games but they do not get anything else.
Other: Maintenance: Maintenance is a hassle. He tells the COs what is needed but the maintenance people
take forever to fix things like pipes and plumbing. One cell has been “off line” despite an emergency order
that has been put in three times. The jail is supposed to have hazmat fix the toilet, but they take forever to
come while there is flooding so the inmates have to clean it up. He works as a de facto plumber but he does
not have the equipment so he could get hurt. Hygiene: Soap—need more. They need more laundry and
extra clothes. He washes his clothes in his sink. He will hoard them because you never know if the next set
you receive has stains. Cleanliness: They will not give you a towel to clean your cell with so sometimes they
hoard those and the COs look the other way. Phone call: Not enough phones. No one can talk to their
families. There are four phones, 15 minute calls each, but there are 60 guys. That causes people to get
upset. Other: Legal documents: Other inmates had their legal documents read by deputies during searches.
Program: They need more books. There is not an effort to rehabilitate anyone. Elmwood has made an effort
such as a contract with Good Will who will employ you for 30 days and help you find a job. Here, you leave
jail without housing and no one helps you. They do not help you pay for a bus unless you have money on
your books. The GED class is not set up efficiently. First, there is no orientation or overview of the course.
Second, they split up the subjects by hour (three subjects over three hours) which means you cannot go too
deeply into any one subject. They can only finish two or three exercises (e.g. math problems). They should
split up the subjects by day and focus on one thorough exercise. At Elmwood you can get into a class right
away. Here they have a “drop out” gang member class and a breaking barriers program. People are
interested in self-help books. There are not any books here so people hoard them. A book check-out
program would be good. He would like to see: activities like carpentry and electricity and informational
classes like how to get into college or pursue further education. He would like “a bridge between here and
something better.” Culture: There should be better training for the guards. They joke about crimes as if they
are part of their own gang. There is a lack professionalism because they are cussing in their conversations or
on their phone texting. The COs need counseling to understand how to treat and view inmates. If they were
more cordial to the inmates then there were would be fewer problems. Sometimes the new people come in
are serious and strict. They come out start yelling at people and demanding things which creates a domino
effect. People will have a tough reaction to that. They react “fuck that” and creates anger. Everyone get
works up. Other: interference with court: A deputy has repeatedly kicked him out of court when he has
tried to get his lawyer’s attention. He feels he is mistreated because he is homeless. Medical Care: He has
been in and out of jail. He has a knee injury. Every time he comes back it is a different process for getting a
brace. One time he received one right when he asked. This time he was told he needs a doctor’s
appointment. As of five days he does not have one. Grievances: There are issues getting the grievances
getting past the officer to the superior. The on duty officer will reject the grievance. They have made efforts
to explain why a grievance would end at a certain level. They do not have any orientation and give you a rule
book when you arrive.
He does not know whether his mail to the court arrived. He does not suspect deputies are throwing it away.
But it would be nice to have certified mail as an option.
Physical health: They are very slow to respond to a requests for doctors, sometimes he has to request more
than once. There have been a few times where he does not receive his insulin because of
“miscommunications” (their words.) He thinks two of the nurses were doing it on purpose. A deputy backed
up the nurse. They will stop giving him medication altogether so he has to re request and re see the doctor.
He then has to repeat his medical history to the doctor all over again. Whenever his wife calls and speaks to
medical it is fixed temporarily. The doctor does not know what he is doing or why he is there when he
arrives. The doctors do not listen. They dismiss you before you have a chance to tell them what the issue is.
The doctors look at the computer and repeat their current treatment plan. They do not help or listen. Use of
Force/Inmate Safety: He does not feel safe with these officers. In the 1960s there was what they called the
“elevator ride” where they beat you up in the elevator. They do not do that anymore because they do it in
the cells. Grievance/Complaint process/retaliation: He has not filed a grievance about the medical issue
A-56

128.

129.

because nothing will happen except that they will “toss your house” around (destroy your property in your
cell). No one ever explained to him how the process works, but he knows you file the form and send it in.
You are supposed to give the grievance directly to the officer about whom you are complaining, unless he is
not working. Accountability: The deputies do get in trouble. Culture: 98% of the COs yell at you and are
disrespectful. Inmate Safety: It takes 15 minutes for a deputy to come when you request one by pushing the
button. They are on their cell phones. Sergeants come by only once a day. The deputies hide their phones
when that happens. Out of cell time: The do not get out more than 15-30 minutes 1x a day. They go on lock
down frequently because of lack of staff or because of a fight in another unit. Sometimes they do not let
everyone out because one guy broke a rule. Phone Call Problems: He does have a chance to make calls.
Phone Call Rates: The cost is fine. You need $20 just to turn it on. Commissary Supplies: He would like to
pay for extra clothes. They have to buy their own pillows for $6 and they are about the size of the computer.
Hygiene: Not enough soap. IWF: Does not know about it. Access to MH: It’s hard to get an appointment with
them. If you refuse, e.g. he was sick, then you “refuse” which goes directly to the person who you refused
medical to. Then that causes attitude problems. Culture: There were a few deputies who created problems
with inmates in the unit. Especially the night ones. They are disrespectful: “you’re in jail, you’re in my house,
as long as you’re under my house you do as I say.”
Rule Book: He did not receive a rule book but they have the rules posted. Every unit has different rules.
Programs: He does not participate. He has a drug problem but he does not do the program here because
then he would have to stay here longer if he did the program. It would be helpful if they offered more
programs like AA groups. Reentry: Usually outside groups try to help you with jobs, housing. He has to find
this information on his own/contact information about the groups. Access to Physical Health Care: He has
not been able to get his glasses despite making requests. He does not know how long it will or should take.
He comes in and out of the jail frequently but he has to start all over again to get his glasses each time.
Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: He has not filed a grievance about the glasses because he does not stay in
jail long enough for it to be worth it. He knows about the process because they tell you how it works at
orientation. They give you a form about how to file it. They always send you back an explanation as to why it
resolved the way it did. They told him you can write internal affairs.
Culture: He fears the deputies because the some of them are too young and do not have experience. They
punish the whole unit instead of the individual by turning off the TVs and not letting them out of their cells.
He saw the inmate handbook and they are not supposed to use profanity and demeaning language but they
do that. If someone’s toilet is flooded and they tell the officer and they say “it’s not problem.” Use of Force:
Ever since the inmate died there are no assaults by deputies. Prior to that there was a lot of excessive force
and belittling inmates. They target violence toward mentally ill, older people or weak people who won’t do
anything about it to send a message to other people. Visitation/Grievance: Frequently, they interfere with
visitation by bringing a person late so they miss part of the allotted time. He filed two grievances but the
deputy said we have “stuff going on” and he asks what they mean and they just repeat that. There was no
further response to the grievance. Grievance/Complaint process: 15 people filed a grievance about being let
out of their cells and gave it to the officer who worked that night. They still are not getting enough out of cell
time. That officer is supposed to review it and will pass it on if he does not think it is resolved. A grievance is
effective if it is really serious matter such as being treated poorly by an officer, but otherwise it is not
effective. Serious if it is a particular office is mistreating you. The do not talk to witnesses. If they respond
they tell you it is resolved. Some inmates do not believe in the process. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation:
He has Never been retaliated against. Accountability of Jail Staff: He’s been here three years and maybe 75%
deputies won’t get in trouble for something. Out of Cell Time: He is let out of his cell more than anyone else
and that is for one hour once, and sometimes twice, a day. Programs: He graduated from the only program
dorm for the PC unit. There should be more programs and breaking barriers is the only therapeutic program.
Reentry: They should do more to help people when they leave. The handbook said that they are supposed to
be productive members of society when they get out. But how? There is nothing to help them when they
leave. Access to and Quality of Physical Health Care: He dislocated his shoulder. They are not giving him
enough medication, he was told he could not get surgery, and it hurts daily three years later. He requested a
doctor 5-6 times. The care is inadequate and he is in pain. Phone Call Problems: Not enough phones/time.
A-57

130.

131.

Commissary Supplies: Would like to buy extra clothing sets and shorts to work out. IWF: Never heard of it.
Cleanliness: Not enough supplies. Only communal unsanitary mops and brooms. The majority of people store
extra towels at the risk of getting in trouble. Personal Property: They do shakedowns and they take personal
hygiene products and their personal letters are ripped. People had shampoo bottles missing, soap and
toothbrushes were on the floor. Attorney Client Privilege: They will read your case work and legal mail
during a shakedown. He knows because his was organized a certain way. He told his attorney who said write
his grievance.
Access to MH: Does not always receive his psychiatric medications and has to go a month + to receive the
medications when he first arrives. Quality of MH: The psychiatrist is good. Inmate Safety/Retaliation: When
he was “active” there were incidents where deputies put him in cells which had “tension” in retaliation for
things like working out with too many people at once. he brought him from Elmwood here and put in him a
unit with tension. Culture: The officers do not take into consideration mental illness when dealing with
mentally ill people. Grievance/Complaint process: One of the officers said “fill out a grievance” in a joking
manner regarding not letting them out of their cells enough. The officers try to fix the issue before doing
anything with the grievance. The sergeant will come talk to you if you file it. If it is granted they ask what you
want to have it resolved. A lot of people do not file grievances and they get taken advantage of. He does not
know how the process works. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: People do not file grievances because
officers will have it out for you. They can move you or put you in a worse area; there is subtle retaliation.
Accountability of Jail Staff: The deputies are held accountable now. Before they were not. You hear stories
about “elevator rides” awhile ago where they beat people up in the elevator. They hide them in blind spots
from the cameras. Out of Cell Time: They are not being let out. There was a time they went three days
straight (including no shower) without being let out. When they threatened a grievance they were given 40
minutes. They get 1x per day 30-45 minutes. The officer said it because they have multiple levels in the
same unit. Programs: GED is a good program. He likes the instructor. He completed his drug class. He can
take a long time to get in if it’s full—two weeks to two months. He would like to see vocational programs.
Physical Health Care: He has been waiting for a month on test results, and he was told he has to do a new
request to find the results. It can take a long time to see someone after a request so he has to worry about
the results the entire time. Quality of Physical Health Care: They’re good when you see them. Phone Call
Problems: Not enough phones. Phone Call Rates: They are expensive and prevents him from calling people.
Commissary Supplies Too expensive. IWF: It is money for recreational items. Sometimes they have balls, but
other items are old and missing and there are not a lot of items. Hygiene: Not enough soap. A lot of people
complain but do not take time to file grievance and also know people will mess with you. Other: Cell Phone
Use: Some deputies are on their phones all the time. Culture: Some deputies seem like they do not like
inmates. Some officers are respectful and nice and some are pissed off they’re at work. Programs: More
exercise equipment. It would be nice to have weights and other things.
Culture/Use of Force: The deputies pick on mentally ill and old people. For example, a deputy shackled a
mentally ill homeless man who was barley clothed on the sun deck on a cold day. It was retaliation. The
homeless man told a CO he needed psychiatric medication. The CO said he would tell the nurse but did not.
He threw a fit later (and spread feces in the cell. That happened “this morning.” Access to Medical Care: The
only way to get medical care or medication is through submitting a request through a CO. Use of Force:
When he was in custody years ago, he was beat up by six deputies after he was subdued from an altercation
with one deputy. He was permanently injured. They did not let him see a doctor, he did not know his rights,
and he was scared, so he never reported it. Culture: He is in the dorm with the same CO who he was in the
fight with before. He is worried about the “elevator ride.” He knows they still do that. They beat you up in
an elevator and they know how to hide you from a camera. It is an easy place to beat you up. Inmate Safety:
COs set up inmates to fight each other. They will mix levels. It happens in retaliation. They know who hates
who. Housing: He has been a level 4 every time he comes because of his fight with deputies years ago. He
has been trying to down class. He feels like the review process is not meaningful. Grievance/Complaint
process: The grievance process has never been explained to him. His understanding is that he should file a
request for things and if he does not receive them then he can file a grievance. The staff sergeants have very
little authority in what in happens in the pod. He never sees sergeants say or do anything and they come by
A-58

132.

133.

once a day. COs do not change. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation/Culture: There is a retaliation issue and it
would prevent him from reporting things. COs laugh at inmates who complain. COs leak complaints to other
inmates including sensitive information such as psychological issues. CO will call mentally ill people “J Cat”
which is a derogatory term for mental illness. Accountability of Jail Staff: No one is held accountable because
the sergeants get moved around too much. There is a loyalty to each other.: Out of Cell Time: Since Blue
Ribbon Commission they went from 1-2 hours maximum time out of their cells to 3-4 hours per day. During
lockdown they cannot shower and they have gone 2-3 days in a row with no shower. Lockdown is for any
fights anywhere in the building or arguing with a CO. Programs: He would like to see college programs,
programs about expungements and to help people from recidivating. People do not know what regular jobs
exist so they should be exposed to what kinds of 9-5 jobs are out there. Phones: Deputies stay out of the
issue of who gets to use the phone. The phone cards are really expense: $20.75. You do not find out if the
purchase went through until you try to make a call. This is difficult because you could have to wait a long
time to make a call only to discover it is not working and you have no way to find out why. The deputies say
it is not their problem it is a third-party. Commissary Supplies: They do not have hair picks and their combs
won’t work on his hair. There are not enough “ethnic” products. IWF: They are not using the money for
recreational items. Cleanliness : They are the only people who clean the cells and they have no way to do so.
They use dirty water (e.g. toilet water) because that is all they have. The walls are filthy. The rack where the
mattress is there is dirt and germs caked on them since the building was here. They were never cleaned. He
did not file a grievance because he is about to be released. He gets rashes from brushing against the wall
which has consistently happened. There is no hand sanitizer. Food: The food makes him ill. The portion sizes
are too small. Inmates eat from the trash. Other: Books: They need better books. Other: Utensils: If you lose
your spork you have to use your hands. The spork is too small so it results in your hands getting into your
food and drinks (if you are trying to stir coffee). Other: Attorney Privilege: He has heard that deputies read
inmate attorney mail.
Access/Physical Health Care: He came in with a severely broken arm from having fallen off of a roof; he was
brought directly from the hospital. His arm is in really bad condition (visibly). Stanford had a treatment plan
including another surgery and physical therapy 2x a week. He has had 1 session of physical therapy in 5
weeks and the VMC doctor said she “did not know anything” about the surgery Stanford recommended. He
was supposed to get a “chrono” so that he could have accommodations such as not having to be assigned to
the top bunk. He never received it. He filed a white card to find out why. He was told a nurse saw him doing
push ups. He is physically unable to (visibly). Grievance/Complaint process: He filed a grievance about the
nurse’s comment and not receiving a chrono. The deputy returned it to him marked “resolved.” It said it
was resolved because he was told to submit a white card. He feels he is being given the run around. He
asked for another form but the deputies repeatedly say that they do not have any. He called internal affairs
and has not heard back (it has been one day at the time of this interview.) He was not told that he could
contact anyone else. He is worried about his health and not retaliation at this point. He attempted to
contact the “ADA” but the address was covered with an address for jail compliance at the Main Jail.
Access/Physical Health Care: He came in with a severely broken arm from having fallen off of a roof; he was
brought directly from the hospital. His arm is in really bad condition (visibly). Stanford had a treatment plan
including another surgery and physical therapy 2x a week. He has had 1 session of physical therapy in 5
weeks and the VMC doctor said she “did not know anything” about the surgery Stanford recommended. He
was supposed to get a “chrono” so that he could have accommodations such as not having to be assigned to
the top bunk. He never received it. He filed a white card to find out why. He was told a nurse saw him doing
push ups. He is physically unable to (visibly). Grievance/Complaint process: He filed a grievance about the
nurse’s comment and not receiving a chrono. The deputy returned it to him marked “resolved.” It said it
was resolved because he was told to submit a white card. He feels he is being given the run around. He
asked for another form but the deputies repeatedly say that they do not have any. He called internal affairs
and has not heard back (it has been one day at the time of this interview.) He was not told that he could
contact anyone else. He is worried about his health and not retaliation at this point. He attempted to
contact the “ADA” but the address was covered with an address for jail compliance at the Main Jail.
A-59

134.

135.

Access to Medical Care: It takes a long time to see a doctor. It took seven months to have surgery on a
mucus gland. One day too many people (3) requested to see a doctor/dentist so the nurse refused to accept
their written requests (“white cards.”) They used to come every day just to pick up the white cards. Now the
nurses are overwhelmed. Use of Force: They should have body cameras. Since he has been in custody he
has witnessed a lot of illegal force used by officers. If two inmates get in an altercation, or if an inmate gets
in an altercation with a deputy, deputies will handcuff the inmate behind his back and mace him then beat
him. Deputies beat him for arguing with his cellie or arguing with a CO. Accountability/Inmate Safety/Use
of Force: One deputy was disciplined because he kicked someone on the ground so hard he knocked the
man unconscious. #22 has not seen that deputy since the incident, and learned the deputy was fired. This is
rare. The responding deputies told the unconscious man to stop faking it. One of the COs intervened when
the other was beating the man and told him to stop. They called a sergeant when the man was unconscious
within about 10 minutes. Two deputies fractured a man's bone because he was not listening to them and
continued to beat the man until he would disparage himself. They also intentionally placed that man in a cell
with someone who assaulted him, and the deputies knew of that person's intent to do so. He worries about
his safety because he is physically big so they might fear him. They set up “”( mentally ill inmates) but placing
them where their safety is at risk. Deputies assault them more frequently because they will not say anything.
Visitation/Retaliation: If he breaks a minor rule like not taking down his clothes that are hang drying the
deputies will bring him late to a visit or cancel it. Grievance/Complaint process: People do not usually file
grievances. Lately, people write the captain because that works. The grievance will go to the CO who will
resolve it and not send it up. The CO will put the grievance in the desk then give it to the CO who is the
subject of the complaint. That discourages him from filing grievances. He does not know if that is supposed
to happen. He has only filed one grievance in three years because nothing happens and there are
“loopholes.” The inmates have asked for a copy of Title 15/the rule handbooks. They put in requests and
they have not received them. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: People get retaliated against for filing
grievances such as getting moved to a corner cell or get locked down/not let out. Deputies will also raid their
cells and throw their things around. Accountability of Jail Staff: Deputies are not held accountable. Culture:
The main problems are the new deputies, not the “old guys.” There is a CO from the federal prison who is
“really cool.” That CO suggested that the captain should have more cameras and body cams because that is
how it is in federal prison. A CO responded that if they did that, he would not work in the dorms. COs like to
beat people up and get away with it. The COs like it because they do not respect inmates; they think they are
“shit.” Commissary Supplies: He has spent almost $4,000-$5,000 (over three years) for things from the
commissary including food. Hygiene: People who are homeless do not get enough soap. They do not have
enough clothes. He washes his own underwear. Deputies get mad because they hang dry their cloths.
People get staph infections because they recycle the clothes so everyone gets each other’s’ clothes. The
clothes are ripped. They should have more sets of clothing and should not have to rotate with other people.
Attorney Privileged Materials: Deputies read attorney documents during shakedowns. One inmate had
written a letter to his attorney which the deputy sent to the police department. People usually have their
attorney records set aside so the deputies know what they are doing. Suggestions: They should wear body
cams. There are inmates who assault “start things” with deputies so body cams would benefit everyone.
Mental Health Care: He sees the psychiatrist when he asks to see him but he does not get therapy which
would be helpful. Access to Physical Care: It takes 3 days to 1 week to see a doctor. Use of Force: If you talk
back to COs they will beat you up. Inmate Safety: He has seizures and it can take 10 minutes before they
respond for a call for help. Grievance/Complaint process: On issue he had was the lack of time outside of
his cell. He has not filed a grievance about this. No one has told him how the process works. He wrote a
grievance about having seizures because he was in a cell by himself. He requested a cellie because of the
seizures. The grievance process is “not easy” because it his word versus the COs' words. He understands the
rule to be that you have to give the grievance to the deputy who you are complaining about. Sometimes the
deputies do not pass the grievances up the chain. They did respond to a grievance about soap and provided
the inmates with more soap. He does not know anyone who has called internal affairs. The inmates have
organized to file grievances together. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: If you file a grievance you can have
your cell locked down or your cell raised. Accountability of Jail Staff: If “outside” people come into the jail
A-60

136.

the deputies will be held accountable. Out of Cell Time: The mixing of the security levels has led to less out of
cell time. Different levels are allowed more or less time out of their cells based on how many men are in a
particular level (the more men, the longer the time out.) Programs: He wants to get his GED but it is hard to
get into the program and he was denied access because of his charges. He is doing 12 steps on his own
through a book. He would like to have help from the outside with 12 steps and to have someone set him up
with a sponsor. He does not know how to get in the drug program at the jail, but he would like to be able to
get into the program. He is transferring to “Siberia” which will be good because they have programs.
Commissary Supplies: Some items are too expensive. You rack up a debt for buying hygiene kits. IWF: He
has never heard of IWF. Sexual Misconduct: There are few people who were assaulted by a few inmates and
they do not report it because they are scared. The deputies know about the sexual assaults because they
hear the inmate/victims yelling and they do not respond. Hygiene: They need more clothes. Cleanliness:
They should let them clean every other day with cleaning supplies/disinfectants, they need new mops and
buckets (they are filthy), and he would like floor wax. They are not allowed to have towels just for cleaning.
Food: The portion sizes are fine. Property: The deputies come into the cells and take your clothing or food.
Use of Force/Complaint/Retaliation/Inmate Safety: He has witnessed many incidents of abuse. He has seen
incidents investigated but they are not thorough investigations. For example, he has seen the same deputy
beat more than one inmate. The investigation will focus on one incident and no one looks into the patterns
of particular deputies. He reported the fact that he saw the same deputy involved in multiple incidents but
they did nothing. When he has reported things he is treated differently. These differences are subtle. For
example, after he reported that he saw the same deputy involved in the same incident, they gave him cellie
who he feared. They subtly try to dissuade you from cooperating with investigations. A deputy told him that
he could “refuse” to talk to the people investigating violence. Another deputy told him that they would not
want “anything to happen” to him if he spoke with investigators about an incident of violence. Inmate
safety/Use of Force: There is something known as the “elevator ride,” what was done in the old jail. There
was a “fight club” where deputies had inmates beat each other. One deputy offered an inmate food to beat
another inmate. The deputies would write the inmate up if he refused to beat another inmate, he would be
moved, and he would lose privileges. One time, a deputy opened the door to let out a gang member near
#24. #24 is not a gang member. The man tried to pass drugs through him and he refused. The gang
members beat him because of it. Grievance/Complaint process: There are deputies who do things and are
afraid to be exposed but the grievances do not work. He wrote the captain to report an instance of violence,
also informing the captain that the particular deputy was a repeat offender. The response was that the
captain was following “protocol.” That captain did not interview him. It was a cover up and they did not
want to conduct a thorough investigation. A problem with the process is that the deputies do not want to
send the grievances to their superiors. Inmate Safety: There was an instance where a man had a bad
reaction because he was provided with the wrong medication. He and others called for help for several
hours. The deputy stated that he had already called, but he never checked on the inmate. When help
arrived the man was unconscious and not breathing. The deputies are supposed to log everything that
happens in a blue book but he thinks they falsify the book. Deputies generally respond to calls for help after
30 minutes. The senior officers are better about this kind of thing unless they are tired. Culture: One problem
with the mentally ill inmates is that they constantly bang on their door for help so deputies do not respond
(too many false alarms). But, the deputies pick on the mentally ill and elderly because they will not fight
back. Programs: People with domestic violence should get programs before they leave and there should be
parenting classes. They have one program in Milpitas but it is basic and lasts only two weeks. They should
have anger management. The jails have a financial incentive to not help people because they get paid per
inmate. Suggestion: There should be a reward program in prison. If you behave, you should receive
privileges like access to the sun or more time to play sports. Sexual Misconduct: He has heard that there
have been gang related sexual assaults. The deputies know about it and do not do anything about. He
knows they know because they “arrange” for these people to be in the same cell. A deputy will urge an
inmate to assault someone and if the inmate says no he is given an ultimatum. The ultimatums are never
explicit threats. Food/Health: They need more vitamins. They wrote the captain about this. 70% of the
population here are drug addicts and are detoxing. They are reliant on pills because they do not receive
A-61

137.

138.

nutrients. Their diet does not have nutrition that need. They need sunlight and they do not get it. They
want vitamin E and B. The captain told him that his requested was documented but nothing comes of it. He
knows it is because of the budget and not her fault. Culture: There are “bad apples.” The new deputies feel
that to succeed they have to follow the bad apples. There are new guards from state prison and they are
better, more lenient and act like human beings. There are a few COs from the army who are unstable.
Use of Force: Before the inmate was killed the COs were disrespectful by yelling and cursing at inmates for
no reason. That has changed. For example, a deputy disciplined him in court and afterward “stared him
down.” When he returned to the holding cell, the deputy said “the old me” would have done “something
bad to you.” If the death did not happen he would have been beaten. Grievance/Complaint
process/Retaliation: No one has explained the grievance process to him. In the past has received a rule
book when he arrived, but that is inconsistent. Deputies will provide you with a rule book if you ask. He does
not file grievances because the CO always wins. The COs all have each other’s back. When someone asks for
a grievance form, the COs will say “you know you won’t win.” COs will put you on lockdown for filing a
grievance before it is even submitted. The deputy is the person who submits the grievance up the chain of
command. He thinks the grievances go to the sergeant. He has filed them in the past but he “learned his
lesson”: they win and he will be in lockdown if he files one. No on interviews other inmates about the
grievances. When he is written up he is disciplined no matter what he says and deputies will not talk to
witnesses to determine whether he actually violated a jail rule as alleged. Accountability of Jail Staff: He has
never seen jail staff held accountable. Programs: He wants a program to “change” but there is only one
program at Main Jail and one at Elmwood. Also, you cannot have a program if you were written up recently.
He was written up twice so he was denied access to a program. He was told that he could reapply in 30 days.
People who were written up recently should be able to enroll in a program so they can learn how to “act
better.” If you come into jail on a drug charge you should “automatically” be placed in a drug program within
the jail. Access to Physical Health Care: He has to wait a month to see a doctor. Quality of Physical Health
Care: If you have any issue with a tooth they will remove the tooth, they will not treat it. He currently has a
filling that is uncomfortable but he refused two dentist appointments because he does not want to lose his
teeth. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too expensive. The calls are cheaper in prison. Commissary
Supplies: It would be good to have MP3 players. Music relaxes people and they are stressed. Less stress
would lessen irritation and music can drown out irritation from the loud noises. People would want to keep
their MP3 players, so they would behave. The deputies could charge the MP3 batteries. The County could
make money by charging for the songs. Hygiene: The jail does not give them deodorant. The toothpaste is
bad. He would like clean underwear every day. He becomes sweaty from working out and sleeping but he
has to wear the same clothes. He would like a haircut every two weeks. Cleanliness: They should be afforded
towels to clean the cells. There is pee on the floor. He has to use toilet paper to clean it up but it can take a
day to get more toilet paper.
Access to MH: A mental health professional (he was not sure of her title) found a drug treatment program
for him per his request. Quality of MH/Programs: The jail needs better treatment for drug addiction and
should have a special jail for people with addiction problems. He has been waiting over a month for the drug
treatment program. He wants an anger management program as well. Use of Force: He has not seen
instances of physical force because if a deputy assaults an inmate that deputy will block other inmates from
being able to see what is happening. The jail should have more cameras because cameras would prevent
deputies from assaulting inmates and inmates from assaulting deputies. Inmate Safety: Captains are
responsive to requests for help. The deputies are able to calm people with mental illness, and they arrange
for mental health professionals to assist the inmates. Visitation: If the visit list is full then an inmate cannot
have visitors that week which makes it hard to have visits. Grievance/Complaint process: He has never filed
a grievance because his preference is to resolve his issues directly with deputy. He does not know much
about the process or other inmates’ experiences. Housing: When he first came to the jail the intake officer
repeatedly asked him if he was a gang member even though he denied it. He was classified in a high security
level and he thinks it was retaliatory for being upset with the intake person. The deputies considered his
request to have his security classification downgraded, which he felt was a fair way to resolve his issue.
Culture: Some, but not all, of the deputies are disrespectful to the inmates. All deputies have been more
A-62

139.

140.

respectful to the inmates after the mentally ill inmate died. Out of Cell Time: He is let out of his cell one
hour in the morning and sometimes 45 minutes at night which is not frequent or long enough. The length of
time that inmates are let out of their cells can depend on the particular deputy in charge, whether the nurse
takes too long passing out medication, or what security level an inmate is. In some units everyone pushes
their buttons when the nurses come so that they can be released from the cell. Inmate Safety: If inmates are
not let out of their cells frequently enough it causes fights because they are frustrated. The lack of out of cell
time can lead to suicide for “weaker” inmates. Access to Physical Health Care: All inmates obtain medical
care within a week of their requests. Quality of Physical Health Care: Although the jail has enough nurses to
treat inmates, there are not enough doctors which leaves the doctors unable to focus on the inmate’s needs.
Otherwise, the medical care is “decent.” Phone Calls: The calls are too expensive, and he sometimes loses his
money for a call when the phone unexpectedly disconnects. He has access to the phone but that is because
there are not many inmates on his floor. Commissary Supplies: The commissary is too expensive and does
not have enough variety in the types of food or sizes of products. Cleanliness: Deputies give them
disinfectant and cleaning supplies in his particular unit because the deputy who is in charge of it is respectful
of their needs. In a different unit it is not the same. Food: The portions are too small. Other: Television: The
jail should have more televisions because they are not visible by everyone in the unit. Temperature: The
deputies are intentionally blowing cool air in the winter and warm air in the summer. Cell
searches/property: The deputies used to search his cell every day and would take any leftover food he had.
This stopped after the Blue Ribbon Commission came to the jail.
Access to MH: He requested to see the psychiatrist because his medication caused him to hallucinate and
because he wanted to harm himself. Five hours had passed at the time of the interview, and he had not seen
a psychiatrist or the nurse a second time. Use of Force: Deputies twisted his arms and wrists because he had
been banging on his door demanding different housing. His wrists are still in pain. The deputies yelled “do
not resist” even though he was not resisting. Inmate Safety: There was a time that that there was a severe
incident of violence involving three inmates versus one inmate in a cell. The deputies allowed the inmates to
be housed together. No one asked him any questions about the incident even though he was in the same
unit. Deputies appoint leaders of gangs to the trustee position (classification in jail that provides an inmate
with extra privileges) who then intimidate the inmates into not complaining about whatever happens in the
jail. Grievance/Complaint process: He has filed many grievances but he is required to file them with a
deputy and the deputies destroy the grievances without giving him a copy. Fifteen of his grievances have
been ignored, and the responses to other were not understandable. He was never given a rule book or
overview of the grievance process. He has tried to contact outside agencies and that has not helped. The
only way he is able to talk to the lieutenant is to be disruptive in the holding cell at court. But, he will lose
access to the canteen, showers, and clothes if he is disruptive. The lieutenant he spoke with about one issue
did not resolve it. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: Deputies have placed him in cells with other inmates
that have threatened to kill him. He believes that this is because he files grievances. After he files grievances
he is treated differently in that he can no longer obtain things that he is entitled to such as items from
canteens. Deputies have called inmates who file grievances “rats,” a label which can cause other inmates to
stab someone. Accountability of Jail Staff: The deputies are not held accountable. Housing: He feels he is
misclassified but has no way to challenge it. He has filed a grievance about his classification which was not
answered. Access to Physical Health Care/Quality of Care: He had five surgeries just before coming to jail
and has received inadequate follow-up care in jail. For example, he needs his dressings changed twice a day,
and he repeatedly requests this, but the nurses only check his vitals. He is worried his foot will have to be
amputated because it will get infected without the changed dressings. Hygiene: He has not had a bath since
June because the deputies will not let him out of his cell. No one has provided him with soap and deodorant
and he cannot afford to buy them himself. The deputies take him to court without giving him the chance to
brush his hair or teeth and he is then labeled mentally ill because he has poor hygiene. Other: Personal
Property: The jail will not provide him with his property (religious texts) or the money he had when he was
arrested. Attorney mail: Deputies have never read materials from his attorney.
Access to MH: He sees a psychiatrist when he requests one. Quality of MH: He wants to talk to a therapist
instead of taking medication because medication is not helping. He does not know why he is being forced to
A-63

141.

take medication and the psychiatrist does not answer his questions. Use of Force: The officers have
committed crimes and are not doing their jobs. The example provided was that a deputy beat him when he
was handcuffed after #30 was involved in a fight with his cellmate. That deputy requested back up and the
four responding deputies also beat him while he was handcuffed. He was then charged with assaulting the
deputies even though he had not. He has seen 11 instances over the three years that he has been in and out
of this jail when deputies have attacked mentally ill inmates because they think that those inmates will not
file grievances. An example provided was that he witnessed a mentally ill man talking to himself and
deputies yelled at the man and twisted his arm in his handcuffs. Inmate Safety: He has been assaulted by
other inmates. He has seen deputies arrange for one inmate to fight another by placing in the same cell, but
this has not happened to him. He also said that deputies do a lot to protect people from being assaulted by
other inmates. Visitation: He thinks visits should be walk-in as opposed to having to make an appointment a
week in advance as is the case now. Grievance/Complaint process: He has filed as many as 30 grievances.
He has never experienced retaliation. He received responses to some of the grievances but he did not
understand the responses because the answers were scribbled. The captain has never interviewed him in
response to a grievance. Accountability of Jail Staff: He believes that deputies are fired for misconduct. For
example, a deputy pepper sprayed him for no reason then turned off the water in his cell to prevent him
from washing off the spray. He complained to officers in the jail whom he knew as a child, and he never saw
the offending deputy again. He never filed a written grievance for this incident. Culture: The deputies act as
if they do not want to work here. Out of Cell Time: He would like to be let out of his cell longer than thirty
minutes to an hour a day, which is the length of time he receives now. Housing: He feels that he is treated
differently because he is in a particular security level/housing pod in that the deputies assume he is there for
a sex crime even though he is not. Programs: The jail should have AA and NA, which he has requested
multiple times and received no response. Phone Call Problems: He does not have enough opportunities to
use the phone. Phone Call Rates: The calls are expensive but otherwise he does not have an issue.
Commissary Supplies: The commissary should be cheaper with more variety. Hygiene: How frequently he
showers depends on who the deputy in the unit is and there have been times that he waited three days to
shower. He only receives haircuts and new/clean clothes if he files a grievance. Cleanliness: He does not
receive comet so he has to wash his floor with bath soap. Food: He has requested a “menu” because he
wants to know what he is eating, but he has never been provided with one. Deputies do not wake him up for
meals which means he misses them. Other: Racism: There are several deputies of a particular race who
provide privileges to inmates of their race, and he believes that his cell was raided for racially discriminatory
reasons. Computers: He would like access to a computer and email.
Use of Force: He has heard from other inmates that a deputy has assaulted inmates, but he has not
witnessed the assault. There was an instance when officers placed him in the shower and screamed at him in
an attempt to provoke him into assaulting them. Accountability of Jail Staff/Inmate Safety/Housing:
Certain (not all) deputies are allowing different classification/security levels to mix during out-of-cell time
which is not supposed to happen and which has led this inmate to be involved in two physical fights. A
deputy wrote a disciplinary report as a result of the first fight. The sergeant destroyed the disciplinary report
because the deputy should not have let the inmates out of their cells at the same time. The original deputy
later asked #32 what resulted from the report, which proves that the sergeant never spoke to the deputy
about not letting inmates of different levels out of their cells at the same time. The second fight occurred
when a deputy let #32 and another inmate (of a different security level) out of their cells at the same time
even though the deputy knew that this inmate had a problem with #32. The deputy wrote a disciplinary
report for this fight but the sergeant again destroyed the report. The sergeant told #32 that he would
investigate the issue of the mixing of the levels. The levels are still mixing. Retaliation: A deputy asked him
not to tell the sergeant that she allows inmates of different security levels out of their cells at the same time,
although she did not retaliate against him. Grievances: He generally does not file grievances because he has
been in and out of jail so many times. Other: Deputy Safety: Inmate(s) assault deputies usually because the
deputies were disrespectful to the inmate(s). Rule Book: He has read the rule book, although he does not
have one to regularly access. Recording keeping: The deputies do not document fights between inmates in
the log book which they are supposed to do. Trustees: The trustees pass out food which makes him fear for
A-64

142.

143.

his safety because he has a conflict with one of the trustees. Temperature: It is too cold in the cells. Culture:
One particular officer is disrespectful, curses at him, and speaks with him as if he is a child. This officer threw
a carton of milk at him after he told the officer that he had not received one. If a deputy learns that a male
inmate has disrespected a female officer, he will harass the male inmate by yelling at him or not letting him
out of his cell. He is treated differently because the deputies assume he committed a terrible crime.
Deputies “pick on” mentally ill people because they will not fight back, and they have no understanding as to
why mentally ill people act the way they do. He does feel that if he shows respect to most deputies, they will
be respectful of him. Out of Cell Time: There is a deputy who decides who to let out of their cells based on
what a trustee tells him because the deputy is new. There is a different deputy who yells at inmates and
locks them down because the unit is too loud. Sometime this deputy does not let people out at all or he
selects only particular inmates to be let out for no apparent reason. Access to Physical Health Care/Quality
of Care: It takes three weeks to see a doctor upon request. The quality of care depends on who the doctor is.
One doctor refuses to provide him with prescribed pain medications, accusing him of being a “dope fiend.”
He did receive his pain medication when his family called jail medical every day to ensure that it was
provided. A judge twice ordered the jail to take this inmate to have his eyes examined, but the doctor will
not refer him, stating: “we do not do that.” He saw a doctor take away a cane from an inmate who needed
it. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too expensive. Hygiene: He will not receive free soap if he has
money on his jail booking account. He often receives clothes that are the wrong size, and some deputies
refuse to exchange the sizes for him while others exchange the sizes immediately. Cleanliness: On some
cleaning days he does not receive cleaning supplies. Food: He does not receive enough food.
Quality of MH: The psychiatrists overmedicate inmates. Use of Force: A deputy twisted his arm and yelled
at him to “stop resisting” when he was booked, but he was not resisting. There are deputies injecting
testosterone which leads to unnecessary force. He knows that they are using testosterone because he has
used it in the past (not while in custody). Inmate Safety: The inmates are generally safe except for fights
between inmates caused by immaturity. Grievance/Complaint process/Food: He filed a grievance about
food because everyone but him receives cake. The deputy told him if he did not like his diet (soft food diet)
he should change it. Accountability of Jail Staff: He has never seen a deputy held accountable for
misconduct. Culture: There a few officers who are nice and others who are disrespectful. There is one
particular deputy who curses and yells at the inmates unnecessarily. For example, he screamed at an inmate
who requested toilet paper and the inmate did not receive it until the next day from another deputy.
Generally, the older deputies are more mellow but this is not always true. Out of Cell Time: There are many
security/classification levels in his unit which makes it difficult to have out of cell time. Less experienced
deputies let him out of his cell 30 minutes a day while others let him out of his cell one hour in the morning
and 45 minutes at the evening. He thinks the jail should allow each group extra time out of their cells one
day a week, and all the groups could rotate. He needs more time to watch television, a movie, take a
shower, and have coffee, etc. Access to Physical Health Care: He is able to see the doctor upon request.
Quality of Physical Health Care: He is constantly in severe pain from a medical condition and the doctors will
not provide him with pain or nerve medications except for ibuprofen which does not help. He is allergic to
Tylenol and Vicodin so he is not provided with those medications. He is becoming injured in other places as
his body attempts to avoid aggravating itself. Grievance: He has not filed a grievance about not receiving
pain medication because the policy is that they will not provide inmates with pain medications. When he
entered the jail he was on oxycodone and they did not assist him in withdrawing from that medication.
Phone Call Rates: He does not have money to buy a phone card. Commissary Supplies: The prices for the
soups are too much compared to prison. IWF: His understanding is that the IWF is supposed fund items for
inmates, but he does not think that it is being used. Deputy Safety: The deputies who are not disrespectful
generally are not assaulted unless someone is trying to show others that he (that inmate) is tough. Other:
They should have televisions viewable from the cells. Temperature: it is hot in the summer and cold in the
winter.
Access to MH: It took one hour for the mental health staff to assist a man who wanted to harm self. The
situation escalated because they did not arrive sooner. He is unsure if the staff was retaliating against the
man for reporting misconduct. Quality of MH: The staff is not assisting a man having an adverse reaction to
A-65

144.

medication. Use of Force: If deputies think that they are being watched they will not assault someone. An
inmate has asked #34 to stand by his window as a witness in case the deputies assaulted him.
Grievance/Complaint Process: He has heard that many inmates have complained about a particular deputy
but the complaints will not do anything. Other deputies told the inmates not to upset the deputy who is the
subject of the complaint. The officers stick together and rarely bring inmate grievances to a supervising
official. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: He will not file a grievance, unless with other inmates, because he
does not want to call attention to himself. He knows a man who filed many complaints and the deputies
retaliated against him by moving him to a cell that is less desirable. Accountability of Jail Staff: A deputy
against whom many inmates had filed grievances returned to the unit after six months. Culture: One
particular officer is disrespectful in that he will throw away the inmates’ food and he slams doors. There was
an instance where this deputy did not give the inmate milk and the deputy cursed out the inmate when the
inmate asked for the milk. Out of Cell Time: The length of time that an inmate is out of his cell depends on
the deputy, including whether he is allowed outside of his cell at all. Housing: He was misclassified as a gang
member when he arrived because of his past offenses. He felt the process of being down classed was fair
because the issue was resolved within three weeks. He thinks this occurred only because a particular deputy
helped him; he has seen people request reclassification every week and no responses to their requests.
Access to Physical Health Care: An inmate asked a deputy how he could see a doctor and the deputy cursed
at him and did not provide him with the information. Quality of Physical Health Care: The nurses do not
dress his wounds properly, and there is one nurse who is unsanitary by dropping medical supplies in the cells.
The nurses have provided inmates with medical equipment to treat themselves instead of treating them.
The majority of the nurses do not care about their jobs, although some are helpful. The doctors do not spend
much time with him or address all of his concerns. For example, the doctor will not discuss how his condition
might affect other aspects of his health. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too expensive, especially
considering the total length of time of the call. Commissary Supplies: Many people cannot afford the
commissary. Hygiene: If an inmate requests more soap the deputies will provide more soap. The clothes
have holes and are not adequately cleaned, and he has to go to court in clothes that are unpresentable. He
does not like that he has to wear other people’s underwear. His solution is to personally wash his clothes
and not turn them in to be laundered which is a violation of the rules. There was an inmate who was never
provided with slippers despite multiple requests that went ignored, so the inmate had to walk around in
filthy socks. Food: Sergeants may provide their favorite inmates with extra food. The food comes late, is not
hot, and the portion sizes are too small. They receive meals at 4:00 a.m.., 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Because
the inmates must wait 12 hours between meals (4pm-4am), the inmates share food with one another by
leaving the food outside of their doors but a deputy now throws that food away. Retaliation: There was an
instance where an outside agency (not BRC) came to the jail and a lieutenant communicated to an inmate
that he should not talk about a certain issue within the jail. Temperature/Health care: different parts of the
jail are too hot or too cold. There is a man who may have to have his foot amputated because of an infection
that the temperature exacerbated. Deputy Cell Phone Use; The deputies are on their cell phones a lot. He
does not think that the sergeants know about the phones. Criminal Case: Officers ask him about his criminal
case and do not stop him if he talks about. He knows of an instance where a deputy told the prosecutor
something that the inmate said.
Use of Force: He has heard of people who were assaulted by deputies, but he never witnessed anything and
did report having been assaulted himself. Culture: There is a particular deputy who yells at inmates, curses
at them and is disrespectful. Inmates avoid asking that deputy for necessities such as toilet paper.
Grievance/Complaint process/Retaliation: More people would submit grievances if there were not
repercussions. The retaliation for filing a grievance includes being moved to an area in the unit that has a
blocked view of the television or anything happening in the unit. The deputies will raid a person’s cell if he
files a grievance and destroy or confiscate property that is not contraband. No one explained the grievance
process to him, but he has a jail handbook. Culture/Accountability of Jail Staff: Santa Clara County Jail staff
are the most corrupt jail officials in the area. There are some deputies who are honest and respectful but
there are deputies and sergeants who cover up instances of violence. Out of Cell Time: He is generally
locked down 22.5 hours a day, but the time he is let out of his cell depends entirely on the deputy. Programs:
A-66

145.

146.

There are people who need treatment like drug programs and GED programs but disabled inmates cannot
access the programs. Housing: He does not think that inmates of different security/classification levels
should be housed in the same unit. Access to Physical Health Care: He requested to see a doctor but a
nurse came by instead. She did not know what she was doing so he has to continue to request a doctor. He
has been here a little over a month and has not seen the doctor despite having a documented medical
condition. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too expensive. Commissary Supplies: The food is cheaper
than other jails but it is expensive. Temperature: The cells are too cold. Deputy Cell Phone Use: the deputies
are on their cell phones
Access and Quality of Physical Health Care: He has never received his medication despite the fact that the
jail has the prescriptions (which he has seen in his file). These medications include blood pressure
medication, pain pills and sleep medication. He was never provided with a reason for why he was not
receiving his medication. He felt he was being treated like a dope fiend. The jail scheduled him a doctor’s
appointment two months after the first time he requested one. He wrote a grievance and after repeatedly
telling deputies to bring him to the doctor, the doctor came to his cell for two minutes. The doctor would not
give him his prescription pain medication or sleep medication. He obtained a different doctor within the jail,
and he was more helpful. He still does not receive his prescriptions but this doctor has given him stronger
medications than that which the other doctor provided. Without his pain medications he cannot move so he
has gained 100 pounds since being in custody which has caused other health problems. He takes 15-20
ibuprofen a day even though he knows that it is bad for his liver. The weight gain has upset his health.
Grievances: He stopped filing grievances because nothing really happens as a result of them. Sometimes a
deputy will read the grievance and try to help the inmate, or a sergeant may speak with the inmate about the
grievance. He has no idea how he can challenge the standard of health care he is receiving or how to have
someone independently review what the doctor is doing. Retaliation: Deputies move inmates to less
desirable cells in retaliation for filing grievances or vocally requesting help. He knows of one inmate who was
moved to a more isolated unit in retaliation for making a complaint. Or, the deputies will prevent people
from providing an inmate with extra food. Culture: There is a particular deputy who is verbally abusive and
unprofessional for no apparent reason. After an outside agency came this deputy was removed from the unit
for a period of time. But, he returned to the unit recently. A nurse has offered to talk to a sergeant about
this deputy. The deputy will unnecessarily lock people down. Cell Time:
Other: Temperature: It is too cold in the cells and no one has responded to the many grievances filed by
multiple inmates. Access/Quality of Physical Health Care: It takes a month to see a doctor and he is still
being charged a fee to request a doctor. A nurse took away his cane the last time he was in this jail, and he
was never told why. He did not know how to obtain it again but he was released shortly thereafter. There is
a nurse in the jail now who takes canes from inmates. He thinks that the nurse takes the canes because
people with disabilities will not do anything about maltreatment. The nurse’s motive for taking the canes has
to do with outside scrutiny of the jails and discrediting the inmates; they want to move inmates out of the
medical unit to avoid outsiders from speaking with certain inmates who were in that unit. The orthopedist
he saw in jail has been responsive and prescribed him adequate pain medication. He knew an inmate who
had spinal surgery but whose cane and crutches were taken from him. Culture/Grievances/Retaliation:
Only other inmates have told him about the grievance process. There are deputies who verbally harass
inmates and then retaliate against the inmates if they file grievances. There is also retaliation against
inmates who sue the jail. The retaliation usually takes the form of moving people to different cells including
moving inmates in wheelchairs to cells that are not wheelchair accessible. He filed a grievance against a
deputy who put him on lockdown. After the grievance went to the sergeant, the deputy retaliated against
him by moving him to a different cell which was dirty and in a location within the unit that was undesirable.
Interference with Criminal Case: The jail will send psychiatrists into the unit to speak with inmates which
may make the inmates look incompetent in court or otherwise interfere with their civil law suits. Culture:
There are deputies who are verbally abusive in that they slam doors and curse at the inmates without reason.
He is in fear for his safety when around one deputy who behaves this way. Accountability: There was a
deputy against whom many grievances had been filed who did not return to the unit for several months, but
he is now in his same position as before, engaging in the same kind of verbally abusive conduct. The sergeant
A-67

147.

148.

149.

150.

151.

has been informed of this deputy’s behavior and nothing has happened. People worry about their safety
when around this deputy.
The basement is called Siberia--it's where you have to go if you're bad and get kicked out of your unit. It has
lots of blind areas where cameras can't see. If the guys don't get program time, things build up and
inmates/guards both get more aggressive. Exercise time means a lot--it helps them get things out. Bible study
time and mentors help a lot. The #1 things is getting out of your room. Otherwise, you go crazy. When there's
fight on another unit, guards shut down the whole floor. That's bad because they the guys can't call their
families or attorneys. Some days, they don't get exercise/program time at all. They don't get enough food.
Grievances--inmates wonder whether they just get torn up by guards. Inmate gets a response back, but isn't
sure how far up it went. Program dorms are great. To get into a program dorm, you have to be on drugs or
have a certain sentence--but there aren't enough program dorms. "Guys are starving for programs." They
bring out the best in people. Some of the guards are "awesome," but many are not.
Programs--there should be programs on every dorm for those who want to better themselves. For inmates
who come directly from juvenile or who are serving long sentences, they have to have some way to get
skills/education for when they go home. The jail puts too many barriers in the way of college staff coming in
the facility to teach for college credits; jail should make some process for getting college credits. Grievances-they aren't effective. Since Tyree's death, grievances are taken a little more seriously, and sometimes result
in getting really offensive guards moved to another unit. The only way for him to effectively voice a grievance
is to get a relative on the outside to advocate for him. He doesn't see guards held accountable for their
misconduct. He has never gotten a Rulebook. Hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. Food should have
more variety; the long-time inmates need more variety. Mail--it's often ripped out and magazines go to the
wrong people. Mail needs to be handled more seriously.
Grievances--he doesn't file them because the officers will mess with him if he does. If something was really
wrong, he would ask a relative on the outside to help him. He received a Rulebook. Guards are not held
accountable, except for in Tyree's death. Things have improved since then. Time out of cell--they get more
than they used to, but the amount varies some. They need time together to connect, encourage one another,
and just feel better. They got a basketball recently, which helps them stay positive. Programs--they need
more programs. He got kicked off of a program because of the long waitlist of people wanting in. There
should be classes for self-help like anger management, job/interview skills, and how to be productive for
when he gets released. They could use the multi-purpose room for good programs. Visitation--guards
sometimes cancel visitation. It depends on who the c.o. is that day. They interpret the policy differently and
have too much discretion make family be 30 minutes early, 40 minutes early, not one minute late, etc. The
jail should set a clearer, consistent visitation policy.
Grievances--the biggest problem is that the inmates never know if other people see them. Guards pressure
them not to file them. He had a c.o. threaten him about filing a grievance, but he filed it anyway. He got the
pink receipt that day, but never got an answer. Medical--they don't give the inmate enough feedback. He
filed a white card and has an appointment, but they didn't tell him when it is. There's usually a 1-2 month
delay to see a doctor, which is unreasonable. They only accept white cards on Mondays--why not everyday?
Force--guards use excessive force with mental health inmates. But, guards put the handcuffs/restraints on
too tight for everybody. Time out of cell--depends on which c.o. is on duty, "like mostly everything" in jail
depends on which c.o. it is. Time out of cell is better since Tyree's death. Programs--there should be
programming. He's young and needs education/job for when he gets out of jail. He never got a Rulebook.
Never heard of Inmate Welfare Fund. Visitation--would be good to have longer visiting hours for families who
live far away. Clothes--they need more changes of clothes. Now, they just sneak them because they only get
clothes twice a week. Guards say inmates can wash their clothes, but they can't because there's no dryer, so
if they washed, there's no way to dry them and put them right back on.
Grievances--he's been beaten up by guards a lot, and grievances are the only way to make a change. He
sometimes gets retaliated against for filing grievances, but he files a lot of them because it's the only way.
They work better when many inmates to file grievances on the same issues, like a "class action." Mental
health--when he asked to see MH, the c.o. said no. Culture--the guards are a gang now, the Green Wall 7/23
gang, and the county needs to do an investigation. About 15% of the guards are really aggressive and bad;
A-68

152.

153.

154.

they others are fine, just taking home a paycheck. He was never given a Rulebook. Programs--he didn't know
any programs were offered in the jail. No one every told him, but he would do them if he knew. Phone calls-they're really expensive and require a $50 deposit to start. He can't call his family because they don't have
$50 for the deposit.
Program time is highly variable. Sometimes they get it and sometimes they don’t. If guards don’t give time
out of cell, guards aren’t explaining why. Sometimes, he has missed program time b/c he’s locked down, but
still needs to call his lawyer, and they won’t let him call his attorney, so that practice interferes with his right
to his attorney. Young guards are ruder than the older guards, who are more respectful. “We have a hard
time with the young guards.” The young ones cut short the program time. For the last few days, they didn’t
get time out of cell b/c the guards said all they c.o.’s are on vacation. Access to MH is really limited. They
don’t have psychiatrists here. Here, they have “just crisis units” who don’t want to help unless you’re
suicidal, and they don’t know the inmates’ histories. MH services re much better in prison. When he’s asked
to see MH, sometimes the guards have asked why and tried to delve into it without just sending the inmate
to MH—that’s bad. None of the general population can participate in 5C programs for protective custody.
There should be special programs for gen population, too. 7B is the general population program dorm that
has GED/school/NA/AA/church/recovery. To get in, you put in a request form, but it’s often full, because
“everyone wants to go over there.” There’s not a clear wait list process for getting in. If there were more
programs, they should be Reentry oriented: recovery, job hunting skills, how to be successful on parole.
None of that is here. Prison programming is way better than jail programming. It’s a smart move to put
guards in training for MH communication. For an inmate who’s not all there, the guards have to have
different skills to deal with different kinds of people, but sometimes here it seems like guards don’t even
know the histories/needs of the inmates so they can handle them effectively without being rude or violent.
Classification—the guards put anybody in high security (red shirts) for the littlest things. “It seems like
everyone in this jail is in red shirts.” To fix it, there should be better reviews to review inmates’ custody
levels. Things have gotten better since Tyree’s death. Before that, it was crazy with guard abuses of authority
and excess use of force before. It’s mellowed out since then.
Grievances--before Tyree’s death, nothing would happen with a grievance, not even a pink receipt. Then
things got better. He had success writing the captain a letter; she responded. He couldn’t talk to the c.o. b/c
he would punish him by putting him in the corner—a dirty cell behind the pillar where you can’t see the TV.
Phones--there aren’t enough phones. There are 4, which isn’t enough. That makes the inmates fight each
other, which gets them locked down. Time out of cell is only 30-40 minutes—inmates even recently were on
lockdown for 2 days, and the guards usually don’t tell them why. Guards--the deputies like to play on their
phones rather than give time out of cell. The old guards are responsive, but the new guards say “it’s not my
unit” like they don’t have authority for full management of their unit, but they do. Guards have to subtle
hints that’s something with an inmate—outside of protective custody, guards have to be more attuned to
inmate to inmate violence. Inmate Welfare Fund—he just heard about it. It’s a good thing. Handcuff
sanitation—no one cleans the shackles, and the guards put them on really tightly, so they cut their skin.
Inmates end up getting staff infections from dirty cuffs. Cleaning supplies—the ventilation system blows out
dust. When they ask for cleaning supplies, getting them is inconsistent because of which guard is on duty.
Housing/MH—there’s not enough room on the mental health floor. But, putting severe MH inmates in with
general population is bad because it can result in assault and harassment between cellmates. The guards
treat inmates with mental health needs badly because the guards don’t have the training to deal with them.
Grievances--When you ask for a grievance form, the officer asks why. Then they delay giving him a form,
sometimes for days or saying they’re out. The officers shook down his cell and messed up his stuff. He didn’t
grieve because he thought the guard might come at him. There’s a lot of good cops, but there’s bad, too. It’s
the new ones that need to be less ignorant. They’re disrespectful and too aggressive. The old ones know how
to do things. Infractions process—disciplinary action against an inmate. Sergeant-level told him “whatever
you tell me, you’re gonna be found guilty.” It’s a kangaroo court. But, inmate doesn’t get a copy of that
appeal because the forms aren’t in triplicate that high up. That makes it hard to follow up later on because
there’s no paper. Legal assistance—the jail doesn’t have the legal research team forms, which stands in his
way from getting legal assistance. He had to write to the captain to get copies of his legal documents. He had
A-69

155.

156.

157.

to write to someone outside to help him. Time out of cell--they got none during holidays because so many
guards were on vacation. They aren’t told when there’s a change in inspection schedule, so then they relax
and aren’t ready for inspection. It’s easy to give 5-10 minute warning…why not? Phones--there aren’t enough
phones, which causes a lot of tension and fights between inmates who all want the phone. Need more
phones or let people out in shifts for calls. Mail—he gets the newspaper 10 days late, in bundles of 5, which
then get taken away because he has too much property. Big issue—not enough medical or dental. He got
hurt, but x-rays were really delayed, and now doctor visit is delayed, even for things that are really acute, like
an infection. Everything’s too rushed—so there’s not enough time for even inmates who have doctor’s slips
for extra things (buckets, hot water, ointment) to do those things.
Out of cell time--Before Tyree’s death, not much time out of cell at all. He did lots of grievances, but they
didn’t change it. Now, it’s much better. When they don’t have time, they can’t talk to their attorneys, which
interferes with accessing legal services. Some guards are always on their cell phones. Sometimes, the guards
write lies in the log book, so that it looks like they had out of cell time, but they didn’t. Sometimes, they don’t
do cell checks either, so people can be really hurt and not get the help they need. Some guards are good, like
70%. There’s one old guard (more than 20 year) who is really bad. So much depends on which sergeants train
the new guards—if they’re trained well, they’re good, but the new ones who are trained badly turn out
badly. Force--the guards regularly use too much force, way too aggressive. Guards use physical force to try
to provoke them. He saw guards assault an inmate and wanted to do a witness report. He told the sergeant,
who never came back to take his witness statement b/c they just want to hide the fact that the inmate was
assaulted. Grievances--Sometimes the guards tear up the forms, through them away, and never even give
them the pink copy. Because it has to go up the chain of command, the c.o. has to approve it going up to the
sergeant, but the c.o. can deny permission to talk to the sergeant, so inmates are stuck. When he filed many
grievances, they put him in the corner cell as punishment. This punishment makes many inmates not want to
file grievances. They punish the inmates by sending to a different floor, esp. by sending them downstairs (to
Siberia.) There’s no way to be heard—no good way to do grievances or let higher ups know there is a
problem. Dental care—They don’t do cleanings or anything preventative, only teeth pulling and fillings, which
is really a problem for long-time inmates like him. Medical care—sometimes the medical care is really bad. At
times, they have a hospital appointment, but the guards won’t take them, so then they lose the
appointment, even if their condition is serious. Haircuts—now it’s ok, but before Tyree’s death, they would
go 4 months in between, when it’s supposed to be monthly. Hygiene—even those who are permitted to
clean are not given time to do so. The Manual says showers should be cleaned every night, but the guards
only give them time to clean them 1-2/week, so the showers are really gross. When outsiders are visiting the
jail, things get very clean, but it’s fake. Clothes and sheets—they’re all really gross and in bad shape, but the
jail keeps them around anyway. Newspapers—the county cut back so now they only get 1 per unit and only 6
days/week, and the guards take it away and don’t bring it back, or they keep it all day, or the guard won’t let
the inmates have it till they finish, but the papers are for the inmates, not the guards.
Food—there’s no red meat served, even when an inmate has a doctor’s order to eat red meat. Jail staff is not
complying with his doctor’s order. Grievances--there’s no other way to get heard. Grievance cards never
resolve anything. It’s the same cop who you grieve who resolve its. Programs and time out of cell--even the
program dorms don’t get very much program or time out of cell. On paper, it looks like they should, but they
don’t because “short-staffed,” especially every weekend. A lot of guards seem too busy to do programming
or shower. Clothes and hygiene—you have to use your own soap. You’re supposed to get a razor every night
or two, but it’s usually every 4 nights. No good reason except guard laziness. There needs to be more
supervision—way more sergeants and lieutenants should be walking around doing surprise visits. They’re
doing it some now since Tyree died, but not before that.
It’s gotten better since Tyree died. Now, there’s more programming and out of cell time. Everyone is happier,
more mellow because there’s more out of cell time. Misunderstanding about 3 hours/week being sufficient—
it’s not, but some guards think it is. Medical care—may delay up to 6 weeks or so. Also, even though doctor
acknowledges the inmate has a certain medical condition, doctor says treatment is not available for that in
jail. So, he isn’t getting treatment. He goes through the process for medical care (white cards). Commissary-Guards get mad at inmates for ripping towels to use as wash cloths, but hand towels aren’t available at
A-70

158.

159.

160.

161.

commissary. This happens to pretty much everyone here, but no one is saying anything. There’s no real clear
way to request basic things like this that aren’t available in the commissary--request forms can be used for
rehousing, talk to lieutenant, ask for books, etc., so that might be the best way. He sees retaliation happen
to other people.
There should be more age segregation of the units so that young guys from juvi aren't mixed with older guys
b/c the young guys make noise and cause conduct problems. They keep it from being a mellow place.
Sometimes, it's the same thing w mental health inmates. Now, after "the incident" they get time out of cells
everyday. They need a break to get out. Grievances--he has filed 2 and they were both resolved at the level
of the guard he grieved. That should not have happened--they should have gotten passed up the chain.
Officers take grievances personally when they shouldn't. Inmates don't do grievances b/c then they might
not get recreation time, or guards might purposefully mess up an inmate's cell during cell check. Guards have
a derogatory name for mental health inmates="J Cat." Guards use this term on them a lot, and it is
disrespectful. Programs are limited to 1 unit--that limits who can participate. If there are programs available,
he doesn't know about them. Wouldn't it be easy to put a list on the wall in the dorm? Big issue--when his
attorney comes to visit, the attorney sometimes has to wait 45 minutes in the interview room for inmate to
be brought out. This is bad because it's a unnecessary delay that takes up all the time his attorney has to
spend with him, so then his attorney visit is really rushed. It has happened a lot. Phone rates have changed
and are better, but still excessive. In the canteen, there's no nutrition. It's all junk. Need more meat and dry
goods.
The guards verbally abuse inmates. For inmates who had a violent childhood, the guards’ violent language is
really harmful. Excessive force—inmate had an extra towel for cleaning, and rather than do appropriate
discipline/infraction, the guard started kicking the inmate. If an inmate is hurt by another inmate, the guards
will then beat up on that inmate more because the harm won’t show. Guards use flashlights as weapons to
hit the inmates with. Out of cell time—they don’t get it everyday, which means they can’t shower or make
the phone calls they need to. Need more time for phone calls. Hygiene--they can’t have an extra towel to
clean they’re cell with, so they’d have to use the same towel for their body and cell/floor, which is
unsanitary. Grievances—guards won’t accept the forms, or will try to persuade an inmate not to file it.
Guards retaliate about grievances by taking away program time. It’s better if a group of inmates all files a
grievance. After Tyree’s death, things got a little better, with guards giving them thermals and more blankets.
Programs—Roadmap to Recovery is good, but there should be more programs.
Grievances—results depend on what you grieve. Sergeants just concur with the c.o., but never resolves
anything. But, if you grieve a condition like cockroaches, it can work. It also depends on the c.o.; some are
honorable, but some aren’t. Some guards won’t even give you a grievance form. Out of cell time—they only
have 3 hours/week, which isn’t enough. He needs more time to call his attorney, who only works M-F, 9-5.
They need more phones so everyone can use them. Food—quality is really bad. It’s unsanitary, with hair and
bugs in the food. Commissary—it’s all too expensive (toothpaste $8). Program—the only program is Road to
Recovery, but it’s just self-study, so it’s not great. Classification—it’s way too restrictive, so even if you
wanted to do a program, most people can’t. They just got a basketball. Use of force—guards beat the
inmates. It happens all the time. They try to hit inmates places in won’t show, like not on the face. Clothes—
horrible and dirty, even when they’re supposed to be clean. It’s better just to wash your clothes in the sink.
The officers search the cells all the time for extra clothes. Accountability—guards are never held accountable.
Internal Affairs and formal complaint to sheriff doesn’t do anything, either. The only way to get your voice
heard is to have a relative advocate on the outside try to help. Housing—inmate was moved to harsh housing
as a punitive measure. Culture—some guards are disrespectful and try to antagonize inmates to fight back.
Guards pick on people with mental health issues more than others.
Big problem—his classification is low, but they put him in max. security and he doesn’t know why. He did a
request form to move, but never got a response. There’s nothing he can do about it. Classification must be
fixed so it has more transparency to the inmates so they can know why if their classification is changed. Out
of cell time—the only get 3 hours/week, which really limits his time to call him lawyer. They need more
phones in this unit. There’s way more of cell time in prison than this jail. Programs—there are no programs in
this unit, but they need them. Inmate safety—guards try to incite inmate-on-inmate attacks when the guards
A-71

162.

163.

164.

165.

can’t get at a particular inmate directly. Inmate Welfare Fund—he doesn’t know about it. No programs or
board games. Commissary—prices are outrageously high. He never got a Rulebook.
Culture—the guards use profanity and make them go naked as punishment. C.o.’s abuse their authority. If
one person messes up, the guards lock everyone down. When they do cell searches, guards sometimes tear
everything up, no respect for inmates’ things. Use of force—a guard attacked him about something he didn’t
know about and banged his head against wall even though he wasn’t involved. Inmate didn’t file grievance.
Program—he tried to get in because he wants to do his GED, but they won’t move him there. He hasn’t
gotten any response to his request. There’s no transparency in the classification system. Housing—guards
use certain units as a disciplinary placement. The unit is super cold and has holes in the cell walls. Hygiene—
Clothes are super raggedy. They have to get haircuts during program time, but they shouldn’t be limited that
way. They don’t give razors often enough, so the guys can’t shave. Out of cell time—now, they sometimes
don’t even get the bare minimum of 3 hours/week. The max. security inmates are in step down housing,
which interferes with the out of cell time for all the others who are lower security. It varies a lot by c.o. When
they ask why no out of cell time, they get no good explanation. Things got better since Tyree’s death. Last
year, there was a time where they only got out of their cells about 10 times in 4 months. It was really bad. He
didn’t get out for 14 days straight. Guards would cancel their visits, too. Grievances—people would file them,
but never hear anything back. More responsive since Tyree’s death.
Use of force—He was beaten up by guards in max security, bad injuries. The guards “hurricane” inmates,
coming in at full force. The guards took their commissary bag of supplies, thermals, towels. Broke his
cellmates’ ribs. No obvious reason for the assaults, just guards being aggressive. Inmates filed grievances,
Internal Affairs came down, then guards retaliated by turning off TVs for a week after. Guard blamed the
inmate for attacking him. Guards call and other guards come running, but not sergeants, then the guards
assault the inmate. As soon as an officer sees a sergeant, the guards stop the assault. Grievances--He filed
grievances and got no responses. He called IA, which came a week later. Nothing ever got resolved and no
response. Guards retaliated by turning off hot water, then moved his housing. A relative advocates for him,
too, but doesn’t get very far either. Out of cell time—they gets 3 hours/week, but sometimes not even get
that, and the officers sometimes lie on the log saying they got time out of cell when they actually didn’t.
Culture--Guards are always standing around on their phones, then blame lack of programming time on being
short-staffed. Visitation—sometimes guards wouldn’t let him have visits, even when he isn’t on restriction.
Inmate’s family says the guards downstairs are really rude to them. Programs—he requested to be in a
program dorm for GED, but he never got any response. They should at least give him a response. He could do
a new request to downclass every month when they review classifications, but there’s no other way to get
programs. “We just need to stand up for our rights. We’re glad you’re here to talk to us because our voices
never get heard.”
Grievances—he doesn’t think they ever get past the officer to sergeant review. Sergeants just cover for the
guard. He just doesn’t file them anymore because he doesn’t think it will solve anything. Culture—guards
look at inmates like animals. He’s been here a long time and he hasn’t seen it this bad. Guards antagonize—
say smart things, come in your cell and mess with your things, use psychological tricks to try to make you
react. “It’s not even like a jail, but a concentration camp.” It got so bad, then fake getting better just because
they’re under the spotlight. He sees inmates get beaten. Guards do it to people who don’t have families, or
people they fear, or people who are trying to protect their rights. It’s the same bad guards every time. There
not all bad guards, but there one team that handles all the bad stuff. The new ones are exercising authority
for the first time, they abuse it. Some of the senior guards, too, are on the goon squad. Visitation—his
relative travels far, and guards treat relative badly. Guards sometimes cancel the visit entirely even if she’s
just 5 minutes late. Programs—those dorms are good. No access to programs in certain units. Time out of
cell—they’re lucky to come out 15 hours/week. But, if they have lockdown, it’s even less than the required
minimum. Can’t call lawyer, family, it messes with your mind and is mentally stressful, can’t shower. Biggest
change needed—respect for inmates’ rights.
Grievances—he grievance a guard who was harassing him, and then the c.o. followed him to new housing
unit to keep harassing him. If you grievance a c.o., that guard gives it to the officer you grievance, and they all
have each others’ back. Guards don’t give out grievance form sometimes. They delay up to a month, and try
A-72

166.

167.

to persuade them not to file. Problems don’t actually get resolved. Things happen all the time that need to
be reported, but they aren’t. Excessive force—guards use shackles too tight for going to court and all the
time. They use too much force/pepper spray than is necessary to secure. Even if you’re just too close to some
incident, you still get locked down and beat up. Out of cell time—they only get 3 hours/week. So, they can’t
shower every day or every other day. They had a c.o. who would lie that the facility was on lockdown, just
not to give them out of cell time. He didn’t come out of his cell for 10 days one time. Housing--This unit has a
population that’s too mixed; it hurts them all. Phone—calls are too expensive. Visitation—relative says
guards are rude to her. Mail—their mail doesn’t always go out. Programs—there’s not enough program
dorms. Classification says he’s properly housed here, so he can’t get programs. Hygiene—it’s hard to get
cleaning supplies except for Wednesday’s when the sergeants come through. They steal an extra towel so
they have something to wash the cell with; otherwise they have nothing. The clothes are bad, gross and torn
up. Some of the cells are really gross. Guards clean only for inspection, visitors like the Commission or Audit.
Showers—they flood. It’s gross, and it floods all the time, so people shower in their sinks often. Food—it sits
in the carts too long, so it gets burnt or cold, need to deliver more quickly. Cell checks—the guards make an
excessive mess when they do cell checks, and they throw things away.
Grievance—if you file one, guards will hit your cell and take your things. The grievance isn’t going anywhere
anyway, and they retaliate. Out of cell time—only 3 hours/week, and sometimes not even that. “There’s
always an excuse” not to give it. Sometimes, 7-10 days with no time out of cell. It would be better to behave
badly and get into max security; then there’d be more time out of cell. Culture--These cops are really very
mean. Some are ok. The guards have a bad attitude. “They take their issues out on us.” Guards “rush to lock
everyone down so they can be on their phones.” After Tyree’s death, things got a bit better, but it’s fake.
Housing—he got pulled into a punitive dorm for no reason, as he has no behavior problems. He did a request
form to reclass lower, but he didn’t even get an answer. Programs—in this unit, there’s no way to
rehabilitate yourself. So much tension in the dorm where there’s no program. Medical—it takes so long to
get to medical, then the problem is gone. Delay is 6 weeks, approx. They will sometime send to a hospital,
but only if you convince them it is a really urgent issue. Otherwise, they just leave you there. Use of force—
the guards have just come through in the wee hours of morning, wake everybody up, and tear up their cells
as a way of getting back an inmates who do things the guards don’t like. Other guys in his unit don’t want to
talk to the Blue Ribbon Commission because of fear of retaliation. Food—need more variety. It’s always the
same. Mail—sometimes doesn’t come, but they give no reason why. Phones—hard to call lawyer because of
no time out of cell during office hours. Inmates get cut off from calls if another has to come out and be
secured. Clothes and sheets—they’re all dirty and torn, and never enough. The guards take their extra
towels, too. Showers—gross, should be cleaned every day, but only cleaned once a week because the guards
are lazy.
Grievance—tries to solve things with the officer directly. He’s seen grievance forms ripped up in the trash
regularly. Because the grievance goes to the officer who is grieved, it doesn’t make sense that the officer
would give it to a sergeant. The shifts look out for each other, so it doesn’t help to give it to another officer.
Officers may write “resolved,” but it never is resolved. “You learn to be submissive over a while” because
there’s no one to advocate for you. You just turn timid. Culture—the guards have the attitude that they can
talk to inmates badly. The guards assume the inmates are guilty, but many of these guys haven’t even gone
to trial yet, so may not be guilty. There should be training for officers about how to deal gracefully and
effectively with inmates. Culture--when guards leave their personal problems at home, it makes the whole
pod run with peace and harmony. Those guards run programs and let the inmates talk to their families. It all
runs better, and there’s less chance of inmate on inmate aggression. Riots sometimes happen for all that
aggression. Jail is a really racially segregated place, but the guards who aren’t stressed out help keep it all
peaceful. Out of cell time—guards are now getting in trouble for writing down incorrectly in log books that
program time is happening. Phones—there are not enough, especially for pro per inmates who need to
mount their legal defense. It’s hard to understand that there’s no sense of empathy from the guards for their
situation. It’s too easy for these guards to blow the inmates off, when their lives at stake. The clothes are
filthy, but that doesn’t even matter, in comparison to time out of cell to take care of legal matters and family
calls and hygiene. “Who do we go to?” Hygiene—should have haircuts more often. Staff and scabies is an
A-73

168.

169.

170.

issue. They overload the washers, so things don’t get clean. “This all makes you feel like an animal, and you
don’t want to start believing that’s true, because that’s when things start to get really bad. You lower your
standards for how you live.” Towels—they need another towel, one to clean their cell and one to clean their
body. The have to steal, and then they get disciplined. How are they supposed to keep their cell clean?
Out of cell time—they get only 3-4 hours/wk. That makes it really hard to call attorney because their time out
often isn’t during business hours. Especially for inmates who have not yet gone to trial. His kids ask him why
he hasn’t called, and he needs to be able to call his young children. Staff have tried to do more, it worked
well, but they stopped. The problem is that their dorm is so mixed with classifications. It’s mentally really
stressful to be in a cell that long without a break. A lot of other jails figure out phone access, without these
major restrictions. This is a big deal and must change. Even 2-3 more hours/week would be so much better,
especially because the family goes through stresses, too. Sometimes, the inmates just get really depressed.
Phones—calls are really expensive. It’s less is prison, why not here? Need more phones to talk to family and
attorney because their out of cell time is so limited. Classification system is unclear—they do a review
monthly, but he hasn’t gotten downclassed. He wants an explanation of why he is in this restricted custody;
it doesn’t make sense to him. Visitation—why does he have to go to visitation with chains on? It’s a secure
room, and he doesn’t want his children to see him chained. He still needs to be a father, even though he’s in
jail. Hygiene—he needs to exercise, but has to wear the same clothes the rest of the time. Why not sell
exercise shorts at the Commissary? They need more cleaning supplies; staph is a problem sometimes. Some
guards won’t give out disinfectant; they use their discretion, which hurts the inmates. It gets dirty every day,
so they need supplies to clean often. Food—it’s so bad he won’t even eat it. Commissary—charging way too
much. TV—from certain cells, you can’t see it. They need something to help them still feel human.
Grievances—go to the guard that you grieve. That makes no sense. It might be taken more seriously now.
Some guards get angry when you ask for a form, so he won’t ask certain shifts for forms. Inmates are
intimidated because the guards are the ones who control out of cell time. Use of force—guards call big
groups to come to an inmate even who is locked down and no longer a threat. He’s seen guards beat the
inmates. After Tyree’s death, the bad guards aren’t as aggressive as they used to be, but guards antagonize
inmates with words and try to get the inmates to react. Guards aren’t ever held accountable, in large part
because the incidents go unreported.
He's doing a program, and it is really good. It includes book and a case manager. He wants help to help
himself. Guards are more considerate and lenient with inmates who do programs. Grievances are never
resolved. He got a response to a grievance he filed, but the issue wasn't resolved. The Classification guards
stereotyped him for saying he was gay and put him in restraints and too high of a classification for that,
which was wrong. He almost got beaten up by the Classification guard. The guards are on their cell phones all
day long. When an inmate turns on his light for help, the guards delay checking on them about 20 minutes
and then harass the inmate for needing something. Big deal--they need more constructive program time.
They should have the opportunity to learn job skills and get a California I.D., and shelter referral before
release--otherwise, jail is just a revolving door. The programs are really good, but inmates should be
encouraged to do them early--it took way too long for him to get the program help he's needed for years.
Why does Wednesday need to be "Lockdown Wednesday" with no visits or programs? At least they still get a
little time for exercise. Guards game the system and switch days to get too much overtime, which wastes
taxpayer money.
He doesn't file grievance because he's seen people get locked down for a week as retaliation. There's no real
way to be listened to. Biggest problem--guards' "misdirected anger" at inmates. Example, he asked a guard if
he had a court appearance today, and the guard used very offensive, aggressive language, rather than just
give an straight answer. The inmate then didn't want to say anything else b/c he thought the guard would
ruin his cell and take his things away. The guard would have gotten really pissed out. Multiple examples of
offensive, aggressive guard behavior. Some guards are cool, but not others. Some guards don't give as much
programming/exercise time, or don't give the full amount. It varies a lot from guard to guard. The guards say
it's because they're short staffed. Program time is so important because the cells is a "rice cooker" where the
inmates are just in their heads all the time. Getting time out of their cells helps them learn to communicate
with others better. He's asked to do programs like in the programs dorms, but they don't let him. Breaking
A-74

171.

172.

173.

174.

Barriers in 5C is really good. You have to apply, and it's the "luck of the draw" about whether you get in, but
the jail should have more programs so more inmates can do them. Big deal--they need guards who don't just
see this as a job, someone who isn't "in the game "to oversee the jails. They need a normal person who is not
in the jail mindset to be in charge.
There's no consistent time out of cells. The new guards don't give out of cell time because they're not trained
enough. When guys don't get program time, it makes people more aggressive, agitated. The inconsistency
means that you tell your family that you'll call, but then you can't call them, so then they worry. He doesn't
file grievances because of retaliation. "You've always got that fear" that you're not going to get canteen or
whatever. There's no other way to be listened to. "Things fall on deaf ears." Grievances don't help. Programs-they're offered, but it's on a limited basis. He can't do court-ordered NA meetings because NA isn't available
for protective custody inmates. The jail needs more programs, more open spots, and more program dorms.
There's no reason his dorm couldn't be converted to a program dorm. Phone--there's always a line for the
phones. More should be added. Dinner time conflicts with the time attorneys are coming out of court, and
inmates can't call attorneys in the morning b/c they're in court, so it's really hard to call attorneys. Laundry is
only 2 times/week, so the guys are wearing the same clothes (including underwear) for 3 or 4 days in a row.
He used a grievance form once and the captain resolved it, but most people use grievances for petty stuff. He
doesn't normally use grievances, just tells another c.o. if there's a problem. For a long time, they weren't
getting enough time our of cell. The guards have too much discretion about whether to give out of cell time
and how much. Why does the whole dorm have to pay for it when one person messes up? Guards expect
inmates to control each other so they don't mess up. When he rings his light for MH, guards usually get him
MH quickly. The jail needs more programs because the waiting list is long. He's waiting to get on a program
dorm, but there's not enough space, and people get discouraged waiting. Visitors on probation can't come to
visit--that's a problem because his fiancé is on probation. There should be exceptions. Phones--they need
more phones. Classification--guards need to have less discretion about classification. He's had red pants on
too long and no way to get a change. Jail doesn't spend enough time on the correct classification.
Medical--he has a medical problem and keeps putting in white cards, but he never gets the medicine. The
nurse tries to give him a different medicine, but it doesn't work, and now he can't get either medicine.
Grievances--He's afraid to file one, even for medical, because then the guards will make your time in jail
uncomfortable by doing things like kicking your door, dropping food, trying to get you to do something
stupid. Accountability--CO's are not held accountable. They intimidate and assault inmates, but the jail just
shifts the c.o. to another unit rather than disciplining the guard. Trustees are a problem because the guards
tell Trustees too much and rely on them to "enforce" with other inmates. Officers shouldn't use Inmates to
do the Officers' job. Plus, guards are lenient on Trustees. Classification--it's a big problem. There's no
transparency so inmates can't know what to expect. Safety--he was assaulted by 3 inmates, but it was never
investigated. He's afraid to call Internal Affairs because of retaliation. Never got a Rulebook. MH care-sometimes long delays to see doctor. He has a relative who works in the jails who has been pressured by
sheriffs not to talk to inmate, or may lose job.
Grievances--the officer will throw it away if it's against him. Grievances work best when many inmates all file
for the same problem. If you see something bad, there's not really anything you can do about it. Inmates
misuse grievances for petty things. He was given a Rulebook eventually, but it isn't followed anyway.
Medical--he's put in cards for medical, but can't see a doctor soon enough, so he just has to try Motrin from
Commissary, but it doesn't work for his problem. Things have improved drastically since Tyree's death. Some
guards give enough out of cell time, but not others. There's a lot of variation. The problem is that, without
time out of cell, you can't call family, shower, cook, exercise, etc. It "messes everything up" not to have it. If
they're loud, they get locked down early. Everything depends on which officer is on duty. Some are lazy,
some are good, some bad, some approachable. "Who it is, controls everything." Programs--they need more
programs badly. Especially for guys who come from juvenile and/or those with long sentences, there's
nothing they can do to better themselves before release. Need "anything to develop your mind"--college
courses, workforce development. They have to learn skills to survive on the outside. Cleaning--they need
more soap and laundry more often. Visitation--the guards downstairs mistreat families for visitation. Families
A-75

175.

176.

177.

178.
179.

have to be there before visitation starts, but guards interpret the policy differently and turn families away
when they shouldn't. It's a bad system for families.
Booking officers are way over aggressive and use too much force. He gets retaliated against b/c a relative
works in the jail. You can't get packages from family here like you can in prison, only really limited packages.
Grievances--doesn't file them because he doesn't want to get messed with. It's bad for the guard's career, so
guards don't want them. If you file a grievance, the guard will take programming away from the whole dorm.
C.o.'s aren't ever held accountable. Programs--they are really good and there should be more of them. Out of
cell time--the new guards don't give much because they don't know how to handle it. Phones--he can't ever
get in touch with Probation. His mom has to call probation for him. There are probably 10 really bad guards
other than the ones who killed Tyree. With all the cameras, the jail should keep a better watch on the c.o.'s.
"Not everybody should get beat up." The veteran guards are not the problem; it's the ones who came out 1-2
years ago.
Former inmate complains of being retaliated against while in jail due to his wife's (also an inmate in County
Jail) situation. He was pursuing a complaint against the County about guards covering up a sexual assault.
During her confinement she attempted suicide. He and wife forced apart and denied communication. Asserts
that COs sexually assaulted his wife. Has complained to Board of Supervisors but told that he would have to
take other steps. Wife isolated in Mental Health Unit. Claims that County falsely tampered with her release
information. COs claimed that she was on disciplinary status and could not be contacted. They asserted that
she was released, but then re-arrested. She had a nervous breakdown and she stripped naked. Guards
responded by taking videos and pictures and then a male guard grabbed her. Now they are saying that she is
not in custody. He cannot find any records of her re-arrest. Claims that they are pretending to not know
who he is, and that they keep moving her around to avoid him contacting her. Concerned that they can
assault and retaliate against her. He believes she is now in Mental Health Unit at main jail. He is concerned
for her safety and that no one will give him information or access to his wife. He has filed a missing persons
report about his wife . Claims that he was told that they checked with her about whether she wanted to
continue contact with him and she said yes. SJPD says they have no information about any re-arrest. He
claims a SJPD officer sexually assaulted her during transportation to main jail and as a result she lost a
pregnancy. They are now trying to keep him and her apart to avoid the rape claim.
The caller indicated that he was an inmate in a Hispanic dorm at the main jail. He said that very recently
(after the Blue Ribbon interviews began, and after he was interviewed), an officer “degraded” an inmate for
not speaking English, and insulted that inmate based on his language identification. The Spanish-speaking
individual requested to file a grievance. The supervisor refused to take the grievance, stating that the
grievance could only be presented in English, that no grievance could be presented in Spanish, and that there
was no translator or interpreter available. The grievance was “refused.” The grievances never seem to go
anywhere. The caller remarked twice: “Even while you guys are doing these interviews”
Caller reports that Main 7C was locked down again and strip searched. Food from commissary in calls were
thrown on floor and disposed of by guards. Commissary lacks good shoes and inmates complain of blisters.
Inmates have only one pair of socks.
Grievances - if you make a grievance, either nothing happens or a guard may think something of you.
Programs - there have been times where more than 3-4 days can go by without inmates being allowed out of
cells; guards will cut short time out of cell; will write that inmates came out for 30 minutes, when inmates
were only allowed 20 minutes; for program time, inmates are only allowed an hour, but they may not get
time on the deck, or be able to use a phone, since the phones are always busy; others in cells ask for water,
and inmates out of cells will bring water to those in cells, but must do so within time allowed out of cells;
would like full hour on deck, without counting phone time, time getting water for others as part of hour;
inmates want access to programs to better themselves for when they get released and do not have such
access. Housing Classification - in pods with mixed classifications (double red housed with red/tan and
orange/tan), actually are getting less program time (time out of cells) than pods with higher classification
(e.g., double red) non-double-red inmates are supposed to get; inmates have been converted to higher
security classification without explanation, when there has been no discipline or violence. Access to Physical
Health Care - may take turning in multiple "white cards" to a nurse over the course of weeks in order to see a
A-76

180.

181.

doctor. Excessive force - guards have used handcuffs too tightly, slammed inmate's head against a wall
several times, have laughed about it, have kicked inmates and spat on them; guards have imposed strip
search on inmate before inmate left for court, when never conducted strip search on inmates going to court
before. Sexual misconduct - guards have conducted sexually abusive/harassing strip searches, asking
inmates to "squat and cough," and have touched inmates' testicles. Visitation - family wanting to visit inmate
in jail during holidays must try to schedule weeks in advance; family members making a visitation request 1-2
weeks before holidays were unable to obtain a convenient time. Cleaning supplies - inmates are only given a
small amount of Comet cleanser to clean their cells. Food - food served in hospitals is better than the food
served at the jail; hot tray food can cause feelings of sickness and bloating. Phone Call Rates - the jail has
taken money from calls that is not supposed to be taken, has overcharged.
Grievances - automatically denied 100% of the time by guards, and nothing changes if escalate grievance to
captain; guards have suspended inmates’ ability to file grievances for 6 months if the inmates file too many;
inmates are supposed to have access to the County Department of Corrections Policy & Procedures Manual,
but the jail is not allowing access to it. Out of Cell Time - guards deny use of exercise yard; inmates are
supposed to get 3 hours minimum each week in the yard, but inmates must do multiple activities during their
time outside cell, including cleaning and talking to their lawyers for their cases; if their time outside cell
happens at night, they cannot call their attorneys; if an inmate wants to shower, the inmate must use shower
during time outside cell, program time, and it cuts into time for exercise or using phone; it is very hard to use
the phone and take a shower during program time; if “double red” or “at-alone” housed in unit with lower
classification inmates, “at-alones” can only come out of their cells by themselves, and the lower classification
inmates are kept in their cells on lock down, and lower classification inmates are denied time for programs
(exercise, phone calls, showers, cleaning); one unit may get 1 hour out of cell every other day, while another
unit may bet 3 hours every other day. Housing Classification – some inmates that have “sensitive needs”
have been assigned to mixed classification units, and because they cannot function mentally, they are
classified as “double red.” Programs - programs like GED, road to recovery are not available to units with
mixed classification that includes double-red, or denial of access just be based on an inmate’s classification if
too high. Visitation - if family lives far away, it's a hardship for the family to drive a long distance to visit
inmate; because inmates are supposed to get 2 visits per week, with each visit lasting an hour, family wants
to schedule the 2 visits back-to-back. Accountability of staff – guards will disrespect inmate cells, take legal
work inmates have prepared. Clothing – only allowed 1 each of clothing to wear: shirt, pants, underwear;
many inmates was their clothes in their cells, as clothes washed by jail laundry come back disgusting.
Cleaning Supplies – inmates not provided with disinfectant, only Ajax cleanser and a scrub pad once a week;
inmates are responsible for cleaning their cells, and are disciplined if they do not adequately clean cells.
Access to Physical Healthcare – inmates have to repeatedly submit a white card in order to see a doctor.
Commissary – prices are outrageous, and quality of products are terrible, such as toothpaste. Food – food is
poor quality; edible, but disgusting; food is all combined on one tray and inmates would appreciate trays with
dividers. Inmate Welfare Fund – inmates with funds do not like having to subsidize cost of supplies for
inmates without funds. Sexual Misconduct – one guard subjected inmates to excessive body searches,
requiring them to “squat and cough” multiple times, and also commending inmates to pull back their
foreskins.
Grievances – not receiving replies to grievances; received infraction for something not involved in. Housing
classification – inmates with no history of violence given highest security classification of double-red; inmates
facing same charges may be classified at different security levels; if ask to be downclassed, told to await 30day review, but after 30 days told to wait for next 30-day review and this continues for months. Out of Cell
Time – same classification level in a different unit can get more program/out-of-cell time containing same
classification levels; inmates are required to make phone calls, clean cells, and take showers during out of cell
time, but insufficient time. Programs – inmates want GED program, but not allowed at higher classification.
Phone Call Problems – only time allowed to make calls is during the 1-hour out of cell time 3 times a week,
and it’s hard to get access during those times. Hygiene – each inmate allowed 1 roll of toilet paper per week,
insufficient; inmates use sinks to bathe, ask for floor towels to keep floor dry; if cell is searched, guards take
floor towels; using showers is too time consuming and takes up out of cell time; inmates wind up washing
A-77

182.

183.

184.

their own clothes in cells because jail only provides 1 set of clothing, and laundry is only once a week.
Housing – some cells have water leaks and long waits for plumbers. Cleaning Supplies – inmates are required
to clean cells and resort to using clothing to clean cells because jail doesn’t provide supplies; inmates
requesting mops during out of cell time are told mops unavailable. Commissary –jail provides very small soap
bars that don’t last, so inmates buy soap and shampoo, very expensive. Food –food is dumped together on
same tray; inmates would like trays with dividers to separate different foods.
Grievances –guards reluctant to provide inmates with forms, and then angry; some guards hold a grudge
over grievances; inmates will grieve, then guards do not take action, or write “resolved” on form.
Commissary – orders have items missing, and then corrected. Access to Physical Healthcare – inmates
needing access to eye doctor not allowed to see one, and cannot get replacement glasses without a
prescription. Programs – inmates want GED program, but are told ineligible because of classification.
Housing Classification – inmates request downclassification, but are told ineligible; major overflow of
“double-red” inmates into lower classification units, and it prevents inmates with lower classification from
getting programs. Phone Call Problems –incident where all phone calls were cut off in the middle of the call;
inmates lose money from dropped calls; if inmates want to call their attorneys, and only allowed out of cells
at night, cannot reach their attorneys. Out of Cell Time – inmates will request board games, but are denied;
jail barely got a basketball for unit; jail should provide pull up bars; inmates do not have enough time during
out of cell time to shower, use phone, clean, and exercise. Visitation – inmates want longer visits, and more
than twice a week. Housing – vents in units clogged up, mirrors in cells scratched up; jail will not provide
adequate cleaning supplies; guards have seized cleaning supplies. Culture – some guards will treat inmates
like trash and maintain an air of superiority. Food – jail serves a lot of bread, and it is not very filing. Clothing
– one pair of socks and underwear is insufficient; inmates prefer to wash clothes themselves, otherwise, if
participate in laundry exchange, inmates will get clothing back with holes.
Housing – cells very cold in December, air conditioning on instead of heat, though jail recently provided
thermal t-shirt and extra blanket; unit only cleaned once a week, used to be daily, now lots of cockroaches
and dust. Cleaning Supplies – jail provides inadequately small amount of Comet and scrubber for entire
week. Grievances – no response from guards at times, other times guard will give inmate the 3rd degree, get
upset; inmates want what they’re entitled to, but guards will tear up their cells; inmates fear retaliation, and
have experienced retaliation; guards have denied some inmates forms. Culture – some guards are
disrespectful to inmates; guards will tell inmates not to speak to captain when present, unless captain speaks
to inmate; guards will tear up cells and throw things around if inmates speak to captain out of turn. Out of
Cell Time – 3 hours per week is inadequate; federal inmates get 10 hours/week; if inmates at court or having
visit, not allowed make-up hour, choice is to decline visit or give up shower; only time allowed to shower, use
phone, clean cells. Visitation – limited for double-red inmates. Food – appears burnt at times. Programs –
many inmates want programs, but denied because of court cases, gang indictment; Roadmaps program is
independent study, and lacks ongoing support. Phone Rates - calls too expensive; $5 to access call and if
locked down because of double-red inmates, have to hang up and lose money. Use of Force – guard roughed
up inmate after he mouthed off in reply to lock-down order. Commissary – lower quality than before; some
products run out fast; shoes fall apart quickly; food is past expiration, complaints unheeded. Accountability
of Jail Staff – guards not held accountable; sergeant will stick up for guards; misconduct is not addressed
when it should be.
Grievances – process a joke, guard just checks a box, form never goes to sergeant, never resolved; inmates
fear retaliation, guards retaliate for grievances by nit picking, giving infractions, taking away commissary,
programs, books and magazines; many guards will not provide grievance forms when asked; if ask next shift
for form, guard has said to wait until guard being complained of is on duty; grieved excessive use of force,
but nothing happened. Access to Physical Healthcare – experienced severe pain, requested doctor, but no
appointment made, just given aspirin; complete white card, but never given copy; if need urgent dental care
can take 1-6 months to see dentist. Housing – unit infested with roaches; showers filthy, grime, clogged
drains, only cleaned once a week; clean blankets only provided every 3 months; after attorney or visitor
leaves, can be left in interview or visit booth for hours without being allowed to use restroom, told to wait
for pod officer; cells have been very cold, and jail is running air conditioning when it’s cold. Hygiene –
A-78

185.

186.

insufficient toilet paper; inmates only get 1 pair of underwear and socks, informed female inmates get 7 pairs
of socks and underwear. Housing Classification – mixing double-reds with lower classifications messes up
program time; down-classification requests denied, told properly housed; inmates up-classified for alleged
gang activity based on racial profiling and discrimination. Out of Cell Time – inmates lucky if allowed out of
cells every other day when mixed with double-red. Use of Force –guards have used pepper spray on inmates,
then will rinse inmates off, but feels like waterboarding since inmates can’t breathe through noses. Phone
Call Problems – only 4 phones in pod, 12-15 inmates out of cells, all phones in use, must make choice to
shower or wait for phone. Phone Call Rates – expensive at $3.20 to $5 for 15-minute call. Commissary –
overpriced for low quality products and small amounts of food available. Mail – letters sent from outside jail
have not been received at times. Visitation –if visitors late for time, visit is canceled, unforgiving. Food –
terrible quality, no real meat, served much earlier than should be: dinner at 3:30 pm, then no food until 4 or
5 next morning; if inmates go to court in morning and not back for lunch, may be denied lunch.
Grievances – process is a joke, pointless; grieved lack of 3-hour weekly minimum out of cell time, guard
wrote time given, but included time when pod on lockdown; incident where guard told inmates to be quiet
while watching funny movie, guard ripped TV out, inmates grieved, nothing happened; if inmates grieve or
complain, they get targeted, treated poorly, afraid to grieve. Culture –incident where inmate in program had
to pee, told to hold it, would up urinating on floor, internal affairs involved. Out of Cell Time – insufficient
time out of cell when expected to exercise, shower, watch TV, make calls during time allowed out; inmates
supposed to shower every other day, but if only out of cell 3 days per week, doesn’t work. Hygiene – inmates
wind up using sink in cell to bathe, sneak extra towels, guards take extras if found; insufficient toilet paper;
only given one pair of underwear for week; can smell waste after cellmate uses toilet. Cleaning Supplies – jail
provides Comet, but nothing to clean cells with, mops are locked up; risk of infection from unclean surfaces.
Housing – no privacy to use toilet, some inmates create curtain, but guards take away; if in a double cell,
cannot see TV at all. Housing Classification –inmate up-classified to double-red for calling guard an
“asshole”; no programs allowed if double-red; inmates having nothing to do with gangs or violence classified
as double-red for being in Nuestra Familia gang indictment, unfair when have beaten indictment. Clothing –
if turn in clothing for laundry, clothes given in exchange may be torn up; clothes from laundry have been
dirty. Commissary – want to buy own underwear and socks but not an option; everything to expensive, soup
$1. Requests to be transferred to Elmwood denied, inmates told they do not qualify. Use of Force – guard
tells inmate to lockdown, inmate calls guard a “bitch,” several guards respond by cuffing inmate and beating
him, and blood found in his cell after. Phone Call Rates - $5 taken first minute of call, but if a double-red
comes out of cell, call is cut off and money is lost; every day inmates are screwed out of calls. Visitation –
visitors come from far away, should be allowed to combine 2 visits into 1 longer visit. Food – meals get old,
food is better in prison.
Housing classification – inmates classified as double-red who have no record of violence, no write ups, given
status based on indictments even when no violence in charges; double-reds are stigmatized, may avoid
family visits because ashamed to be double-red; even when guards put in a good word for inmates, no
change in classification; one inmate up-classified to double-red simply for kicking a garbage can. Grievances
– inmates had been afraid to grieve, fear retaliation, cruel behavior by guards, inmates don’t want to be
targeted; grievance process takes too long; inmates avoid writing captain directly because don’t want to go
over guards’ heads, and stories of guards learning contents of confidential letters sent by inmates to chief of
corrections; one guard would require inmate to pronounce or spell guard’s long, difficult name before
providing grievance form; guard has made disparaging “gay” hand gesture when particular inmate submitted
form; grievances about classification, out of cell time, and clothing. Use of Force - guards seem hesitant
because of scrutiny on them after inmate killed; cruelty by guards to one inmate physically affects all other
inmates emotionally. Access to Physical Health Care – it’s hard to get new eyeglass prescription, or
replacement if glasses break; takes too long to get appointment for eye exam; concern that if saw dentist and
had cavity, dentist would pull teeth. Programs – double-red classified inmates, or inmates assigned to mixed
pod cannot go to programs; jail should offer more robust program for substance abuse, domestic violence,
parenting, getting a driver’s license, job resources/training for after release, group programs rather than selfstudy. Phone Call Problems – mixed classification, limited time, difficult to get phone time, but pod with all
A-79

187.

188.

189.

upclassed inmates gets 3-4 hours daily out of cell time, incentive to get in more trouble. Out of Cell Time –
sometimes guards only allow 50 minutes, not full hour. Phone Call Rates – rates pretty expensive, jail
charges more than prison. Food – inmates on diets get better food like chicken and hamburgers. Clothes –
inmates wash their clothes in cells every day since they get sweaty from exercise, only allowed one each of
underwear, socks, shirt, have to wear for 7 days; other jails provide extra towel, underwear, and socks.
Housing – because heat is out of order, jail provided blankets and thermal shirt. Use of Force – another
inmate was badly beaten by guards after swearing at guards; manual should explain when appropriate to use
physical force. Hygiene – getting toothbrush can take a long time; jail provides 2 small bars of soap that do
not last; each inmate gets 1 roll of toilet paper a week, not enough. Cleaning Supplies – jail provides small
amount of Comet, solution, and scrubber supposed to last a week, but insufficient; if ask for more, told to
wait.
There are problems with the grievance process. They fill out a grievance and they just give it back and they
say its been resolved, so it never goes to a higher authority, they threaten them sometimes if they submit
one, they say they are going to lock them down or get at them. The officers have also told them they thought
they were "cholos" and didn’t complain about things. Sometimes when a higher officer reviews the grievance
nothing happens because they end up agreeing with their officer’s side of the story. They don’t get enough
program time because they are in separate groups. They should get two issues of clothes for hygiene
purposes. Some people don’t get to see TV because there is no 3rd TV. It’s been a while since they’ve
brought new books. They say most things fall into security reasons, every time something little happens in a
different floor everyone pays for it. Sometimes the officers are just siting doing nothing. The officers should
take things more seriously, they laugh at them when they ask for things or tell them to ask next shift. They
know there is an inmate fund but there doesn’t seem to be any good use for it, they should get more
cleaning supplies or they should get a reward for passing inspection, like the policy says. There also needs to
be a better and more transparent process to classify down.
Doesn’t have faith in the grievance process, believes nothing really happens. You speak to the sergeant but
everything is always on favor of the officers. He was once sick and the nurses wouldn’t help him, only
received medical attention when he was no longer able to get himself out of bed. Things have changed a lot
lately since the recent death of the inmate. In 2011-2013 things were really bad, they were locked up a lot.
Officers would even provoke fights and use any excuse to search cells. Clothing is a big problem because the
clothes are not clean, so people have the same clothes for months if not longer. Has had a problem with
female officers who get upset if they exercise in their cells in just their underwear to not get their clothes
sweaty. There is also no soap or very little, there was a time where there was none at all, hygiene is bad
when that happens. Once on lockdown they got stuck in the visitors rooms and interview rooms for hours
and needed to use restrooms but were not allowed to had to pee in the rooms, when they asked for
grievance forms they never got them. When cells are searched the officers go through their confidential
paperwork and mix it all up. The commissary and calls are too expensive. Has once heard an officer tell
inmates he’ll fight anyone that wants out in the yard. Have seen the pepper spray used by officers when
inmates are complaining that they can’t breath and they still spray. Also has seen an inmate shackled and
taken to an interview room where there is no camera and heard the screams of the inmate while getting beat
up by officers. Haircuts are also only given every 3 months when it is suppose to be 1 month. Visitors are also
turned away if even 5 minutes late or are sometimes also told there are no available rooms, when there
really is. Food portions are ok but there is always hair in it. The air that comes from the vents in their rooms
is too much and they can’t cover them up or they in trouble. Thinks most offices like working at this facility
because they can do what they want.
They have different groups and it makes it hard for everyone to get enough time in their program. Everyone
has to come out at different times. One of the biggest problems with that is that people lose their calls, if
someone from another group needs to come out. They think its odd that they have different and separate
groups but during classes, like GED, everyone is together regardless of group. As part of a punishment they
make some people walk-alones, which means they can only come out alone, and they get very little time. He
has not seen grievances work, having used them before and not getting any response. In terms of clothes,
they only give them one set. A lot of people get sick from the dirty clothes. They also want them to keep their
A-80

190.

191.

192.

cell clean, but only get one towel and they have to use it to clean and wash themselves. If they get caught
with have extra clothes or towels, they them out of program for a week, take away visitation, and/or
commissary. The food taste horrible and they are small portions. They are also only given 30 minutes to eat.
Commissary: very expensive. The officers need more training they don’t know how to treat inmates or
people. Some of them come in and take you out of program or they get mad of you for even taking water up
to other inmates. They take forever at least two months to see a doctor. Putting in a white card is not
efficient. He has used grievance for bad mattresses, torn or with pee. He has never gotten a response from
the grievance slips, he doesn’t even know if someone actually took care of it or read it. Believes there is no
accountability for officers’ actions. The programs, like GED are very recent, they did not offer them to them
until the incident on the 6th floor, things started to change a bit then.
The separation of inmates into groups makes it so that now each group only gets 30-40 min depending on
the officer. They have a schedule that they are suppose to have a morning, afternoon, and night program. If
they are lucky they get it twice a day often only once. Believes they should have access to better programs.
They eat the same food every two weeks, sometimes, its soggy, or has no taste. They only give them one set
of clothes. Believes they should be given two pairs of underwear and socks. Also the soap, they don’t get
enough at all. Need something to clean the room, they expect them to keep things clean but they cant. When
they do shakedown, they take their cleaning supplies, and their disinfectant and Ajax. They need to be
provided with more cleaning supplies. Grievance form was used for the program set-up but they did nothing
about it, they said it has to stay how it is. Most of the time they are locked up in their cell and it becomes
pretty stressful.
The commissary, very expensive, can’t even get anything with $20.00 Cleaning supplies, short on them, they
do shakedowns, they throw them all away, they are not permitted to have them in their cells, they don’t
provide soaps for those that don’t go to commissary. Some officers will tell you to ask your neighbor for toilet
paper instead of providing you with the roll. They only get one issue of clothing, they cant get more, it’s
unhealthy. There are constant lock downs. They are all segregated for program but they are together for
classes, which makes no sense. TVS : they are small, can’t see them and can’t even listen to them. They were
told they were going to switch the TVs but they haven’t. Inspections: They have not been given the chips and
soda they are supposed to get after successfully passing inspections. They have heard other groups have but
not them. Grievance forms: Long process, takes forever, put in a grievance about an officer. They had to
make a stand and refuse to do program with him since the form did not work. They eve talked to the officer
trying to reason with him to try and get some better treatment and respect and nothing worked. When one
imamate tried to talk to this officer the officer had him moved to the 4th floor. He retaliated by doing
shakedowns as well. They get put down in many ways. Discrimination, mind games, night officers are the
ones that have the major issues with the inmates; they come in with a chip on your shoulder. Medical: It has
taken him over 6 months to see a doctors. For any reason they will lock them down, if someone goes upstairs
to give them hot water for coffee or soup, that will get them yelled at and lock down. They will also take the
whole program for everybody if it is just one guy that there is a problem with. Books: they don’t switch them
out, same books for over a year. Not allowed to play dominos or cards, because officers say they can’t hear
their radios. The officers are on their phones a lot, they can’t be bothered. Some of the food is horrible, road
kills looks better. Sometimes it comes in burned and they still serve it like that. Classification, they should
review your file after over 30 days, but they don’t review, and if it is every 30 days then you should go down
sooner. Took them 5 months to get out of walk alone. Some guys have had their visits denied or cancelled if
they talk back to the guards. The unit needs to be cleaned, it is unsanitary and creates diseases.
This is one of the only counties that he has seen segregate inmates the way they do. . Some officers treat
them like they are nothing, they look down on them and they don’t deserve that. They only give them one
set of clothes, they should get two sets of clothes, it would keep things much cleaner, and they need more
cleaning supplies. They are not given enough program time because of how they have them segregated. It
stresses them out more. Some officers need more training, rookie officers need more training, they don’t
treat them with respect. Sometimes where they just mistreat them for no reasons, putting the inmates
down. Food: some of the food makes him sick, there should be healthier options, can’t eat all of it because it
is horrible. Sometimes they didn’t have time to exercise, make a call or shower, before they called for lockA-81

193.

194.

195.

down. The programs should all come to an agreement so that they can come out more, and do all the
necessities, shower, calls and exercise. The TVS are small. Sometimes they put the volume all the way down
so they can’t hear. Some officers should act more professional. They officers find any excuse to hurt you,
they do what they got to do and then record it, they know where there are no cameras. They wake them up
at 4am to shave, it’s ridiculous. The timing to make calls is off, if they are only coming out at night cant call
attorney, if only come out at day then cant call family, they are not home. During programs they don’t let
them go up to the top tier, only some officers allow them to some don’t, its hard to follow rules when we
don’t know what is going on, they should stop wasting time in their offices. They only come observe when
there is something wrong. He would like to see more programs offered. They want a trauma program like
other units have. They barely got the GED program. Certain things are not available in the commissary to
them particularly, but it is available to others.
Officers often come in with a bad mood and the inmates are the ones that pay the consequences. If they are
in a bad mood they wont take them out for program and will do random shakedowns. He used the grievance
process once, when he first got here and was put on walk alone status. He thought the status was not
needed and lasted too long, the only response he got to his grievance was that he just had to wait. He thinks
the process takes way too long. They split his group up into smaller groups and that makes everything
difficult. They don’t get much program time because they have to accommodate all groups. They only get
about 30 minutes for program, which includes, taking a shower and making their calls, calls are 15 minutes,
so you really don’t have time to do much. Food arrives burnt, they can’t even eat it, and they are small
portions. There are times when visiting means giving up program time if a visit is scheduled during program
they have to miss program and don’t get to make it up. They only get one towel, to shower with and to clean.
They don’t want to give extra cleaning supplies. Some people get scabies because they don’t get enough
clothes, or cleaning supplies, it’s embarrassing. Commissary: a lot of things are expensive, there are several
times when they say they have given them everything they bought in commissary but they never do and they
have to fight to get money back because. They have put grievance about that, nothing happens. There is
problem with the mail too, they have stopped letting them send big manila envelops, they can just send the
small ones. There are times when they tell them to get on the ground and they are no resisting and they still
use force, they put them in a chicken hold, sometimes they’ll be on the ground and they fall on them with
their knee even through they are not going anywhere. Once the officers were beating an inmate so badly
that his visitor heard them, they beat him so bad they left him unconscious. Sometimes if officers do
something wrong the officers just get put on freeze, so they get paid, there is no punishment. The officers are
always on their phone, they will ask for requests forms and they say hold on, later, they are on the phone,
and then later never comes.
There is a problem with Program, they barely began to fix it, they only would give them 15 minutes now they
have 30 minutes. Their unit is split into groups and that makes it hard for everyone to get enough program
time. The food they serve them is burnt and most of the time they can’t tell what it is. He believes that it is
odd how they expect them to keep things clean and pass inspection but they don’t give them cleaning
supplies. They only give them one set of clothes and it is unsanitary, because they have the same clothes for
days, some people have developed scabies. If they are caught with extra clothes or towels they are taken
away. This the only county he knows of that they only give one pair of clothing, in other counties you can
even buy them in the commissary. He has put in grievance p and has not seen changes or reactions to them;
they take a long time to even be acknowledged. There are only two TVs but there are 3 outputs, they tell
them they are going to put new ones in and they haven’t. There are some inmates who have no view of the
TVs from their cells. Has put in white cards several times, and they never respond to him, he only got pain
pills didn’t get to see anyone. They really only help people that are almost dying. They want access to more
programs they barely got the GED program, because they were secluded before they had really nothing. It
was only after the death in the floor that they started to introduce the classes to their unit.
The biggest issue he had was with how inmates were given medicine. If there was no requests made with a
white card then they got nothing. Even simple issues like diarrhea the nurses say that they cant help him,
even just with Pepto Bismol With issues like that it makes no sense to use a white card because by the time it
gets approved the problem is gone. The air in the cells is also a problem, it is too cold, they gave them extra
A-82

196.

197.

blankets and thermals. They have tried to cover the vents to stop some of the cold air but the officers get
mad and take it down. The classifications of inmates also interferes with the time they get out of their cells
which is very little as it is. There are times when they don’t leave their cells at all. If on any floor something
happens every floor pays for it by being put on lockdown and losing program. During one visit an officer was
trying to rush him and they didn’t let him use the equipment he need to get around since he had limited
mobility. They restrained him in a way that harmed his injury and that was actually advised against by the
doctor. They never know if the officers turn in the grievance forms. If they say anything to an officer a bunch
end up showing up so they have to stay quiet. Food is bad; it comes brunt and looks dirty. The officers also
are strict with the toilet paper; they will not give them more if they are out. If someone has extra tries to give
it to someone who is out they can and usually do get in trouble, he has seen officers refuse to give the more
paper for a week.
You get more privileges, in prison, you only get one set of socks and underwear. This has lead to a scabies
outbreak before. Also the way they split them into groups means less time for program for everyone. There
are times when they only come out once a day. They put them on lockdown all the time, they are always on
the phone, they always say “not now” even when asking for toilet paper. There are some rooms with no TVS.
When you get a write up there is no way to defend it or procedure to defend it. The officers need to be more
professionalism, they don’t have common sense. A lot of things are very expensive, like commissary and calls.
It took someone to die for them to get classes; they were the only group that didn’t get any. Grievance
process has been they just don’t get a reply. The food sucks, the same thing, same menu. This county sucks,
compared to other counties. Commissary should have more hygiene products. The soap is also a problem.
They don’t give everyone enough. When there is a clogged toilet and needs to be fixed and they bring the
plumber in they charge the inmate fund. Trustees don’t get anything, no one wants to do, there should be
some reward. Officers do disrespectful things like throw their personal stuff on the ground and step on it.
The sergeants also need to be more professionals, they have made comment that they will sacrifice some
people, send them to lockdown. They also shut you down when you want to complain about one of their
officer they tell you to talk to the officer, but that’s their jobs. To see medical also takes forever, even when
requests have been put in.
The down class process is unclear to most inmates. He says he has been here infraction free and with no
problems an they haven’t been able to down class him. He was in isolation when he first came here and now
he can come out only every other day for three hours, it’s basically still isolation. Has put in requests forms
and they wont even bother to write back, the times he has gotten response they have just said, “you’re
properly housed.” He thinks they could use just one pod for all inmates who are not double reds instead of
mixing them. The officers are always on their phones and they often mistake one person’s cell for the wrong
person. If they put everyone together on the same pod the mistakes wouldn’t be a problem. According to the
rulebook, there is a review that is to be made every 30 days to be able to down class an inmate but that can’t
be the case because they would have gotten down class by now, so the process is a mystery. Clothing is also
an issue, two weeks can go by before they get to exchange clothes, everyone should have a chance to get
clean clothes. The sizing is also off, they make it seem like only certain people can get the bigger size. The
officers make it seem like it’s a privilege to give them clothes. The temperature in the cell always stays the
same, there is no heater in there, it is always cold, and sometime during spring they will take the extra
blanket and thermals they were given, even if it’s still cold. There are mattresses that are so thin, and most
people wake up with a bad back. He would like to see more equipment in the exercise yard. The food is really
bad, they know when it’s coming, they can smell it, its way over cooked. It comes burnt. The commissary
needs to carry extra clothes to buy and seasoning, they don’t know why they can’t buy that from the
commissary, the store slip is really small compared to the other counties. They also false advertise, it would
say 10oz bag of chips but now they only get a 6oz bag for the same price. They need to sell more hygiene
products in commissary, like nail clippers, they have only one pair that has to be shared, it doesn’t get
disinfected, it’s not hygienic. It’s hard to even talk to the commissary about that, no one wants to hear their
complaints. There are no tables either for them to sit at, they have to stand or sit on the stairs when they
come out of their cells. They also know they are allowed to have games, but they have none. They are
suppose to pass out soaps every Wednesday and sometimes they go weeks without them, and when they do
A-83

198.

199.

200.

201.

give them soap its only two little soaps that don’t last. There are people who have mental illness that take
psych meds they should not be in with everyone else, they aren’t even suppose to be in with them, the
officers have no regard for those people and their health. The main issue is classification, how do they down
class. This is worse than prison. Even in the shoe there is annual review, but here there are people that were
in isolation for over two or three years and have had no chance to down class, they have had no infractions.
There are also issues with the visitation policy, here if someone is on probation they cannot be a visitor, in
other counties that is not an issue, most inmates have family that is likely in that position, bigger counties
allow it.
Has had a problem with officers because he doesn't speak English. They treat Spanish speakers poorly. He
thinks they are racist towards Spanish speakers. The clothes are old and they have holes in them. He has to
keep cell clean so must use the towel he washes with to mop his cell floor. The TVs are old and small. The
mattress is very uncomfortable, like a rock or metal, often ripped too. The commissary is too expensive to
buy anything. The vents in the cells are too strong and they make them sick. An inmate has to be practically
dying to get medical help. The food needs to be changed, there is no variety.
Getting medical attention is a big issue; it takes months if not years to have non-emergency attention. Once
he was injured on his way back to his cell and the officers did nothing, they did not write an incident report
and nothing was done until later, when a sergeant saw him. The grievance process also takes too long and
when they get comments back they really don’t resolve the issue. He thinks they need to be provided where
multiple sets of clothes, and bigger sizes. They don’t get clean clothes often so they have to wash them
themselves but they are rarely provided with soap. They have to buy soap in the commissary. When they
were in the south jail, they wouldn’t even let them have books. They tried to break them down back in that
area, a sergeant told them it was the shoe. After showers and before coming back from the yard they would
be stripped searched constantly. Since the death of the inmate and the investigations some of the officers
attitudes have changed. On this floor if someone would have broken a sprinkler the officers would have put
him out in the yard and shackled him, and everyone (officers) would have gotten a shot at him, to hit him.
There are some people on floors that have mental health issues that should be up on the 8th, they shouldn’t
be housed with everyone else. The officers also don’t always pay attention, they will pop the wrong door and
everyone pays the consequences. Sometimes it feels like officers just want to see something happen. The
officers are mean to inmates with mental health problems, they make fun of them, it’s very unprofessional.
He believes they need more cleaning supplies. they only give comet, they have to use their hands to wipe
their toilet. They are willing to buy floor towels, if they sell them in commissary. They would buy ripped up
towels. Officers know how to create a hostile environment, they like to set things off. Some of the officers
are more human than others. They like to play mind games with the inmates, they will try and deprive them
of their sleep by waking them up at midnight to give them razors to shave. If the inmates ask them to change
the timing of things they think we test their intelligence or challenge their authority.
There needs to be a detox unit at this jail. Before it was common that people coming in needing to detox
would be beat up by officers and thrust into the general population without any help. Inmates are usually the
ones that take care of them. They have a hard time detoxing and no one helps them. And they become
disruptive. If an officer comes in with a bad attitude that day they all feel it. He once saw an officer flip a
mentally ill inmate upside down. The grievance process is also a problem, if inmates file a grievance all the
officers talk about it. If someone wrote up staff earlier, they will take remote away, or not give them things;
they do little things to get to them. When you write someone up you do pay for it, even if it’s little. He has
asked for a grievance form before and the officer would not give it to him. They end up getting a reputation if
you use the forms. The biggest issue, is classification, they will not give them a way to down class. They say
they review files after 30 days, but they don’t. Officers have said they cut back on inmate welfare fund so
they couldn’t give them more soap. They end up having to take care of a lot of things themselves; they even
help other guys teach themselves how to clean themselves, with birdbaths. The air that comes out of the
vent is too cold.
The inmate has seen officers pick on certain people. The officers often give them dirty looks even when they
are being respectful towards them and respond to them with thank you and please. It feels like they are
playing mind games, seems very unprofessional. He has seen some offices throw food through the cell door
A-84

202.

203.

204.

slot and let it fall to he ground, just because. It feels like the officers are a big gang themselves. Has been
called a “bitch” by officers. There is also times where inmates are stuck with trash in their cells and if it’s a
day that they don’t get to come out, it will stay in there. It would be nice if they at least collect trash. They
only get one set of clothes and very little cleaning supplies; it would make things better if they could get
more of both. Has heard of some groups that aren’t even in maximum security being denied access to
programs and classes. There is an overwhelming sense of tension; feels like officers could beat him up at
anytime.
There are huge issues with classification of inmates. There is supposed to be a routine review process to
down class and believes he has not been even reviewed. Has submitted a grievance form about his
classification and was only told he was properly housed, but there was no further explanation. Was taken to
max units in old jail, for absolutely no reason, no write –ups or anything. Conditions in the old jail’s
maximum-security unit were bad; there was complete disrespect towards inmates even when they
approached officers respectfully. It felt like they took away inmates humanity. They treated then like cattle,
their yard, was basically another cell, that had a shower, and they had an hour, and they got stuck in there,
with no place to sit. They went from one cell to another basically. While they were in this makeshift yard the
officers were in their cells, searching it and turning it upside down. Would like to see more cleaning supplies,
at least towels to keep their cells clean. Out of cell time is also a problem because when they do come out it’s
still the same environment they still have the same maximum security environment, there is no table out
there to sit down. They have grievance that issue but the response to that was that they have a table in their
cell. They have asked for board games and exercise equipment like dip bars or pull up bars, things to keep
them busy but they have gotten no response. The food at the jail sucks, it never changes, and comes burnt a
lot. Someone just found a roach in the food. There is a roach infestation, the inmates use cardboard from
their food to cover the cracks in the doors to stop them from coming in, but officers take them away. They
are huge roaches, bigger than a thumb. The vent also blows in really cold air in their cells and they can’t
cover it or they will get in trouble. They also just got thermals and an extra blanket, but that was only
recently. Has seen incidents of excessive force by the officers towards inmates. One inmate has the whole
side of the face you could see a boot print and eye looked like it was gouged out. They get they have to use
force but there is no reason to use fore when inmates are already down and not resisting.
During window and bar check, was verbally and physically assaulted by officers and even sergeant. They
ripped his hair out, deep lacerations on wrists, lip busted, and derogatory racial slurs. They threatened him if
he continued to “keep it up.” They use force when inmates are shackled; they humiliated him, made him feel
worthless. They feel like they are like a gang here, they’ll be listening outside their doors, stop mail from
coming in, they play mind games, psychological warfare. They have denied his visits after being beaten, so
they don’t see him messed. Wrote a grievance and has had no response about the use of force. They will tear
pictures up of inmate’s families. There is also a problem when one race works somewhere, that is going to
cause a problem, being black he gets it all the time, the machismo thing, no black people working here, group
of Mexicans in a position of power, they flash their power, they say the N word all the time. It’s 2016 and
there is racial profiling in the jail, not even just in the streets, but in here. It’s sad, doesn’t want to tell family.
The food is disgusting, burnt to a crisp; they have given him peaches from 6 months ago, that were expired. If
you have no money on your books, then you will be starving so you eat it, forced to eat spoiled food. They do
things like, if you are going to file a suit or on them they will hold your mail and not let anything out. There’s
a lot of people that have been killed here, a lot of black people, they really have a thing against black people
here. Just because the jail is majority Hispanic inmates and workers, that doesn’t mean that there should be
discrimination. The way they treat us is disgusting, why should we live in fear from the police in the jail, it is
humiliating, for anyone, because inmates can’t do anything. They would like to have some board games, they
only come out one hour every other day, not even sure if it legal. There are only giving them the minimum,
you can only read or workout so much in your cell. More program time, for people in administrative
segregation. Workout bars would be nice.
Was sent to regional hospital in an ambulance after excessive force was used on him. He was called into an
interview room, he wasn’t even handcuffed, so they didn’t feel like he was a danger to the officers. They
threw him on the ground and was kicked by officers. He filed a claim against the county, internal affairs said
A-85

205.

206.

207.
208.

that he would get updates to him but its been months and they haven’t said anything. He had what looked
like boot marks on his body and his elbows were swollen, and nose and head were bleeding profusely. Some
officers are ok but some of them aren’t. Had one come in their unit and turn off the TV, the hotpot and told
them they don’t get those privileges, and that he knows Blue Ribbon Commission is starting and he isn’t
scared, he said he has a badge and that lets him do what he wants. The classification process is also a
problem, they get written up for things and then can’t defend themselves, there is no process. During bar
checks the officers just come in and start ripping their stuff up they don’t even check the bars, they just
dump out stuff, the trustee has to sneak them cleaning supplies. Some officers look at inmates like they are
animals. It is usually the young ones. The officers that have the black gloves are the ones that are just waiting
to get you, waiting for inmates to say something. Everyone knows that when you turn in a grievance form it
doesn’t leave, they just give you a pink slip, or they wont even sign it and tell you send to the next shift.
There is a bad cockroaches infestation. They took his door blocker, to block roaches. Officers are known for
putting inmates in the elevators in the south jail, where there are no cameras to beat you up, "elevator
rides." They won't leave marks on your face, they hit you in places that you cant see the marks. Some of the
older officers will tell you that they will kick your ass. There is a set of officers called “the kill squad.” In the
south jail there is a room called the “fade room” or “fade chamber” and an inmate and an officer will agree
no charges and they will go in and go at it with each other, fighting. Some problems might be resolved if
there were age limits on the officers, only allow older officers to be in the jails.
The major issue he has is with the roach infestation, they have big cockroaches in the pods, they put in a
grievance and the jail says there is a work order but nothing has happened. At least three months, with this
problem. They use food boxes or paper to cover their doors but the officers take those things away.. The
grievance process is slow, and usually the problem is gone over by the time they come in. In terms of
clothing, sometimes they give them things that don’t even fit. They have to wash their own stuff because
they don’t give them enough clothes. They should be able to get what they need for hygiene and clothing,
but they don’t. Classification is a problem, every 30 days they are suppose to review to re-classify, but the
inmates don’t even know what’s going, they aren’t really a part of that process. Inmates with mental health
issues aren’t housed properly. Their issues get pushed onto the other inmates and Mental Health services
doesn’t really help, they just talk to them, and they don’t do much. They should also offer more services, like
dental. Because inmates don’t get down classed soon enough they don’t have access to programs.
One problem with the jail is that it is overpopulated. Have had problems with medical treatment in the jail.
He was sent to the hospital and given a prescription while he was there. When he was sent to back to the jail
they never administered the prescriptions he was given. The food they serve is really bland, so they have to
ask families for money for commissary. Commissary is very expensive. He would rather go to prison, there he
would get more time in yard and wouldn’t get slammed down so much. They should make pods for inmates
that are suppose to be in prison and if convicted of prison term, they get prison privileges. Officers are also
very shady with soaps and cleaning supplies, they don’t even get toilet paper. The clothes they are given are
also dirty and dingy and he has gotten rashes from them, people get staph infections too. They also want
inmates to keep their cells clean but whenever there’s a shakedown they take any extra towels away. Some
of the officers come in with attitudes from home and take it out on inmates. To get medical attention is hard
because White cards take a long time. The TVs, they are small, and old, also should have three, there are
hook ups for three but only two TVs
The inmate thinks the re-entry program has issues. They don’t provide enough resources. There needs to be
more programs for inmates that are trying to rehabilitate and get treatment. A better re-entry program and
programs in jail would help with recidivism. There are not enough resources to make sure everyone that
wants programs in jail get them.
He thinks that inmates need to get an extra set of clothes; they only get a clean set every three days. Even
when they get new sheets, they are often times ripped. Has had a problem with an officer before, he cussed
him out and was blaming him for things he didn’t even do. Has witnesses an officer be racist towards a
neighboring cellmate. The cellmate, doesn’t speak English and the officer yelled at him, “ just because you
damn Mexicans don’t speak English doesn’t mean you can’t follow directions. The racism also affects
programs; some officers will take programs away from Spanish-speakers. Visitation is also a problem because
A-86

209.

210.

211.

212.

213.

they will cancel visitation even if the visitor is a few minutes late. He has seen some changes since the death
on 6th; they gave them thermals and extra blankets but like to see more programs offered and more books
made available to them. There is also frequent lockdowns for no reason.
Feels like some guards try to intimidate him because he doesn't speak English and only understands very
limited words. He was once asked for his booking number and did not know what he was being asked so the
officer became upset with him because he thought he wasn't respecting or listening to him. After that
incident the guard ripped a piece of mail that for him in pieces in front of him. The guard took his visitation
rights away from him for a month, and that is something that they do to others they want to punish. One
guard told him that he is the owner of visitation and decides when and if an inmate will get his visitation
rights. He has had problems with mail, family says that they have sent him 15 cards/letters over several
weeks and he has only been given one. His family also has put money in his commissary for food and he has
never been credited that amount. Calls are way too expensive. He said the guards have taken inmates
shackled into rooms where there are no cameras to hit them. He has little faith in the grievance system,
having put in a grievance form once and only speaking to the Sargent once and not really getting a resolution.
Biggest issue he had was with the language barriers for Spanish speakers and the feeling of racism and
discrimination because of it. He has seen guards take someone out of all programs and lock them in their cell
for a week just because he didn't understand English. He also thinks that some white officers only give them
one hour outside of their individual cells. when they are suppose to get 3. He would like there to be
programs in Spanish like there are in Milpitas.
Has seen officers get into it with inmates that don’t speak English. Heard an officer tell a Spanish-speaking
inmate, “this is America, we speak English here.” It humiliated the inmate. They have bilingual officers so it
shouldn’t be a problem. The inmate couldn’t fill out the grievance form because it was in English so he got
help and asked to speak to the sergeant with a Spanish-speaking officer to translate. The sergeant said he
spoke enough English to explain the situation without another officer. Also thinks there should be contact
visitation for those in protective custody but that are classified as the lowest security level. He said that their
time outside of the cell is limited and they go a long time without even seeing the sun. His toilet has been
plugged up for two days and the officers say they have called to get it fixed but nothing has happened. When
the jail does a tour they make sure they show the cell that is not lived in, it doesn’t give a realistic view.
Unproductive Interview: Tried to get him to focus on the jail conditions but would only answer questions
with responses relating to his possible future release and reentry. He sais he was happy with the grievance
process and was using it currently. However he did say he has been isolated for the past 11 months and
hasn't even been able to read or write or leave his cell. He was difficult to get to focus and would not answer
questions so I ended the interview early.
Grievance forms and other forms generally, like forms to see the chaplain are not easily available. You have
to ask the guards and they don’t always give them to you. They should be on the bulletin boards. The
grievance process takes a long time to go through the channels, maybe 90 days, which is too long. The
grievances are also not taken too seriously; the sergeant always sides with the officer. He once asked for a
grievance form and he was told to lockdown. Officers know that getting a grievance form against them is a
problem. If they get too many that becomes a problem for them. He has been denied a grievance form from
an officer. Believes surveillance cameras everywhere would be helpful, officers have a lot of discretion and it
would be good to have more watchful eyes. Phone call fees are ridiculous, local calls are almost $5.00. There
is a special program you have to go through to make sure the jail gets paid. Some people don’t know how to
write, we should have better access to literature. The commissary is also very expensive. Has had problems
getting medical attention, had a severe infection with puss and it was two days before someone could see
him. Has been told by friends that they have tried to visit but cannot because they are told he is not at that
facility. The food is also not healthy, would like to see leafy greens or at least a change in the menu, it’s the
same thing every week. Soap: they control it, you cannot reach over and they make you wait until they hand
it to you. Was not given handbook, they were supposed to do that. They should let you know what the
protocol is. Too much time locked up, would like to see it like Elmwood, they get out more.
They don’t have access to all the programs. They are secluded from general population, being secluded, and
means that they don’t get access to all programs. They are also separated into groups within their own
A-87

214.

215.

dormitory. This means that only some people can be outside of the cells, one group at a time, which cuts all
time for all inmates. They talked to the Lieutenant about this problem, but nothing changed. Telephone calls
also get interrupted because if they call someone out they have to hang up. Phone calls are very expensive to
lose. Clothing, every four days they get clean cloths and only allowed to have one pair of socks and
underwear. They only allow them to have one towel, the same to clean the cell and to wash themselves.
They only recently started giving them thermals, it is cold in the cells, and there is no heat. They use to have a
policy that if inmates passed inspection in the cells, they got a reward, it was actually written on a paper,
coke or chips. They have stopped doing that. They believe it is still a policy but not followed in their specific
dormitory. They make them wait to even see a nurse at the infirmary takes a while, weeks if not longer. The
grievance process doesn’t really work in terms of the officers, some will tell them to write a grievance about
them, they don’t care. He has never really heard of grievances working. Up until a few months ago, the use
of force was bad. For example, they would use force if you were in program and they said 5 minutes and you
weren’t ready. They also use to do a lot of shakedowns, going inside their cells and searching, taking any
extra towels or clothes they had and would force them on the ground. Commissary is a problem, it’s bad, and
they get ripped off. If family sends things and the officers don’t give them everything and they later ask for it
they will not give it to them, they are just out of luck. Most of the stuff is expensive.
The system is kind of behind, they can’t get the same, luxuries, like a radio that they can get in prison.. Also in
Prison, automatically he would go to level 1 or 2 yard. Here he is a level 4, which is only because he has had
verbal altercations with officers. They do not get paper infractions always, where he can dispute it and tell his
side of the story. There is no way to dispute what he did. They should put it on paper. They also never tell
them when they will get down-classed. There is no system to know when they can go down. They don’t get
to sweep or mop their cells, but it is a catch 22, some cops give them an extra towel to clean their cells some
will take it away if they see it. Over 5 years since he’s seen, the cells swept or mopped. The way they have
them housed is in four different groups, but they can’t go out with each other. But they are in the same class,
so that makes no sense. They go to school together. If possible they should split in two groups, instead of 4.
When he was in max. They are supposed to get 3 hours every week, but down on max, they were only giving
them one hour, in violation of Title 15. It should be mandatory that every dorm have a Title 15 book.
Grievance process: doesn’t work, needs to see a doctor right away, couldn’t even read what they decided.
Has heard that other people have gotten retaliated against for using the process. Thinks it depends how you
write them or what you want to write one about, when he asked for one about a towel, they gave them what
he wanted before he was able to finish writing it up on a grievance form. Should not let the officer get away
with stuff, there is no accountability.
Use of excessive force: wasn’t feeling well once, having mental issues, asked to see psychologist because he
was having suicidal thoughts, 12 officers came to get him. He thought he was going to psych ward, they took
him to an observation cell, they pushed his face into the ground. He had a scratched up nose and they left
him in there, and ripped off all his clothes, and cut off is shirt, left him in a cell naked with a safety blanket, he
should have gone to the 8th floor not naked in front of an open dorm, no mattress or anything. Does not
think inmates with psych issues should be on other floors, except the 8th. Also would like to see lower prices
of the food in commissary. The southerners need another program, mix them into the dorm with other
inmates, maybe not northerners, but others. This is the worst program from the 4 other county jails he has
been to. In all the other jails he has been to, there are no levels 1,2,3,4. There is also a long wait to see the
doctor; he’s waited two weeks. There is no volume on the TV, its just on and on one can really hear it.
Doesn’t think it’s right that they have to have the same socks and underwear for three days.
They have them in groups and that means that everyone can’t come out together they have to come out
with their groups. This ultimately takes time away from everyone because to accommodate every group they
cut time off of all. If someone from a different group has to come out then they put the group that’s out on
lockdown and they lose calls and the rest of their time outside of their cells. They have to have clean clothes
and cells, if they don’t they get written up but they need more cleaning supplies, including an extra towel.
Officer take any extra clothes or towels they have which makes it difficult to keep things clean. When they
clean they are suppose to give them a reward, they don’t do that anymore. There is never enough soap, they
are supposed to bring more and they don’t so those that have some through the commissary have to give
A-88

216.

217.

218.

others some. The commissary its expensive, feels like they are being ripped off. Some officers are nice some
are bad, you ask nicely for something and they talk back smart to you. They also have to wear the same
socks and underwear for three days. Some officers will really get in your face, they come with 4 or 5 guys just
looking at you, trying to provoke you. They take them out to mess with them and lock them in the holding
rooms for hours, just to mess with them. Visiting rights are sometimes messed up, some officers will take you
right on time, some will cut your time. They also have canceled their visits from time to time.
Believes that they don’t get enough clothes. They only give them one pair of socks and clothes and that is not
enough. They gave them thermals and extra blanket recently and said that it was only temporary, because
the air system was broken. They don’t give them soap. They also want more towels, they have to use the
same one for shower and cleaning. For some programs sometime they only give them 25-30 min. If an officer
doesn’t like you, they will leave you in the cell all day and not let you do program. That can happen by simply
asking him to take the mail for them. They’ll ask the inmate if they should lockdown the whole group or just
them, they usually just say them. Sometimes they don’t give them lunch when they go to court. He has had
time taken away from their visiting time. The telephone calls are expensive and recently the phones were
not working. He believes that officers lie on the schedule, saying they take the inmates out of their cells for
program when they actually do not. Officer would rather check their phones then give them programs, they
do what they want. The cuffs are actually really tight a lot of times, especially for bigger guys. When they do
check down. They will throw out food away if they do a shakedown and an inmate hasn’t finished eating or
they have extra food. Visitors coming late by even 2-3 minutes can lose their visit. And they can only have
visitors two times a week.
HealthCare/Medical Slips: NT1 identified deficiencies in the "medical slips" and access to adequate medical
care. For example, NT1 had a significant dental issue that took more than 10 weeks to resolve. NT1 had a
toothache and injury around the tooth that began to bleed. He submitted a "white slip" to request dental
assistance. His request took more than 2 weeks for a response. After two weeks, he received a Tylenol. The
tooth continued to bleed and interfered with his sleep and ability to eat. After more than 10 weeks of limited
response, NT1 had to have the tooth extracted. Grievance System/Retaliation: NT1 did not receive a
grievance handbook or pamphlet, not did he receive information on the grievance process during his
intake/orientation. NT1 stated that grievances are treated like "toilet paper" at San Jose Main Jail. They
have little value and he fears retaliation from Correctional Officers if he submits a grievance. For example,
NT1 was instructed by a well-liked Correctional Officer, not to submit a grievance against his co-correctional
officer as it may result in harm to NT1. Treatment by COs: While stating that since the Tyree killing, the
Correctional Officers generally are treating inmates with more patience and respect. However, he has still
experienced a large amount of behavior from Correctional Officers that continues to place inmates in
dangerous situations. For example, NT1 informed me of an occurrence in which an aggressive correctional
officer tore up his neighbors cell, destroying some personal property (pictures, books) in the process for
simply smelling "Ben-Gay" muscle rub. After tearing up the cell, the correctional officer informed NT1 and
another inmate to "take care" of their neighbor (implying that NT1 should beat up or physically harm his
neighbor) or they would face reprimand. NT1 interpreted this to be a threat to his physical safety and or
property. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT1 was not aware of Welfare Fund.
Sanitation: NT11 has only been in the facility for roughly two weeks. However, during that time he has only
received one set of clothes. He has not received clean clothes during that time. The lack of clean clothes is
difficult and has an impact on inmate morale. Access to Medication: NT11 has severe anxiety issues. He
often experiences anxiety attacks that have both physical and emotional consequences. For example, during
severe panic attacks, NT11 has seizure like symptoms. During intake, he informed the intake officers of his
medication requirements and his anxiety needs. However, it took more than a week for NT11 to receive his
required medications. During this time, he suffered two severe anxiety attacks. Lack of Programs: NT11 is
limited in inmate programs he can access because of his gang affiliation. NT11 claims he is a gang drop out
but that hasn't changed his ability to access programming. NT11 is interested addiction management, anger
management and any education classes that may be available. NT11 also believes that the jail should offer
tattoo removal, he believes this would help former gang members transition out of the gang life. Inmate
Welfare Fund: NT11 is unaware of the inmate welfare fund. Grievance Process: NT11 does not remember
A-89

219.

220.

being informed of the grievance process during his intake, nor did he receive any written materials related to
the grievance process.
Use of Force: NT12 has been witness to numerous incidents involving excessive force by correctional officers.
NT12 believes the Tyree incident was not an isolated incident but rather just one in a series of incidents that
reflect a pattern of excessive and abusive behavior by correctional officers at the facility. For example, a
week before the Tyree incident, NT12 witnessed four correctional officers physically assault an inmate in a
cell in his dorm. He witnessed the officers drag a cuffed inmate into a cell, close the cell door and he could
hear the inmate scream as he was assaulted by the officers. The next day, NT12 noticed a limp and swollen
neck and lips on the beaten inmate. Similarly, in October 2015, NT12 witnessed another inmate pass away in
his cell after hours of neglect from the correctional officers. An inmate arrived in the door obviously in bad
physical shape. The inmate loudly complained that he needed medical attention for more than 4 hours with
little to no response from prison staff. Later in the evening, NT12 noticed that the complaining had subsided.
Approximately 15 minutes later, correctional officers arrived at the cell to find the inmate laying dead in his
cell. Retaliation: NT12 stated that he was directly threatened by correctional officers because he witnessed
a physical assault by correctional officers. He believes there is a culture among the guards that allows them
to be overly aggressive with inmates with little to no fear of repercussion. Blue Ribbon Retaliation:
Similarly, NT12 is fearful that there will be correctional officer retaliation for speaking to the Blue Ribbon
Commission. He has already heard rumors that correctional officers are identifying who has chosen to talk to
the commission. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT12 is not aware of the welfare fund. Grievance Process: NT12
could not remember if he was informed of the grievance process during intake, however, he is aware of the
process and does not believe it is applied most of the time. For example, after the Tyree incident, NT12
stated that multiple grievances forms were found that had been filled out but never filed by correctional
officers. They had simply been ignored. He believes this is common place within the facility. Drug Trade:
NT12 stated that many of the correctional officers allow drugs to be entered and/or used within the facility.
He is also aware that a number of defense attorneys play a role in bringing drugs into the facility. South
Jail/Use of Force: NT12 stated that in the South Jail, inmates are often incentivized by correctional officers
to instigate violence against other inmates. Inmates receive rewards, including outside food, services, drugs
etc. if they assist in assaulting an inmate identified as a target by a correctional officer. The practice of
officers "putting targets" on certain inmates, or openly identifying inmates that they would like to be
assaulted has a long history within the facility, according to NT12.
Time Served Discrepancy/Lack of Programs/Prisoners in Jail: According to NT13, the San Jose Main Jail (after
realignment) houses many state inmates within the County jail. As such, there are a large number of inmates
serving extended sentences (more than 4-5 years) inside the County Facility. NT13 stated that this has
resulted in many State inmates housed within Santa Clara County facilities as serving longer sentences than
they would be if they were housed within State prisons. This is the result from the complete lack of incentive
programs for inmates at the County level. For example, at the State prison level, many of the State facilities
offer incentive classes and incentive programs that allow for time reductions to prison sentences. These
programs, i.e. Anger Management, Trade Classes, Prison Jobs, allow inmates who keep a clean record to
shorten their sentence by reaching certain incentives and maintaining clean record while incarcerated.
However, an inmate held at a County facility does not have the opportunity to achieve these incentives
because the programs simply do not exist at the county level. According to NT13, this results in longer
amounts of time served for inmates serving time at County facilities than at State prisons for inmates with
the same sentence and record during confinement. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT13 is aware of the Inmate
Welfare Fund and has discussed the lack of Fund items available to inmates for the past 3-4 years with
multiple Sheriffs and has written letters to the Sheriff's Office regarding this issue. Specifically, NT13
discussed that roughly 3 years ago, inmates at the facility would receive "incentive beverages" for
maintaining clean cells. After Wednesday cell inspection, inmates who passed inspection would receive a
soda/beverage. These incentive sodas were paid for by the Fund. However, these incentive beverages have
not been passed out for a number of years. The money for these beverages, however, continues to be a line
item in the annual Welfare Fund budget, according to NT13. NT13 is unaware if any items supposedly funded
by the Welfare Fund are actually received by inmates. Protective Custody/Solitary Confinement: According
A-90

221.

222.

to NT13, inmates placed on Protective Custody and in Solitary Confinement are at a high risk of physical
violence and do not get daily "programming" as required by law. Most PC inmates are housed with other PC
inmates. As such, they are allowed to "program" with other inmates they can align with. However, in
solitary confinement, PC inmates are housed in pods and dorms that also house validated and active gang
members, making them particularly vulnerable to physical violence and harm. The culture and rules of the
traditional prison gangs make it a requirement for any active gang members to physically assault any gang
drop outs or PC inmates. As such, they are rarely allowed outside of their cells and often have their
"program" time shortened, ignored or skipped to allow programming by active gang members. Grievance
Process: NT13 states that the grievance process is problematic and often seen as useless by inmates. At a
basic level, in order for an inmate to file a grievance they must often submit a form to the very Correctional
Officer that they are alleging of misconduct. This exposes inmates to immediate retaliation, harassment, and
excessive use of force. This reality prevents many inmates from using the grievance system. Sanitation:
NT13 has experience in other county facilities in the state of California. The protocol of only allowing one set
of clean clothing per inmate per week is inconsistent with the practices throughout the state. It also fosters a
lack of cleanliness, hygiene and cell sanitation. For example, inmates are often tasked with using their bath
towel in order to maintain the cleanliness of their cell, which is inspected for cleanliness on a weekly basis.
Inmates are required to keep a neat and clean cell but are not given any materials to keep them clean. Use of
Force/Retaliation: NT13 believes he was the victim of retaliation in response to his filing of a grievance
related to witnessing correctional officers physically assault and kill an inmate. An inmate was physically
assaulted and killed in a pod that NT13 was housed. He witnessed and heard the assault and filed a
grievance form in response to witnessing the killing. Only days after filing the grievance, he was removed
from his pod and placed in a violent housing unit and placed in a corner cell. NT13 believes this was done in
response to filing the grievance. Mental Health Services: In solitary confinement, the mental health services
are often done at the cell door. However, this lack of privacy prevents many inmates who desperately need
these services. Many inmates do not seek these services due to the lack of privacy, exacerbating mental
health issues and being problematic for inmates in most need of these services. Commissary: The County
commissary is very expensive in comparison to its counterparts. In fact, many of the items are 75-100% more
expensive than they are at other facilities. This makes it very difficult for inmates who do not have outside
financial support.
Housing Classification: NT15 has been housed in solitary confinement for more than a year. He has filed
multiple grievances related to his housing classification with no response. He does not believe the grievance
process can be an effective tool for inmates. Mental Health: NT15 also believes that a number of mentally ill
patients are inappropriately housed in solitary confinement. While housed in solitary they do not receive the
services necessary for them, while also creating safety and security issues for other inmates. Inmate Welfare
Fund: NT15 was not aware of the welfare fund. Sanitation: NT15 believes inmates should receive more than
one set of clean clothing per week. The current protocol leaves inmates with dirty clothing, towels and does
not provide the tools to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness. This places stress on inmates and often is
at the root of tension between inmates and staff. Related to the sanitation concern, NT15 also believes that
more frequent haircuts need to be available for inmates. Inmates with pending court dates and family visits
are often required to go many weeks between haircuts. Often leaving them looking unkempt. Programs:
NT15 mentioned that "programming" in solitary is often restricted due to incidents happening on other
floors. For example, programming on the solitary floor is already very limited. When incidents occur on
another floor in the facility, programming on the solitary floor is often disregarded. This is an issue as
programming is only allowed every other day as is. This often results in inmates going numerous days
without any time outside of their cell. Commissary: The County commissary prices are very high. NT15 has
experience at other facilities and the prices are expensive in comparison.
Sanitation: NT19 states that the lack of clean clothes and cleaning supplies creates unsanitary conditions
inside the cells and dorms. Inmates are only allowed one set of clean clothes a week. There are also no
clothing or cleaning items available at the commissary. This is unique at the county jail level. Most Bay Area
County Jail facilities allow for at least two changes of clothes and also allow for the sale of clothes and soap
items at commissary. The lack of clean clothes and cleaning products place unnecessary stress on inmates
A-91

223.

224.

and prevent them from meeting weekly clean cell checks. Food: Most of the food is not edible. NT19
described the food as "terrible." NT19 largely survives from food available through the commissary, which is
expensive and is only available because he has outside support. Otherwise, he would go hungry. NT19
stated that the poor quality of food leaves many inmates hungry. Mental Health: According to NT19, mental
health services are largely unavailable to inmates in maximum security. For example, NT19 has submitted
multiple medical slips related to anxiety and other mental health issues. It took more than 6 months for him
to see a mental health specialist. These delays place inmates in dangerous situations. Retaliation: NT19 was
the recipient of protracted harassment from correctional officers related to his criminal charges. For more
than 9 months, NT19 was not allowed outside. He was routinely subject to body cavity searches, his cell was
regularly searched and left in dishelved by correctional officers. NT19 was also physically assaulted by
correctional officers on numerous occasions. NT19 believes these conditions of confinement were all related
to his criminal charges. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT19 is not aware of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Visitation Harassment: NT2 stated that his sister and mother have been harassed and/or been prevented
from visiting him due to minor issues related to dress code issues and barrettes in their hair. The harassment
from Correctional Officers has intimidated his mother (and sister) and they are scared to complain, file a
grievance or discuss the matter as they believe it will result in consequences for NT2. Grievance
System/Retaliation: NT2 expressed a fear and resistance to use the grievance system for fear of retaliation
from correctional officers. It is common for an inmate's cell to be "tore up" or have his personal property
destroyed, damaged, removed or discarded in response to a filed grievance. For example, in response to
filing a grievance related to correctional officers failing to respond to a medical emergency NT2 experienced,
his cell was searched, ransacked, and "tore up" resulting in the damage and loss of family pictures and a hand
drawing from his daughter. NT2 firmly believes his cell was searched and ransacked in response to his filing
of a grievance. Mail/Confidentiality: NT2 identified issues with mail and mail confidentiality as a security
concern. For example, he stated that his mail is often delivered to the wrong cell or location. As such, he has
both received other inmate's mail and learned that his own mail was delivered to others. NT2 identified this
as a problem as he knows inmates that may be cooperating with the government and their cooperation
confidentiality was broken by the incorrect delivery of mail. Lack of Medical Care: NT2 stated that the "white
slips" to receive medical attention do not work. He stated that "man down" was the only way to receive
medical attention. For example, after going 2 weeks without receiving medical attention, NT2 faked a
"seizure" in order to see a doctor as he believes that his white slips were simply being ignored by medical
staff. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT2 was aware of the term and thought it had something to do with the phone
rates, but he did not have knowledge of the Fund or how it worked. Grievance Process: NT2 stated that he
learned about the grievance process/system from fellow inmates. He does not remember receiving any
instruction during intake/orientation or receiving any written material on the procedures. NT2 is an avid
reader, he stated he would remember receiving any written material from the jail.
Grievance Process: NT20 has filed a number of grievances related to conditions of confinement. However,
very few of them ever receive a formal response or complete the grievance process. This failure to be
processed creates two problems for inmates. First, there complaint is rarely heard, leaving many grievances
unresolved. Second, the failure to process the grievance prevents an inmate from filing a civil law suit, for
failure to exhaust the administrative appeal requirements. Use of Force: NT20 has been the victim of
excessive use of force, and has witnessed many of his fellow inmates be assaulted as well. According to
NT20, correctional officers often use the Interview Rooms to implement the assaults. The interview rooms
do not have cameras, they contain sound and create dangerous environments for inmates. Sexual
Misconduct: NT20 has been the victim of sexual misconduct at the hands of correctional officers. One more
than one occasion, officers have forced him to strip naked, while surrounded by a large number of officers,
many of whom were filming the encounter. His strip search was filmed by a number of officers and resulted
in NT20 being held naked, in front of other cells for more than 2 hours. NT20 described this experience as
sexually humiliating and demoralizing. Correctional Officer Training: NT20 believes that Correctional Officers
do not receive the proper training on how to handle inmates with mental health issues. This lack of training
results in inmates bearing the burden of managing mentally ill inmates who often create sanitary and
security issues. Sanitation: NT19 states that the lack of clean clothes and cleaning supplies creates
A-92

225.

226.

227.

unsanitary conditions inside the cells and dorms. Inmates are only allowed one set of clean clothes a week.
There are also no clothing or cleaning items available at the commissary. This is unique at the county jail
level. Most Bay Area County Jail facilities allow for at least two changes of clothes and also allow for the sale
of clothes and soap items at commissary. The lack of clean clothes and cleaning products place unnecessary
stress on inmates and prevent them from meeting weekly clean cell checks. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT20 is
familiar with the Inmate Welfare Fund, but is not aware if any of the items have reached inmates. If they
have, he is unaware that they were funded by the Fund.
Medical Care: According to NT21, it is very difficult to receive medical attention at the County facility. He
has been in the facility for more than 2 years and it took more than 14 months to receive any medical
attention. While incarcerated, NT21 learned that he had contracted a serious disease. He has been unable
to receive any medical attention related to this disease, despite a large number of medical request forms
submitted. Vision/Eye Care: The County facility does not provide any vision health care. Many inmates
pending serious criminal allegations will end up serving many years in the County facility before trial, yet they
cannot get glasses or receive eye care. Grievance Process: The grievance process only allows for written
grievance forms. All grievances must be submitted in writing. However, many inmates cannot read or write.
This inability to write essentially prevents a large population from being capable to use the grievance
process.
Classification/prisoners in jail: NT 22 stated that he and many of his fellow dorm mates have been held in
solitary confinement for more than 10 months, with no classification hearing or any idea of how long they
will be held in solitary. They are being held for indeterminate amounts of time, with no opportunity to earn a
lower level classification (i.e. down-class). Many of them are currently being held on non-violent charges and
have no records of violence within the facility, yet they are being held permanently in solitary confinement
with no ability or procedure to challenge or be heard on why they are housed in the solitary dorm. In
comparison, at the state prison level, all solitary housing classifications are reviewed every 30 days and
inmates receive a hearing on their classification status. At the hearing, they have the opportunity to hear
why they are being classified in solitary confinement. No such hearing or practice exists at the County
facility. When NT22 has filed grievances challenging his housing classification, he has not received a final
response, many of his requests have simply gone unprocessed. Grievance Process: NT22 has used the
grievance process to challenge many conditions in the facility. For example, he has filed a large number of
grievances related to his classification as a solitary confinement inmate. His filings have been completed nor
processed through the grievance process. Many have been left incomplete or simply never returned to him.
Sanitation: NT22 stated that inmates at the County facility receive insufficient cleaning supplies. They are
required to have their cells checked for cleanliness on a weekly basis but are not provided supplies to keep
their cell space clean. For example, many inmates must use commissary purchased soap and shampoo in
order to clean their cells. Similarly, NT22 reports that due to the lack of clean laundry, he and many other
inmates wash all of their own clothes. The county facility only provides one set of clothes a week. This
differs significantly from other County facilities, many of which allows at least two pairs of clothes at a time.
The lack of clean clothing and cleaning supplies often creates unsanitary conditions at the County facility.
Inmate Welfare Fund: NT22 is aware of the inmate welfare fund. He stated that he heard rumors that
monies from the welfare fund were used to pay Correctional Officer overtime pay. Lack of Programs: The
County facility provides little to nothing for the solitary inmates to do. They provide no books, no television,
no reading materials. Further, they rarely have a basketball, nor do they even have a table to sit at during
their time out of their cell. On a larger level, there are no educational classes, addiction help classes or anger
management. There is no structural support for inmates in solitary. In comparison to State Prison, the
County facility is harsher for inmates in solitary due to the complete lack of structured support of any type.
Mental Health Services: The County facility often houses mentally ill patients in solitary confinement.
Improperly classified, the solitary experience often exacerbates these inmates issues. This improper housing
often creates sanitation and security issues for other inmates as they have to manage these inmates needs.
Classification/prisoners in jail: NT23 has been housed in solitary confinement for more than 24 months. He is
currently standing trial on a non-violent charge and has not been involved in any violence while incarcerated.
He has never received a classification hearing or review of his housing classification. He was placed in solitary
A-93

228.

confinement and has remained in solitary for his entire time at the County facility. He does not know if,
when or how to challenge his housing classification. His grievances are not processed related to housing.
Programs: NT23 stated that the programs available for inmates in solitary confinement at the California state
prisons is better than the minimal structure provided to solitary inmates at the County level. The County
facility provides very little for the inmates. No tables, no chairs, to exercise equipment, no library, no cards.
When they are out of their cell, there options are to walk the small outdoor space, and/or sit on the stairs.
Similarly, there no educational, vocational, or anger management classes. Sanitation: NT22 stated that
inmates at the County facility receive insufficient cleaning supplies. They are required to have their cells
checked for cleanliness on a weekly basis but are not provided supplies to keep their cell space clean. For
example, many inmates must use commissary purchased soap and shampoo in order to clean their cells.
Similarly, NT22 reports that due to the lack of clean laundry, he and many other inmates wash all of their
own clothes. The county facility only provides one set of clothes a week. This differs significantly from other
County facilities, many of which allows at least two pairs of clothes at a time. The lack of clean clothing and
cleaning supplies often creates unsanitary conditions at the County facility. NT23 states that he uses his one
towel a week to clean his cell and must air dry after each shower to preserve his towel to maintain his cell
cleanliness. Medical Care: NT23 was arrested with a torn ACL, he has a surgery date set at his time of arrest.
However, after being arrested, it took 18 months for him to receive a doctors appointment that would
diagnose his torn ACL. Despite many medical slips and grievance forms, his requests for medical service
related to the torn ACL have all gone ignored. At the time of the interview, NT23 has no information on
when his torn ACL will be addressed. Meanwhile, he has difficulty walking, is in constant discomfort, and has
trouble walking stairs. Grievance Process: NT23 has filed a number of grievances related to his medical
concerns. He has not received a response to his requests. Dental Care: NT23 has had a number of dental
care needs while in the County facility. He has filed medical slips related to these needs. He has been told
that they do not provide these services. Cleaning Towels: NT23 stated that inmates only receive one towel
a week. This differs from other county and state facility where they allow for more than one towel per week.
Similarly, there are no towels available for sale at the canteen/commissary, despite their availability in other
county and state facilities. Daily Bar Checks: Correctional Officers conduct "bar checks" in the cells
throughout the week. This check involves correctional officers entering individual cells to inspect the bars on
the cell windows and other conditions within the cell. The daily "bar checks" are often the source of tension
between correctional officers and inmates. They are also often used as opportunities for officers to
physically assault inmates, often times mentally impaired inmates. According to NT23, most incidents
involving physical confrontations between correctional officers an inmates stem from a bar check.
Housing Classification: NT24 believes he is improperly housed in solitary confinement. The County facility
provides no opportunity, hearing, or process to challenge your housing classification. He has attempted to
file grievances over his housing classification, but his filings go unprocessed and unresolved. He is not aware
of any other apparatus available to challenge his housing classification. Grievance Process: NT24 stated that
he believes the Grievance Process is just a technicality and that it rarely resolves any issues or disputes and
that most grievances go unprocessed. Daily Bar Checks: Correctional Officers conduct "bar checks" in the
cells throughout the week. This check involves correctional officers entering individual cells to inspect the
bars on the cell windows and other conditions within the cell. The daily "bar checks" are often the source of
tension between correctional officers and inmates. They are also often used as opportunities for officers to
physically assault inmates, often times mentally impaired inmates. According to NT24, most incidents
involving physical confrontations between correctional officers an inmates stem from a bar check. Pill
Line/Medical Care: According to NT24, all daily medical care is administered through a pill door that
separates inmates from nurses in the main lobby. Its a small door that was designed to pass pills hand to
hand through the secured door. However, according to NT24, they not only distribute pills through this door,
they also inject insulin, take TB tests, draw blood, and pass urine and stool samples through this small space
without properly cleaning the area. This exposes many inmates to communicable diseases by participating in
pill line. Use of Force: NT24 discussed how Correctional Officers regularly allow rival gang members out of
their cell to physically assault inmates they don't like. Officers will often "accidently" open a door of a rival
gang member while a rival is on program or alone and out of their cell. This exposes inmates to significant
A-94

229.

threats of violence with little or not repercussion to the officers on duty. Correctional Officers know what
the result will be and its often used against inmates so to avoid Officers from having to get involved in
delivering physical assaults, they allow inmates to do it for them. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT24 is unaware of
any items they receive from the Inmate Welfare Fund. Correctional Officer Training: According to NT24,
correctional officers often lack people management skills. They create unnecessary tension between guards
and inmates by mishandling many everyday situations. They often under estimate the psychological
challenges that solitary inmates face. These challenges include going many hours without verbal
communication, hallucinations, day dreams, insomnia and anxiety. Yet, they correctional officers often
interact with solitary inmates in the same way that they interact with inmates in general population. This
inability or unwillingness to adapt their speech patterns, styles of governance and authority can often create
tension between officers and inmates. According to NT24, the conflict is often small things like
communication style rather than more deeply rooted issues.
Housing Classification: NT25 believes he is improperly housed in solitary confinement. The County facility
provides no opportunity, hearing, or process to challenge your housing classification. He has attempted to
file grievances over his housing classification, but his filings go unprocessed and unresolved. He is not aware
of any other apparatus available to challenge his housing classification. Grievance Process: NT25 stated that
he believes the Grievance Process is just a technicality and that it rarely resolves any issues or disputes and
that most grievances go unprocessed. Daily Bar Checks: Correctional Officers conduct "bar checks" in the
cells throughout the week. This check involves correctional officers entering individual cells to inspect the
bars on the cell windows and other conditions within the cell. The daily "bar checks" are often the source of
tension between correctional officers and inmates. They are also often used as opportunities for officers to
physically assault inmates, often times mentally impaired inmates. According to NT25, most incidents
involving physical confrontations between correctional officers an inmates stem from a bar check. Use of
Force: NT25 was physically assaulted by a number of correctional officers during a bar check in his cell. The
assault resulted in hip, knee and back injuries, as well as significant lacerations to his head, forehead and ear.
As a result of the attack, NT25 spent more than two weeks in the hospital and then in the County jail
infirmary. Visitation: NT25 that his family has been harassed and intimidated by correctional officers not to
visit him. They have been prevented from contacting him for visits due to the random implementation of
policies and rules that are not available to visitors, according to NT25. Sanitation: NT25 stated that inmates
at the County facility receive insufficient cleaning supplies. They are required to have their cells checked for
cleanliness on a weekly basis but are not provided supplies to keep their cell space clean. For example, many
inmates must use commissary purchased soap and shampoo in order to clean their cells. Similarly, NT25
reports that due to the lack of clean laundry, he and many other inmates wash all of their own clothes. The
county facility only provides one set of clothes a week. This differs significantly from other County facilities,
many of which allows at least two pairs of clothes at a time. The lack of clean clothing and cleaning supplies
often creates unsanitary conditions at the County facility. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT25 is aware of the
inmate welfare fund. He stated that he heard rumors that monies from the welfare fund were used to pay
Correctional Officer overtime pay. Holding Cells/Sanitation: According to NT25, the Holding Cells used for
inmates when they are traveling to court are filthy. There are obvious signs of urine, feces and blood in the
cells. Solitary Confinement: NT25 reported having serious mental health issues as the result of his extended
housing in solitary confinement. He stated that he has noticed a significant decrease in his verbal
capabilities, has started to experience serious sleeping disorders, and has become severely anti-social. All of
these conditions he believes are the result of the stress and anxiety related to solitary living conditions. For
example, NT25 told a story of a hospital visit that he was required to undertake due to a skin issue he
developed. During his trip to the hospital, he had a difficult time communicating with the nurse. He
described the entire experience as a "sensory overload", he was overwhelmed by the hospital environment.
He believes this is the direct result of his extended period of being housed in solitary confinement. Mental
Health Services: NT25 states that the mental health services are dismal. The mental health intake demands
the inmate be able to self identify their mental illness or instability. The intake process asks the patient to
assess their own condition, allowing for serious issues to go undocumented and exposing the patient to
further exacerbation of their illness, as well as other inmates to ill patients.
A-95

230.

231.

232.

233.

Grievance Process: NT26 stated that Correctional Officers often will refuse to accept or receive grievances
that inmates attempt to file. They will simply ignore the request from inmates in solitary confinement. A
significant number of written grievances are just not accepted by jail house staff. Classification/Protective
Custody: NT26 discussed the jail policy of forcing Black inmates to chose protective custody. Many of them
are coerced and pushed into Protective Custody before they know the racial realities of the jail culture. Jail
staff exaggerates threats and conditions that push Black inmates into protective custody which then exposes
them to additional security and housing issues. Mental Health Services: NT26 was previously housed in the
South jail. During his time at South, he was housed next to a mentally ill inmate. Despite constant requests
for help and pleas for assistance, his neighbor was ignored and prevented from accessing proper medication
and mental health services. After a few weeks of denial of services, his neighbor hung himself in his dorm
and killed himself. NT26 believes this death was avoidable and was largely the result of neglect and the lack
of services available inside the jail. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT26 is not familiar with the welfare fund.
Censorship of Newspapers/Inmate Welfare Fund: According to NT27, the Inmate Welfare Fund pays for
newspapers that are delivered to the housing units. However, NT27 has noticed that papers are not
delivered on days where the newspaper contains stories regarding jail conditions or news stories related to
the County facility. The news paper often is not delivered when these stories are printed. Visitor
harassment: NT27 stated that his mom and family has often been denied visitation due to the application of
obscure rules and policies that many inmates and families are unware of. Correctional Officer Training:
According to NT27, the excessive use of force and physical assaults on inmates greatly increased after the
Sheriffs Office took over the facility in 2010. The Sheriffs Office brought a new culture of confrontation and
violence that did not exist before the takeover. The new hires in the office bring a confrontational attitude
and are quick to exacerbate dangerous situations that result in physical assaults on inmates rather than
diffuse the situations. Mail: NT27 believes that his outgoing mail is often tampered with and sometimes lost
or not delivered from the facility. This includes some legal mail that never reaches his counsel or the court.
He believes there should be secure mail boxes on each floor rather than an open cardboard box.
Sanitation: According to NT28, there is a cockroach problem on the 4th floor. Inmates often see and find
roaches in their cells and surrounding areas. They are not provided anything to deal with the infestation and
the facility does not seem to do anything about it. Use of Force/Retaliation: NT28 discussed an incident in
which he was physically assaulted by 4 or 5 correctional officers, and left bleeding from his forehead in his
cell for a number of hours before being treated by a nurse. After the incident, a sergeant approached his cell
and asked him what happened. The tone and body language of the sergeant sent a clear message that if
NT28 complained or made notice of the altercation he would be retaliated against. The sergeant was clearly
defending the officers involved and NT28 was left to feel that he could not voice any complaint about the
incident. Racial Slurs: NT28 stated that he is often harassed with racially derogatory language from
correctional officers. Classification: NT28 discussed that he was forced to enter protective custody. When
he entered the facility, he was informed by prison staff that all Black inmates had to go into protective
custody because they would be killed by Hispanic gangs. NT28 later learned that this wasn't true but he has
no way of getting out of protective custody. He is unaware of any hearing, process, or procedure to
challenge his current classification. Bar Checks: According to NT28, bar checks are regularly used to
physically assault inmates. They are used to instigate conflict between inmates and officers and to create
pretext for assaults on inmates. NT28 has been the victim and witness to a large number of assaults on
inmates during bar checks. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT28 is not aware of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Visitation Harassment: NT29 stated that members of his family have been harassed, intimidated and have
had obscure policies enforced on them to prevent them from attending scheduled visits. His family travels
multiple hours to visit him, only to often be denied access to visitation hours due to obscure rules.
Sanitation: NT29 complained that inmates are not provided sufficient cleaning supplies to maintain clean
cells. According to NT29, the cells in solitary are filthy, often difficult to clean and maintain sanitary without
necessary cleaning supplies. The small amount of Ajax and sponge provided to clean the cell is insufficient.
Inmates need more cleaning supplies. Programs: NT29 states that there are no programs available for
inmates in solitary confinement. Solitary inmates are unable to access any educational or drug, alcohol or
anger management courses. They are prevented from accessing any programs that may assist in their
A-96

234.

235.

236.

237.

tradition out of jail. Isolation: NT29 discussed some of the long term impact of living in solitary confinement.
He made reference to extended periods of isolation often result in desensitized feelings toward family and
loved ones. The longer he has been in isolation, he finds it more and more difficult to maintain social bonds
with fellow inmates, family and loved ones. This sense of isolation often extends into his life outside of
county jail. He made reference to severe anti-social feelings and behaviors that he did not have before his
experience in solitary confinement. He also discussed challenges with sleeping, with leaving his house and
feeling connected to his children, who he has been removed from for many years. Classification: NT29 has
been in solitary confinement for more than 20 months. He was initially housed in general population. After
an altercation with a fellow inmate, he was moved to solitary and has remained housed in solitary since. He
has not had a subsequent review of his classification despite numerous grievances submitted regarding his
housing classification. He feels as though he has been dropped in a hole and left there to rot for the
remainder of his sentence. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT29 believes the newspapers that each pod receives
comes from the Inmate Welfare Fund, but other than the newspapers, he is unaware of anything that the
Fund is used for.
Commissary Items: NT3 gets significant rashes, acne, and skin irritation from the alcohol based deodorant
sold at the commissary. Grievance System: NT3 has filed a number of grievances related to his skin
irritations resulting from the commissary deodorant. Although a number of his grievances have been denied,
he has continued to push his claims to the medical staff. While very slow to respond, he believes he is on the
brink of being granted permission to use outside deodorant (if purchased from him by family.) NT3 believes
the grievance system can work, it is just painfully slow and inefficient. NT3 did not remember if he was
informed of grievance system Medical Care is Slow: According to NT3, medical conditions that are not "near
death" are not addressed by the medical staff. NT3 stated that inmates need to exaggerate their medical
symptoms in order to receive medical attention. Mail Missing: NT3 stated that his mail is regularly missing
or misplaced. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT3 was not familiar with Inmate Welfare Fund.
Classification: NT30 has been housed in solitary for more than 4 months. He was assaulted by Correctional
Officers while he was classified in General Population. The assault resulted in an internal investigation. NT30
was later cited with an infraction and re-classified into solitary confinement. He has not had an opportunity
to hear the charges against him or any process of review for his re-classification. He is unaware of any
process that will allow him to be re-classified into general population. The grievance process does not
address this classification issue, according to NT30. Use of Force: NT30 was assaulted by 4-5 correctional
officers in his cell. The assault resulted in significant injuries to his hip, knee, and ear. The incident resulted
in an investigation conducted by an Santa Clara detective. The incident is currently under review. Inmate
Welfare Fund: NT30 is not aware of the welfare fund.
Commissary : NT31 reports that commissary items are very expensive and he is often charged for items that
he does not receive. Phone Calls: Similarly, he reports that the phone service is very expensive and the price
often results in his ability to use the phone to call his mother and wife. The price is a prohibitive factor in his
ability to access close family members on the outside. Also, phone calls are often disrupted and cut short by
Correctional Officers. Medical Care: According to NT31, to report a medical condition and request a doctors
appointment costs inmates $3. They are charged this cost, even if the doctor or nurse fails to arrive at the
appointment. Also, there is a significant delay between the time of the request and receiving any type of
service. For example, NT31 was in need of dental services for an infected tooth. After filing out a white slip,
it took more than 8 weeks for his tooth to be assessed. It also took multiple white slips and multiple
grievance forms for him to get formal assessment from medical staff. Once he was assessed, the tooth was
immediately removed. Programs: NT31 spoke highly of the programs available to his floor. He stated that
he takes advantage of all the educational courses, alcohol and narcotic management, as well as religious
services. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT31 was not aware of the inmate welfare fund.
Religious Services: NT32 discussed at length his appreciation for and his use of the religious services
available at the County facility. While often limited in scope, NT32 discussed the importance and significance
that the pastor and religion has played in his own personal transformation and that of many of his peers.
Programs: NT32 also discussed the importance of AA and NA programs and how they have been
A-97

238.

239.

fundamental to his ability to survive in the County facility. He is very appreciative of their existence and vital
to many inmates recovery.
Medical Care: NT33 discussed many of the challenges he has had with the medical services available at the
County facility. For example, NT33 had a severe toothache that resulted in a 7 day stay in the hospital. Prior
to emergency surgery, NT33 had submitted numerous white slips to request attention for his tooth and pain
related to the tooth. His white slips went largely ignored, only occasionally receiving ibuprofen for pain
relief. After more than 6 months of filing white slips related to his tooth, NT33 was forced to kick his door
and scream in agony to get attention for his tooth. His tooth had become infected and began to cause
swelling in his jaw and throat that resulted in blocking his air passage ways. After kicking and screaming, he
was reviewed by a nurse who had him immediately sent to the hospital for emergency surgery. NT33 is also
a cancer survivor. However, since being held in County jail, he has not been able to have any services related
to his cancer diagnosis. He is fearful that this neglect is placing him at a higher risk of relapse and successful
recovery. Retaliation/Refusal: NT33 stated that Correctional Officers often deny inmates access to
programs, medical appointments and visitations by claiming that inmates are "refusing" to attend. The claim
of "refusal" is just used as an excuse by Officers to avoid having to transport inmates to services they have
requested. NT33 also stated that it is a subtle form of retaliation against inmates. Housing Classification:
NT33 has been in the County facility for more than 24 months. He has also been housed in general
population, having spent the last 10 months in solitary confinement. He was moved to solitary without any
history of violence or infractions inside the facility (and no prior experience in State prison.) He did not
receive any information to support being moved from general population to solitary and is unaware of any
process or procedure to hear and/or challenge his classification. Commissary: NT33 states that the
commissary prices are very expensive. But more importantly, he often does not receive the items he has
ordered and/or paid for. The grievance process has not provided relief for this issue. Access to Federal
Court: NT33 states that he is unable to review federal evidence against him and/or access information on his
federal case within the facility. The laptops and equipment used to review discovery evidence are not
allowed and/or do not work on the 4th floor of the County facility. As such, he is consistently denied the
ability and access to federal evidence against him. He also reported that he cannot his federal court dates in
the County facility. He is informed that the computers at the County facility cannot access his federal court
information and he is denied the information. He often learns of his court dates as he is being picked up for
his cell for transportation to the federal court house.
Medical Reports/Nurses: According to NT34, the medical staff and nursing staff often downplay or
misreport injuries and conditions of inmates subsequent to physical assaults by Correctional Officers. NT34
stated that the nurses and doctors will report injuries consistent with the reports of the Officers. Often
downplaying the significance of injuries, or denying the existence of injuries. Nurses also do examinations
days and/or weeks after incidents occur, to allow for injuries and swelling to subside before any official
report/examination is conducted. Bar Checks: NT34 reports that bar checks are the root of most
altercations between Correctional Officers and Inmates. The tactics and aggressive style in which the Officers
conduct bar checks in each cell create a hostile and antagonistic environment that easily escalates into
altercations which then results in assaults on inmates. According to NT34, Officers are quick to use physical
assaults and abusive language to degrade, dehumanize and brutalize inmates. NT34 has been the victim of
these attacks and has witnessed many as well. NT34 has experience at other local County facilities as well as
a few California State penitentiaries, in comparison, Santa Clara County is very aggressive and brutal in its
physical attacks on inmates. Sexual Assaults: NT34 reported numerous incidents of sexual abuse and
violence directed towards mentally ill and protective custody inmates. In particular, the conditions in the
South jail expose inmates to sexual violence and harm. Retaliation: Retaliation for filing grievances and
witnessing correctional officer wrongdoing is common in the County facility. For example, during bar checks,
inmates in neighboring cells (and behind locked cell doors) are instructed to stay on their beds in a
threatening tone. The tone of the instruction clearly tells inmates not to witness or report anything they see,
hear or sense from a neighboring bar check without the fear of harassment or more serious consequence.
Programming: NT34 reported that inmates are often denied their out of cell time due to staff shortages and
Correctional Officers reluctance (and knowledge) of legal requirements. For example, NT34 reported that
A-98

240.

241.

242.

243.

many floors receive less than 3 hours a week of out of cell time (non-solitary confinement floors), much
lower than the requirement of at least 10.5 hours as required by law (according to NT34). This neglect and
reluctance to allow inmates out of their cell creates anxiety, hostility and conflict between inmates, as well as
between inmates and staff.
Excessive Use of Force: NT4 received a significant physical assault at the hands of Correctional Officers
during his intake in August 2015, a few weeks before the Tyree incident. The assault resulted in NT4 receiving
8 staples in his head to seal a significant cut on the back of his head. NT4 filed a grievance in response to this
incident. His grievance was denied. He has also left a message with internal affairs but has not received any
response related to the assault. Retaliation: NT4 also expressed a fear of retaliation or reprimand for filing
the grievance. He expressed that he fears for his families safety as well. For example, his fear of correctional
officer retaliation has prevented him from disclosing family information in his "Social History Report" that his
attorney has requested him to complete for an upcoming court date. He has also stopped sending his family
mail, as he fears they will identify family member home addresses. Medical Care: NT4 stated that the worst
place to be in the San Jose Main Jail is the infirmary. He spent two weeks in the infirmary after his assault.
He stated that the infirmary is filthy, contains stains all over the place and has a filthy feeling. He stated that
inmates often down play significant medical conditions to avoid time in the infirmary. Inmate Welfare Fund:
NT4 is not familiar with the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Use of Force: NT8 stated that he has personally been the victim of excessive use of force by correctional
officers. He stated that he is regularly handled with unnecessary force and that he has received beatings in
his cell at the hands of correctional officers. The use of physical threats and overly aggressive correctional
officers seems to be the norm on the 8th floor, according to NT8. He believes he has been a target of
correctional officers and that they believe they can be overly aggressive with him with little to no threat of
punishment. Intake Process: NT8 stated that the intake process in Santa Clara is very slow. The night he was
arrested, he was held chained to a bench overnight, being held for more than 12 hours. He thought the
intake process was deliberately slow. Access to Counsel/Phone: NT8 has no income and no support outside
of prison. Due to this fact, he cannot afford to use the phone and has had difficultly accessing his attorney to
discuss his case. His lack of financial support from the outside has limited his ability to use the phone which
has also, in his opinion, limited his access to his attorney. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT8 is not familiar with the
Fund and is not aware of what its purpose is.
Access to Legal Materials: NT9 stated that psychiatrist inmates have no access to a law library and he
personally has been denied access to the few legal materials that are available. Similarly, NT9 is party to at
least two civil suits currently pending. He has not been able to keep informed of those suits and is concerned
that without access he will be unable to find relief. Grievance System: NT9 claims that on a number of
occasions he was not allowed to access grievance forms and was threatened with retaliation if he were to file
a grievance. Retaliation/Use of Force: In the spring of 2014, NT9 was witness to a serious beating of a young
male inmate at the hands of four correctional officers. NT9 saw them repeatedly punch and kick an inmate
while he was in cuffs and laying on the ground. The inmate beating resulted in broken bones. After the
incident, NT9 was approached by two correctional officers who threatened him in an aggressive tone which
he interpreted to mean that he should not file any grievances or discuss what he witnessed. Inmate Welfare
Fund: NT9 was not aware of welfare fund.
Medical access – Long delays to see doctor, even after putting in white card. This time he has to wait 90 days
(until March) until he can see the doctor. 90 days is average wait now; it wasn’t like this last year. The first
time he put in white card, it took 43 days to see doctor and get medications, even though injuries are listed in
his files. It should only take 72 hours – 14 days maximum to see the doctor, or within 24 hours in an
emergency.
Medical quality – Medical staff need more training, especially when someone is under the influence. Even
when you see the doctor, they don’t know what they’re doing or don’t do anything, they just say that you’re
OK and stick you with needles. Last year he was arrested after suicide attempt (pill overdose on pills - he
should have gone to the hospital, but the nurses just kept saying he was fine, they didn’t ask what happened
or whether he was ok, even though he kept falling asleep.
Problems getting necessary medications – even when inmates have documented health conditions /
A-99

244.

medications in their files, the doctors only see what they want to see, and only give whatever medications
they want to. He knows other inmates who were supposed to be on heart medications or stomach
medications for cancer, but the jail doctors denied them the medications even with a prescription or hospital
recommendation. He has several documented health conditions on file, but still hasn’t been treated for
either. The doctors tried to give him psych meds instead as a muscle relaxant. He was also denied getting
tested for Crohn’s disease. When doctors do give medications, they crush the pills to prevent inmates from
cheeking or selling them – this causes stomach problems and messes up the time-release medications; you
get too much medicine at the beginning but then effects don’t last.
Mental health quality – He stopped going to mental health because they don’t give people what they need.
They also give too much medication, so that inmates sleep all day. There are several inmates in his unit who
should be on 8th floor (mental health) – CO’s mistreat several of them with taunts or slapping around. He
tried to file grievance about slapping around.
Phones – GTL system commits lots of fraud. The phone app is only supposed to charge $2.50 processing fee,
but they take $5 instead. It’s not listed in any records and the company says they don’t keep any records –
he only finds out by seeing how much his phone balance dropped. The online system only charges $2.50.
The company also drops/disconnects the call immediately (within first 2 seconds, or 3-4 minutes, or right
after pick up) and charges for them. He tried to grieve the problem twice – the first time, they said they
didn’t have the calls in their log, so CO’s said he was lying. The second time, he had his wife’s phone log
showing dropped calls, but CO’s still rejected grievance. The company doesn’t have any online logs where
consumers can check their calls. Phone rates just dropped, but GTL is still not even going by their own rates.
He has lost lots of money from GTL system and knows they’re being sued in many states.
Calls to lawyers – are supposed to be confidential, but jail monitors attorney calls. He heard from his brother
that the jail recently gave over information to the county DA that they got from monitoring inmates’ phone
calls with their attorneys – it happened a month ago.
Mail – he doesn’t feel comfortable writing us because they read his mail. Phones are monitored, so he
doesn’t feel comfortable saying anything to us over phone.
Visitation – He’s supposed to be allowed 1 hour/week + 1 hour/weekend for visits, and available for visits
every day except Wednesdays, but wife keeps getting told that he’s only available 1-2 days week, and/or that
that he’s not available other days. Visitation differs from one unit to another, but he’s prevented from visits
even when visiting rooms are open. He has not filed grievances on this.
Use of force, retaliation – Last year he was beaten up by 5 CO’s while knocked out on pills following suicide
attempt. He kept falling asleep and the CO kept kicking his chair – he asked the CO what the f--- he was
doing, and the CO and 5 others beat him up. He didn’t file grievance or complain b/c the CO’s will “mess you
up” if you do. Other than this, he hasn’t had any problems with CO’s in a long time
Culture – Most CO's on his floor are cool, but others think they wear a badge and can do whatever they want
– used to be even worse when jail run by sheriffs (vs. DOC). Younger CO's – a lot are cool, but some rookies
are really hard-ass – it depends on who trained them and how. CO’s have no respect for inmates; lots of
younger inmates also stir things up, but that doesn’t give CO’s the right to use force. They treat us like we’re
already guilty. Rulebooks says that CO’s are supposed to respect inmates – but they don’t.
ACCOUNTABILITY – It doesn’t matter what sheriffs tell Cos – CO’s don’t care, sheriff not inside jail to see
what’s actually going on. When inmates file grievances, they always back the CO’s – there’s no proof from
inside. CO’s should wear video cameras to record when they’re inside pods/units, like cops do. He wants to
know what is happening with all the money that the jail receives for things like food, programming, clothing –
Santa Clara is one of richest counties in the state, but inmates are still treated very badly and don’t get what
they need. When TVs in get broken, they wait entire month to replace them. When there are inspections
from Sacramento, then they replace TVs and get things done, but afterward things go back to being the
same. He has in and out of jail since age 18 (now 26), in different units, and things have gotten a lot worse –
treatment of inmates, meals, programming, education, clothing. Things are different in other units, even
though they’re all supposed to be treated equally.
GRIEVANCES – Inmates file grievances on many things, but administration always supports CO’s side of story
not the inmates. Grievance process – inmates give grievance to CO; CO puts their response; goes to
A-100

sergeant, lieutenant, Coordinator, who always go with what CO says. Retaliation – If CO’s know that
someone files lots of grievances, they retaliate by refusing to give the person anything they ask for, even
when inmates have a right to it (e.g., deny blankets, take away commissary, etc.). There’s no use in filing
grievance if administration is just going to support CO’s. CO’s also retaliate against inmates allegedly involved
in assault on CO at Elmwood, who were just moved to Main Jail – e.g., his neighbor doesn’t have a blanket
and keeps asking for one, but CO’s won’t give him any; the same thing is happening to all the inmate who
CO’s say were involved in Elmwood assault, even if they weren’t.
USE OF FORCE – happens all the time, especially if inmate is having a bad day – CO’s will disrespect inmates
to make them angry, and vice versa. CO’s do cell searches to get back at inmates – they pretend to smell
pruno (homemade alcohol) as an excuse for cell search, then mess up inmates cell even though there’s
nothing there. Inmates don’t put in grievances because of retaliation. CO’s use excessive physical force,
especially if inmates resist (e.g., wont come out of cells, put boards in windows) –grab by wrist, push against
wall, knee in the side, fist to the head, curse in their face, even when there are 6-8 officers there. CO’s
mostly use excessive force again mentally disabled inmates (those taking psych meds and in mental health
court) and protected custody– but not to regular inmates or high powered gang-bangers where there may be
the consequences. CO’s used force on him many years ago, but not recently. People don’t put in
grievances/complaints about CO’s use of force because afraid of retaliation.
CULTURE – CO’s refuse to respond when inmates ask for things (e.g., forms, clothes, hygiene kits, request to
talk with sergeant) – CO’s say that they’re busy, but just sit around watching videos on their phones; inmates
can see them from cells. In prison, CO’s aren’t allowed to have cell phones because of distraction – they
should do the same here. They should change the CO’s in the units, especially CO’s who have been here for
years – they treat inmates worse. Inmates are stuck with same CO’s for years, with culture of disrespect –
they want new CO’s in unit to develop better rapport.
FOOD – Portions are very small, no snacks in between – inmates are always hungry between meals,
especially those who can’t afford to buy food from commissary. Inmates always ask for extra meal trays but
guards refuse. They should get larger portions and/or snacks between meals.
SOAP – Inmates are supposed to get soap every week or when they ask, but they don’t get any or only get
once/month. He hasn’t gotten any soap since he got here, affects lots of others also. Years ago people said
they were wasting too much money on soap, now they don’t have it in stock to give us.
CLOTHES – Sometimes they can’t afford to give inmates clothes/laundry every week – they run out of sizes;
or they give old clothes that have been around for years; sometimes they give clothes that are too small.
HOUSING / CLASSIFICATION – Inmates are put in the hole (ad seg) for a long time – he has been in ad seg onoff since 2009 and continuously since 2013 while in custody. He has requested down-classification from the
beginning and to program with general population, but CO’s always have excuses why he can’t (e.g., tell him
that he’s properly housed, wait 30 days for file review, have wait for room to open, etc.), or cite
safety/security issues – but they don’t interview inmates about to discuss alleged security issue, just go on
hearsay and rumors. Inmates are supposed to have filed reviewed every 30 days, but still don’t get downclassified. When he puts in request for down-class, it takes 10days-2 weeks to get response, but only
supposed to take 3-4 days. He just put in request to talk w/ sergeant about file review and down-class.
Classifications – Green shirts = south side gangs; red shirts = northern and other gangs; brown shirts =
protected custody (treated worst by CO’s).
MENTAL HEALTH & MEDICAL – are fine, they do their thing. MH social worker should come see inmates
more often to ask what we need, how we’re doing – they only come every 3-4 weeks, but should come every
10 days-2 weeks.
PROGRAMS – Inmates in ad seg don’t get any programs except Roadmap to Recovery, and aren’t allowed to
do programs on other floors. Other units have GED, other education programs, NA, AA, etc. – inmates in ad
seg should have these also to avoid boredom, etc. They say we’re getting education, but we’re not. His unit
doesn’t even have board games, even though they say they do.
TIME OUT OF CELL – Inmates only get 1 hour out of cell every other day – they need more time out, more
program hours. Inmates get stressed out and frustrated being in cells; even people who aren’t mentally ill
become mentally ill because kept in cell all day, especially b/c they can’t get down-classed to other floors or
A-101

for programming. They also need more time to be able to talk on phone – only allowed to use phones during
program time, even for required attorney and court program calls. If they need to make calls during nonprogram time, CO’s don’t let them, even when there’s nothing else going on. Often program time is at night
or non-business hours, so unable to call attorney or DASH program when they need to (DASH program
requires them to call in between 8AM-5PM). Or they tell inmates that they have to switch program time with
others if they want to come out to make calls –shouldn’t have to do that. Max tiers in South Jail have phones
on wheels that they bring to people’s cells, so they can make calls anytime – they should have these in other
units also. CO’s are not supposed to refuse attorney interviews/calls, so inmates should be access to call
attorneys as necessary on non-program days.
BRC INTERVIEWS – Things have gotten worse since interviews began – CO’s won’t let inmates do anything;
don’t let them pass things to neighbors in unit; newspapers and meals are distributed hours late, so the hot
food gets cold and milk gets warm. When someone complained about warm milk, CO’s gave them powdered
milk instead. CO’s are waiting to see what changes are going to happen and if they will have to do more
work. CO’s are talking with inmates about what was discussed in interviews – CO’s ask inmates what was
said and/or inmates just tell them. Some people want to do interviews, but don’t do it because they’re afraid
of CO retaliation – force, abuse.

245.

246.

[RH note: When CO’s were taking interviewee back to his cell, they commented on how long his interview
lasted and that he was “spreading the knowledge.”
PROGRAMMING – Lack of programming in ad seg is major problem, they should have more education,
activities, people coming in to speak to inmates on regular basis, communication with CO’s coming by to talk
with inmates; inmates minds are dying inside. Programming/education should be mandatory, especially for
younger guys who come in off the streets. Inmates build up rage locked up all the time – leads to people
reacting, and aggravated when CO’s are in bad mood. Inmates don’t get anything out of time in the yard, it’s
just the same TV like in pod – need actual programming instead. DASH program should in the jail too, not
just in court – otherwise it’s just a revolving door in and out of jail. They are trying to start 2-3 hour program
(Roadmap to Recover?), but only for people who are compatible – but there are problems with program
compatibility requirements. Inmates are told to find someone compatible to program with and sign up at
their own risk, but there’s no oversight from CO’s to assess / determine whether people are compatible – the
risk is all on inmates to pick someone and hope to get along well. Risk is especially great if other person is
taking drugs (e.g., steroids) + psych meds (triple CMS). Also, he is the only African American inmate in his
pod (has been this way for 14-16 months) – he gets along with others, but doesn’t have anyone to talk to. He
has not experienced discrimination based on race.
FOOD – is bad. The hot pot outside cells where inmates can warm food from commissary is filthy, and used
by 14-16 people; they should pick a trustee to manage it properly. When hot pot breaks, it takes almost a
month to be replaced, so inmates can’t even warm up food from commissary.
SANITATION – Inmates should be allowed to clean cells more than once/week, and not just during program
time – lots of bacteria around, and big cockroaches in cells. Inmates used to be allowed to mop cells every
day. He is a trustee (?), so some CO’s let him come out to sweep and mop. Air quality is bad – they have to
breath lots of dust, especially if they’re working out.
USE OF FORCE – haven’t seen any CO’s use force or get out of line (18 months in jail).
CULTURE – CO’s are constantly on their phones and then say they’re busy when inmates ask for things (e.g.,
toilet paper, etc.). They get paid salaries to work but don’t do it.
Blue Ribbon Commission should include inmates – not just hand-picked individuals.
GRIEVANCES – Never used grievance process – didn’t get handbook, no one explained grievance process or
his right to grieve/complain. Never seen anyone use grievance process.
TIME OUT OF CELL / PROGRAMMING – Inmates are locked in cell 23-24 hours/days; only come out 1 hour
every other day (3 hours / week). It’s very stressful and causes anxiety; he needs someone to talk to; doesn’t
know how to deal with his stress and depression when he can’t talk to family. Group programs would be
nice; inmates shouldn’t be isolated in cells all the time.
PHONES – Inmates need more phone time to call family – only allowed to make calls only during time out.
A-102

247.

Phones sometimes mess up the calls; inmates have to type in long code to make calls, but phone system
doesn’t always read it well. Hasn’t tried to call / meet with attorney since here.
VISITS – Hasn’t had any visits yet b/c the verification process is very onerous for families. Families have to
come in at 8AM, then 3-4 day delay for verification, his girlfriend doesn’t have time then. Very stressful not
to have visits.
CULTURE – CO’S are unprofessional, provoke problems, and taunt inmates – e.g., eating chips in front of
them, talking badly about them, take away people’s programs. CO’s delay in responding to inmates’
requests – e.g., it took them 2 weeks to give him a commissary list after he requested it, even when other
inmates were getting their commissary.
USE OF FORCE – Last night CO’s were doing bar check and work him up in middle of the night – when he tried
to wipe away sleep in his eyes, the CO’s grabbed and almost broke his arm, even though there were 7-8
other CO’s behind – very stressful for him.
COMMISSARY – lots of unhealthy junk foods – he can’t eat them b/c on a strict diet for health issues. They
don’t have proper hygiene products – the deodorant make him break out, then he has to wait week to see
doctor. Products are overpriced – just draining money from inmates and their families.
MEDICAL ACCESS & QUALITY – Guards delay in giving him white card when he requests them – has to wait
several days to get and sign it, then takes nurse 4-5 days to come. Nurses are pretty good.
BEDDING – Mattresses are very hard and uncomfortable – causing him back pain, very difficult to sleep. He
has back issues and seeing chiropractor before.
SANITATION – He doesn’t think they sanitize things – e.g., doesn’t think his sandals were sanitized before.
No other issues with clothes / laundry, except that they don’t fit (underwear too big).
HARRASSMENT / RETALIATION – CO’s harass him b/c he witnessed an incident when CO’s used force against
another inmate – e.g., they interrogate him, pull him from cell in middle of the night for interrogation, allow
other inmates to harass and provoke him, and they ignore him when he asks them to stop the inmates’
harassment, or to speak with lieutenant, or pushes emergency medical button. CO’s also called him out over
the intercom for talking to us (BRC attorneys) from his cell when we made our announcements.
CULTURE – Harassment / disrespect goes both ways – CO’s disrespect inmates, inmates also harass CO’s.
There needs to be more structure for inmates and from CO’s. There are some professional CO’s, but others
are too lax – they let inmates have contraband and razors; only strict when lieutenant comes. There’s lots of
corruption. Lack of structure – people get assaulted. Some CO’s don’t even care if inmates file
grievance/complaints, others do. He thinks the feds should take over jail to bring more structure. 4th floor is
best floor he’s been on – CO’s treat with respect; inmates and CO’s get along. 5th floor – most inmates and
CO’s are fine, but there are some bad CO’s; he was assaulted twice by CO’s on another floor. 6th floor –
open program, inmates open their cells and get in CO’s private areas; CO’s openly tell inmates that they don’t
like other CO’s. In booking, they’ll clean up for show before the commission comes through; the problems
happen in the back of the jail.
USE OF FORCE – He was assaulted twice – CO’s don’t like him because of personal relationships from outside
jail. He was assaulted by 5 CO’s in December, and later heard from other inmates that a CO “put a hit on
him” b/c he’d filed an IA complaint re the assault. Another time he was assaulted by a CO happened while
handcuffed – lots of inmates witnessed incident. CO’s use force too much – they beat inmates up while
completely chained, then say they just put chains on afterward. If an inmate gets assaulted, CO’s move them
to another floor to hide them – moved to 8th floor, infirmary, 4th floor, old jail – to prevent them from being
seen. He feels scarred by the incidents of force that he witnessed by CO’s.
GRIEVANCES – He didn’t file grievance after being assaulted – grievances always gets lost, inmates never get
a response or anything back. The same thing happens with requests to probation officer.
MEDICAL – Filed grievance because medical staff didn’t give him the proper medications at the right time.
They fixed his medications after the first grievance, but then messed up a second time. Infirmary is bad,
doctors are bad, nurses are fine.
MENTAL HEALTH – If someone talks to MH counselor about how they’re feeling, MH counselor says they’re
suicidal and moves them to 8th floor. 8th floor is very bad – they just overdose people with medications, so
inmates just sleep all day and lose a lot of weight b/c too drowsy to eat. CO’s harass and try to stress out
A-103

248.

249.

inmates with mental health issues.
TIME OUT OF CELLS; SAFETY – 1 hour every other day is not enough. Some inmates don’t feel safe coming
out of cells b/c they’re afraid of getting hurt by other inmates, even with CO’s there – CO’s should put a stop
to things.
REENTRY – There are no resources for people when they come out – not even from probation. They just
want to put people in homeless shelters or back in jail (esp. if they have mental health issues). They should
give inmates the help they need when they come out, the way they help out CO’s to go to college and get
their jobs.
FOOD – is very bad, he doesn’t even eat much of it; people get fed much better in prison.
HYGIENE – They don’t give inmates the soap they’re supposed to get; only give 2 very tiny bars (like
dominoes) every 2 weeks. People w/o commissary can’t get more.
COMMISSARY – OK.
LAUNDRY/CLOTHES – people write all over clothes, tag them.
SANITATION – Cells unsanitary – inmates only allowed to clean cells once/week; sometimes CO’S don’t pass
out cleaning supplies when they’re supposed to; large cockroaches in cells. Inmates only get 1 towel for
showering, not for cleaning cell.
MAIL – CO’s won’t take his legal mail when he has it; some CO’s open his legal mail and read it.
CLASSIFICATION – Classification process should be more confidential. He is in protected custody b/c bisexual
– not something he talks about here in jail, but during classification they asked him about it very loudly in
front of people. He was assaulted by cellmate – they should have just moved him to another dorm, but
instead they moved him up from Level 2 to Level 4. Only supposed to be in Level 4 for 14 days, but has
already been there for 30 days – supposed to be reviewed every 30 days for down-classification. In Level 4,
he can’t get the programming he wants, and can’t apply to be a Trustee.
DISCRIMINATION – He has experienced some racism/discrimination as Spanish-speaker – e.g., left for last to
do things. Also experienced discrimination when assaulted by cellmate, who looks white (but has Spanish
surname) – even though CO’s could see that cellmate started fight and he was just trying to protect himself,
CO grabbed him and twisted his arm until felt like it would break, but didn’t do anything to cellmate.
USE OF FORCE – He has only seen use of force 1 time against mentally ill inmate – inmate was
complaining/asking to see Mental Health, and CO went into cell and beat him up.
PROGRAMMING – He has been asking for drug recovery program for 2-3 weeks, but can’t get into program
until he’s down-classed. He saw white inmates get into program within 1 week. Drug recovery program is
only offered in English. Level 4 gets less program time – only 1 hour every other day; should be at least half
hour every day.
ISOLATION – He takes mood and anti-anxiety medication due to traumatic childhood. It’s hard for him to be
isolated and chained/restricted, wants to be around people.
GRIEVANCES – Never filed grievance – doesn’t like to complain or get involved, but thinks it’s important to
speak up. Grievance form and process are only in English.
FOOD – there should be more natural food, even the meat is fake. He has stomach problems and food
makes him sick.
SOAP – They don’t give inmates enough soap, so they have to buy their own. When he asked for soap, they
only give 3 tiny bars/week – each bar only lasts 1 shower, but inmates want to shower more often (every
day), especially if they work out.
PHONES – Too expensive, should be cheaper or free; inmates should get 1 free call/week. He is unable to call
family b/c no money.
ACCESS TO ATTORNEY – Long delays when he tries to request visit with attorney – doesn’t know if delays
caused by Public Defender or jail. He puts in request form, but doesn’t get any response until attorney gets
back to him.
MEDICAL – He has had back problems since before jail – he put in white card to see doctor, but the nurse just
gave him Tylenol and didn’t even let him see doctor. He put in another white card to see dentist due to
cavity – they just gave him 1 month of ibuprofen/Tylenol, doesn’t know if he will get to see dentist at all or if
he has to sign up again.
A-104

250.

251.

252.
253.

CLOTHES – At other jails & prisons, they give inmates extra clothes and towels. Here, inmates only get one
set of clothes, and only get to exchange them 2 times/week (Tuesdays and Fridays). If inmates work out,
they have to wear sweaty clothes – causes them to break out in rashes. If CO’s find someone with an extra
towel, they take the towel and take away programming.
TIME OUT OF CELL – Only allowed 1 hour every other day – they should get more time. Another unit in the
pod (4C) gets more programming time, even though it’s the same pod and classification. He tried to move to
4C to get more time, but shouldn’t have to do that – they should get equal time. Time out is mostly at night,
so inmates who want to get haircut get woken up in middle of the night (2 or 3AM), then try go back to cell
covered in hair without any chance to clean off first – very difficult to sleep afterward because very itchy.
Inmates aren’t allowed to shave until after 11PM – have to stay awake if they want a razor, CO’s bypass them
if they fall asleep. There’s nothing happening in the unit from 11AM – 6PM, CO’s are just on their cell
phones, so inmates should get programming time then.
FOOD – is worse here than any other prison or jail he’s been to. Hot food gets soggy from condensation
inside packaging, gets all mixed together, doesn’t taste right.
GRIEVANCES – Never filed grievance. Spoke with lawyer when he first arrived a month ago. If only one
person puts in grievance, they don’t do anything about it. Group grievances are hard to get everyone to
agree on everything.
VISITS – Families have to make appointment for visits, then have to arrive 45 minutes early to sign in. If they
arrive even 5 minutes late for sign-in, the visit gets cancelled. His family drives from Salinas – they had first
visit cancelled for missing sign-in, even though they were early for visit. Also happened several times to his
neighbor. Other jails and prisons don’t have this rule. Inmates are supposed to get 1 hour for visiting, but
sometimes CO’s bring them down 10-15 minutes late and don’t let them make up the lost time, so they lose
out on visiting time. During visits, inmates have to keep one hand cuffed – they should remove both cuffs.
SANITATION – Cockroaches the size of his thumb are around all the time. Inmates have to put newspapers
under their doors to block roaches from coming into their cells, but CO’s take the paper and throw it away –
they don’t care that it’s unsanitary and tell inmates to just step on the roaches.
He received a Rule Book when he was in the jail once before, but not this time. He used the grievance
process once a long time ago but got no satisfaction. He believe that the people that deal with grievance do
not have an open mind. Recently he has been getting out of his cell 2 or 3 times a day, which is good. There
are no programs offered other than Catholic services. Sometimes they bring out food but let it sit outside the
cell until it gets cold
Is aware of the grievance process. Tried to use it regarding lack of availability of vision care services. Has
received no satisfactory response. He learned about the grievance process from a guard. He says there are
two types of guards ones that are OK (25%) and those that are pricks (75%). He says that lately they have
been let out of their cells 3 times a day which is an improvement, but it is not consistent -- last Sunday they
only got out for an hour. He thinks they should have video cameras in the jail to keep COs in line. He
complained about the clothing, both how long they have to wear the same clothes and the fact that when
they get new clothes they might be ripped or have holes so he ends up keeping his old clothes and washing
them himself. He is concerned about filthy cells and lack of adequate cleaning supplies. Once he was
transferred to a cell with feces on the wall and had to wait a long time before they gave him supplies to clean
it off. Also, they run out of toilet paper. He has observed officers using excessive force, but not on him. He
has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. He thinks phone call costs recently went down, but sometimes
he goes weeks without talking to someone because it is so expensive
Does not remember ever being given a Rule Book. Doesn't use the grievance process because he does not
think it will work since the officer reviews grievances about the officer. He has no problem with the cost of
phone calls. He says they get out 3 times a day unless the COs are short staffed; then they might not get out
at all. He wishes they had access to programs like parenting classes.
Inmate filed a grievance because he did not feel safe having 2 officers working on his floor when they were
under investigation for beating and breaking the jaw of another inmate, especially since he cooperated in the
investigation of those officers. One officer oversaw the entire floor, and the other opened the inmate's cell
door for pill call during the investigation. An investigator came and interviewed him and other inmates in the
A-105

254.

255.

256.
257.
258.

259.

cell block about the beating. 8 of the inmates jointly filed a complaint regarding concern for their safety. They
never received a written response but a month after the complaint was filed the sergeant came to their cell
at 2AM, woke them all up and told them the officer was removed. Inmate did not know who to contact
regarding complaints about his safety. He filed a follow up grievance to speak to the investigator of the case
regarding his safety, but never received a response. He was never given information about a grievance
procedure during his time at the jail (SCCJ).
Officers used pepper spray against inmate while he was restrained on the floor with hands behind his back,
and handcuffed him. When he went to get water for his eyes he could not see well and almost walked into a
wall but moved his shoulder to avoid it. The officers said he was resisting and put him alone in a cell for 5
hours and did not allow him to go to the bathroom although he asked. While confined alone, his handcuffs
were too tight and he immediately complained about them but they were not loosened until 3 hours later,
although he asked every 10 to 15 minutes. He had pain in his hands for a week and they had cut into his
hand. He doesn't feel a grievance would be effective, as he tried filing a grievance before and they tore it
apart in front of him. They searched his cell for no reason, destroyed his things, and have denied out of cell
time in retaliation for grievances. The CO who the grievance is written against always ends up with it, and the
COs never give the grievances to the sergeant to follow up with although they are supposed to. He hasn't
heard of the inmate welfare fund but doesn't have money to call his family.
Inmate is diabetic but the nurses do not give him food after giving him an insulin shot as they should, making
him weak and shaky. He feels his levels become dangerously low when he is not allowed to eat after his shot.
He calls for the CO but they never come. He hasn't filed a grievance because the COs throw them away. He
filed a grievance once about bedding but never received a response. He complained to the COs about the
insulin issue and they said they would feed him when they could. He was assaulted by an officer in May 2015
after arguing with a nurse over the insulin issue. An officer came into his cell and beat him although he was
not resisting. He told the psych, who informed the sergeant, who interviewed him and had him x-rayed. The
doctor said he had a separated rib. He was interviewed by detectives two weeks ago, two months after the
sergeant interviewed him. The CO continued to work the same unit despite the investigation until he was
arrested for the beating death of another inmate.
Faucets are green with mold. They don't have enough cleaning supplies to keep their cells clean and have to
use their personal towel (they only get 1). He fears retaliation if he makes a grievance. He wasn't allowed to
see a podiatrist. He was given a grievance handbook when he came in and feels the officers try to resolve
something once it happens. He has never heard of the inmate welfare fund.
It is too cold in the cells. The mattresses are not cleaned after being transferred between inmates and
sometimes have feces and vomit on them. The inmate was given a grievance handbook in 2007, but he left
and when he returned in September he was not given any information about grievances. He hasn't heard of
the Inmate Welfare Fund. He finds the cost of the phone too expensive to call his family usually.
The 8th floor is very unclean and it is too cold in the cells, but they are not allowed to block air vents. He
complains all the time and has talked to the sergeant with no result. They were given thermals and blankets
but it is still too cold. It affects their hygiene, they do not want to bathe or shave as regularly. He complained
verbally and the officer got him another mattress. If you complain, you open yourself to retaliation. Guards
also retaliate by moving inmates to worse units, taking away their personal belongings, and searching their
cells. He's seen the COs use excessive force and pepper spray every time there is a fight. He has seen 2
inmates surrounded by 10 guards and the guards beat them with clubs. He has seen this twice in about two
years. He has heard of the inmate welfare fund but doesn't use it. Phone calls are too expensive and would
be cheaper if he could call his family collect. Commissary items are also too expensive.
He feels the mental health department abuses their authority - he was placed in psych hold where he
received no program. He was placed on psych hold on suicide watch for three days without clothing or
blankets - he was naked and very cold and was not allowed to come out of his cell at all. However, he was not
suicidal - they just presumed he was. The psychiatrists at the jail tried to put him on a 2 week psych hold and
tried to force medication on him - he had to appeal their decision through the hearing process. His cell later
had plumbing issues and the COs accused him of smearing human waste around when his cell flooded due to
pre-existing plumbing issues. He was placed on a 3 day psychiatric hold for something he didn't do/when he
A-106

260.

261.

262.

263.

was not having a mental breakdown. He's also seen COs use excessive force against inmates on multiple
occasions. He has never heard of the grievance process. They only get 1 hour of program per day and only at
night, so he is unable to contact his attorney. Medical health care is poor - he was supposed to receive x-rays
after he came but never received them. They prohibit caffeine for mental health inmates because they say it
interferes with their medications, but he isn't taking any. IF you have cash they take it and give it to the
Inmate Welfare Fund. They have too little food - he lost a lot of weight since arriving. They often give expired
milk.
The cells are too cold and they do not receive thermals. They are only given one blanket and one sheet. They
don't give enough food and the timing is strange- they eat breakfast at 4AM. It takes a long time to see the
doctor. He had shoulder surgery before and needed follow up care and physical therapy - he requested it 3
weeks ago and hasn't received it. He is diabetic and they stopped testing his blood sugar after a week of
testing it daily and gave him pills for his diabetes. He had problems with depression and needs someone to
talk to, but they don't do therapy at the jail. The COs are overworked and short staffed - sometimes they
don't let them out for 2 days in a row. He's seen them used excessive force against inmates - on one occasion
there were 7 to 8 COs on one inmate. He has never heard of the grievance process.
He feels he is improperly housed by classification and asked to be moved out of protective custody, but was
denied. They only get 2 hours out each day and are locked down 22 hours per day, where the dorms are
open 24 hours per day. They are not given time to shower every day and smell bad. They don't have hot
water pots for commissary. The handcuff him too tightly when he needs to be shackled. When he first came
in as a mental health inmate they took away his clothing and blanket for the first three days and left him in
the medical dorm. Psych care is good. It takes a long time to see medical. The food is bad/tastes funny.
He was shot prior to coming in and had to walk with a cane. The doctor said it was not medically necessary
and they took it away although his physical therapist said he needed one. They took him out of the medical
dorm because he complained. He was improperly re-classified to a dorm with 30 inmates and 1 toilet - he
had medical issues where he could not control his bowel movements and was incontinent. The roof was
leaking water, there was mold, and there was no hot water. He contracted foot fungus from the shower
because it is not cleaned enough. The COs used to pick on him because he used to know one of them. They
did not allow him to use an elevator although he had mobility issues. The COs also prevented him from
making his court dates and used excessive force against him because they didn't like him. They later
retaliated by changing his classification to a higher security level and he went from orange to red for no
reason. He wrote a grievance because COs did not allow him to use the yard with the bench because he
needed to sit down. He did not receive a meaningful response - grievances are useless. The CO made him sit
on the ground. Medical did not obtain the medication he needed for his neuropathy and he had to threaten
them with a lawsuit/ADA investigation before they gave it to him. He has also been waiting on an
appointment for surgery for months. It took a few months to obtain an ankle brace. When he first came in
they charged for putting in white cards (medical requests), and he had to often put in multiple requests to
access care. The food contributed to him gaining weight since being here. Mental health inmates are
improperly housed on the 4th floor. Phone calls are expensive and keep him from calling his family. They are
not given enough clothing, and need more activities.
Inmate was arrested in May 2015 for being under the influence. He was not resisting but was talking (he
doesn't remember what he said). He was taken and beaten by 7 to 9 COs after he was booked, while he had
shackles on his hands and feet. He was kicked in the ribs and the head. While they had him on the ground
they pulled his pants down and tried to rape him with a foreign object (likely a baton) but he yelled and
resisted and they stopped. He heard one of they officers say "this one won't knock out". His ribs still have a
bump. After that, the placed him in an all red suit, saying he was a gang member (although he denied it) and
placed him in solitary on the 4th floor for one week. The water in his cell was not working and he complained
about it. They refused to turn the water on and he had to drink out of the toilet. He wasn't released from
solitary confinement for a week, at which time he had his trial. When they released him after a week he had
bruises on his body and lumps on his head. He tried to call internal affairs to make a complaint but has been
unable to speak to anyone for 3 weeks. He still sees the officers who beat him in the jail. He also feels that it
is too expensive to call on the telephone and has not been receiving mail. He filed a grievance related to the
A-107

264.

265.

266.

267.

268.

mail and they responded by saying nothing came in, but someone told him he was supposed to receive
something and he never did. He is supposed to receive a form if mail is returned but did not receive anything
either.
The COs have a culture of belittling inmates and speaking to them like children. An officer moved him from
his cell to a disciplinary corner cell for filing a grievance about an item he didn't receive from commissary.
The inmate had tried to put the CO's name on the grievance to say the CO saw he received the wrong
number of items. He had ordered many items and felt rushed to check that the bag was correct before
opening it because the CO was standing in the doorway rushing him. His grievance was returned saying he
opened the bag and had to accept it. He was kept in the corner cell for one month, and the CO whom he
asked to include in the grievance as a witness put a sign on his bed card saying "do not move". He does not
feel the grievance process or appeal procedure is meaningful, as the decisions seem predetermined by the
CO's He has seen multiple instances of CO retaliation against other inmates for filing grievances as well. He
wasn't given a handbook or instruction on grievances. He also feels there are too few COs watching the
inmates and fights break out where they don't see. He feels endangered as a result.
Inmates are given little time out of their cells and only have a book. They should have radios. They only have
one set of clothing but are not allowed to hang dry their clothes (preventing them from washing them). They
only have their clothes washed every 4 days and some work out daily and their clothes start to smell. Inmate
hasn't filed a complaint because he has seen COs crumple up or throw out grievances given to them by
inmates. He feels the staff doesn't care when they try to speak to them about their complaints. He hasn't
heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. He was prevented in the past from speaking to his attorney and his family
because of the cost of phone calls. He finds commissary items too expensive.
The grievance system is broken. He filed a grievance against the nurse because she refused to find a skin
cream that was prescribed to him, saying she didn't have it. After he asked to file a grievance the nurse found
the cream. When he told the CO he wanted a grievance form because the nurse was hostile, the CO said it
was already resolved if it was about the cream. Inmate said he wanted to file because the nurse was rude
and the CO gave him the form and said he would mark it as resolved anyway. He also complained to the
sergeant that they didn’t let him out for 48 hours from his cell. His cell was searched in retaliation and
everything was removed except his sheet and mattress, including his personal possessions. Instead of having
a box where inmates can put their grievances like in prison where one independent officer reviews them,
here it is handed directly to a CO who marks it's resolved. Appealing it is redundant and it is always upheld.
He also filed a grievance for not receiving mail because they say it was the wrong size even if it was only 1/4
an inch too big, but he saw others receive giant Christmas cards. He also complains of having only 1 set of
clothes. They have inspections every Wednesday but are not given enough cleaning supplies or allowed to
take extra towels to clean the cells, although many do. The extra towels are taken away as contraband. If
they don't pass inspection they don't go out in the yard and some COs that don't like him purposefully fail
him to keep him from going out. How much they go out depends on the officer. They also lock down the unit
if it is too loud, and it is impossible to keep 60 people quiet, so they are locked down often. He has never
heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Phone calls are too expensive. If given some money to call, he would call home more often. They don't have
much recreation time in some units because they keep cycling in new inmates who haven't been classified,
and they get most of the recreation time. The inmates who have been there get less time as a result because
they have to go out after. They should sell radios and headphones and keep track of batteries like razors.
Commissary said there was a problem with inmates throwing batteries in toilets before but that is easy to fix.
Inmate 2 is the cellmate of inmate 1 and has the same complaint as above. Inmate saw the guards use
excessive force against the inmate who had his jawbone broken by the two CO's The inmate argued with a
nurse and was taken to his cell. The COs brought the inmate out - the inmate's pants fell down and everyone
laughed at him b/c he was not wearing underwear. Inmates 1 and 2 heard the 2 COs go into his cell and beat
him later that night. They had him chained, took him out of his chains and started beating him. They could
hear him being beaten, and one CO said “who’s the bitch now.” Inmate 2 did not see the inmate violently
resisting them at that time of the beating. He also never received information about the grievance process.
He also filed a grievance in the past because he had an appointment in October for his eyes (he was seeing
A-108

269.
270.
271.

272.

273.

auroras) that was cancelled and he was forced to sign a refusal of medical care form although he didn't
refuse care. A CO tried to go to the medical dep't himself to have it rescheduled but was unsuccessful.
Inmate 2 did not have an appointment rescheduled until May of the following year. He received a response
from the grievance process at that time saying his appointment was rescheduled to May. He has never heard
of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Cells are too cold inside. They give extra blankets and thermals but don't allow them to cover the vents. COs
ignore complaints made. He never received information on grievances. He came 17 months ago. He's heard
of the inmate welfare fund but doesn't use it. He feels phone calls are too expensive.
He saw cockroaches on the 4th floor and centipede-like creatures. When they complain guards ignore them
and filing grievances only brings retaliation. He's seen 3 instances of retaliation for grievances in 6 months.
When someone talks back they get hit. At times the COs forget about inmates in their cells. The jail is also too
cold. Phone calls and hygiene products in commissary are too expensive.
They only get one set of clothing and laundry every 4 days. They can't dry clothes by hanging them so they
can't wash clothes in their sinks. They don't give enough cleaning supplies to pass inspection - a few
teaspoons of comet and a tiny scrub pad. They have to use extra towels to clean but they're always taken
away. CO was aggressive with him and tried to provoke him when he wanted to file a grievance about him
and called him "grievance man" every time he saw him afterwards. The COs also retaliated after he filed a
second grievance by dumping all his things on the floor and throwing out his uneaten dinner. The COs also
come in for random checks and have thrown away his food about a dozen times. The COs threaten to bash
the inmates' heads against the wall when they come in for random checks. They are also locked down much
more since Mike Tyree's death - he estimates they are locked down for 10 to 12 days per month for two days
most of the time. They are never given a reason and the inmates become aggressive from not being allowed
out and start banging on the doors. When they are finally let out, they are not given enough time for 60
people to use the 5 phones and the 4 showers - sometimes they are only given 30 minutes out. This leads to
fights among inmates. The longer they are locked down the more angry, loud, and aggressive they become.
When he arrived in 9/2014, he was locked down for 5 days and unable to call his parents and they thought
something had happened to him. He finds phone calls expensive - his family spends $200 per month to talk
to him once a day.
There are too few cleaning supplies to pass inspection with what they are given, too little time out of cells
and only one set of clothing. The light stays on all night, which causes headaches if you sleep in the top bunk.
He doesn't complain because the COs try to provoke inmates and randomly search the cells of those who
complain. Before Mike Tyree's death, the COs used to pull people out of their cells at night and kick and
punch them when they thought nobody would see. They are locked down more now after the death for any
reason, usually short staffing or if the CO doesn't feel like it. They have been locked down 15 to 20 times per
month, usually for a half to a whole day. They are supposed to be out of their cells 3 times per day but get
out 1 to 2 times out if they are locked down. Even if the COs hear the lockdown is over on their radios, they
won't let the inmates out even though they aren't busy. They sit and talk all day. The inmates have little
programming and can only watch TV on mute. He has never heard of the inmate welfare fund. He finds the
cost of class expensive and sometimes his family can't afford it, so he doesn't talk to them.
There are too few cleaning supplies to keep the cells clean. They only receive a little bleach or disinfectant
once a week and extra cleaning supplies are taken away. He complained verbally to multiple COs but they
just say they're limited to once a week. He has filed 6 grievances against the mail room because he is not
receiving all his mail and sometimes it takes 3 or 4 weeks to arrive. He has seen officers rip a grievance in
front of an inmate and act aggressively towards them. He also saw inmates use excessive force against a
mentally ill inmate, they pushed him against a wall and pulled him to the floor where it cracked his head
open, and he bled everywhere. They took him to the hospital and the inmate never came back. Nobody ever
advised him about the grievance process or his right to appeal a grievance. Some COs leave grievances for
the COs they are filed against. He would change it so that the grievances go into a 602 box (as they have in
prison) and are forwarded to an independent CO not on that floor. He heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund and
saw something about incentive beverages but has never received any.
A-109

274.

275.

276.

The inmates don't receive enough cleaning supplies. They don't give them enough to clean the sinks. All the
inmates clean up 3 times per day, and he only passes inspection because he has an extra towel. He filed a
grievance once because they stopped giving out soap and told him he had to buy it from commissary. He
received a response in writing saying he had to buy soap from the store after a week and a half. They don't
come out enough, and when they have COs they get even less time out of their cells. On weekends they are
never allowed out because they are either locked down or short staffed. They are told by COs that they are
locked down but can see through the windows the other units are out in the yard and that there is no
lockdown. Keeping the inmates in excessively makes them loud and they start having attitude. It also causes
fights over who uses the phones and showers when they actually get out. The COs also shut down recreation
time early a lot. They tell the inmates to go into their cells if they get loud in their dorm, multipurpose room,
or sundeck during their time outside, but it's hard to keep quiet when there are that many people. When
they're shut down early the inmates start screaming and kicking their doors and banging the walls. He's seen
signs for the Inmate Welfare Fund but doesn't know what it's for. He has to limit calls to his family due to
cost but hasn't had trouble contacting an attorney because it's free.
They only have one set of clothing and they do laundry every 4 days. However for oversize "big boy" clothing
they only send new clothes one time per month. If they work out they don't have extra clothing. He has
complained verbally to the COs about it with no resolution. He hasn't filed a grievance because the COs ask
what it's for when they request them and dissuade the inmates from obtaining them. The bigger guys smell
bad because they can't change their clothes and having an extra set is an infraction. He feels the grievance
process is meaningless. The COs tell him to file a grievance but not on their shift and they retaliate. A CO
moved an inmate to a corner cell and wrote the sign "do not move" after he filed a grievance. He saw a new
CO take off his belt, went into his cell and challenged him to fight when the inmate talked back and refused
to lock down. The CO took his arm, twisted it, and shoved him against the wall. They put the guy in lockup for
10 days. The new COs have attitudes and want to rough people up. If someone talks back in a cell, they aren't
a threat but the CO will call 5 or 6 other COs to come and rough them up. He's seen a CO beat an older
inmate, slam him into a wall and knee him although he wasn't resisting. The toss are small and they can't
listen to it with sound. Phone calls are too expensive and prevents him from calling his family. He saw money
for TVs from the Inmate Welfare Fund on their info sheet, but hasn't seen any new TVs.
He is worried the culture will go back to the way it was before Mr. Tyree's death - there is a definite change in
how the guards act. He has been in other counties and felt that the guards are much more disrespectful here.
The grievance process is unfair/ineffective as the COs make the inmates give them to the CO against whom
they're complaining. The COs always write that it's resolved and never give them to the sergeant. He has also
asked for grievance forms before and was denied. He was never given information on how to file a grievance
from the jail. It is well known that the COs retaliate against those filing grievances, so inmates rarely file
them. He's seen COs search someone's cell, laugh and say "watch out, this guy's a griever." After Inmate 27
filed a few grievances he was moved to the 4th floor for no reason (maximum security) and had to file a
request to be moved back from that floor. He also saw the COs use excessive force. The COs tried to assign a
Hispanic inmate an African American cellmate. The inmate had just heard there was a fight between a
Hispanic and a black inmate and felt unsafe due to gang activity and asked not to be placed with the black
cell mate. The CO pepper sprayed him while he was holding his blankets and possessions and he fell to the
floor because he wouldn't go in. He was on the ground and a few COs beat him and kicked his head, cutting it
open. The COs called for backup and the unit was so packed with COs that they couldn’t get up the stairs. The
sergeant came and told the COs to leave, as there were too many of them in there. They kept telling the
inmate not to resist although he wasn’t resisting, and kicking him in the ribs although he said he couldn’t
breathe. They transferred that inmate to the 8th floor (psych) to undermine his credibility by saying that he
was mentally ill and not to listen to him. Inmate 27 wrote a grievance about that incident but his cell was
searched, and the grievance was taken out from his paperwork which they read while they searched his cell.
Another time, there was a lockdown and a CO (who still works here) came in and started yelling “which one
of you m___ F__ is making noise, let’s see how well you sleep tonight.” At 3AM, they took about 8 inmates
out randomly, strip searched them in the cell, put them in the visiting rooms, there were 2 female staff out
there working and they had no clothes on and were out for an hour. They came back and someone had
A-110

277.

278.

279.

messed up the room, his pictures were ripped and everything was thrown all over the place. He wrote a
grievance about the incident. When he asked for a grievance the CO shoved him and at first refused to give
him one. The CO then signed it saying it was resolved. He filed another grievance against a CO when that CO
and one other searched his room and handcuffed the inmate against the orders of the other CO, who told
him not to do so if he didn’t find anything on him (which he didn't). On the grievance form the CO responded
that the inmate would receive an infraction for calling him a “rookie” on the grievance. The cells are too cold.
The cost of phone calls is too expensive and prevents him from calling his family. They also aren't let out
enough which causes fights over who uses the phones and the showers in the limited time they have.
Commissary supplies are also too expensive. He's never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Inmate was badly beaten a few years ago by 15 to 20 COs while he was chained to the floor with shackles on
his hands and ankles and lying on the floor in an interview room. The CO hit him over the head with a chair.
His ribs were broken and he had two black eyes, and needed stitches over his eye. Backup was called and 15
to 20 COs came. They dragged him so hard by his ankle and wrist chains that he had cuts on his ankles and
wrists, and they kicked his waist chains. They refused to take pictures of him for a week and a half to show to
his lawyer, and took pictures again later because they claimed the first set didn't come out. One CO punched
him so hard that he broke his hand, and threatened to press charges for a felony. Internal affairs came but
they were friends with the COs who beat him and found the COs were not to blame. Last year, a CO hurt him
when he was chained up downstairs. He had to go to the bathroom and they didn’t let him for an hour and a
half. They started wrenching his arms. He said he wanted to see mental health, a psych came down and he
told her. They told him they wouldn’t press charges for fighting an inmate earlier that day if he didn’t
mention what they did. There was never a genuine investigation of what the COs did, and internal affairs
covered up what happened. Last year, a CO hurt him when he was chained up downstairs. He had to go to
the bathroom and they didn’t let him for an hour and a half. They started wrenching his arms. He said he
wanted to see mental health, a psych came down and he told her. They told him they wouldn’t press charges
for fighting an inmate earlier that day if he didn’t mention it. On his way to speak to the Blue Ribbon
Commission, a CO tried to discourage him from bringing forms he was holding to the Blue Ribbon
interview, asking him what he needed to bring them for.
The hygiene is his biggest complaint. They only give them a little comet and one scrub pad one time per
week. They have to clean floors and toilets. It’s not enough. They have to get extra cleaning supplies from the
trustees without the COs knowing. They use an extra towel and mostly use their own things to clean the cells.
They rinse and wash the towels in the toilet and then keep them to use them again which isn’t sanitary. They
get new clothes only twice a week. The clothes smell like burnt cloth and are torn. They never gave him a
grievance a handbook. The first cell they put him in had a handbook in it. He hasn’t used the grievance
process because the COs make fun of them, asking why he wants a snitch form and are rude about it. The
COs don’t even turn them in, leave them, forget them, or throw them away. He sees COs retaliate for filing
grievances a lot. One of the inmates wrote a grievance about holding him too long in a cell. They took him
out of his room, tore it up, they made him put his hands behind his back and yelled at him, telling him not to
talk when he was trying to say he wasn’t resisting.
The food is not good, he came from juvenile hall, the food was good for you there. He gained over 30 pounds
since being here – it makes you feel gross and unwell. He’s afraid to complain because he doesn’t want to be
retaliated against.
He’s had problems making phone calls the call will go through and then hang up. It happens to a lot of
people. You get charged even if it hangs up on you. He filled out an inmate request slip on it but they didn’t
get back to him. He feels the cost prevents him from talking to his family, they can’t afford to speak to him.
He wants to take the GED to learn more but they said he already had his H.S. diploma. He wanted to take
college classes but they don’t have it here. There isn’t a lot to do in the cells other than read books and play
cards or work out.
The staff is brutal and rude with people. They beat on people. An officer was rude to him, he spoke to him
about respect and the officer said he didn't give a f*ck about respect. He has never filed a complaint because
he feels that the officers do what they want. On 2 or 3 occasions, he saw the COs let the inmates fight and
A-111

280.

281.

282.

wrestle in a rough way, injuring themselves. One officer said "As long as there are no knives involved they're
ok." The COs are on their phones a lot, texting with each other, making jokes, or filming the fights. He saw 5
inmates beat 1 African American inmate and the officers were on their phone while it happened. Some
officers take things from inmates and give it to other inmates they like. He's never heard of Inmate Welfare
Fund
The mattresses are torn and old, and some people don't sleep on the mattress at all. They have too few
clothes and he has to wash his own with soap he buys from the commissary because they aren't cleaned
often enough. They don't have enough cleaning supplies. The canteen serves the same food all the time. He
never received information about grievances and learned of them through other inmates. If you get in a cell
with a jail handbook telling you how to file grievances you’re lucky. The COs retaliate for grievances,
searching the complaining inmates' cells, searching and reading confidential paperwork and throwing
everything on the floor. He's seen it happen at least 3 times in a year and a half. Program time is cut short.
Sometimes the COs say they’re short staffed and he just sees them on the floor doing nothing. They say
they’re under lockdown and don’t let them out but he doesn’t think they’re actually under lockdown. They
cancelled his visit because they said they were under lockdown, but he saw that other visits continued and
they kept bringing them up for other people. There was a point when he first came in where they said his
visit was cancelled or he’s in the visiting room and they cut it short and only gave him 30 minutes for no
reason. Other people have complained that their visits were cut short or canceled. A lot of his phone calls
get dropped when he tries to call home.
Guards used excessive for against inmate - he was beaten when authorities tried to obtain evidence outside
of a search warrant they had and he wanted his lawyer present. 5 COs came and the sergeant recorded the
incident. They put shackles on his feet and arms and put in him the restraining chair. They tied him down in
the restraining chair and he wasn’t resisting physically, he just repeatedly asked for his lawyer. Another CO
kept twisting his arm. A CO had his hands under his jaw holding it. It lasted under 10 minutes. He filed a
grievance, a woman detective came and investigated and kept justifying what the officers did as she
questioned him. They sent a written outcome that they felt what the officers did was justifiable. The woman
in charge of the grievance said internal affairs is still investigating but he hasn’t heard anything in months.
After the incident they moved him to the "snake pit" for 3 months on level 2 although he never resisted the
COs as they beat him. He filed a request to be transferred to a different floor. He feels the grievance process
is conspiracy, they all know each other and protect each other, there is no protection done. The inmate is
always in the wrong. When he came in he never received a handbook on grievances or his rights to file them.
He learned everything from inmates. They need someone outside their circle (a neutral party) to take care of
the grievances. The officers need better training, many of them (especially new ones) come in with the
mindset that they need to be aggressive. They don’t know if they show respect they’ll be given respect. The
COs yell and scream at the inmates, and the inmates reflect back what they give. He has never heard of the
inmate welfare fund or programs aside from GED and AA. It’s expensive to call home, he sticks to letters
because the phone is too complicated, and the COs eavesdrop on inmates' conversations and misconstrue
what the overheard to use what the inmates say against them, and the DA can hear the previous call you
made by bringing them up on the computer (they are recorded). In some other pods like the snake pits they
have too little time outside and came out once every other day. In the yard they’re still in cages/locked in.
He’s sees a lot of people getting out with no plans for improving their lives upon getting out because they
haven’t learned anything new. They say they’re going back to doing drugs and what they did. There are too
few programs to help them transition back.
He has PTSD- his hair is falling off in spots. He has good mental health treatment but poor medical treatment.
He filed a grievance because left chest hurt when he breathed and two of his left fingers went numb. The
nurse told him nothing and refused service to him multiple times even though he wrote it on a white card.
She did not check his blood pressure or heartbeat with a stethoscope. He felt she was racist, as he saw she
was nicer to Caucasian patients and gave them treatment, while she treated Mexicans and Asians very rudely
and would deny them service. When she denied him he went back to his cell. The next day he told the officer,
and the CO locked him from 9AM to 2PM without lunch, when they brought him out to the nurse again, and
she said it wasn’t a pharmacy because the officer told her that he just wanted medications. They didn’t
A-112

believe that he was really sick. He told the officer that he wanted to complain and the officer apologized. He
hasn’t seen anyone for medical care since then, although sometimes his chest still hurts. He keeps requesting
medical care on the white cards and waiting, but they have not responded to make an appointment. He has
to keep requesting continuations of his medications on white cards, and often goes days without medications
that he needs. They also give very small portions of food. Before Mr. Tyree's death, they would only give the
inmates about a handful of food per meal. They do not get any food for 12 hours between 4PM to 4AM,
which is too long. If they have a court date they are not allowed to eat lunch. One time, a CO dropped
inmate's lunch on the floor, kicked the food and told him to eat it. There are cockroaches all over the floor.
Clothing - when the toilet is broken inmates use dirty clothes to clean them. The jail then puts those clothes
together with the rest when they wash it. He feels it is unsanitary. They give them only one set of clothes
when in WA, they let inmates buy a second set of clothing. The COs also endanger inmates by putting
members of two different races in a cell together. They used excessive force against one Hispanic inmate
who asked politely not to be put in a cell with a black inmate for fear of being in danger. A group of them
pepper sprayed him and beat him badly for not going in the cell. They do not do a good job of protecting the
inmates. Many of them haven’t been convicted yet but are put on Level 3 or 4 (maximum security) based on
their charges. Officers also never return grievances, or they destroy them, throw them away or give
meaningless responses. When he turned in the grievance about being denied meds the 2nd time they sent it
back with the following response: “Thank you for alerting us of this situation. Customer service with optimal
health is our goal, Thanks again." He never received a resolution. Furthermore, the commissary takes money
all the time and sometimes has no food in their bags for them. The inmates have to keep the commissary
bags once they open them, but they are hard to inspect without opening them. When they open the bag and
see food is missing, they make them keep it and don't refund money for missing food. When people buy
noodles they don’t have access to a hot pot and they can’t make hot water. The noodles are $1 and are very
expensive. Soap and food should be free, especially for the poor inmates who can’t even have soap. Phone
calls are also too expensive.

283.

He filed a grievance because he requested to see mental health a few times, but it took a week to come see
him. They sent a written response to his grievance and said they were short staffed. He also filed a grievance
about being rehoused, as he wanted to be moved from the old jail to the new jail, although the new jail is on
a higher security level. In the old jail, he was afraid for his personal safety and he expressed that to the COs
and looked upon as weak. They announced it to the inmates, saying to take care of him to the other inmates
in a sarcastic tone. He felt this further endangered him because the other inmates saw him as weak, based
on the CO's announcement about him. He sent in two requests for re-classification. He wanted to be
rehoused because he felt safer in the new jail, which is a non-group environment. He filed it twice and they
denied it twice, saying he was properly housed, although the CO promised him it shouldn’t be a problem. He
put in a separate request to join the classes and that’s how he was moved to the new jail. Furthermore, the
living conditions in the old jail are unsanitary, there is rust and grime everywhere. They put 10 men in a
group shower with 3 working shower heads. It’s been raining a lot lately and there’s rain water leaking in.
There are layers of paint peeling off the walls. He felt like it exposed him to danger because he looked weak. .
Nobody gave him a handbook or instruction or how to file grievances. The COs said he received a handbook
but he never did. His lawyer had to print it out and provide it to him. The COs came after a cellmate filed a
grievance, searched everything and tossed everything away. They took everyone’s magazines over 3 and all
books over 5 and took them away, they tore pictures down. They said they were following the rules but most
people have more than 3 magazines and 5 books and pictures on the wall - the COs just choose to enforce
the rules when they want to retaliate for something.
He believes the grievance process should have a meaningful appeal to a higher level corrections officer or
sergeant – someone independent. In the old jail you had to hand the mail to the COs and they read the
grievance form. They’re seen by a lot of people. He wants to be able to meet with the sergeant and speak to
A-113

284.

285.

286.

them. Some of the COs are jaded and rude. Phone calls are too expensive and the cost prevents him from
speaking to his family as much as he would like.
The food is poor quality (watery) and there is too little of it. Sometimes the inmates ask each other for food
and it causes conflict. They don't get enough mental health services - it takes 3 to 4 weeks to see a doctor
and they sometimes have to use other inmates' medications. It also takes a long time to set up an
appointment, it should be routine but they have to be requested and it takes a week and a half to set up and
a month to see the psychiatrist. The psychiatrists don't prescribe sleeping medications and the doctors did
not prescribe painkillers to replace narcotic painkillers he is not supposed to have. There is favoritism
between the guards and some inmates. The guards are not attentive and do not speak to the inmates
enough. If they were more attentive they would break up conflicts more quickly. He has seen inmates injure
each other in fights that the guards could have prevented. The COs are rude and intimidating and will often
use excessive force when restraining inmates; he's seen them use force on someone who isn't resisting on
two occasions. The cells aren't clean and there is dirt on the walls; they won't give extra cleaning supplies.
The clothing is worn out and dirty - they need new ones, and it is too cold. They also need more books - they
have a library but it's empty. Nobody has heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund and nobody has told him about
either that or the grievance process. He finds it expensive to use the phone and it prevents him from calling
others. They are not out of their cells enough; they're let out an hour each day, on some floors it's 15
minutes. He's seen an inmate become aggressive once because he wasn't let out enough.
A CO cut off his showering time and he had to walk out naked because the CO wanted to go to dinner early.
They go out once every two days for 30 minutes, which doesn't give enough time to shower, make a phone
call, and watch TV (you can pick one). They don't have TVs in their cells. The guards are very rude and talk
down to inmates. The food is watery and he has lost 20 pounds - there is no salt or fat in it. He has
complained to the guards before and they just laugh at him, or they become angry. He complained to one CO
about the food who said he (the CO) was the boss and the inmate was s__, and that he (the CO) wouldn't
address any of his concerns. He filed a grievance once and received it back with "no response" written on the
bottom as a resolution. He never received a handbook on grievances or any other information on how to file
one. When someone asks for a grievance form, the COs threaten them, and he was moved to a different unit
after he complained. The grievance process is meaningless because you have to give it to the CO who you're
complaining about. He once told a sergeant about a grievance he filed and the sergeant did nothing. They
don't have enough clothing; they get new clothes once a week, sometimes less - his pants haven't been
changed in two weeks. He has seen them beat people using excessive force and they used it against him
while he was standing against a wall and not resisting. He sees COs harm mentally ill inmates for no reason.
Once, a mentally ill inmate needed an injection. He saw 6 COs in helmets perform an "extraction" where they
all went into the cell. He heard the inmate screaming in pain but didn't see what happened. Afterwards the
COs were joking and laughing with each other about doing a good job. He's also seen guards treat inmates
unfairly, telling an inmate to pass out a big bag of soup and supplies among the inmates and allowing him to
keep it when he took it to his cell and didn't give them out. He says his ankle is broken but they won't give
him surgery because of the risk of staph infection. The mental health nurses say they'll prescribe a lot of
medications that they don't end up prescribing. They don't give extra cleaning supplies, and he's had to clean
his cell with lunch boxes (putting the garbage in there and taking it out). Commissary is too expensive and
some inmates are not allowed to have coffee or tea because it supposedly interferes with their medications,
which he feels is unfair. He has heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund but nobody has received any programs or
benefits from it, and the phone is too expensive and hard to use.
There is black mold in the rooms and it is unhygienic. There is biohazardous material inside the bedframes
that should be cleaned by hazmat but isn't. A CO there retaliated against him because of his religion - on
multiple occasions he told the inmate to put his religious pictures/religious deity statue away. The inmate
said he was exercising his religious freedom and the CO did not allow him to assume his trustee duties (he is
usually a trustee) and moved him to a dirty room, then did not give him lunch for 2 hours because he was
chanting. The inmate complained about the dirty conditions. The CO's partner then brought the inmate
lunch, and asked what he needed to clean the room. They don't have any books here or county library
services, and the Inmate Welfare Fund doesn't seem to provide any books or programs although they are
A-114

287.

288.

289.

well known in Oakland. He feels like the inmates are bored and overmedicated and that they sleep all day.
Many of them aren't allowed to drink coffee or tea because it supposedly interferes with their medications,
but he doesn't see how. They don't give new clothing regularly - only once a week. They do not get enough
time out of their cells - only 1 hour per day when they used to have 3, and some inmates become
claustrophobic and aggressive. Although the jail handbook says they should have 3 hot meals per day, they
don't get three hot meals and the portions are too small. Commissary is too expensive - it's $1.50 for a 10
cent soup. In Santa Rita they get commissary for free - here they get a "free" envelope, stamps, and pencil
but then have to pay it back later, so they end up in debt to the jail and if the inmate's family sends money,
the jail takes the money away to pay back debt. They only give one bar of soap to take a shower. Each
medical appointment also costs $5, which is not stated in the inmate handbook. He does not feel the cost is
necessary and that is fraudulent to ask them to pay. - The doctors also called him for an appointment,
canceled it and never rescheduled - it has been a few weeks.
They only allow inmates out of their cells for a few hours at a time. If they have a higher level coming
through, they get less time out of their cells. They need more programs here and more things that are
stimulating to the mind. He has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund or that they do any kind of
programming for that here. If you file a grievance there doesn't seem to be any way to track them in a timely
manner. He never received any response to the grievance he filed about damaged property. It can be difficult
to make phone calls and commissary is too expensive. Mental health takes 2 weeks to a month to see
someone unless they threaten suicide/are an acute case.
COs use excessive force on inmates, but nobody will report it for fear of losing their job or being re-housed in
maximum security in retaliation, which he has happened in the past. Inmate saw an officer take a young
inmate by the neck and shove him although he wasn't resisting. The COs do not call the sergeant or go
through the proper channels before using force. Nobody has advised the inmates on the proper use of force
policy. The new COs are aggressive and challenge the inmates. Nobody in the jail has told the inmate how to
file a grievance or complaint. He heard 2 COs go into a mentally ill inmate's cell and beat him while all the
other inmates were sleeping because the mentally ill inmate told a lie earlier that day. He's never heard of
the Inmate Welfare Fund.
The inmate filed a grievance because there were two inmates were yelling at each other outside; the CO
could see who was yelling and told them that they could go and sort it out themselves during program time,
implying they should fight each other during program time. He’s seen COs do that throughout his time there
– they punish the whole dorm and have the inmates deal with it among themselves – they’ll tell the inmates
the person responsible for losing a privilege so they take it out on that inmate – it causes tension and that
person becomes an outcast and isolated afterwards. To punish the inmates for being loud, the CO took the
hot pot off the floor and poured it on its side in the showers so that it touched the shower floor, which is
filthy. He felt this was unhygienic. The inmate also filed a grievance because a CO kept delaying in giving him
grievance forms. Both grievances came back saying they were resolved and denied the inmate any
relief/change. He feels that grievances should not go to the COs or even the sergeants, as some sergeants
also do not care about their complaints. He believes an independent person should review the complaints
because all the COs just cover for each other. They should also have recording devices and record their
actions for accountability. The inmate also had a broken toilet that wouldn't flush and it took 4 days for
someone to repair it. They also have too few cleaning supplies and have to use a shirt to wipe down the cell,
and the sundecks and showers are filthy. The food is tasteless and disgusting - he can't eat some of it because
it tastes so bad. They give them dinner too early - at 4PM, so by 9PM people are hungry. He has never heard
of the Inmate Welfare Fund and says there are very few programs to do and too few educational programs he already completed the GED. He also o requested library books weeks ago but they never came. Clothing
exchange is too rare - it is only twice a week but they work out and they become very dirty. They have to buy
their own soap from commissary and they overcharge for everything. He also feels the trustee positions are
given out unfairly - the trustees have that job because they give information to the COs but they can't
actually clean well, so things stay dirty. If there was more to do outside the cells he’d say there isn’t enough
time out – they get 2 hours per day depending on the CO but since there’s nothing to do he just waits to lock
down. - Lack of medical care – he went to medical with what he believed were serious symptoms and the
A-115

290.

291.

doctor didn’t believe him even though he didn’t ask for medication; he talked as if he was lying to him. After
taking blood tests, he came back a month later and they still didn’t know anything; he stopped going because
he had to wait for 4 hours for the appointment and they kept him in a holding cell for the whole time. In the
holding cells for medical, he was in one where there was blood smeared on the mirrors and walls and it
wasn’t cleaned for a week. He also feels there should be a dorm for long term inmates. They say SCCJ is a
short time facility as a justification for not giving many services and things, but they should give long term
inmates their own floor– there is less violence among people with serious charges because they’re trying to
fight their own cases. The violent people are level 3s or people with less time in jail.
The inmate has a medical condition that requires frequent medical treatments and limits his ability to exert
himself. He is also representing himself in a court case and feels that the COs frequently interfere with his
ability to mail and receive legal documents. On his way to the law library he got into a verbal dispute with the
CO because he needed assistance with making copies for his case. He asked for a grievance due to the
dispute and the CO called him a "piece of s___ snitch" and pushed him, and said he would end up "like the
dead guy upstairs" - the CO was referring to Mike Tyree, the inmate who was beaten to death. The inmate
submitted a grievance regarding the incident and received a response signed by the lieutenant saying the
inmate was at fault. The CO had lied and written on the grievance a different account of what happened,
making it the inmate's fault. Since then, there have been delays in the inmate's mail; since he is pro per the
jail has the duty to expedite and deliver his mail, but he checks the postage dates and the dates are way off
(much earlier than he receives them). He received a piece of legal mail where the front of the envelope was
ripped where the postage was (so he couldn't see the date), and the back was ripped off where it stated that
he had attorney client privilege. Since the envelope was torn open anyone could read the mail. The officers
also hide from him the identity of the pro per coordinator who picks up the mail that day so he can't follow
up with them on whether they sent his letters. In retaliation for filing grievances, he was moved to an acute
unit where they barely get any out of cell time there (he was locked down between 24 hours to 3 days),
although his condition was not severe enough to require acute care. The nurses in there did not know why he
was there, and he had to write a grievance and asked them to support him in order to be moved out. On
anther occasion, he got into an argument with the COs regarding his mail/pro per rights and the CO moved
him to an isolated cell. Due to his medical condition, it is difficult for him to walk the distance from his cell to
the main floor. One time the nurse made him walk back to his cell, which is a long way for him, although he
had chest pains and shortness of breath. His medical condition is quite serious and he can have an attack
from his condition, at any time. He has told the sergeant about his medical problems and the issue with his
cell but nobody has reviewed his cell placement or made any accommodations for him. He also feels
endangered in his current cell because it is out of view and out of earshot from anyone else, and given the
COs threats he is afraid they may come into his cell and harm him without anyone knowing. The inmate told
the CO about the retaliation from all the grievances and the CO threatened that one the inmate would need
help with his medical condition and nobody would be there to help him. He wishes that there were cameras
in the units. The cold also triggers and exacerbates many of his symptoms.
Commissary is too expensive, and they don't get clean clothing frequently enough. - Whenever she goes to
Elmwood and the know she takes medication, it takes so long – by the 5th or 6th day she hasn’t been there;
in a way they she feels like they do on purpose – sometimes it takes longer – she fills out white forms
repeatedly but doesn't get them. The food is also bland. - They were recently locked down for 24 hours – she
asked if they were locked down and they said no, they were just trying to clean the facility, but the inmates
didn't get any time out of their cells; it depends on which COs are running it – they get 45 minutes to an hour
out of their cells – if the line is too long for the shower you don’t get to shower . At Elmwood they use
excessive force – some of the women officers attack the inmates for not doing what they say; just the
slightest movement they’ll rush them. She’s filed grievances at Elmwood – some were never returned, some
the sergeant never talked to her about, some were never signed because she didn’t know the name of the
officer – they told her it’s because she didn’t know their name; she doesn’t feel that the grievance process
there is effective. She feels the Inmate Welfare Fund should include deodorant in the package of commissary
supplies for indigent inmates.
A-116

292.

293.
294.
295.

296.

Processing in the jail takes a long time - he was shackled to a seat and had to wait for around 8 hours before
someone came for him. He's been to many jails and has never seen that before. The conditions in the cells
are filthy and they don't provide enough cleaning supplies and he has to use his underwear to wipe down the
sink and toilet. He asked for a broom to sweep and it wasn't available. They don't get sheets and he has to
sleep on a mattress that is torn down the side; his blanket has holes all over it. He hasn't filed a grievance
because there is no grievance box with a separate grievance officer like in prison. He believes the process
would be improved if someone separate from the regular custody staff oversaw the grievances; they never
gave him a handbook or information on filing grievances when he entered. He feels like the mental health
care is very impersonal and he tried to speak to a social worker, but they said they weren't assigned to him
and didn't provide care. Phone calls are too expensive and prevented him from calling his family on a few
occasions. - Inmate Welfare Fund – he’s heard of it from other jails – he wanted to get the kit with envelopes
and stamps – the guy kept telling them that he was going to bring it to them, but never brought them in
This inmate had what appeared to be severe psychosis and delusions and seemed to understand the
questions asked but did not answer them in a logical fashion, so I was unable to gather any information from
him.
She felt that the doctors and nurses were rude to her when she voiced concerns about certain products in
the prison making her bloated, and about side effects of her medication. The doctors will not give her Tylenol
for pain in her tooth. She says she has not menstruated since she arrived and feels weak; nobody has given
her feminine hygiene products.
The inmate has a serious medical condition and the nurse said he was too sick to be there and would ask
about a transfer, but he hasn't heard anything. The cold cells exacerbate his symptoms and you are only
allowed two blankets, one of which is used as a pillow. His hands go numb at night from cold, and the cold
makes it harder to walk because of a condition in his leg. He was supposed to receive lunch for a special diet
but the list was not updated properly to include him, so he only started receiving them earlier today although
he has been here for some time. The COs are unnecessarily rude and aggressive towards the inmates. He
does not feel that the quality of medical care is very good. He is supposed to sleep with his upper body
elevated and the medical department is aware of this, but he has not received the bed he needs. The
medication he is taking is also not as strong as the kind that he received before. He had blood tests done
because he has to take blood thinners. His doctors monitor his blood thickness every week and adjust his
blood thinners. The nurses at the jail did not know the factor to look at when his blood work came back to
determine the thickness of his blood. He has not complained because the COs become rude when he
questions the nurses, who are grouchy and rude to him. He filled out multiple white sheets requesting
medical services, but the nurses just took them and put them under their stack of papers, and did not submit
them to the doctors. He has not heard anything back from them regarding his requests. He is not sure if he is
being given the right medications that were prescribed by his doctor - they never asked him and did not let
him take his own prescription medications into jail. He is simply handed a cup full of pills each day and when
he asks what they are the nurses and COs dismiss him and are rude to him. The food is gross and the cells are
filthy. They also give him the wrong size clothing all the time - he gets pants that are much too large and has
to tie them in order to fit. He also was given a thermal shirt by another inmate because the one he was given
was much too small. He tried to use the phone but it was very confusing and he needed an inmate to help.
He needs help with directory assistance to contact his lawyer but doesn't know of any. Nobody ever told him
that he could take a shower during the time out of the cells until an inmate informed him.
The COs can be rude and there is frequent use of force here - sometimes it is necessary but sometimes it is
excessive - he's seen both. It is difficult to find phone numbers to call people. It was difficult to access mental
health, he put in a request two weeks ago on a white card and never heard back. He felt that the COs would
not come to his attention. He never received information about the grievance process since he came in, but
he's heard from other inmates that you don't want to be known by the COs as someone who files them. He
has been trying to contact internal affairs about treatment for his medical condition, but was unable to
connect with them, as the process to call them was confusing and his call dropped. He also tried calling his
mother but the call didn't go through even though he has money on the account. He feels they need more
programs to help indigent inmates re-enter society, from locating shelters upon release to
A-117

297.

298.

299.

300.

education/vocation programs in the jail so they don't return to committing crimes when they get out. He
feels like the COs let him them out when they want. They don't have enough working showers - there is only
1 working showerhead for their dorm. They also should give out deodorant with the soap - they don't get any
deodorant and many of the inmates smell bad. He feels they should also allow people to voice their concerns
about their living conditions with someone on a more regular basis.
The shower floors are flooded and they were showering in standing water for a week; he complained but
doesn't know if it was fixed yet. They are only allowed to shower every other day and he once went five days
without a shower because they were in lockdown one day and the next day they just didn't bring them.
Someone filed a grievance and the COs retaliated by coming and tearing up everyone's cells. They are not
allowed out enough - only 3 times per week in the yard and the yard is set up like dog kennels - it's like
maximum security although they're not maximum security inmates. They only get to go into the big yard (not
in a cage) once a week for an hour and a half. He doesn't feel it's enough time out. For out of cell time
indoors they only let them out to shower; the floor is very dirty in there. The drains are clogged and they
were showering in ankle deep standing water. The dorm also does not have hot water for noodles- it was
taken away for some reason so they can only use their cell water if they buy ramen from commissary. He also
disagrees with his classification - when he came in and was waiting in intake he adjusted the TV set and the
woman there punished him for it by making him take his shoes off and standing on a cold cell floor. He was
then transferred to a high security floor although he's never been in fights or violent. He's never tried filing a
complaint or grievance - he's never received information on the grievance process and he's seen COs
retaliate for grievances. They come in, search everyone's cell, mess everything up, and tell the inmates "You
have [name of inmate who filed grievance] to thank for this" so that the other inmates can come beat them
up, although they haven't done so. The phone is difficult to use and there are no instructions and the calls are
expensive. They don't hand out soap anymore with toilet paper; they should give out soap more as some
inmates are indigent and can't afford to buy it. He's had to sleep on a mattress 3/4 of the regular length
because other inmates pull the stuffing out to make pillows- they should just get rid of those mattresses.
The soap dries out your skin and makes you itchy like there are bugs on you. They used to give two bars of
soap per week but they don't do that anymore - they only give it to you when they have it, and they rarely
do. He would like to clean his cell more - they are not allowed brooms, mops, or cleaning rags in the cells.
Regarding the Inmate Welfare Fund, he feels there should be more vocational and educational programs to
help with rehabilitation and re-entry. He feels people re-commit crimes because they don't feel like they
have a chance, so they just become better criminals to get by. He has never filed a complaint or grievance
and never received information about them. It took him a month to see the doctor after requesting an
appointment on a white card, and a month to see mental health. Although he could handle waiting that long
for mental health services he could see other people with worse conditions having problems with the wait
time.
Many COs are professional, but many are disrespectful. The inmate came from general population the other
day and gave the CO a note saying his life was in danger (due to gang activity) and that he needed to be in
protective custody. CO loudly ridiculed him and saying "Your life is in danger?" and asked why he couldn't
defend himself. Inmate felt this put his life further in danger as everyone could hear the CO. He was
transferred 5 to 10 minutes after passing the note. COs call grievances "snitch forms." Inmate was
threatened with 2 days of lock down for not following an order given when he was not present. He asked to
file a grievance. The COs did not give him a grievance form and asked why he needed one, saying they could
do whatever they wanted. Later, 3 COs came to his cell during lock down, handcuffed him, and threw his
things everywhere. He said they were retaliating against him, and they told him not to file grievances. He
was never advised of the grievance policy. They also bring him out up to 15 minutes late when his family
visits, although they can only stay for an hour, and his family has been denied visits for being late by 1 to 2
minutes. He has never heard of inmate welfare fund but finds phone calls too expensive.
The showers are unclean. The inmates offered to clean it themselves but the COs refused because they did
not want to make the effort to let them out. COs use pepper spray excessively. Nobody has ever explained
the use of force policy to the inmates. Before Mike Tyree's death, COs would hit mental health inmates in the
body, he witnessed it more than 10 times in the past. He witnessed a CO pepper spray an inmate before
A-118

301.

302.

303.

304.

going into his cell, then restrained him in handcuffs and had about 10 other COs come to kick and beat him
while handcuffed on the floor. They stopped when they saw the sergeant coming. Other inmates complained
about the CO and he was transferred to another unit but still works in the jail somewhere. Everyone is too
scared to complain about the incident for fear of retaliation.
There is not enough time out of the cell. Some get longer walk alone times than others. Hair clippers and
haircuts are limited to once a month. In Alameda jail they get them once per week. He tried filling a grievance
about the clippers 3 years ago and a CO gave it back with "will look into it" written on the form. He tried to
file 2 or 3 times since with the same result and no resolution. He tried filing a grievance when he was shoved
against a wall and beaten although he wasn't resisting. His tooth went through his lip when he was shoved
against the wall. He was taken to medical and the nurse said to just say he bit his lip. He refused care because
he wanted to show his lawyer (whom he had an appointment with the following day) the damage to his lip,
but they restrained him and cleaned up his lip. Nobody informed him about how to file a grievance or the
use of force policy. When people file grievances the COs retaliate by making roll call and commissary
unnecessarily slow so the inmates miss the time out of their cells. On 2 occasions, a CO has kicked a
grievance another inmate has written about him into his cell, so he knew a grievance was filed against him
and could beat up the inmate if he wanted. He hasn't heard of the Inmate Welfare fund and finds phone calls
too expensive.
Only one set of clothing. They don't receive as much time out of their cells as other pods. COs have authority
to do as they please - some only let them out for 30 minutes per day although they are supposed to come
out for 3 hours. He feels helpless as the grievance procedure goes through the COs, so it doesn't seem fair.
COs overuse pepper spray for everything. They also punched an inmate in a nearby cell for talking to himself.
The inmate who was punched kept saying he wasn't resisting but the CO continued to beat him.
Grievance Process/Retaliation: NT17 discussed the frequency of retaliation on inmates for filing grievances
against Correctional Officers. The most frequent form of retaliation is the use of violence at the hands of
rival inmates. For example, NT17 discussed how an inmate who was more vocal in his complaints and
regularly used the grievance process to address issues within the facility. After filing a number of complaints,
his cell door was opened when a group of rival gang members were out of their cell "on program." The rival
gang members immediately physically assaulted the inmate. NT17 stated that he knew this would be the
result of the inmate consistently using the inmate system. According to NT17, this style of retaliation is
common and frequent inside the facility. Visitation: NT17 believes his wife and family have been harassed
and been denied visitation access based on petty and insignificant issues. For example, the facility enforces
the time requirements with strict scrutiny, requiring visitors to arrive 45 minutes before the visitation period.
However, on multiple occasions, his wife was denied visitation despite arriving to the facility well in advance
of 45 minutes but (after travelling significant distance) due to the line being very long, she was prevented
from arriving inside the facility within 45 minutes. He also believes that dress code restrictions are not
applied equally and are often enforced with any consistency and may be applied only to certain families.
Food: The milk is regularly served warm. NT17 acknowledged that this seems like a minor complaint,
however, the food generally has very little nutritional value and inmates rely heavily on milk for nutrition. He
stated that the milk often arrives cold but due to delays by correctional officers, the milk gets to the cells
warm and often at a temperature that cannot be consumed. Mental Health Services: NT17 stated that a
large number of inmates with significant mental health issues are inappropriately housed in solitary. Without
the proper medical attention, these inmates often create sanitation and security concerns for inmates.
Inmate Welfare Fund: NT17 was not familiar with the Inmate Welfare Fund.
Access to Medical: NT10 has been dealing with serious stomach and joint issues for the past 4 months. His
repeated medical slips have often been ignored and he continues to deal with stomach issues that limit his
ability to sleep and live without pain. NT10 believes that unless he is near death, he cannot access medical
assistance inside the jail. In fact, NT10 has stopped filing medical slips because he believes they simply go
ignored. Use of Force: NT10 does not believe that the Tyree incident was an isolated incident. In fact, he
stated that a week before Tyree he witnessed two guards aggressively transport a handcuffed and shackled
inmate into an empty corner cell, turn off the lights and physically assault an inmate. The inmate did not
emerge from his cell for at least another day. After the incident, correctional officers confronted NT10 about
A-119

what he witnessed. He felt it necessary to say that he did not see anything and that if he said anything he
would be retaliated against. Phone Calls: NT10 claims there are not enough phones in the dorms. With the
large number of inmates, he can rarely access the phones. According to NT10, its not the cost of the phones,
its the lack of phones that prevent him from using them. Food/Dietary concerns: Due to NT10's stomach
issues, he is required to be on a special diet. As a result, he is often not given dinner. He goes many nights
without dinner, as nothing is delivered to him. He is not sure if this is an issue with the correctional officers
or the kitchen, but he knows that he often is not served dinner as a result of his special dietary requirements.

305.

Mental Health: Solitary Confinement is housing many mentally ill inmates who do not receive the necessary
services and create a sanitation and programming hazard to other inmates. They also do not receive the
services necessary because the Correctional Officers are not trained to handle these inmates. Retaliation:
NT14 believes he was moved to solitary confinement for refusing to be a "pod worker". He was originally
housed on another floor and was a "pod worker" for many of the correctional officers. He no longer wanted
to work on the floor due to potential conflicts emerging on the floor. He asked to no longer serve as a "pod
worker." Only days later, he was moved to solitary confinement and has remained on the floor for over a
year. He has filed multiple grievance forms over his classification but has received no response other than
that he is properly housed. According to NT14, there is no opportunity at the County level to challenge or
have your housing classification challenged or reviewed. Programs: The Solitary Confinement dorms have
very little programs, games, sports equipment, board games or books. There are also no educational and
vocational programs available to the inmates. This lack of programs creates tension between inmates and
correctional officers, according to NT14.

306.

Sanitation: NT16 stated that the plumbing in his pod is regularly a problem. Pipes are constantly leaking,
toilets regularly back up, creating unsanitary conditions. For example, NT16 stated that at least one toilet
becomes clogged or backed up a day in the pod. Grievance Process: NT16 filed numerous grievance forms
related to a clogged toilet issue. The response took more than 3 days to be resolved. Leaving him without
access to a toilet. Sanitation: NT16 believes inmates should receive more than one set of clean clothing per
week. The current protocol leaves inmates with dirty clothing, towels and does not provide the tools to
maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness. This places stress on inmates and often is at the root of tension
between inmates and staff. Use of Force: NT16 believes young untrained correctional officers are often
overly aggressive and ill prepared to handle. He has witnessed a number of incidents between inmates and
correctional officers that were unnecessary and rooted in unnecessarily aggressive behavior by correctional
officers. Commissary: NT16 wants the commissary to carry wash clothes. They do not carry sufficient
cleaning supplies.

307.

Access to Counsel: NT5 has mental health needs. He believes he has been denied access to his attorney. He
was told by the judge that he would be in this facility for 3 weeks and then would receive a pick-up date to be
moved to another facility. He has been in custody for more than a month now. He has been unable to talk
to his attorney or get any information on his pick up date. Inmate Welfare Fund: NT5 was not aware of the
Inmate Welfare Fund.

308.

Access to Medical: NT6 complained of the lack and pace of medical attention within the facility. He stated
that it is nearly impossible to get access to healthcare. He has submitted multiple medical request forms that
he has not received any action on. He similarly identified the complete lack of dental and vision services.
NT6 has had multiple teeth removed, that is the only dental service they provide, extraction of teeth. When
NT6 has received medical services it has been very slow. Commissary: NT6 stated that the cost of the
commissary makes it out of reach for most psychiatrist patients. NT6 is homeless and has no support on the
outside. He complained that he is constantly hungry because he cannot afford any additional food. He
believes this is a major concern on the 8th floor. NT6 said he regularly scrounges thru the garbage to find
additional food. This constant state of hunger creates agitation and tension between inmates and
correctional officers. Not Enough Food: NT6 also complained that he has noticed a downgrade in the
A-120

amount and type of food made available to inmates. The quality of food has lessened in the past few years.
He stated that they provide less meat and the quality of the fruit and vegetables has diminished as well. The
amount of food is simply not enough to keep inmates from constantly being hungry. In particular on the 8th
floor, most of these inmates do not have any financial resources or social network that can supplement their
food. This is a major concern, as stated by NT6. The lack of food requires NT6 to search garbage cans for left
over food. Phone Calls: Similarly, NT6 stated that phone calls are not accessible for himself and most of the
8th floor. The lack of access to the phones prevents him from contacting his attorney. He has been priced
out of using the phones in the facility. Lack of Educational Programs: NT6 stated that on the 8th floor there
are no services. NT6 previously used and is a believer in the AA program, it has been helpful to him in the
past. However, on the 8th floor he had no access to AA or any programs related to addiction. He is unaware
of any educational or self help programs that psychiatrist patients can access. No Religious Services: NT6 also
stated that there are no religious services available to psychiatrist patients. Sanitation: NT6 identified
sanitation and the conditions of the cells and facilities as a major issue. The cells are filthy and they do not
receive sufficient cleaning supplies to keep the cells clean. NT6 stated that he cleans his cell daily, but he
does not have the materials and cleaning supplies to keep the cells sufficiently clean. He identified this as a
major issue, especially amongst inmates who have psychiatrist issues, this can exacerbate issues for them.
Quality of MH Services: NT6 does not believe the doctors and mental health staff are qualified to work with
him or this community. His experiences with the psychiatrists has largely been negative. He believes they
downplay what he says and often dismiss his observations, complaints and inquiries.

309.

Use of Force/Retaliation: While an inmate on the 8th floor of the main jail, NT7 learned that a correctional
officer had told a fellow inmate to sexually assault NT7. The assault did not take place, but NT7 fears that a
correctional officer will have him assaulted if he files a grievance or complains about conditions inside the
prison. Food: NT7 stated that the food is of very poor quality, describing it as similar to dog food. Similarly,
there is not enough food. He and other inmates are constantly hungry. Accountability of Staff: NT7 believes
the correctional officers intentionally interfere with inmate sleep at night. NT7 stated that he has had his cell
searched in the middle of the night, that his cell door will be opened and closed, and his cell door will be
kicked by correctional officers in the middle of the night. He believes this is intentionally being done to
interfere with his sleeping patterns and comfort. Mental Health Services: NT7 self identified as having
psychotic episodes and requiring multiple medications. NT7 requires daily medications and has required
these for many years. After his arrest, it took more than 3 weeks for NT7 to receive his medications. NT7
believes this delay placed himself and others in danger. Access to Medication: As with the delay in receiving
daily required medication, NT7 also believes he has been heavily over-medicated at times. He has been
placed on a number of medications that are unwanted and unnecessary. Religious Services: NT7 does not
identify as a Catholic. However, Catholic services are the only religious services made available to him. He
wants more religious services made available for inmates.

310.

They only allow inmates to use beard clippers once per month, preventing them from looking presentable in
court. Inmates only have 1 set of clothes. One month ago, he was improperly given red pants to wear
although he is not a level 4 inmate (murder charge or gang member). There is no reason for him to be in red
and he wrote a complaint to housing classification a week ago but nobody responded. They put the AC on
high and everyone is cold. The CO said it was to immobilize the inmates with the cold, who put in requests
for extra blankets but did not receive any. They are getting 1 instead of 2 hot meals per day, against jail rules.
He felt endangered when he was housed with a level 4 inmate although he's a parole offender. He did not file
a grievance for fear of retaliation, the COs search cells of those who file grievances more, and are rude and
confrontational with those who file them. He was also degraded when he was booked and told to spread his
buttocks with his hands, although it was unnecessary. He pointed out that it was not the proper procedure
and was allowed not to do so. He never received information from the jail on how to file a grievance. The
cost of phone calls prevented him from calling his girlfriend to tell him he had been taken to jail.
Inmate Safety: People who need special attention should have special housing instead of being left alone
which causes them to become victims to police or inmates. Deputies completely leave the unit unmanned

311.

A-121

for hours (maximum 3 hours) at a time except for a “walk through” once an hour. If deputies are out of the
unit, it can take a long time for them to respond to any issue. After the man died, deputies have been staying
in the units. He does not know if the sergeants knew about the deputies leaving the units but he did see
sergeants come in when the deputy was not there. If something happens while the deputy is gone, the
inmates yell and everyone kicks their doors. But, if everyone wants someone to get beat up, for example, no
one says anything. There is an emergency button that he thinks the deputies can see from the outside. In the
past people hit the button and no one comes for hour. That is because people hit their button constantly (for
non-emergencies). This is especially true of the mentally ill. Sometimes, deputies let out people
simultaneously when they are supposed to be out alone. Or, they will let enemies out at the same time.
They could do this for any reason. For example, sophisticated gang members can manipulate the COs
including giving COs incentives. The COs have grown up around here and they have friends. Or, the COs do
this to retaliate. COs drop hints to inmates to beat up other ones if the CO has a problem with someone.
They tell the inmate that they will look the other way if there is a fight. The inmate who assaults the other
will receive extra food or some other minor privilege. The majority of deputies are good guys especially the
older ones. The COs punish everyone if one person does something bad. They do this to pit inmates against
inmates. The group will get upset and beat that person up. Doctors and nurses will not report assaults
because they are constantly treating people who were beat up. It is possible that they have reported things,
but they do not ask questions. Deputies pick on the mentally ill, elderly, and weaker people to send a
message to stronger people; the mentally ill do not fight back so you can send your message than if you
picked someone who fought back. There have been incidents like a deputy forced a mentally ill inmate to
walk to his cell naked in front of everyone because he talked back to the deputy when he tried to get him out
of the shower. He was assaulted first. This deputy repeatedly assaults mentally ill inmates. There was no
grievance because mentally ill people do not know what is happening. Retaliation (cooperating with
investigations): Major acts of CO violence are investigated and there is less retaliation because COs are
moved, but people are nervous about cooperating. He has given statements to investigators. Grievances:
People do not file grievances because they are stressed with their families and cases so they have bigger
worries than some of the things happening. They do it to send messages to the non-mentally ill and those
goes will not fight back so you have a better chance to get your point across. Culture: Newer deputies who
“have a point to prove” are the ones using force. Because of their attitudes they end up finding themselves in
bad situations with inmates. He has heard the deputies have been bribed to have them smuggle things into
the jail. There are deputies involved in cover-ups of deputy misconduct and they are not investigated.
Usually these COs just go along with the cover up because they do not want to betray people. Accountability:
Deputies with many “marks” on their records are held accountable. Deputy Safety: Deputies are usually
assaulted because of how they treat people; if they are disrespectful they will be assaulted eventually.
Grievance/Complaint process: No one has explained the process to him except for the inmates. The prison
has a better system. The prison gives you the rules based on the Penal Code. You can review the operational
procedures and the operations manual. Here, they have a small rule book with no way to contest the rules
or to know if they are mandated by law. They do not know if they should file a grievance without knowing
the deputies are violating a rule (e.g. by not letting them out of their cell long enough.) The deputies will
deny a grievance and cite the “minimum guidelines.” But, they have no idea what these are so they do not
know if they are applying the rule right. They have requested rulebooks but the deputies say they do not
have any. The grievance goes to the CO who grants or denies it. Sometimes you do not get it back or a
reason why it was granted or denied. It is supposed to get the sergeant, but the grievances go missing
depending on who it is about because there is an unwritten rule that it has to go to the CO who is the subject
of the complaint. The deputies tell you to turn into that person. If it is about a CO they lose; the hope is to
resolve it with the CO directly or you have to file another. If there are enough people complaining, they will
be heard. The CO will be investigated and there are changes. If it is only 1-2 people, usually nothing
happens. They do not interview people officially except sometimes they will ask questions “off the record”
unless a particular person were named. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: COs retaliate if you file a
grievance. It has not been happening recently. The retaliation is subtle. They do a cell search and if they find
things in the cell they will say “we will forget about this if you forget about the grievance.” Sometimes the
A-122

person becomes a “target” in the future. They will tell inmates which inmates are snitches. The deputies will
sometimes pass to other inmates a person’s legal papers or police reports identifying that inmate as a snitch
(in retaliation for a grievance). After the inmate was killed things have changed in terms of retaliation, but
little by little other things are reverting back. For example, a captain promised to separate the dorms so they
could get more cell time (mixed levels result in less time out). But that has not happened. After the killing
deputies started give more things to keep people quiet. They are talking about giving them bigger TVs and
iPads. They are giving them phone cards. They have been asking for these things for years and it has never
happened until now. Before the killing they were not heard. Now, they are being heard. Culture/Out of Cell
Time: #21 has been in this jail for 7 years straight so he knows what it was like before the Sheriff’s Office took
over. Up to the point of the inmate getting killed a lot of things changed for the worse because of a new
captain. The Sheriff made a lot of changes and there started to be more lockdowns. Since 2013, they are
locked down to clean on Wednesdays. Before, they had trustees clean and then a cell inspection. If a cell
passed, they received a reward like a soda. Now, there is no incentive except if you do not clean you are
locked down. The lockdowns are a big problem. Right after the killing they started let people out for much
longer like 2-3 hours a day. But now that the levels are mixed in different units so they do not get very much
time. COs told them that the “minimum standard” requires only 3 hours a week; they have no way to know if
this is true. Hygiene: With the new Sheriff, the soap problem started and now you can only get free soap if
you are indigent. It may be because the captain did a big search and noticed that people had made
makeshift towel and clothes hooks out of soap. They did this dry the towels to prevent mildew. They only
have two sets of clothes a week and they work out so they need to clean their clothes in their sinks and hang
dry them. In prison you get a set for five days a week. It makes people want to go to prison. You are not
locked down there. Health: Inmates do not get sun. There is sun on the deck only if you are in the right unit.
This has a psychological and physical effect because you do not get Vitamin E and D for your skin and eyes. It
is like doing a SHU term in prison even when you are not in the hole. Suggestion: Take people to a sun deck
in the old jail. Let people buy boxers. Programs: They could use a program for the gang drop outs like a
gang awareness program. It could teach people how to stay out of gangs. A lot of people who dropped out
of the gang gravitate back toward them when released. Isolation: He was sent to the SHU in prison because
of gang status and that label followed him here. Every time he came back here they would send him to the
hole, ad seg, 4th floor. He would come out an hour every other day and could only shower every other day.
There is no process to challenge your status. They can tell if you are a gang members because they function
a certain way. If you come in white you’ll go with whites, northerners go with northerners, etc. You are
labeled even if you are not affiliated. They should have a unit for unaffiliated inmates. Quality of Physical
Health Care: The medical facilities are “alright.” He was treated well for Hepatitis C. It took him five years to
obtain treatment. He had to file grievances but nothing happened until he threatened to sue with the help of
a jailhouse lawyer. IWF: He does not know much about the IWF except that there is money that is supposed
to go toward recreation and hygiene but they did not see those things for a long time. They see it a little now
like free soap. Cell phones: The COs are always on their cell phones. Use of Force: An “Elevator ride” is when
deputies take you in the elevator to beat you up. Everyone knows about it. It was big in the 1980s and
1990s, but it still happens. However, more common is that they take you into an interview room and beat
you, or beat you in your cell, where there are not cameras. There was a major incident of violence and some
of those deputies are still around four or five months later. In that incident, a CO first let another man beat
up the victim. But, the men did not stop fighting when the deputy told them to. Deputies maced and
restrained the man, brought the man in the attorney interview room, and then kicked him with their steel
toes and made him say that he was a “little bitch.” Sexual Misconduct: The entire time here he has heard
about a man getting raped by a cellie and the man who did it told other people and got 25 to life. The victim
reported it. That was not the deputies’ fault and if it happens COs may not necessarily know about it.
Hygiene: The clothing and hygiene is a big problem. Food: It is terrible. The portion sizes are alright, not
huge not starving after. Property: They have thrown away his pictures and ruined his art projects; they
throw away food during shake downs. If they are mad they will destroy your property. Because he has been
here a long time and he gets along with them he never has an issue. They throw away open soup or coffee.
Housing: It is wearing on people who are here for a long time to have no sun, good food, etc. Visits: His
A-123

312.

daughter wants contact visits and people who have been there a long time with no problems should be
allowed to have them.
Access to/Quality of MH: He was supposed to see a psychiatrist two weeks ago to set up a “goal” plan but it
has not happened. He wanted to change medications because the one he was on was not helping so he
“refused” his medication. The psychiatrist did not attempt to see him after learning this. The psychiatrists
do not listen to him when he sees them. They know nothing about his psychiatric history, they do not ask,
and they prescribe medications without knowing anything about him. No one has told him whether he could
have his medical records sent to the psychiatrist and the psychiatrist never asked for them. If a person tells
the psychiatrist that he is “anxious,” there are no follow up questions such as “what do you mean by that?”
The psychiatrist just prescribes the medication. The psychiatrist tries to “kick you out” of the appointment
within 10 minutes. There are people who are not getting help. He has Asperger syndrome and it is difficult
for him to socialize. He wants to have a solo cell. The psychiatrist has not helped him obtain this. There are
no therapists. Because the medication is not helping him, he would like alternatives to medication such as
talk therapy. They have only crisis intervention. He met with a social worker who asked him what he was
charged with and then acted like she did not want to talk to him when he told her. Usually, the social
workers are in the front area chatting with the deputies. Use of Force: If you are mentally ill or “high
strung,” deputies will bang on your door for no reason or try to wake you up for no reason. The deputies are
“rough” but he has been able to avoid that. They assault inmates in the interview rooms. His dad has
experienced an “elevator ride.” They take you in the “level 5 green elevator” which did not have cameras (he
is not sure if it has cameras now) and they beat you. Grievance/Complaint process: Because of his
experiences in the jail, he feels that the grievances are a waste of time. His dad told him you need the whole
pod to write a grievance for it to work. If an inmate makes a “substantial” grievance, he is moved to “walkalone” or “ad-seg.” He has seen COs create a scene when an inmate filed a grievance. They have “roughed
people up” or harassed them. COs respect him. Deputies would treat him differently if they heard the
conversation he was having with me (BRC Interviewer). Accountability of Jail Staff: He does not know if COs
are held accountable. He has seen a deputy do something wrong and the supervisor says to the CO: “I’d do
the same fucking thing.” Culture: Someone was locked down for being noisy. Deputies moved him to a
corner cell as a punishment instead of writing him up. He thinks that they are supposed to write it up. They
want to avoid to paperwork. He had an issue with his neighbor who was loud and asked to be moved to a
place where he would not hear as much noise. The deputy moved him in a cell with an inmate who would go
months without showering. It was traumatizing. He went crazy. He could not breath. Finally, mental health
helped him move out of the cell and had him placed on walk alone. COs take being polite or respectful (e.g.
saying “thank you”) as a weakness. Deputies do not respect the black inmates. For example, they do not
separate the men who need to be separated. They accept Hispanics and whites generally. They do not “take
the blacks seriously.” The way he receives respect from the deputies is to “not take their shit.” Out of Cell
Time: The out of cell time is at a low for all levels. Yesterday, one group was afforded out of cell time for one
our but the other was out for only 20 minutes. One group has more time than others for random reasons.
Isolation: An inmate is let out one hour a day when he is in isolation. COs come into your cell and toss up
your stuff when you are in isolation. You are not allowed to interact with anyone. They do body searches.
They treat you worse because they are not actually around you so they do not worry about how you might
act if you do not like what they are doing. Commissary Supplies: The food is too expensive. He would like an
MP3 player. Music helps people relax. Cleanliness: The do not have a towel, broom, mop or other supplies
to clean. He has a hard time functioning because the cells are so dirty. People use the toilet bowl to clean
their cells; the sink does not have enough water. The “cleaning” actually spreads germs. Health: He now has
acne that he never had before because of the air and the lack of sunlight. The vents are never cleaned. They
change the filters only. People clog the events with soap and food because the air is cold. The soap and food
stays stuck in the vents. Temperature: The temperature is too hot in the day and then they blast the air
conditioning at night making it too cold. Food: Some trays have bigger or smaller portions. There is not
enough food for the younger inmates who are still growing. Other: They should have option to be alone in a
cell, especially if they have a mental health issue. Housing: They should have TVs that are visible.
A-124

313.

314.

315.

Quality of MH: She has received inconsistent psychiatric diagnoses and the medication prescribed has not
helped with whatever it is she suffers from. Inmate Safety/Out of Cell Time: She was on the phone and
assaulted by an inmate. Because deputies are not letting the inmates of their cells, inmates are harming
themselves and “going crazy.” One example was when an inmate was yelling at the deputies to let him out
of his cell finally injured himself by banging his head against the glass because the deputies had ignored him.
Grievance/Complaint process/Retaliation: #29 filed a grievance because she believes that a deputy killed
one of her daughters but the document disappeared. She was moved to different housing because she
reported this incident. She does not receive commissary for weeks at a time and only receives it after filing a
grievance. She has to file a grievance every time she orders commissary. Out of Cell Time: The jail rule is
that she should be let out of the cell six hours a week. She is being let out of her cell twenty minutes
anywhere from once a day to once every three days. Access to Physical Health Care: She has asked a nurse
to let her see a doctor but she is never allowed to see the doctor. Quality of Physical Health Care/Hygiene:
She is being treated for fungus and lice which improves but then worsens because the blankets are not
regularly changed or washed. This is not an issue at Elmwood. Phone Call Problems: She is not allowed to
use the phone once a day. Commissary Supplies: She does not have enough money for food. See comments
above regarding delays in delivery of ordered items (up to six week delays). Sexual Misconduct: There is a
deputy that has assaulted her with dildo in her cell and she has seen male deputies sexually assault female
inmates in front of her cell (more than once, more than one deputy at the same time). She reported these
events to everyone she can but there has not been a response. Cleanliness: She does not have supplies to
clean her cells, but they do receive supplies at Elmwood. Food: She receives fewer than 2,000 calories a day
and no snacks which is not enough food. The food at Elmwood is better.
Quality of MH: She feels degraded because deputies and staff are treating her as if she were mentally ill and
she is not. She does not know why she is taking the medications provided to her by staff. Use of Force: She
has not witnessed any instances of force. Grievance/Complaint process: She has not filed any grievances in
the past because nothing will happen. Accountability of Jail Staff: She does not think deputies would be held
accountable for misconduct, and she has never seen any deputy disciplined. Out of Cell Time: The length of
time that an inmate is let out of his or her cell depends on the unit. Orientation: It would be helpful to have
information about how the jail works (e.g. why she is housed where she is) and what programs are offered in
the jail because she does not have any idea of what is happening to her. Housing: She requested a solo cell
but was placed in the wrong housing unit. She did not receive an answer to her request to be moved. Access
to Physical Health Care: She has not seen a doctor despite her requests. Quality of Physical Health Care: She
has two diseases which continue to go untreated despite her requests to see doctors. Sexual Misconduct:
She has heard that certain officers have sexually assaulted women. It is possible that there are sexual assaults
between inmates but she could not remember if she heard that. She could not confirm whether she had
been sexually assaulted but felt she had physical symptoms similar to those she experienced after being in
sexually uncomfortable situations in the past. The jail cells have cameras in them and people (did not specify
who) ask her to strip for the cameras. Reentry: She would like resources to help her when she leaves the jail.
Hygiene: Deputies allow her to shower once every two or three days. She does not receive enough soap,
deodorant, or clean clothes. Food: She receives only two meals a day.
Interference with Criminal Case: His mental health is at issue in his criminal case and the jail psychiatrist
attempted to discuss his medical conditions and other private topics with him through his cell door. A deputy
was nearby and the psychiatrist had a loud voice so others could hear the conversation. The deputies do not
usually bring the defendants to interview rooms for these kinds of visits. Inmate #36 was concerned about
confidentiality. The deputies ask him what happened in court. Use of Force: There is a deputy who
threatens to beat the inmates, but he has not ever seen any deputies assault inmates. Inmate Safety: He has
been harassed by gang members and he fears that someone could tamper with his food because inmates,
and not deputies, distribute the food. Grievance/Complaint process: He does not file grievances because he
does not want to be a target. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: He thinks if he files a complaint the deputies
will make things harder. Accountability of Jail Staff: The deputies are allowed to treat inmates poorly
because the inmates are accused of crimes and therefore “deserve it.” Culture: The officers are rude to him
and treat him as if he committed a terrible crime. It seems as if the deputies antagonize inmates to stress
A-125

316.

317.

318.

319.

them out. If an inmate tries to keep information about his case provide, the deputies may treat him
differently. Out of Cell Time: He is let out 30 minutes in the day and 30 minutes at night. This is not a
problem because he is harassed by other inmates when he is let out of his cell. Access to Physical Health
Care: The doctor called him to check certain his wounds he had. Quality of Physical Health Care: The health
care he received has been great. Hygiene: The deputies provide the inmates with enough soap. Cleanliness:
The deputies have put him in a dirty cell. He spent months cleaning it. The mattress was filthy and had what
appeared to be a feces stains. Despite multiple requests, he has not received disinfectant for the cell. He has
been moved to a different cell so he has to clean the cell all over again. When it is cleaning day, the bucket
goes from room to room without a change of water. Some of the deputies are nice and one loaned him
disinfectant so he could spray the cell. The broom also has debris on it. Deputies do not clean the brooms or
mops in between uses. Food: He receives enough food because he is small but there are other men who are
hungry most of the time.
Access and Quality of Physical Health Care/Cleanliness: He told intake when he arrived that he had scabies
and parasites. Intake nevertheless placed him in general population. He told a deputy that his mattress was
contaminated with scabies and her response was to move the mattress into another cell. It took him five
days from the date he was booked to obtain his medication for diabetes. The doctors will not provide him
with his prescription diabetes medication; they are doing a different course of treatment which is not
helping. He cannot sleep and is screaming in pain at night because of his circulation issues and his legs are
visibly purple and swollen. He informed the nurse and doctors of his medication allergies but they tried to
give him one of these medications during pill call which he discovered because he is vigilant. The nurses do
not check his blood sugar before giving him insulin which will harm him. Attorney Relationship: The
deputies will not let him call his attorney because he is on lockdown. Grievance: He does not know how to
file a grievance to have his doctor’s care reviewed, and he otherwise thinks that grievances against deputies
are stupid and become swept under the rug.
Filed a grievance 10+ years ago regarding his treatment with medical staff. He was unable to obtain any
relief through the grievance process. Inmates are also often unaware of why privileges are restricted until a
later time. At times the inmates do not even know they are on lockdown or being punished for past behavior
or if privileges are restricted arbitrarily. Phone calls are too expensive for his mother, so he does not call
home. Would like to see more religious services. For example, there hasn't been communion in 2 weeks.
Grievances: Usually have to file with the very officer who they have a problem with. Half of the time, the
officers talk them out of it. Up until a few months ago, the guards would mess with inmates who filed
grievances, searching their cells and throwing away food or personal items. Out of Cell Time: Inmates were
not getting their 3 hour per week minimum, and sometimes the top tier or the bottom tier will be denied out
of cell time because of personal problems that the officers have with the inmates. Mail: Sometimes he gets
the mail a week later or the his letters get returned for unknown reasons. Sanitary Conditions: Sometimes
guards won't give cleaning supplies. The trustees usually clean, and sometimes they give extra towels
without the guards knowing. There are haz/mat people who are supposed to take care of fecal matter or
blood, but sometimes when it is a small amount of fecal matter, or an overflowing toilet, inmates are
expected to clean that themselves. Laundry does not come on a consistent basis, and it often comes back
dirty. Inmate Safety/use of force: Once a fight broke out during laundry time and the officers just watched it
happen for a while, but eventually opened the door to break up the fight. 2-3 officers threw him to the floor
and kicked and punched him. The officers were warned that inmates were watching, so they brought him
into an interview room and continued to punch him until the sergeant came. The officers who were involved
took photos of his swollen face. Phones: Calls are expensive, but they are cheaper than they used to be.
Out of Cell Time: Do not get much out of cell time, about 30 minutes per day. Hygiene: Since there are only
4 showers and so little out of cell time, there is usually a long line so he can't take as many showers as he
would like. Only get laundry 1 or 2 times per week, so the inmates wash their clothes in the toilet or sink.
Only allowed 1 towel to clean cell and dry body. Inmate Safety: Inmates are not allowed to wear deck shoes
in the dorms, but the shower shoes are wet and slippery so it can be dangerous to walk in them, especially up
the stairs. Use of Force: He was assaulted by 7 officers resulting in a broken ankle, and he had a baton
broken over his head. He has seen other inmates get punched in the face by guards when the guards don't
A-126

320.

321.

322.

323.

like them, even when the inmates are already on the ground. Physical Health Care: Often white cards
requesting medical care are torn up by officers or they are simply not turned in. Sometimes medication gets
mixed up between inmates making them very sick and causing vomiting. Culture: Sometimes the staff mixes
the races during times of conflict to cause additional fights. Grievances: Sometimes they will change officers
after a grievance. He thinks there is retaliation sometimes for grievances, but it's hard to be sure.
Mental Health/Physical Health: Kept on the 8th floor for 72 hours and he is not sure why. He continued to
have mental health evaluations. He was prescribed psych medications at first but is no longer on the,. He
had to file declarations with the court to be taken off the drugs. While he was on them he slept all the time,
and he had no appetite. He has gained 50 pounds while in jail, and lost all his muscle tone. He sees other
inmates so medicated that they are drooling. Housing: he spent some time on the 4th floor where inmates
are kept isolated. There was peeling paint, exposing lead underneath, the toilet was constantly running and
flushing once a minute. Use of Force: While he was there in isolation, he was "losing it" and he asked for
help. 3 guards picked him up and rammed him head fist into a concrete wall, breaking his glasses. It split the
skin above his eye. The guards tried to treat the wound themselves. They repaired his glasses themselves,
one of them using his own glasses to repair the frame. He showed me the glasses, and the two sides did not
match. At the time he was wearing a white band signifying he had medical issues. Out of Cell Time: At one
point he went for 3 weeks during which he was only allowed outside his cell for 20 minutes. Inmate Safety:
Some inmates who are in protective custody aren't given enough protection, particularly those with mental
disabilities. Phones: No one explained how to make phone calls. Other: Only sees his attorney in court.
Hygiene: Bigger people especially don't get enough clean laundry because clothes are not always available in
their sizes, so sometimes he has the same clothes for weeks without them being laundered. Grievances: He
filed on grievance but it came back to him and it did not appear to be the same form that he filed. The
handwriting was not his own. He was told that he was abusing the grievance process. Culture/Use of Force:
He had a disagreement with a guard and was put in the "hole" in 4A for 3 months. He had refused to be
handcuffed willingly because a guard had threatened him and he thought once he was handcuffed he would
not be able to defend himself. Accountability of Jail Staff: He also noted that the guards are more respectful
since August and he thinks it is because they are being watched. Out of Cell Time: Typically they get out of
their cells about three hour per day, but recently because new staff are being trained, they get about one
hour per day. Phones: Too expensive. Can't talk to his kids enough. The kids are going to therapy now he
thinks because he is now absent. They also do not get enough out of cell time to make phone calls. Other:
He had a subscription to the SF Chronicle, but the newspapers were coming late or didn't get to him, so he
canceled it. He spent time in another jail and conditions were much better, and they spent the whole day
out of their cells with a couple exceptions. There were also more books there.
Hygiene: Equipment is very old, for example the clippers for haircuts. They do get new cleaning supplies.
Showers are "nasty," have mold, and the showerheads don't spray properly. Commissary Supplies: Some of
the available grooming products are no longer available, such as a brush that black men often use which used
to be available 3 years ago. They also removed ketchup and hot sauce from the options. Phones: They are
expensive, and they are not informed about how much money is left on their accounts. Grievances: The
process is useless. If they make a complaint about a particular guard, it is always given to that guard.
Sometimes they tear it up, or they respond and deny the incident. Recently it does seem like they go to the
supervisors. Some inmates are moved to less desirable cells when they file a grievance. Use of Force: When
he first came to the jail, a sergeant told a guard to beat him up. Luckily the guard did not do it. He has never
been hit or kicked himself, but they do handle him roughly.
Hygiene: There is no antibacterial soap. Usually they don’t even get soap. Don’t get clean clothes. When he
washes clothes that are supposed to be clean from the laundry, he can see the dirty water running in the
sink. The guards don't give enough cleaning fluids, and only give them on Wednesdays because that is
"inspection day." The showerheads do not spray enough water to properly rinse. Use of Force: One time he
was having a seizure and some guards were jumping on his back and twisting his arms in a way that was
painful. They yelled at him to "suck your own dick." He said the Sheriff herself was there and she did nothing.
A nurse saw what was happening and informed the guards that he was having a seizure, and a sergeant
ordered the guards to take off his handcuffs. Mental health inmates face more physical discipline. He saw
A-127

324.

325.

326.

one mental health inmate get suffocated by a glove. Physical Health Care: Sometimes the medical staff
seems to encourage the mistreatment of inmates at the hands of the guards. He also isn't getting all of the
medication that he needs, and the medical staff tell him they don't have it. Grievances: He has filed
grievances and called Internal Affairs. He has not received any responses. A guard told him that he was
being a "little bitch" for filing a grievance. Programs: Instructors are not allowed to bring videos that are
related to the lesson plans. Other: Not all of the cells can see the TVs.
Programs: Would be better if there were college or vocational classes for inmates who already have their
GEDs or high school diplomas. The substance abuse classes are helpful and gave him insight about himself.
The instructors are great. It would be nice to have more paper to write letters, or journals for self reflection.
Also the pencil sharpener doesn't work properly and just grinds up the pencils. Computers and more classes
would be a big help. Culture: Most guards are down to earth and respectful. Hygiene/Out of Cell Time:
There could be more showers and there is not enough out of cell time to shower. It would be nice if people
could shower during lunch time. Some people could use more toilet paper. Razors are issued at times, but
inconsistently. They need more soap and shampoo. Food: They could use more than one hot pot because
now there is only one for approximately 75 people. The food could use more variety and higher quality
chicken. Now it doesn't seem like the chicken is real chicken.
Food: Seems like the meat is fake. They get bologna everyday. Food is often overcooked or burned.
Hygiene: Only get clean change of clothes on Tuesdays and Fridays. They need at least 2 towels, one for
showering and one for cleaning their cells. Accountability of Jail Staff: Most guards play on their phones all
day and are rude, except for those who have been there for 10 or more years or so. The new ones who have
been there for a year or less tend to be "cocky" and vicious. Just recently he saw a new guard threatening to
beat up a protective custody inmate. Grievance/Culture: He requests grievance forms but he gets the
runaround where they tell him to ask someone else. He has faced some retaliation for filing grievances, for
example the next shift handcuffed him on the sundeck and tossed his room, and put him specifically on
lockdown while other inmates were given out of cell time. One officer sent a trustee to talk him out of it.
The trustee told him that the guard was going to "roll him up" meaning, he would move him to a different,
less desirable cell, if he insisted on filing the grievance. Phones: Calls are expensive and sometimes they
don't' work. Programs: There used to be a computer program class, but there isn't anymore. It would be
good to have college classes for inmates who have GEDs or high school diplomas. Out of Cell Time: Need
more.
Grievance: With the right officer, he gets a resolution, but usually the newer guys don’t bother.
Phone/Out of Cell Time: Group punishment in the form of lock down leads to less time to use phones.
Use of Force/Culture: When he was younger he had more use of force issues. Once long ago when he was
brought in, because he had a resisting charges, they told the correctional deputies he liked to fight officers. 7
officers beat him in the elevator.
Visitation: Visitors get turned away if a couple minutes late. Won't make a standby list even when there are
cancellations.
Medical/Food: Have trouble regulating his blood pressure here. Usually in other jails, this isn’t as much of a
problem. He’s on a low salt low fat diet, but it’s pretty much all starch. Not enough vegetables and meat. In
the past it was more balanced. 4 pieces of bread per meal.
Hygiene/Housing: Some showers are not functioning/filthy and moldy. Tiles missing. Water doesn’t drain.
Big guy clothes are rare. Only gets new clothes once every 3 months. Wash clothes by hand so many times
without getting new clothes that they have holes or wear out.
Spent time in the south 200 area. Conditions – open area w/ urinal and 2 bathrooms but female staff and
medical staff come in, so the inmates try to put up a sheet for privacy/screen. Results in shakedowns. But
they get in trouble for using bathroom while female staff is there. Sheriff said they could continue to put up
the screens w/o harassment, but that didn’t last long and now they get in trouble for it.
Culture: Group punishment leads to inmates confronting each other or sometimes they try to force them out
of the dorm. During classes, they don’t get out for free time. This kind of thing happened on Thanksgiving
and Christmas. Usually the younger officers are more hostile and quick to punish.
A-128

327.

328.

329.

Grievance/Out of Cell Time: Went 9 days without any out of cell time. Got a response 2 or 3 months later
when he was already moved away from the dorm.
Phone calls: Expensive.
Retaliation: Heard of others being beaten up, searched, or moved to corner cells where they can’t see
anything if they file grievances.
Visitation: Nephews and nieces can’t visit unless their parents are physically with them. So his mother can’t
bring them even though she’s their grandmother.
Food/Commissary: Food is fattening and unhealthy, but small portions. Small pouch of tuna at commissary
for $4. Too expensive. Soup is a dollar a can. The spoons are too small and they burn their hands. Used to
have long spoons. Medical: When he puts in white cards, they are ignored or dismissed, or he just gets pills.
Doctor doesn’t actually talk to him. Has never seen a doctor in this year despite medical problems such as his
back problems (scoliosis). Beds/mattresses are bad so it makes his back problems worse.
Hygiene/Housing: Expected to keep cells clean, but only given one small towel for self and cleaning. Tunnels
to court are filthy, the toilets are crusted with feces, garbage, urine.
Programs: Career or college classes would be good. Already has his GED so there are only drug programs
and trauma programs starting now.
Not informed about grievance process by staff, only other inmates. Never seen maintenance clean vents in 6
mos. Guard gave him a brush to clean it himself. Poor air quality has left him with respiratory distress.
Guards refused to file his grievances on multiple occasions, or give him the runaround. On court days, he is
left in holding cell all day with no meal. Inmates do not receive the newspapers when there is news about
the jail. Never offered substance abuse programs despite being under the influence at the time of his
offense. Medical holding cells and court holding cells are filthy with blood, feces, and urine often left for
weeks or months. Often it takes a very long time to see the doctor, waiting as much as 5 hours for care.
Phone calls are prohibitively expensive. Sometimes not released from cell for several days without access to
showers. Guard hide the newspaper when there is news about the jail.
Grievance/Accountability/Commissary: Wrote a few grievances to the Sergeant asking to compare the
commissary prices to other counties, but he was told they are the same. When he writes to Aramark or
internally in the jail, it’s the same handwriting and response. Grievances should be acknowledged. The
Sergeants should be responding, not just the guards that are actually being complained against.
Phone calls: Very expensive. Wish the phone cards were available in smaller amounts. Would call more.
Makes it hard to keep in touch. Costs $5 in the morning and $3 at night.
Use of Force/Culture: Guards have been stripping them naked. Pull back foreskin, search their anus with a
flashlight and say things like “let me see your starfish.” Try to make them act gay. Sometimes they throw
them on the ground and beat them up to do a “hurricane.” Mental health inmates get the worst
consequences. Guards provoke fights amongst the inmates.
Retaliation: Guards will try to make the inmates control one another, and when they don’t get results they
move them around.
Visitation: Even when someone is early, sometimes they don’t let them visit. If there is a fight in one part of
the jail, they do a full facility lockdown and no one can visit all day. So if people are visiting from other cities
or states, they are turned away.
Medical: Charge $2 or $3 for each white slip. Doctors are rude and refuse medical care. Needs some kind of
bandage or brace b/c he has metal rod in his leg and they just give him Motrin. Never gets an x-ray even
though he feels a stabbing pain each time he bends his knee. Need dental floss. Tries to floss with thread.
Housing/Hygiene: Vents need cleaning. Only wash the blankets every 4 months. Need more cleaning
supplies. Never even get the mop and broom once a week. Need separate body and cleaning towel.
Commissary: Very expensive. $9 for a tube of toothpaste. $2-3 for protein bars.
Other: No sweaters or sweats. Only get clothes 2x per week. Not allowed to hang clothes for washing. Even
if they could buy it, they need sweaters. 1 extra set of clothes would be helpful so they can wash them or
one to work out in and one for regular time or attorney visits. Shorts to work out in. Some cells can’t see the
TVs. TV and radio relaxes people, and keeps them from going crazy. They used to have radios but not
anymore. Haven’t had a movie in a year. Would bring peace to the dorms.
A-129

330.

331.

332.

Out of Cell Time: Sometimes don’t get out for 5 days at a time.
Need programs in every dorm. Learned a lot in juvenile hall. If they were more occupied, they would have
less time to plot or think of evil things.
Programs: Need programs in every dorm. Learned a lot in juvenile hall. If they were more occupied, they
would have less time to plot or think of evil things. Would like college classes. He feels like he is getting less
sharp since he no longer has classes like he did in juvenile hall. Juvenile hall was a lot better.
Grievance/Culture: Attitude is that it’s like a snitch slip. Heard stories of being harassed b/c of filing
grievance. So he has never filed one.
Phone calls: Limits phone calls because of the cost.
Retaliation: Sometimes people get targeted for searches.
Visitation: If someone comes 5 minutes late, they get declined.
Medical: Transferred from juvenile hall. Has had the same contacts for 7 months. Written white cards for 4
or 5 months now. Nurses say there is no optometrist because it’s not a necessity. Family can’t bring contacts
b/c his prescription ran out.
Housing/Hygiene: Vents are filled with residue/resin from years of people being there. Get in trouble for
having extra towel to clean. 2 TP rolls per week. Not enough. Can’t wear deck shoes in “day room”/pod
area and shower shoes are slippery. Washes his own clothes because they are nasty. Hold on to decent
clothes when they come.
Other: Strip searches in front of cellies, groups of guards Feels violated. 4 or 5 strip searches in the 7
months he’s been here.
Commissary: too expensive.
Programs: Would like to see more church services. For example daily bible study.
Commissary: prices are way too high
Hygiene/Housing: Everyone should have their own spray bottle in their cell.
Food: Need more variety. Now they just have 7 different things.
Phones: Should be a little cheaper.
Medical: If one person gets sick, the whole dorm gets sick. If someone needs cough syrup or ibuprofen, it’s a
4 day process because they have to fill out a white card and get it processed.
Other: Race relations are low key right now.
Other: Things have been changing since august. Guards act differently, but still sometimes they don’t get
program and are told that the whole facility is on lockdown, while other dorms that they can see through the
window are not on lockdown. Family can’t drop off books when they don’t deliver it the right way. Can’t
write his wife directly who is in Elmwood. Has to write to another person who sends the letter to wife.
When he sends a letter directly, it always gets returned with a contraband notice. He doesn't know why.
Visitation: Visitors get turned away when they are 5 minutes late.
Food: The mealtimes are way too early. People get hungry at 9 or 10 o’clock. The food is all starch.
Commissary: The items cost way more than they are worth
Hygiene: Only 1 towel, they come back dirty
Housing: The vents blow cold air, even when it is cold, so the inmates try to block the vents with whatever
they have in their cells. They are not allowed to do this, though..
Medical: He submitted 3 white cards 2 months ago with no response. First because he worried he had a
tapeworm, second because he needs high calorie/high protein diet because he has lost 30 pounds and is now
very thin, and third because he needs new contact lenses. The nurse told him that his family never dropped
them off, but his family told him that they did. The response time for medical requests way too long. For
other white cards, he usually has to wait 3-4 weeks to see a doctor. Only 2 nurses do their jobs well. He has
glasses that are broken and fixed that he taped with tape he gets with his meals, and wrapped thread around
it to cover the tape from his red top. The staff won’t get his glasses fixed. Only plastic glasses allowed.
Grievance: Other inmates told him about the grievance process. He never grievances the guards because
nothing happens, or they just tear it up. Instead of correcting the guard's behavior, they “roll up” or move
the inmate to a different dorm.
Culture: Can’t be cellies with another race. If they refuse to room with someone of a different race, they get
A-130

333.

334.

335.

maced and beaten up. Sometimes the guards will try to instigate him but he manages to deescalate the
situation.
Mental Health: If he has gotten a mental health assessment, he doesn’t know about it. Nobody talks to him
about his mental health or health conditions. He doesn’t even remember coming here. Out of Cell Time:
Doesn’t know how much time he gets out of his cell each day, but he spends most of his time in the cell.
Programs: Would take advantage of AA/NA if he knew about it. Medical: Was born with a brain injury, but
he doesn’t know what kind of medication he is on other than diabetic medication (insulin). Has spoken with
the pill nurse about stinging shoulder pain, but it doesn't seem like he got treatment for it as far as he knows.
Doesn’t think he’s seen a doctor here at all. Was diabetic and using methamphetamine. Both affect
memory. Hasn’t had any dental care here. Phones: Can’t call his mom because he doesn’t have her number
memorized. It’s in his phone, but he doesn’t know if the jail staff have his phone or where it is. Hygiene: He
has been given toothpaste in the past, however he has been requesting toothpaste because he ran out, but
the guards haven’t given it. He has a request for more now. Doesn’t get any deodorant. Food: "SOS"
(biscuits and gravy) is the best thing they have, and it is actually delicious. He also likes the apples.
Everything else is terrible and he will just have a bite and throw it away. He is on a low sugar diet for his
diabetes.
Mental Health: Has spoken with a female doctor and the treatment was pretty good. Asked him questions.
He is taking medication and it helps. Has seen the doctor 2 times in 2 months. Out of Cell Time: Only gets
about 30 minutes outside of the cell per day. Reentry: When he’s been released before, they put him in a
“Pathways” program. Phones: Calls mental health assessment everyday but the calls don’t work. He says he
asked for help but they didn’t help him. He doesn’t really have any family or family to call. Hygiene/Cleaning
Supplies: The clothes are washed pretty well, and they get it 2x per week. Note: This inmate seemed pretty
satisfied with his treatment and life in the jail, but he also seemed to be touching himself down his pants
intermittently during the interview, and he was generally low energy and not very sharp.
Mental Health: Was declared 1370 (incompetent to stand trial) and he believes he was not incompetent.
Feels like the DA took advantage of him. Use of Force: Wasn’t get enough toilet paper, his water was turned
off, and he kept complaining. He didn’t understand what the staff was telling him because of his mental
health issues, and he wrestled a guard to the ground, and that guard stabbed him with a handcuff key. He
was also hit in the head with a flashlight and was bleeding. He also got a concussion. They kneed him in the
face. They took him to the 8th floor and left him all bloody in the cell. Didn’t apologize to him. Guards took
photographs of the injury and sent him to a small clinic, not the regular hospital. He is pretty sure they did
that to keep it quiet. He has bean beaten by guards 3 times. Another time, he spit on guards because they
weren’t giving him showers, soap or shampoo, and he was not getting any out of cell time. They slammed his
head against a concrete wall in a hidden place for insane people where there are handcuffs. His skin split
where they hit him. A staff member took photos. Another time he threw a pencil at a guard and they hit him
with a baton in the stomach. Grievance: Filed grievance a few months ago to receive photographs of his
injuries, but he hasn’t gotten any response. He has filed other grievances and not gotten responses. He
showed me copies. Culture: Staff seems to think inmates are scum. Out of Cell Time/Isolation: He gets 30
minutes a day but all alone because of the fights he has been in. Need more exercise time. Programs: Need
programs to stay busy. Would like schooling for example through iPod classes. Reentry: Doesn’t get any
kind of training or program before he is released. Medical: Something in the medication tends to make
people gain weight and build up cholesterol. He asked to see a doctor cause he thought he had cancer. They
did a test and said he did not have cancer but he didn’t receive any report. He showed me that he thought
he had cancer on his hand because the skin is a different color than the rest of his skin, but to me it just looks
like a scar on his knuckles, possibly from hitting people or a wall with his fists. He thinks he has a hepatitis c
and has had it for 10 years. He got a urine test, but never got a blood test. He thinks he got it from a prison
tattoo. Phones: Doesn’t get enough time out of his cell to call mental health. He only has enough time to
shower and “help” other inmates. I am not really clear on what he was doing to help other inmates.
Commissary: Was on SSI when he was out, but they don’t get it while they are in jail so no money for
commissary. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Soap is harsh and makes him itchy. He doesn’t get deodorant.
Clothing: Need shoes to work out and sweaters or jackets for the cold.
A-131

336.

337.

Mental Health/Use of Force: Sometimes they lock the handcuffs crooked or put the waist chain high and
tight in a way that constricts them or rubbing against his bone. If inmates talk crazy or "mouth off" to guards,
they will get pulled out and taken to mental health for evaluation, but they will get 3 or 4 guards and twist
their arms up, slam them against the wall, knee them, choke them with their hands if they are screaming for
help even if he isn’t resisting, they punch him in the head under his hair so it won’t show, and the face.
Inmate Safety: Other inmates would gang up on him or try to “jump” him. Doesn’t associate with gang
members. He is in a protective custody dorm for that reason. Visitation: He thinks the guards are
manipulating his visitors. Parents don’t come to visit because they don’t like the jail. He thinks a guard took
her purse and stole her car but gave it back. He says he saw a guard, not his mom driving the car. When he
was young, they were really disrespectful to her. Now she lives far away. He is told he is not allowed to visit
his parents. Grievance: Usually goes through the officer who is on duty. He thinks the Sergeant should come
pick up the grievances in front of the inmates. If it goes through the on duty officer, it doesn’t always go
through. Sometimes the officer just ignores it because they don’t want to deal with it. Don’t get their point
across to the Sergeant or captain unless they know their name and can call out to them. Accountability of Jail
Staff: Guards sometimes hide their names to avoid accountability. Out of Cell Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
per day. Sometimes locked down because there is not enough staff. Guards don’t seem to prioritize out of
cell time. Can’t make calls to lawyers or bondsmen, and don’t have enough time to shower. There are 3
different groups. Some people are “out alones,” and only one of them may be out of cell at a time. There is
a level 2 group, and a levels 3 and 4 group. Need more staff. Need at least 2 hours a day. Reentry: Gets
placement in Transitional House Units (THU), Sober Living Environments (SLE), and crisis residential. All
through drug and mental health court. Medical: Sometimes fills out white cards and is assigned an
appointment for months or weeks away and when he finally gets to the appointment, the doctor says they
can’t do anything. He has nerve damage and joint damage and he only gets ibuprofen. He says he has not
had a problem with opiates in the past, so he doesn’t know why he doesn’t get stronger pain medication.
Other: At first he appeared very normal and pretty stable and calm, however, he told me a lot of things that
sound like they must be paranoid delusions. He thinks that the guards are recording things that he says while
he is in his cell. He also believes they are speaking with him through some kind of speaker device and having
full on conversations with him. And he believes they are trying to mess with his mind. He also believes the
guards are going to his parents’ house and spying on them. He thinks they are telling them what to do. He
said he thinks that the guards are extorting his family for personal gain and because they don’t like him.
When he was living with his parents he heard voices under the house laughing at him or talking to him. He
thinks the guards or police are teaming up with gangs against inmates they don’t like. He says sheriff
deputies from San Jose were following him to Gilroy. They told him they were just checking on him when he
went to a Transitional Housing Unit (THU) in Gilroy. He says that he was with a girl when a sheriff’s deputy
arrested him. He says that he thinks the deputy killed the girl because she disappeared before his eyes and
he never saw her again. He said they yanked her under a fence or over a fence. He mentioned he was using
crystal meth, but he says he was not under the influence of meth or alcohol when this happened. He thinks
guards are putting the blood and feces in the holding cells on the way to court or in the medical holding cells
because they are trying to show their authority and power.
Mental Health: Come by to ask if he is suicidal. Just ends up aggravating him. He thinks he is given drugs to
cause erectile dysfunction when female medical staff come to treat him. Use of Force: Has been jumped by
officers and maced. Try to provoke him. Slammed wrists, suffocated, dogpiled, taken to emergency room at
valley medical, was vomiting. Officers hiding newspapers. Thinks the Mexican cops were hiding the
newspaper. Rookie cops. Gets manhandled when he is sent to court. Has had his cell gassed.
Inmate Safety: Officers try to provoke fights by looking for a “loose nut.”
Grievance: Gave information for I.A., and they would change the guards, but he would get a letter back
saying they didn’t find a grievance. Filed quite a few grievances, but the guards say that they don’t
understand him. It should be noted that I also had a difficult time understanding some of what this inmate
was trying to communicate to me because his thoughts and statements were very scattered. He says his
grievance forms were taken away from him. Wrote to the Victims Government Claims Board (VGCB) in
Sacramento but he thinks the mail was intercepted and improperly redacted by the guards. He arrived at
A-132

338.
339.

340.

341.

this conclusion because they never gave him a copy of what he mailed out.
Culture: Seems like officers are catering to their own race. He thinks officers are smuggling tobacco, and
food to give inmates rewards for snitching. He thinks they are trying to pressure him to confess. He believes
they are giving other inmates his personal information. He says guards try to rile up the inmates, and when
they fight back they assault him. Officers laugh at him when he gets sick/vomits.
Out of Cell Time: Gets about 20 minutes to 1 hour per day.
Isolation: Doesn’t get any mail. Has lost all of his support people and so he doesn’t have anyone to call
anymore.
Medical/Hygiene/Housing: Refused medical care. He says he will be charged for medical care so he doesn’t
use it. He only takes the court ordered pill. He says that the judge told him his dad is being charged for being
housed in the jail. Has warts and they won’t give him cream for the warts. He got a fungus from cleaning the
showers and rash, and they don’t give him creams or medication for it.
Phones: Says he gets invalid phone numbers for different resources for his lawsuits. He says the "10th floor"
is giving him invalid numbers.
Other: Not getting church services anymore at all. He believes officers were stealing his mail. He also
believes they are poisoning him. Caused vomiting. Think they gave him food with salmonella poisoning or
something was wrong with the food. Thinks it has chemicals in it. Believes he alone is personally being
victimized. He says they are assaulting his dad. He says his friend sent him a package for Christmas and he
heard a rumor that they gave it away and he never got the package. He said a trustee was rewarded
cigarettes for putting stool softener in his water. He thinks the guards are purposely giving him a rash when
he has to go to court.
Use of Force: He says he does get kicked and hit all the time, but he got very uncomfortable talking and
would not talk any further. He seemed overwhelmed.
Cellmate attempted to file a grievance but the guard he approached said not to turn it in or the subject guard
would "fuck you up." One guard would move inmates for personal reasons. Fears retaliation for filing
grievances, but hasn't actually experienced it. Has received underwear from laundry that contained feces.
When inmates are sent to prison, they are not permitted to bring personal items, such as hygiene items
whereas other jails allow it. Puts inmates at a serious disadvantage when they arrive to the prisons because
commissary access is only 1x to month. Phone calls prohibitively expensive because his family is on welfare.
Would like to see job training.
Mental Health: Trying to get back on medication. He is going to put in a slip. He gets mental health care
workers to speak with him when he asks for it. Maybe 1 or 2 times per week. They talk to his family too. It
makes him feel better to talk to them. He already had prescriptions from when he was in prison. Out of Cell
Time: Gets about an hour or half a day. Would be nice to get more out of cell time. Reentry: He has not
been offered any programs before being released to prepare for reentry. Medical: Needs pain medication
that he hasn’t received. He didn’t elaborate. Phones/Isolation: Doesn’t have money on his phone to call
family. Mental health sometimes tries to help him get in touch with family. Commissary: No money to buy
things. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Should get 2 towels. Food: Put in a request for a Kosher diet. It has been
a few days and he hasn’t gotten it yet. Has made requests for high calorie diet in past terms in the jail, but
has never been put on it. Other: He pleaded with me several times throughout the interview to please send
him a book about cults and to please give him paper and pens. I gave him paper after a guard said it was
fine. I did not give him any pens. But it does seem like he is desperate for something to occupy his mind and
his time.
Use of Force/Accountability: Sometimes when someone violates the rules, the guards will take them out of
the dorm where the other inmates can’t see and beat them up.
Inmate Safety: When a sex offender or a “snitch” (criminal informant) gets put in the dorm, the inmates
usually beat them up so they get removed from the dorm. The guards aren’t telling them who is a sex
offender or informant, the inmates will just look their court papers. He feels it is one of the safest units
though.
Visitation: Some officers let his mom bring his daughter to visit, others say her mother has to bring them. He
doesn’t understand the process for him to give permission for the daughter to come visit with his mom.
A-133

342.
343.

344.

Somehow it goes through Catholic Charities. In prison there is a notary to give permission, but here there is
not.
Grievance: Got in trouble for a fight he wasn’t involved in. Wrote letter to Lt, Sergeant, and captain. At first
they said he was classified as “out alone” for his own protection, but as he continued to file grievances, they
said it was because of his behavior and because he was involved in the fight. He wants a write up of the
incident explaining how or why they think he was involved and he never received anything like that. Inmates
get a write up when they get an infraction, but not when their classification changes.
Out of Cell Time: Usually get about 30 minutes a day when on “out alone” status. When on group status,
they usually get about 1 hour a day. Used to get about 13 hours a day out of cell before 2007 or so. He says
that there are a lot more classifications now that make it harder for them to get out of cell time. There is
always somebody out, but now there are 7 or 8 “out alones.”
Programs: He was in a rehabilitation, parenting, codependence, domestic violence, anger management class,
but because they thought he was involved in the class and has been put on out alone status, he was taken
out of the class. The class is pretty good.
Reentry: If you ask for programs, like pathways or transitional housing you get it but you have to ask for it
from the programs coordinator.
Medical: Got his wisdom teeth pulled about 2 months after he made his white card request. The care he
received was pretty good.
Phones: $5 fee on every phone card purchase. Phone calls outside of the bay area are very expensive.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Staff stopped giving bars of soap to everyone. They only give them to indigent
inmates, who get 4 small hotel style bars of soap a week. Only get one set of clothing twice a week.
Everyone feels it would be better if they gave 2 sets of clothing once a week because they wash it themselves
anyway. If they had 2 sets at least they would have clothes to wear while they are washing the other set.
Towels are pretty small.
He was confused about what these interviews are and said he didn’t have much to say. He did say, however,
that he hasn’t really participated in any programs but he is going to get into one.
Use of Force/Inmate Safety: Hasn’t had any issues with anybody.
Visitation: There is some kind of paper pass that visitors have to bring. His brother forgot the paper and they
made him go back to the car to get it, but he thinks they are able to check on the computer because they
have done so for his sister.
Accountability of Jail Staff: Sometimes the higher ranking officers do come check on the guards, but
sometimes they don’t.
Out of Cell Time: Allowed out of cells one or two times per day for 30 to 40 minutes. Sometimes the inmates
don’t get out at all. They are put on lockdown when there are fights on other floors.
Phones: Sometimes inmates don’t get enough time to make calls. They race to get to the phones first. They
do not get enough out of cell time to make calls. The cost for making calls is expensive.
Commissary: Not many good products on the list. He usually gets soup or chips. He wishes there was beef
jerky or something more substantial to eat on the commissary list.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Inmates don’t get any extra clothes or socks, they receive only one set at a time.
Gets laundry twice per week, but only get pants once a week. Sometimes the clothes they get have tears or
they don’t fit. In particular, the “big boy” clothes are not always available. Sometimes the trustees will give
them an extra towel, but when the guards search the cells, they confiscate them. Inmates don’t get a mop to
clean the floors, so they have to use an extra towel. Inmates only get a small scouring pad to clean the sinks,
once a week. Sometimes the toilets don’t work and get clogged and it takes a long time to fix them.
Use of Force: This inmate hasn’t had force used against him, but years ago he has seen cell extractions and
the inmates would get beaten up pretty badly, but he hasn’t seen that happen lately. It seems like the force
is disproportionate. In dorms where the inmates are more organized amongst themselves, the guards are
able to use that to help keep things calm.
Inmate Safety: Guards don’t necessarily know what people’s charges are, so if the inmates don’t tell the
guards they need extra protection, then they might not be protected. Sex offenders and snitches will get
beat up.
A-134

345.

Visitation: Sometimes visitors get a little attitude.
Grievance: Other inmates have used it and never got a response before August. Since then, they haven’t
really filed grievances. Some things have gotten better, they get more out of cell time.
Accountability of Jail Staff: Officers could use more professional training in communication. Some are very
respectful, and others have a bad attitude. Some of them don’t seem to leave their problems at home.
Culture: Officers could use some kind of sensitivity training, rather than treating inmates like they are guilty
since some of them are not.
Out of Cell Time/Phone: Don’t get enough out of cell time to make phone calls. Phone calls are pretty
expensive. So when the guards make them hang up it feels like there are wasting money. Since they all get
along, it seems like they should let them get out all at the same time for a longer time.
Programs: Didn’t used to have any programs in their dorm at all, but now they have a GED program and
substance abuse program. Most people like to take advantage of the programs. He thinks it’s actually
helpful. They have parenting classes, working on relationships, and anger management, criminal thinking,
not just substance abuse. If they graduate, that might be helpful for their case. The criminal thinking
curriculum is especially helpful.
Isolation: Got put in isolation once a long time ago and he doesn’t know why he was put in there. Although it
was boring, but he personally liked it cause the days seemed to go by faster.
Medical: The doctors treat him nicely, and are professional. Usually can see the doctor within a month.
However, he went to the doctor for blurry vision, they tested it and said he was fine. When he has a cold,
they seem to get them medication right away, like Tylenol.
Commissary: Sometimes he doesn’t get everything he orders, so sometimes he gets charged even though he
doesn’t get the stuff. He has to check right away or lose the credit.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: This is the most important issue for him. Inmates only get cleaning supplies once
per week. If they are caught with extra cleaning supplies, they get thrown away. Inmates don’t get clean
clothes often enough, so they have to wash their clothes themselves. The clothes come back from laundry
smelling bad The hair clippers are shared through the whole floor, and they are broken.
Visitation: Frustrating that his family has to come so early because they live very far away, and even if they
come before the visitation appointment, if they aren’t early enough, they get turned away.
Grievance: Doesn’t really know much about it.
Accountability of Jail Staff: There is inconsistency between how the different officers run the dorms, so the
inmates have to figure them out. Today a sergeant came by but that is rare. They cleaned up the dorm a lot
yesterday, and he never saw them clean like that in the years that he has been here.
Culture: Things have improved recently for example, they have gotten second blankets, and thermal shirts.
Out of Cell Time/ Isolation: This dorm is segregated into smaller groups so they don’t enough out of cell
time. In the past he has been left in his cell for 8 days at a time. Being alone all day like that would stress
him out and make him feel depressed. It was hard for him to keep from losing control.
Programs: Would like to see college level classes. The current classes are only one hour Monday thru Friday.
Has heard from other inmates that other dorms have nutrition programs and other helpful programs to
prepare them for reentry, but this dorm doesn’t have them.
Medical: Needs vision care. Can’t see, and his glasses don’t work anymore. Has had 3 eye tests here and
would like to at least get a prescription so he can give it to his parents to get new glasses. The nurses tell him
he has an appointment. He has not been given the date of the appointment, however, and he has been
making these requests for 2 years.
Phones: It’s expensive. Sometime he doesn’t have enough out of cell time to talk. Mostly he would talk to
family. Talking to them helps give him support and feel secure that he will have support once he is released.
Commissary: Very expensive. Hard for his family to provide him money to buy things, even like soup.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Not provided enough cleaning supplies, even though they inspect the cells for
cleanliness every Wednesday. Has to use his own towel to clean the cell. Would be nice to get extra
underwear so he can wash his clothes cause no he has no clothes to wear while he’s washing his clothes. Has
developed a rash. The laundry comes back very dirty. They only take the laundry to see if there is something
A-135

346.

347.

in better condition than what they already have, and then wash it themselves.
IWF: He thinks it’s only for indigent hygiene supplies.
Grievance: He thinks this is the same as an inmate request form. He said he made a request to talk to
someone from “Friends Outside” but hasn't been successful.
Culture: Don’t get enough information about different programs or options that are available. Maybe they
could post more on the bulletin board. People don’t know that they can get the indigenous hygiene kit. On
intake staff asked him who he “rolls with” and he was housed based on his response.
Out of Cell Time: 30 minutes twice a day, sometimes once a day. Because they are segregated, they don’t
get much program time.
Programs: Is in the rehab program. He likes it. The teachers and the lessons are good.
Isolation: Feels really alone because they get so little time out of cell.
Reentry: When he was released before, the staff didn’t do anything to prepare him to be released. He didn’t
know how to get to the train, he had to ask people from the salvation army to make a call. They told him
that there is general or government assistance across the street. Didn’t get a map or anything.
Medical: Needs to see the doctor to drain a cyst, he showed me and it’s the size of a black bean. His doctor’s
appointment will be after his release date. He requested an appointment 2 or more months ago.
Phones: Charges are too expensive, and they get charged for a full 15 minutes even if they get cut off when
the call drops or the out of cell time is over.
Commissary: Extremely expensive for cheap products. The Colgate toothpaste costs $9 and the Aim costs $3
but he says it’s pure sugar.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Don’t get enough cleaning supplies. Need more cleaning fluid/disinfectant and
need rags. His old cellmate had scabies. Other inmates have rashes and they don’t want to get treated. He’s
concerned that it’s going to spread. Only get the indigenous kit one time. Need more bars of soap and
toothpaste, new toothbrushes on a regular basis.
IWF: They call it "GR" money.
Mental Health: Received a mental health assessment when he came in, but didn’t need services.
Inmate Safety/Culture: He has seen a couple fights here in a year or so but didn't want to talk about it
because he felt like it was informing on someone for a crime.
Visitation: Sometimes when things happen on other floors, everyone’s visits get canceled. During visits with
family he is shackled and on the other side of glass with a phone. Its very frustrating, there is no contact and
he can’t hold his kid.
Grievance: Hasn’t filed a grievance because it doesn’t seem to help anything so he thinks it’s a waste of time.
A lot of people wrote a grievance for the same thing, which was out of cell time, but it didn’t do anything.
Out of Cell Time: Usually about an hour or an hour and 30 minutes. Because they get so little time out, he
sees some people going crazy.
Programs: Not really interested in the available programs. Would like to see a program that helps him
understand the consequences of being put in jail and how he can pick his life back up. Would take college
classes if they had them. But he is worried that if his transcript said that he earned the credits in jail, that
would look bad if he tried to transfer to a 4 year school.
Medical: Made a request to see the doctor or nurse for scabies. It took about a month for him to get an
appointment with a nurse. The nurse gave him an ointment that didn’t do anything. Then after another
month he got an appointment with the doctor. The doctor gave him an ointment that eventually did work.
The doctor explained properly how to use the ointment. The inmate thinks the dirty laundry may have
caused the scabies.
Phones: Calls drop, and its expensive, so he stopped making phone calls.
Commissary: has to buy his own soap and shampoo.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Caught scabies. The laundry smells bad. When he washes the laundry with his
own soap and the water runs brown.
Other: Has heard other jails and prisons are much better. Some people seem to go crazy in here.
When fights happen in other dorms, sometimes there is no guard in their dorm at all while they are
responding. Now they have two guards though, but that’s new.
A-136

348.

349.

Sometimes the guards forget to double lock the handcuffs and they tighten.
Mail: For a while he wasn’t getting any mail. His wife was getting the mail returned to her. He can see it was
opened and sent back. Has lost a lot of magazines and books that were supposed to come to him that he
never received.
Visitation: Even if visitors are still 25 minutes early for the appointment, they get turned away because they
didn’t get there 30 minutes early.
Grievance: Once the whole unit made a grievance regarding the same guard but never received a response,
however that guard isn’t there anymore.
Accountability of Jail Staff: His mother sent him some books and the guard on duty signed a paper signifying
that he had received the books, but the inmate never received them. He asked the guard to send the books
back to his mom but the deputy says he doesn’t know where the books are.
Out of Cell Time: 30 minutes a day, but sometimes they don’t get out of cell time at all. It depends on the
officers. He doesn’t have enough time to make phone calls and shower.
Programs: Learning a lot in the program, enrolled in both the GED and the “3 Rs.” There was "Maxa" and
Friends Outside program in juvenile hall. Would be nice if there were more programs. They only got these
programs a couple weeks after Michael Tyree’s death.
Isolation: Since he has so little time out of his cell and he is in a cell alone, he feels sad sometimes. He
spends a lot of time reading his bible.
Reentry: Didn’t get any resources when he was released from in the past.
Medical: He had eye surgery before he came to jail, and he has submitted many white card requests to have
checkups for his eye. He doesn’t get any response. He is told they will make an appointment, but he never
gets it. He is worried he will lose his vision. He also needs contacts, but they won’t see him for that either.
They say they will make an appointment, but he never actually gets an appointment.
Phones: Not enough time to make phone calls. He tries to make phone calls everyday. Sometimes he has to
cut his calls short because a nurse comes, or the guards put the dorm on lockdown. Even though the officers
know the call is going to get cut short, they let him make the call anyway which wastes the money in his
account. Sometimes when inmates make calls, it gets dropped and they have to hang up and call again and
get charged every time.
Commissary: Often he doesn’t get everything he ordered but he gets charged for it anyway. It’s also very
expensive.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Inmates don’t get enough cleaning supplies. They need liquid soap. There is a
mop but it is very old. They don’t let the inmates clean their cells with the mop or broom. Inmates need an
extra towel to clean because that is all they have to clean their floors.
Mail: It takes more than a week for him to receive letters from his mom. His mom also sends church
booklets or brochures with her letters and he never receives them.
Clothes: Need an extra set of clothes for when they work out. He thinks inmates got scabies cause they
didn’t have a change of clothes.
Mental Health: He thinks some inmates who get assigned to the dorm might need mental health help, but
usually the guards will pick up on it after a few days and they get reassigned.
Use of Force: If someone “mouths off” to a guard, they might get roughed up. The guards will call for backup
first and might throw a punch or two. He said that culturally, his dorm doesn’t feel comfortable talking about
this kind of thing.
Visitation: If they don’t arrive more than one hour early they get turned away.
Grievance: He made a grievance and didn’t get a response.
Accountability of Jail Staff: For the most part the guards are all right but some of them have a chip on their
shoulder.
Culture: The officers here, as compared with other facilities like prison and CYA, are not very kind to the
inmates. The new ones, especially, seem to think it shows weakness to be kind. The older guys are more
relaxed. Recently things have been improving.
Out of Cell Time/Housing: He feels like they are being treated like they are in “the hole” because they get so
little out of cell time. The inmates are very segregated even within their dorm so only small groups of people
A-137

350.
351.

are out at a time. However, they are mixed in their program classes. Only get about a half hour twice a day.
For the most part they all get along in his dorm so he doesn’t really understand why they are segregated.
Programs: Wishes there were more educational classes other than the substance abuse class. He wanted to
go to the GED classes to have something to read but he already has his GED. Church comes once a week, and
if their group is not out of cell while the church people are here, they aren’t able to go because the groups
can’t mix.
Medical: Used to charge $3 per white card so he didn’t make requests. Now there is no charge.
Phones: Sometimes the calls get dropped. Sometimes there isn’t enough time to shower and make phone
calls.
Commissary/Food: It’s expensive. The food available is all chips, candies, and cookies. Would be better to
have something more substantial. It feels like they eat like they are little kids. There could be more variety
to the county meal food. They get 4 slices of bread with just a different kind of filling every lunch.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Aren’t allowed to get an extra set of clothes, so when inmates shower, they have
to put on dirty clothes. In other counties they do receive extra clothes. Need more cleaning supplies.
Inmates need an extra towel for cleaning. At least a washcloth and more Ajax. Only get laundry on
Wednesdays but it is not enough. Deodorant is only available through commissary.
Books: Would like more books from the library. They haven’t brought any new books to the dorm for about
a year.
Has been in his cell all day and kept isolated from other inmates without knowing why. He spoke with a
doctor for mental health care but the doctor didn't say much. He was prescribed medication determined by
Emergency Psychiatric Services before arriving at the jail.
Use of Force: Has had verbal disagreements with staff, but it never got physical. Sometimes they are
disrespectful and it causes the inmates to act out.
Grievance: Sometimes the staff doesn’t even bother to read the grievances.
Accountability of Jail Staff: Sometimes the sergeants don’t come by at all.
Out of Cell Time/Housing: Segregated within their dorm so their hours get divided up. Class time also
interferes with their out of cell time. He doesn’t understand why they are segregated amongst themselves.
The dorm only gets out 30 minutes two times per day if they are lucky. Sometimes they go for a couple days
without getting out of their cell all day. He thinks that if they were mixed with other races (white, black,
Asian) there wouldn’t be problems. The only problem would be mixing them with Hispanic people from the
rival gang.
Programs: The GED class is pretty good. Would be nice to have vocational classes such as cabinetry or auto
work.
Reentry: Now inmates are pointed to resources to help them when they get out, but they were not getting
that until after August or September.
Medical: Spent 3 to 4 hours waiting in the medical holding cells for the doctor for his wisdom teeth but they
never saw him. No one explained to him why he didn’t see the doctor. He had to wait until he got to prison,
and they removed them there. Even when he files a white card, they usually don’t actually take him to see a
doctor, they just give him Tylenol. He has tried to see the doctor 3 times and has never seen the doctor.
Phones: It’s expensive, much more expensive than prison. Sometimes the calls don’t connect or get
disconnected. Sometimes he wants to make phone calls but they don’t get enough time out of their cell to
make the calls.
Commissary: Expensive. He usually gets everything he ordered.
Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: Don’t get enough cleaning supplies, only on Wednesdays. The trustees clean the
showers, the yard, and the day room only on Wednesdays, but it should be more often. Inmates don’t get
enough Ajax for the whole week. They need cleaning fluid to clean the toilet and the floors. Need an extra
towel to clean. They don’t get a brush to clean the toilets, have to stick their hands in the toilet with the
green scouring pads they get. Inmates need an extra set of clothes because they work out and sweat, so if
they don’t get an extra set, which is contraband, they have to put on dirty underwear. The laundry also
comes back dirty. Only one set of clippers for the whole floor. It’s very old, and they don’t have anything to
clean it between inmates. Razors are cheap and if they want to shave, they have to get up at 3 in the
A-138

352.

353.

354.

morning.
IWF: Hardly get any handballs or basketballs.
Food: It is not good. There is too much bread and not enough other nutritious food. They need more meat,
vegetables, or beans. The meat they get looks and feels like plastic. The food causes gas and heartburn.
Sometimes it’s too greasy.
Mental Health: Mental health has been giving his reports to the courts without his consent. He keeps
getting referred for a competency assessment even though he has been declared competent.
Grievance/Pro Per: He was not getting the legal materials he is entitled to as a pro per inmate. It has
negatively impacted his case. He filed a grievance and got shut down and retaliated against. They went
through his mail and delayed it. This is improper because he is pro per. They open it outside his presence.
He filled out another grievance when that started happening to give to the nurse, but the guards tried to take
it from him. He wouldn’t let them take it because he was worried they would not actually give it to the
sergeant like they said because they had retaliated against him in the past, but it never got submitted
because the guards told the nurses not to take grievances.
Retaliation: He heard through the grapevine that guards have threatened to move people out of their cell for
speaking with the ADA interviewers. A sergeant insinuated that he would be moved to an undesirable dorm
after he reported a use of force incident against him. This was just about 4 days ago. Said something to the
effect of, don’t assume we put you there if you end up (in the other dorm). Has been moved to that dorm
before after having an argument with a guard. He showed me that he has filed a lot of grievances dating
back to September. Everyone involved in the medical class action by the prison law office got “shipped out.”
Guards put him in a very isolated cell for filing a grievance. No one can see if a guard hurts him over there.
He is afraid they will kill him or if his medical condition causes an emergency, they won’t do anything.
Culture: A lot of inmates have PTSD and the guards don’t seem to know how to handle them. Guards lose
control of their emotions. Guards are being too rough and put the handcuffs on too tightly on purpose, leave
them in a small interview room for hours, and twist their wrists in a way that is painful.
Phones: Calls do get dropped.
Other: He suggests that cameras and/or a sergeant should be present for cuff-ups.
Inmate Safety: Since are only allowed out of their cells in small groups, that limits contact. Visitation: One
time his mom got locked into a visitation room. Grievance: Filing a grievance doesn’t do any good because
nothing gets done. Housing: It’s colder in the cells than the main areas. Culture: Some guards have issues,
like anger management, and take their issues out on inmates for no particular reason. Out of Cell Time: His
dorm is locked down 23 hours per day. He thinks it’s because there are so many different classifications of
people. They are lucky to get 1 hour per day, most days they get less than an hour. Isolation: 23 hours a day
in the cell makes him start to feel pretty alone. Medical: It takes about a month to get to see the doctor. If
you want to see them again soon after an appointment, it might take more like two months. Nurses will try
to help the inmates because it takes so long to see the doctor. The Chaplin helped him get reading glasses.
Reentry: Asked for “release meds” when he was released in the past but he didn’t get any. Phones: He
doesn’t understand how they work. Other inmates have to help him. Commissary: Usually he gets what he
orders, but for a while they kept giving him something he didn’t order and they didn’t give him something he
did order. He doesn’t want to spend too much money on it. Hygiene/Cleaning Supplies: He says they do get
the cleaning supplies they need. IWF: Officers keep the newspaper for themselves. He thinks it’s supposed
to come from the inmate welfare fund though. Sexual Misconduct: He says he has seen some “hanky panky”
going on between guards. When pressed, he said he hasn’t seen them having sex, but something just short
of that. Housing: He said it is freezing cold in the cells all the time. The cold makes his injuries hurt more.
He had to see a doctor to get an extra blanket. The mattresses are very thin and it causes him a lot of pain
because of his medical conditions. Food: Not the greatest but it keeps you alive. He is diabetic but he isn’t
on a diabetic diet because food is worse.
Has filed many grievances. Sometimes guards don't file them. Usually more experienced guards do file
them. Guards typically write a summary of the incident from their point of view. Guard have kept
information from him regarding his account in retaliation for grievances. He now writes the captain(s)
directly and typically receives a response summarizing any follow up investigation, but typically no relief is
A-139

355.

356.

357.

358.

359.

granted. More than 15x he has made grievances regarding his security classification not being downgraded
after 30 days per DOC standards. His security classification finally was downgraded after writing one of the
captains directly. He learned about the grievance system from other inmates, and requested and received
the inmate/orientation handbook and title 15 "cheat sheets" through the legal law research program. Things
have noticeably toned down since the August beating.
He has been ordered released to mental health treatment now that a bed is available, however his psych and
seizure medication is tied up for unknown reasons and he therefore cannot be released. Has made many
grievances, but the process is "a joke." Inmates never know whether they have been filed, whereas years
ago, responses were timely and inmates were given a number to track their grievances (before the Sheriff
took over the jail). Has filed more than 30 grievances over the years. Gets a response about 30-40% of the
time. Always gets some kind of response from the captain(s). Filed and won a settlement for excessive force
years ago. Believes IWF is mismanaged and needs oversight because inmates have no input. Suggests that
PILF or the SCCBA could advocate for the inmates. Cannot afford to make phone calls. Noticeable changes
since August - entire "D-team" is gone now.
"Hit Team" beat up inmate next door and the inmate defecated in his clothing as a result. He did receive the
inmate handbook in intake, but he has requested title 15 materials that he has not received. Guards "trash"
inmates cells in retaliation for filing grievances. He has filed 30-40 grievances. Sometimes they are returned
to him citing that there is no fileable grievance. Over the holidays, guards said if inmates did not stop filing
grievances they would do a "tornado," meaning that they would search, and trash, all of the cells at once
while the inmates were held in the sundeck areas. Has been beaten by inmates for being the only white boy
in an all black pod. Doesn't know why he has been placed in an all black pod with so few white inmates. Only
clock broken for 2 months, causing a lot of mental distress never knowing what time it was. Not all of the
inmates get equal opportunities to make phone calls. Family has enough money, but he goes 6-7 days
without being able to call because there are not enough phones. Receives demeaning and disrespectful
treatment by guards when making grievances. Mold in vents.
Asked for grievance form 20-50x, gets it about 80-90% of the time. Filed about 5-20x, but doesn’t usually the
guard will just write that it was resolved. Has never gone to the captain. Does not know how to go above
the guards on duty. DEFINITELY faces retaliation in form of "shakedowns," discarding personal items,
removing recreation time generally occurring on the same day as the grievance is filed. Phone calls are
expensive. Not enough phones. About 100 men, 4 phones in each pod. Use only permitted during recreation
time, which is inconsistent. Medical care is ok.
Filed a grievance when guards would not allow him to receive medication, and guard threatened him right
away. He asked other inmates to watch his cell the next day because of the threat. Over the summer, prior
to the August incident in the mental health ward, his tooth was kicked in during a cell extraction. He felt this
was retaliation for an infraction he had recently received from the same guard. He never received dental or
medical care following this injury and is still missing the tooth. Mental health inmates are treated very
poorly. His neighbor was punched in the face immediately after calling a guard names. Would call his kids if
it weren't so expensive.
He has repeatedly requested a doctor for back pain but is only given Tylenol or naproxen (spelled?). He
waited a year to get an MRI because the doctor said he was fine. He was given physical therapy and a nurse
told the doctor to give him an MRI. He had the MRI a few days ago (Jan. 2016). He thinks the doctor will still
say there is nothing wrong. He put in two grievances on this issue over a year ago and there was no
response. He filed a different grievance because deputies were abusing inmate rights. They threw away his
legal documents and he was told it was because the sergeant wanted to read the documents. He filed two
grievances. The result was that he was told that they lost the documents. Deputies have thrown away other
paperwork. They threw away family pictures, magazines mailed to him, and hygiene products. If he asks to
speak to a sergeant, he is told the sergeant does not want to talk to him. His attorney was told the interview
rooms were full so his attorney asked the deputy to give him some legal documents. He (#3) saw the deputy
reading the documents before he gave them to #3. He said it was to find his name but the attorney told him
who it was for and his name was on the outside of the envelope. After he put in a grievance he was
transferred to a corner cell where you cannot see anything and are sent to be punished. He believes it was
A-140

360.

361.

retaliation for filing the grievance. He was told it was because he was written up for drinking but everyone
else also written up were not punished. One time deputies squeezed out all of his toothpaste during a
search. He did not file a grievance because they will say that they do not know who searched the cell; it is
pointless. The deputies are on their cell phones a lot and do not pay attention. They do not get released
from their cells because the deputies are on their phones. They were let out 45 minutes a day this week.
There are 4 phones for 40 people. There are 2 phones for “pro pers” only, no one else can use these phones.
There is a line for the 4 phones. The phone situation causes fights. There is no system for who gets to talk to
first. The phone calls are cheaper now. He has never heard of IWF. He has been here since 2011. He wants
to do a GED program but has not been able to because it is only in one dorm. If you have codefendant you
cannot do this program. If you want to do the program, you have to wait up to 5 months. He thinks the
programs should give priority to those facing life. He is locked down for 23 hours and does not have anything
to pass his time. A deputy beat someone up because he was asking about his release. They searched his cell
and told him he would not be released. The inmate kicked his door. The deputies went in and beat him up
then they released him that same day. They need clippers for haircuts more than once a month. Deputies
punish the entire group by not letting them out of their cells if only one person breaks a rule. This causes
conflict among the inmates. The deputy will say “thanks to #29 you aren’t coming out.” He thinks that the
deputies want others to beat up that guy. This happens only with the same group of deputies. The hot water
pot has dirty water. If their sandals are ripped or if they stink and they ask for a new pair the deputy will say
you have to deal with it, they don’t have any more. They do not get enough clothes/clean clothes and they
do not get a towel to clean their cells even though they are supposed to clean the cells on Wednesdays. The
food is not hot because they sit out there with it too long. The mixing of the different security levels in his
block has affected how much time people are let of their cells. When they are “short staffed” the problem is
worse. The soap is too small and they are not given enough soap. If you ask the deputies, they get upset and
say “stop bothering me.” You have to buy deodorant.
He filed a grievance. A deputy forced him to walk in front of inmates in his underwear in the middle of the
night, suggesting that he would be maced if he did not comply. People were whistling at him and there were
gay people in that unit. The sergeant accused him of lying after reading his grievance about this until the
sergeant interviewed other inmates and determined that he was telling the truth. She told him not to tell his
family about what happened. He called internal affairs but did not receive a response. The deputy was
removed but then he was back within a few months and is “messing” with him. There is no respect if you are
“PC.” He is a Muslim and deputies throw away his prayer mat and book even though he has the proof that
the jail recognizes his right to have these things. He requested a grievance for this and instead he was placed
in a cell of a heroin addict who had defecated on the floor. He has witnesses because another inmate came
to clean up the mess. When he continued to request the grievance he was required to give it to the deputy
who was responsible for both incidents. He has filled out grievances many times for the same deputy but
the sergeant responded once, saying that they would take care of it. He does not get receipts for filing his
grievances. They do not get enough time outside of their cells (45 mins only) and they are let out during a
time when your family would be working so you cannot call them. There are only 4 phones, no line system,
and if people cut there are fights. There are two other phones that no one can use. He would rather be in
the hole so he could get phone calls. They are told that they are not getting time outside of their cells
because the deputies are short staffed. They need more soap. They get two bars a week. Many people have
grieved it and they haven’t done anything. They make them go to the commissary to get the soap. Not
enough clean clothes. He cannot get into the GED programs. He was told he has to be a drop out gang
member. Another time he was told that he was “properly housed” or that they’re full. He tried again in 2013
but was told “no.” The IWF is for people who are indigent, but they have to pay back anything they use if
money is put on their “books.” Deputies have beaten him up (did not specify the number of times). All of the
officers will then accuse him of having assaulted them. It would happen if he “talked shit” to the deputies.
Deputies threw away pictures of his son. They bring him to visits late.
Culture/Commissary/Hygiene: He would rather go to state prison than county jail because there are many
more privileges in prison. You do not have to pay for toothpaste there but here you have to pay $7. The
canteen should have cheaper prices and more to offer. TV in main room is too small and in the corners
A-141

362.

363.

which makes it less visible. They only give you a tiny tube of toothpaste, a bar of soap, and a toothbrush. In
prison you can get a television and a stereo, but here you can't. It makes it much harder to do your time
because you're isolated. Housing/out of cell time: The mixing of the security levels has negatively affected
being let out of cells. Some tiers get out for a shorter amount of time than others. Some of the COs say
they’d rather lock everyone down because it is less work for them. Phones: You have to pay $5-$6 a phone
call but then the phone can cut off for no reason. Certain tiers can't even use the phone because they don't
have money whereas other tiers will help each other pay. Medical care: He went to VMC for food poisoning
and they haven’t give him anything for nausea or constipation and he continues to make requests. Hygiene:
They have not had a pants change in two weeks. He was in the hospital sweating from food poisoning and he
had to tell the CO he defecated them so he could get a new pair; they were stinking from the sweat. They
should have a haircut more than once a month; it is embarrassing to go to court without one. They’re good
about giving razors. A person can only take a shower during the designated out of cell time, but he can only
make phone calls during this time too and he has to wait several days before being able to talk to them. IFW:
The IFW is when the jail gives you money but they subtract it if you ever get money later. Program: He wants
to get to do the breaking barrier program but he has been waiting a month. “CASO” was helpful. The people
in the GED program are out of their cells for hours during the day. Inmate Safety/Access to healthcare: The
deputies do not respond quickly. When he had food poisoning he was on the floor and told his cellie to call
for the deputy. He was trying to get the deputy. It took 10 minutes to get up there. They asked “what’s
going on?” They asked the cellie what the cellie did because #5 was on the ground. The deputy told him to
get up and said “I don’t have time for this.” The nurse came and told the deputy they had to take him to the
hospital. The deputy didn’t care. But then another deputy helped him and stood there with him and
uncuffed him. After he returned the jail and was still sick that deputy got him more help, uncuffed him again,
and eventually helped him to cell. They haven’t filled the prescription yet (3 days later).
Hygiene: He has not had clean pants for 3 weeks and he washes his clothes in the sink. They need more soap,
he goes 3-4 days without soap. Temperature: The heat is a problem but it allows him to hang the pants. It
goes from extremely warm to extremely cold. They control this and it is a form of torture. Phone: there are
three phones and 70 people waiting. There used to be three phones for each tier. The tiers have only 45
minutes to make calls. Housing: there should be one TV in the middle of the room so everyone can see it.
Food: the food at Santa Rita jail was worse. But, he does not get enough food because the portions are too
small, and your portion size depends entirely on who is the server that day. Canteen: There is not a full
catalog of the prices of things that are available. Other: He never received a rule book. Grievance/retaliation:
He witnessed an instance of deputies assaulting a man and he has not reported it because he fears they
would “go after” his family such as arresting or killing them. This has happened before (did not specify).
Visits: After witnessing this event, there have been incidents with his family when they visit. The deputies
yell at his mom and let people cut her in line. They would not let his kids seem him because he had not
signed the birth certificate even though his name was on it. A CO told him his mom had not come to the visit
but she had and they would not let her in because she was late; they harassed her.
Hygiene: They receive only two little pieces of soap a week that lasts two days. The only way to get more
soap is to buy it. The CO will not give them soap when they ask for it. He sees the CO get mad because they
just asked the day before. Housing: They combine security levels on a floor which creates an issue with too
many people in a dorm. He is frustrated with people easily and he feels like the next move will be to a place
with many people which will be problematic for his temper. This incentivized him to try to get increased to a
higher security level and he asked for that to happen but they will not respond. Grievances: No one takes
the grievances seriously. Cell time: Certain security levels are let out more frequently and longer than
others. He heard from CO say that he’d rather bring out a big group than a small group. Phone: Different
levels have different ease/difficulty accessing the phones. There are not enough phones for the length of
time they can use them. Every call is limited to 15 minutes by the phone company. The price of the calls
went down. Other: Personal property: Deputies take his personal things when searching his cell and they rip
up his things. Use of Force: Deputies pick on people who won’t fight back or won’t report them. They yell at
people and abuse their power. They don’t treat the murders badly because they know those guys will fight
back. Visits: His dad was denied approval for visits. He cannot find out – despite trying—how he can appeal
A-142

364.

365.

366.

367.

the decision to deny his dad. He asked a CO who told him to write the captain but he does not know who
that is or how to write the captain. Other: Rule Book: Never received one. IWF: He does not know the IWF
by name. There are people who do not have money. They receive “welfare” but what they can order is
limited to stamps, papers, pencil, eraser and hygiene products. When they get money, what they previously
used is deducted. Hygiene: They have to buy deodorant, they receive new clothing 1x a week and new
underwear/socks 2x a week. He hoards the clothes and washes them when he showers. Sometimes the
underwear have stains on them. Program: He did the GED program in Elmwood. You have to put a request in
and long process to get in. Some people have waited 1-2 months, sometimes longer. Only certain security
levels are allowed in. All the privileges for his level are at Elmwood. But, because he is federal, he cannot go
to Elmwood. So either he has to become a higher security level or he cannot program. Other: Legal
Materials: He would like more information in the jail for federal inmates such as legal materials. And, it
would be better if the COs knew anything about the federal system. Housing: It is problematic that they
combined two dorms.
Hygiene: There is not enough soap. Cell Time: He is not let out enough; only 1-2 hours 1x a day. Culture:
Some of the COs are disrespectful in how they speak to the inmates including that they use profanity. It is
deputy specific. Some deputies are respectful. Grievances: The grievance process takes too long as you
attempt to exhaust your remedies from higher up officer to higher up. He has had cell mates whose property
has gone missing and it gets “pushed under the rug.” Grievance Retaliation: if a person files a grievance the
COs treat him differently and “keep an eye” on that person. Mental Health Access/Quality: He wants a more
engaging mental health program that would be more engaging. He completes a white card but it takes
several weeks to be seen. No one “messes” with the medication. They do have therapists but it takes
“forever” to be seen by one. Programs: The drug programs are beneficial and should be a top priority. The
reentry program is really helpful. IWF: is a “rip-off.” They have never seen games, basketball or books, or
anything else from that money. Other: Personal Property: The COs search cells and people lose things
afterward such as things from the commissary, pictures, and letters.
Cell Time: He is not let out of his cell frequently enough. Sometimes it is 30 minutes 2x a day, sometimes 1x
a day, sometimes never that day. Isolation: When he was gang active and was on walk alone status (for 6
months) he was let out for only 20 minutes every two weeks. One time, he went 21 days without being let
out of his cell except to get pills. Because of that he has anxiety and stress to this day. They did not give him
a shower that entire time (also Hygiene). Keeping someone in his cell alone for that long then thrusting him
back with a large group is stressful. This applies even when he is let out of his cell now for 30 minutes a day.
It is hard for him to go back and forth from isolation to groups of people. Grievance: He has filed a few
grievances. One was because he did not get enough time out of his cell and could not talk to his family or
shower. The response was that some COs collaborated to fix it while others did not. Quality of Mental
Health and Programs: His anxiety is bad due to the solitary confinement but he does not want medication.
He would like some kind of alternative treatment for anxiety and someone to help him with those methods.
At the very least, a radio. The TV does not work sometimes. Phone calls: there are too many people
attempting to make calls so you do not have a chance.
He doesn't use grievance process because cops will "put hands on you" or "lock you down." He thinks it is
wrong to lock down a dorm just because on inmate acts up. He has been subjected to severe beatings while
handcuffed. COs are inconsistent in terms of the time they let inmates out of cells. He really wants
consistency. He also thinks everyone should not be let out at once because that causes problems with access
to phones. Never received a Rule Book. Does not know what the Inmate Welfare Fund is. He'd like to see
cameras in the pods. There are no classes offered in 7C. He would take classes if they were offered.
COs "pick on" mentally challenged inmates because they are vulnerable; the COs don't pick on gang members
because they fear retaliation. He doesn't use the grievance process. A CO has told him the grievance won't
go anywhere. He has seen other COs rip up grievances. The biggest problem is the inconsistency about
when they are let out of cells. He'd rather a CO just tell him he's not getting out today rather than say he
doesn't know if he'll get out. "Prison sounds glorious" compared to this because at least you're allowed out
of your cell in prison. He's never seen a Rule Book even though he has asked about it. He has never heard
about the Inmate Welfare Fund. He has access to phones, but if the CO shortens the amount of time inmates
A-143

368.

369.

370.

371.

372.

are allowed out of cells, there's not enough time for everyone to use the phones. He wants to see the COs
receive training in how to treat inmates like human beings. Inmates behave when good Cos are in charge.
Has used the grievance process. Learned about if from other inmates. Was not given a Rule Book. He has
been told sometimes that he could not file grievances because no forms were available. He has used the
grievance process to complaint about laundry; the clothes don't come in on time; you have to wear the same
pants for several weeks. He received no formal response to his grievance but his dorm officer did talk to him
about it. Getting clean clothes remains a problem. He would not feel comfortable filing a grievance against
an officer because he believes he would be retaliated against such as being left in his cell when other are let
out. He thinks the grievance process needs to be more confidential, maybe through a sergeant instead of the
CO. He is not familiar with the Inmate Welfare Fund. The cost of phone calls has been a problem for his
family and girlfriend. He would like vocational training, such as computer skills. He thinks they should also
offer classes in behavior modification to help inmates when they leave. He has noticed that recently the COs
are letting inmates out of cells more often.
Never used the grievance process. Did not receive a Rule Book, even after he asked for one. He is concerned
about how little inmates get out of their cells. Since Mr. Tyree's death it has gotten better; they are getting
out three times a day. He thinks they should be let out in smaller groups, like one-half of a tier because in
large groups they don't have time to use the phones and showers because there are too many people. He
thinks veteran guards do a better job of letting inmates out on a regular basis. Having regular times out of
cells is the biggest thing -- it helps everyone. Guards shouldn't punish everyone when one inmate acts out.
He has taken advantage of meditation class and Catholic mass
He believes conditions have improved since Mr. Tyree's death. They get out of cells more. They have gotten
better clothing and warmer blankets. He thinks the grievance process does not work. He has used it but
gotten no satisfaction. He thinks inmates should not have to turn in grievances to a CO; maybe there should
be a lock box; there should be external review of grievances. He has seen COs simply rip up grievances. One
CO gave him back a grievance he had fill out about a different CO and told him to take it back because that
other CO would fuck him up if he pursued the grievance. He thinks the phone system works OK. When COs
are short staffed that might only get of cells once and for a short time -- not enough time for everyone to be
able to shower and make phone calls. He thinks they should have more than one set of clothing for three
days. He wishes the commissary sold food other than junk food. He wants eye care but there is none. He
suggests there be a reward system for officer who act morally. He wishes they offered programs that would
help inmates after release. The TVs are tiny and you can't hear the sound. Some visitors get turned away
arbitrarily even after traveling a long way to visit. He did not get a Rule Book until he was there for 6 months
He's getting released in a few days and nobody has helped him transition out by locating who he will stay
with. He is very stressed and worried about his transition out and worries he will be homeless. He doesn't
have the phone number for his friend and there is no directory services in the phones. The phones are very
confusing and difficult to use, and he was unable to use them to call. When he came in, he was very manic
and he feels like that affected their treatment of him afterwards, even though he had his medication
adjusted and calmed down afterwards. He was let out of his cell less than other inmates - only every 3 days
for 15 minutes. He also feels that the guards are rude and talk down to inmates to make them feel small,
especially mental health inmates. When he was first brought in they bent him over and pushed him so hard
he couldn't breathe and defecated in his pants, and he had to sit in them for two hours. Some COs are nice
but others are very mean and talk down to him. He was never given information about the grievance process
and has never heard of the Inmate Welfare Fund. The ventilation in the room is excessively loud and there is
graffiti on the cell wall that he finds disturbing and it gives him nightmares.
There are no dental services. He had his tooth knocked out in a jail riot and the jail would not have it
replaced. He was sent to the 4th floor (maximum security) and told that he was the aggressor in the riot
although someone else attacked him and knocked him unconscious. He believes he was sent there in
retaliation because the COs asked if he wanted to press charges against the person who hit him, but because
he couldn't identify them he said no. They became angry, made him pack up, and sent him to the 4th floor,
where he stayed for 6 months. He was only transferred out because he sent a request asking why he was on
the 4th floor, and never received a response, they just transferred him out. He wrote a grievance about the
A-144

riot, saying that it happened because the CO allowed all the inmates to have breakfast at once, which is not
typical. He received a response to the grievance saying he was the aggressor. He tried appealing the
grievance and they responded 1 month later saying due to their investigation he was seen as the aggressor.
He also contacted internal affairs shortly thereafter and never received a response. His mother also made a
written complaint to internal affairs but they contacted her and said they couldn’t do anything. Nobody gave
him a manual when he came in about the grievance process. After he filed a grievance the COs retaliated by
coming and searching his cell/taking things away. He feels like the grievance/complaint process is
meaningless because the COs won’t accept it, or they’re given to the CO against whom the grievance is filed.
It doesn’t say in the rules that it has to be given to the CO who it's filed against. He doesn't complain
anymore for fear of retaliation. He saw COs abuse their authority and use excessive force against an inmate,
calling in backup and having 4 COs beat the inmate when he wasn't resisting. Afterwards they took him out
and put him in the hole for over 2 months so that his injuries wouldn't be visible. They hit people in the body
so the injuries aren’t visible. A few people filed a grievance together and he never received a response– he
doesn’t think it was ever turned in. Out of cell time was too little- they were coming out only 2 to 3 hours in
one week, 12 hours per month, for the whole time he was on the 4th floor. Sometimes the hours were
interrupted because of lockdown. They give too few cleaning supplies to pass inspection with. He has to use
an extra towel to clean, and the towel is considered contraband. They do random anal cavity searches, it
happened the first ½ year about 10 times. They use the same gloves they use to search others, with other
officers standing there. Visitors are supposed to come 40 minutes early, sometimes his mom comes between
2 and 5 minutes late and they don’t let her in. It’s happened to her 3 times. Beds – the mattresses are ripped
and smelled like urine. He didn’t get a replacement when he asked for one. He had to sleep on the metal rack
for a month. He asked a CO later for a new one and got one. The clothes still smell when they come back
from laundry, they don’t use that much soap. They turn in towels for cleaning. He filed a grievance because
he wasn’t getting mail as well, his mom sent a Christmas card and he never received it. The phone calls are
also too expensive.

ELMWOOD WOMEN’S
373. Staffing: Got in a fight and got pepper-sprayed.

374.

They didn't have clothes or a towel for her for 2 days. So
she had to sit in pepper sprayed clothes and hair for 2 days. Staff said it was a staffing issue - too many
inmates and not enough staff. Didn't have time to search for clothes her size. Also a staffing issue for yard
time. Sometimes they don't get to go into the yard because it's short staffed. Some days they don't go into
the yard at all. Phones - access to phones is actually pretty good but cost is way too much. Can't call her
family because it's too expensive. Medical - came with a broken nose. Asked for a doctor's appointment. It
took 3 weeks to get one. Also asked for ointment after the fight because the girl scratched her face. They
didn't give her anything. Need a better white card system because nurses come around in the morning,
when everyone is asleep. Don't wake people up, so they miss it and have to wait an entire day. Dental - has
a broken crown. Took 6 weeks to be seen by dentist. Attorney - another inmate she met in court told her
she could press #25 to talk to her public defender. No one seems to know that - isn't explained to people.
Grievances: nothing happens when she files grievances - she has filed dozens of them but she plans to keep
on filing them, even though no result. And even though she gets retaliated against. Supplies: mattresses
are terrible, and they take stuff she rightfully has purchased like her pillow from the commissary. Excessive
force: has seen two incidences of excessive force. Office slammed an inmate and broke her cheekbone and
nose. Another time too. Guards lie about what happened. Homophobia: gay women are targeted by
guards. Guards always say they're having sex when they aren't. They get put on the top bunks so they can
be watched. Bad homophobia. Phone: way too expensive - her family can't pay. Drugs: lots of drugs.
Causes lots of conflicts. Processing doesn't do a good job at catching the drugs. Classification: there are
mentally ill people in her dorm and they shouldn't be there. It causes fights and problems. They should do
a better job of classification of mentally ill. Culture: "The people here are completely against us. Not for us
at all. It just makes us want to go even harder when we get out." Programs: Isn't allowed to do programs
A-145

375.

376.

377.

378.

because has gotten into too much trouble. But asked for a "Roadmap to Recovery" pamphlet and they said
they didn't have any - that was weeks ago. Mental health: they don't have enough notebooks. People
always ask for them and they always run out.
Grievances: they only get 3 pads a day when they have their period. Asked for more and got "written up"
for it because CO said she had attitude. So she was retaliated against and won't file a grievance again. A CO
also told her that "we know how to get away with things" so she knows grievances don't work and there's
no point. Treatment: very disrespectful. Talk to us like we are animals. Would rather be physically abused
than talked to the way they talk to them. Cuss at them, say they're low lifes, call them bitches. Excessive
force: haven't seen anything blatant but it's always there in subtle ways. The way they handcuff or the way
they grab your arms - twice your arms, push your head down - unnecessarily rough. Culture: lots of
favoritism and is usually falls along racial lines - lots of racism. Cleaning supplies: rooms are unsanitary and
they give you a broom and some cleaning solution but nothing to actually scrub. You can't ever get your
room actually clean. Medical - the white card system is terrible. You are sick but sometimes you miss pill
call so you can't do a white card. Or, even if you get a white card, they don't see you until the next day and
it's not always something that can wait. Has taken 5 weeks to get a dentist appointment and her pain is so
bad she can't drink water. Vision care: no vision care and she's blind as a bat. They want her to focus on
education, etc., but she can't do that if she can't see. Out of cell time: No set schedule for time out of cell.
It's only 20 minutes during the day and then 1 hour at night - so during that 1 hour, everyone is fighting for
the showers. Usually can't get a shower. Phone calls: too expensive. Can't call family. Hygiene: not
enough soap, not enough pads. And stuff in the commissary is way too expensive. Food: in the commissary
it's all expensive. Nothing healthy to eat. Mental health: they will only help you if you're suicidal or
homicidal. Otherwise they don't care. Misc.: can't write letters to her brother who is in Main Jail. Terrible
policy. Why can't she write letters to her family? Very depressing - that's all she has.
Medical: Pregnant when she arrived but had miscarriage in room. Kept telling them she was bleeding but
they just came every day and took her temperature and blood pressure. They told her she was fine and that
some bleeding was normal during pregnancy. After an entire week of miscarrying, they finally gave her a
doctor's appointment. So she miscarried in her room, by herself for a week. Told sergeant, chief
commander, her attorney and the CO supervisor but no one ever responded to her complaints. Another
time, face was swollen because of toothache. Took a week to get appointment and then doctor just pulled
tooth. Mental Health: sees someone on a regular basis. Has good access. No complaints. Phone calls:
used to call her family every day but her family said it was too expensive so now has to only call once a
week. Not enough time out of cell - only 20 minutes during the day and then an hour at night but everyone
is fighting over the showers then. Conditions: leak in her room when it rains. But would rather have a leak
than ants. So chose not to switch rooms. The ants are crazy. Can't leave food on your table or the ants
attack it.
Supplies - requested book 3 months ago but never arrived. Housing - asked to be in isolation because didn't
think open dorms were sanitary. They responded but made her be double red - wasn't fair. Grievances doesn't know if there is an appeal or something - feels like the process isn't adequately explained. Hygiene not enough pads when she has her period. Phone - rates expensive. Guards - always on their cell phones.
Trustee system - isn't fair. They get all the privileges.
Access to MH: She took psychiatric medications previous to coming to jail but has not been provided with
the medications while in custody (she is off them cold-turkey). She had an appointment with a psychiatrist
and went to see him but he did not meet with her and she does not know why. Quality of MH: When she
has met with psychiatrists in this jail in the past, the meetings have been quick. The psychiatrist did not
obtain her prior mental health records or talk to her about her mental health history, including about what
psychiatric medications she has taken in the past. In the past, she could not fully understand the
psychiatrist’s questions but he did not attempt to make the questions clearer. She needs therapy but fears
asking for it because she does not want to be moved to a more restrictive unit if nurses or doctors were to
find out how she is feeling. Inmate Safety: She generally feels safe but is intimidated by the deputies
because she is not used to being around law enforcement. Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: No one has
told her about the grievance process other than she is allowed to write one. Out of Cell Time: She is let out
A-146

379.

of her cell an hour a day or every other day, but there was a time when she was let out for only one hour in
three days. Housing: When she arrived she was misclassified as a gang member (she never identified
herself as one) and was moved only after gang members told the deputies that she did not belong in their
unit. Programs: She does not know what programs are available at the jail. Phone Call Problems: There
have been a few times that she has not been able to use the phone because she is not let out of her cell.
Commissary Supplies: The commissary is expensive and does not have enough variety. She has never
heard of the IWF. Hygiene: When she is locked down she is not allowed to take a shower. She has to buy
deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and tampons (the jail only provides free maxi pads). Her
clothes are switched every week including underwear. Cleanliness: She has not had an issue with cleaning
her cell. Food: The food is fine but she receives her meals at odd hours (4am, 10am, and 4pm) and she has
to wait 12 hours between meals. Temperature: Sometimes it is too hot or cold. Deputy Cell Phone Use:
Deputies are on their cell phones frequently and therefore when inmates push the buttons in their cells
requesting a deputy’s assistance.
Access to MH: It is easy to see a psychiatrist. Use of Force: She witnessed deputies assault an inmate for
cursing at the deputes. The inmate was shackled during the assault and was severely injured. This incident
was investigated. Culture: Use of force generally occurs with men more frequently than women because
deputies are more likely to use force against people who will not complain, and men “let things go.”
Deputies also use force more frequently on people without family on the outside or mentally ill inmates
because they are less likely to do anything about it. Inmate Safety: She has heard, but not seen, that if an
inmate tells a deputy she wants to fight another inmate, that deputy will open the other inmate’s cell door
to allow the women to fight. This does not happen frequently and only certain deputies will do this (which
inmates know). Visitation: She has never had a problem with visits. Grievance/Complaint process: She
has filed approximately ten grievances since she has been in custody. A grievance about a particular deputy
is supposed to be given to that deputy for his response and then forwarded to the sergeant. The deputy
always denies the allegations and the sergeants always “concurs” with the deputy’s statement. The
grievances are not investigated unless the allegations are serious such a significant instance of use of force.
She has seen deputies destroy the grievances. Accountability of Jail Staff: She has never seen a deputy held
accountable for misconduct. The most common misconduct is disrespecting, degrading or cursing at
inmates. Culture: The female deputies are the most likely to be disrespectful. Out of Cell Time: Several
years ago, inmates were allowed out of their cells every other day for one hour. Since November of 2015,
they are out of their cells 5x a week for 10 hours a week. “Pill call” can interrupt the time they have out of
the cell. Programs: The programs are limited for her classification level. She has heard that other units
have yoga, drug classes, and GED. She graduated high school. Therefore, she would like college classes, life
skills classes (such as how to find a job), driver’s education, and a class on how to communicate with people.
Housing/Grievance/Retaliation: The classification process has changed over the years. It used to be that a
person’s charges or severe behavioral issues resulted in a higher classification. She has been in the highest
security classification level because she gave an “attitude” to the intake officer. She has been attempting to
move to a lower classification level for over a year by following the jail procedure of submitting requests to
the classification officer. The classification officer is supposed to review her classification level every 30
days but that does not happen. The officer responds to every request by stating that she can be down
classed if she “maintains good behavior.” She will maintain good behavior for months but is repeatedly told
she needs to maintain good behavior to be down classed. She becomes frustrated, does something minor
to be written up and has to start all over again. “Written up” does not necessarily mean a formal
disciplinary report. Deputies make notes in the computer about her behavior, she has no idea what the
note says, and the classification officer uses the note as a basis to deny her request for reclassification. The
classification officer told her that she is not entitled to see the information that he reviews in denying her
request. The classification officer will use events from years ago against her in denying her request to be
reclassified. If she violates a jail rule, deputies will “add” a certain number of days to the time she must
spend in the unit she is in. There is no procedure for challenging the reasons for the denial of a request for
reclassification other than to submit another request, file a grievance, or write the captain or the sergeant.
She has done all of these things and none have worked; sometimes no one responds. People are classified
A-147

380.

381.

as gang members and it is unclear why. Classifications are based off of “hearsay” and not fact. Access to
Physical Health Care: It takes a long time to see a doctor, nurses are rude and will not provide you with
basic medication like Advil, and you cannot receive an ice pack unless you have a serious injury. Phone Call
Problems: The phones will not work for days at time, and if the phone malfunctions and drops the call, she
loses the money for the cost of the call. She can complain but it will not be resolved. Commissary Supplies:
The company supplying the commissary changed in July 2014, and the new service is much worse than
before. There is not enough variety. People do not receive what they ordered/paid for. The problem is that
the company delivers the items in a bag and the inmate has to look at the bag without opening it to make
sure her items arrived. But, it is impossible to see all the items without opening the bag. If it turns out that
the commissary forgot something, the inmate will not receive the missing item or a refund if this was
discovered only after opening the bag. The orders are frequently wrong. The commissary runs out of
stamps and noodles and they substitute items without asking. Hygiene: They have not received new sheets,
underwear, or clothes for over a year (note, she does not mean laundered bedding/clothes). Everything is
dingy, has holes, and the blankets have hair and are otherwise unsanitary. The underwear has other
peoples’ stains. They are supposed to receive 7 pairs of underwear every week but that does not always
happen and there is no way to obtain more underwear when shortchanged. The female deputies do not
give them enough pads; it is not an issue with male deputies. Cleanliness: They no longer receive bleach
which was important to prevent people from spreading illnesses. There is a major ant problem and the only
way it is resolved is through a work order that takes months (they are not allowed to use Raid). There was
also a pincher bug infestation in one unit and a cockroach infestation in an older unit. Food: The food has
no nourishment, unlike in juvenile hall. The portions are small which is hard for people without money for
the commissary. Interference with Attorney: She had an iPod for her case that had information on it from
her attorney and it was stolen during a jail search. The deputies said that they cannot find the iPod but it
has her name on it and only a few inmates are allowed to have iPods.
Inmate Safety: Deputies “set up” inmates by “accidentally” popping doors thereby allowing inmates to
interact when they are not supposed to be out of their cells at the same time. Grievance/Complaint
Retaliation/Housing: The classification system is not functioning properly. The classification officer placed
her in a particular unit in retaliation for conduct she committed in other units and then in retaliation for
filing grievances after he continuously denies her requests for reclassification. The deputies have started
refusing to give her grievance forms and tell her that she cannot file any more grievances. This inmate is
not seeking to change her security level; she is trying to change her housing in a particular unit because the
unit carries negative connotations among other people in the jail and within her community. Her
classification is “disrespectful.” She has been told that her requests for reclassification are denied because
there are too many inmates who have requested to be kept away (“keep always”) from this inmate. She has
no way to know who has requested to be kept away from her or if the officer is telling the truth when he
says she has too many keep always. She thinks that it is unfair to punish her because other people do not
want to be near her; the deputies should put the keep always in the unit she is in now and move her out of
the unit to the one where she belongs. She has countless examples of people who are placed in particular
housing for retaliatory reasons. She also has examples of people whose safety is endangered because of
misclassifications. Sexual assault/Inmate Safety: She explicitly told a deputy that if he moved her to a
particular unit she would become involved in a fight. He moved her anyway. She was sexually assaulted in
the shower in this unit and attacked the person who assaulted her, severely injuring that person. She
attempted to report the sexual assault but the deputies would not take her complaint. When she persisted
several days later after seeing on the news that there is a “zero tolerance” policy, she was interviewed
about the incident but nothing became of it. She says that the female inmates in this unit act sexually
inappropriate such as frequently walking around naked and having sex in front of other inmates. The
deputies do not see this happening.
Other: Utensils: One woman had to eat meals with her comb because the jail ran out of forks. Inmate
Safety: The deputies are outside of the unit. Deputies do not enter the unit to break up fights until back up
arrives. There used to be a sign that instructed inmates not to ask the deputies to come into the unit unless
they were dying or there was an emergency. A sergeant made the deputies take the sign down but the
A-148

deputies repeat the policy to the inmates, and ignore inmates when they ask the deputies to come into the
unit. She was chastised once for standing in front of the door without an emergency. Culture: The
deputies are disrespectful to the inmates, degrade them, and act unprofessionally by cursing. For example,
a deputy pulled a woman out of a cell and yelled at her in front of the entire unit because the woman
allegedly had sex with another inmate. The deputy was explicit about the alleged sexual acts. There are
many deputies who do not have enough training. They also act identically to how the training deputy acts in
terms of being respectful to inmates. In general, many deputies are lazy and do not want to do their jobs.
They make inmates wake up other inmates for count even though this should not be an inmate’s
responsibility. Deputies also cause problems among inmates by punishing everyone for one person’s rule
violation such as taking away the hot water pot because one inmate uses it during lockdown. There are
some deputies who are respectful. Grievance/Complaint Process/Other: Disciplinary process: This inmate
has written a number of grievances related to different issues that have never resolved satisfactorily. In one
instance she challenged an infraction that was falsely issued but the sergeant would not listen to her side of
the story and the Lieutenant found that she had violated an order. She refused to admit the allegation and
was sent to isolation for 10 days. She filed a grievance on the issue and received it back with a notation that
she stated she was content with decision, which was untrue. Generally, people do not respond to her
grievances which she always files with the deputies. One time she filed a grievance against a particular
deputy and gave it to that deputy, only to have the deputy immediately mark the grievance “resolved.” She
asked for another grievance, but the deputy would not give it to her. Retaliation: Deputies have told her
that if she files a grievance against them they will enter a negative “custody input” in the computer which is
a note about an inmate’s behavior which an inmate cannot read or challenge. Another deputy once told her
when she asked for the grievance form that he would issue an infraction if she filed a grievance against him.
She was retaliated against for filing the grievance for the infraction discussed above. Specifically, she missed
pill call because she was sleeping and the deputies would not let her obtain her pills during a pill call for a
different portion of her dorm even though the nurse had no issue with this. Out of Cell Time: The newer
deputies lock them down so they can be on their phones. Other: Rules: This inmate has a rule book which
she obtained from another inmate; she was not provided one when she was booked in the jail. The
deputies make up rules and lock people down for violating them. There are appropriate times for lockdown
such as during count or if there is a security issue, which everyone understands and accepts. But, inmates
are locked down for no reason. For example, their unit is locked down so that other units can receive
medication. Inmates are supposed to be let out to the yard but the deputies let them out at 6 am when no
one wants to go and only for 30 minutes at a time. Whether, when, and for how long they are outside
depends on the deputy; some weeks they never go outside. Programs: It is not hard to enroll in the
programs. There were two programs that Elmwood no longer offers that were helpful. One was called
PRIDE and the other RAP. They were boot camp style programs with a lot of structure and had classes all
day including career counseling and substance abuse treatment. After she did PRIDE, she stayed sober for 5
years (once released). The programs now lack structure. Also, people cannot pick and choose what
programs to do. A person has to move to the program dorm and do classes all day if she wants help; a
person cannot do only AA or only GED. Housing: They house a lot of mentally ill inmates in the wrong unit.
Isolation: She was put in a discipline unit as mentioned above and it was freezing. Access to Physical
Health Care: It takes a month to see the doctor. An inmate can only request to see a doctor (submit a
“white card”) in the morning. They cannot ask a nurse to see a doctor during pill call. Quality of Physical
Health Care: One doctor she saw did not listen or help with a pain issue she was having. When she
expressed frustration over her pain the doctor terminated the visit. The doctor gave prescriptions without
enough refills which is problematic because it takes a month to see the doctor. After three months of pain
and constant complaining about the doctor’s care, she saw another doctor who helped her and she is much
better. The only reason that she was able to see him was because she was friends with a nurse. There was
an instance where a nurse gave an inmate the wrong medication which had severe medical consequences.
The woman was in medical distress but the deputies reacted as if she was faking it. The consequences were
more severe because of the delay in obtaining her care. Many inmates were interviewed by jail staff (unsure
of their level) about this incident and the staff determined that the jail was not at fault. #43 has also been
A-149

382.

provided with the wrong medication and had to correct the nurse who had been looking at the wrong list.
She requested to see a dietician because of a digestive issue that she has. The doctor told her that the jail
did not have one but she knew that the jail did have one because she has been in this jail in the past. She
filed a grievance and she was able to see the dietician but she does not know who facilitated that. She has a
special meal plan but it took her 1-2 months to get her plan even though she had it when she was previously
in custody (a month before). Commissary Supplies: The items are too expensive especially compared to
prison. IWF: She has seen IWF signs which suggest that there is money owed to inmates. She does not how
to receive the IWF benefits. Cleanliness: Inmates withdraw from drugs when they arrive and they are not
provided with any care or attention. The inmates vomit and defecate on themselves and throughout the
unit but hazmat does not come. The other inmates have to clean this up. Food: She is not upset about the
time that food comes because she understands that it is related to the deputy shift change. The inmates
should have more than 10 minutes to eat. Other: Temperature: The temperatures are extreme hot or cold.
Bedding: The mattresses are too thin. Pregnant Inmates: The pregnant women are the only ones who
receive thicker mattresses. They also receive, extra milk, bread, and eggs or lunch meat as a fourth meal in
the evening.
Access to MH: This inmate has anxiety and entered jail on anxiety medication. It took her five weeks to see
a psychiatrist and she was forced to be off of the medication “cold turkey” this entire time period. The
result was that she had daily panic attacks with no treatment. She called for the emergency mental health
staff but those people would not help her because she was not suicidal. Quality of MH: She met with one
doctor who listened to her and explained the medication he prescribed. He spent 15 minutes with her. He
did not prescribe the medication that she had previously taken that had worked for her. The medications
that he did prescribe did not help. She went back and saw a different psychiatrist who met with her for two
minutes. The psychiatrist did not let her explain what was happening with her and she prescribed an antidepressant which this inmate did not understand because she has anxiety not depression. The psychiatrist
did not warn her of the side effects of this new medication and did not let the inmate ask her questions.
She stopped taking the medication after two weeks because it did not work. She refuses to take any other
medication because she does not want to see that doctor again. She also has not tried to see the doctor
again about trying another medication because an inmate can only request to see a doctor at 6 a.m. and she
usually sleeps through the call for the request cards. Programs: The jail should have counseling because
there are people dealing with tough issues and they lash out at other people. The jail should have self-help
books. She wanted a bible but an inmate has to go to church regularly to receive a bible. Privacy: She felt
violated when she had to do the squat and cough when she arrived at jail. She understands that it has to
happen, but she thinks that there could be a less invasive alternative such as the x-ray machines at the
airport. Grievance/Complaint process: She has not filed a grievance but has not heard good things about
the process. A group of inmates decided not to file a grievance over not being allowed to shower for more
than 24 hours because. The decision was made because other inmates said that if they filed the grievance
then the deputies would retaliate by waking them up at bad hours. The only instance she could think of
involving a grievance was when an inmate filed a grievance because she had to take a random drug test. An
officer yelled at the inmate for filing a grievance and the inmate yelled back. The inmate was infracted and
sent to solitary and she has not returned. An inmate can call internal affairs. There is one instance she
knows of when someone called internal affairs but as far as she knows internal affairs did not do anything.
The incident involved a deputy inappropriately confiscating the inmate’s personal property. Culture: The
deputies are disrespectful. For example, they called her “retarded” for not opening her mouth wide enough
during pill call. An officer made an elderly inmate bunk on a top bunk, which is difficult for her, because she
did not look at the officer during roll call. The deputies responded slowly to an inmate having a seizure
because the deputies did not believe the inmate. Out of Cell Time: Inmates are allowed to go outside once
every three days. She does not like going outside but she does wish that the jail had exercise equipment
because she has gained 20 pounds since being in jail. Programs: The only way to do programs is to move to
the program dorm and to do the programs most of the day. The classes are in groups which prevents her
from enrolling in the programs because she has anxiety. She would rather have GED books so she could selfstudy. Access to Physical Health Care: Nurses will not provide over the counter medication such as cough
A-150

383.

drops with an order from a doctor. There was a girl who was throwing up multiple times and went to the
door for help but the deputies would not help her. They say do not ask for help unless an inmate is dying.
There was a woman who was not taken to a dentist even though she woke everyone up screaming in pain
from a tooth ache. The deputies repeatedly said that the doctor was on his way but he never arrived.
Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are expensive. Commissary Supplies: There is a lot of variety but it is
too expensive such as $8 for a tube of toothpaste. IWF: She has not heard of the IWF, but she has seen an
“indigent kit” on the commissary kit. The kit says “$1.25” so it is unclear if it actually costs money. Hygiene:
People who do not have money on their books only receive two bars a soap but not shampoo, conditioner
or deodorant. Inmates are supposed to receive seven pairs of underwear on Mondays but if someone
comes Tuesdays they only receive one pair of underwear for the week. Sometimes they have to get rid of
underwear in the batch they receive because the underwear has period stains. They do not use enough soap
to clean the clothes. Cleanliness: Sometimes they do not receive enough cleaning supplies. Food: It is
terrible to be fed at 4 am, 10:30 am and 4 pm. The food tastes terrible and she has been denied a
vegetarian diet because it is only allowed for religious reasons. Other: Criminal Case: Deputies have asked
her what she is charged with. Other: Deputy Cell Phone Use: When the deputies are outside of the dorm
they are on their cell phones.
Physical Medical Care/Other: Physical Health Privacy: There is no confidentiality for her medical condition
which is especially upsetting for her because she was recently diagnosed with HIV. She does not want the
deputies to know about her HIV because they are judgmental. She has no way to hide the condition if she
wants to obtain medical treatment. When she first arrived, the nurses were not providing her medication at
the time during which she was supposed to take them. It is her understanding that the time of day that she
takes the HIV medication matters. She filed a grievance but felt too embarrassed to write that her issue
involved medication for HIV. The deputy found that the grievance did not have merit even though the
deputy did not consult with a medical professional to determine whether the inmate’s medication was time
sensitive. There was a time that she was concerned over her HIV because she had a cold, but she was
unable to express the concern when requesting to see a doctor because everyone would hear. Another
time, she wanted to speak with a social worker about her HIV diagnosis but was placed in a meeting near
where a number of social workers were meeting with all gay men. She felt it was obvious that she was there
because she had HIV which was embarrassing. Access to MH/Quality of Mental Health: She was
transferred to Elmwood from another county jail and brought her psychiatric medications (three types) with
her. She had to wait one month to meet with the psychiatrist and did not receive two of those types of
medication that entire time. She received the second type after talking to the psychiatrist but the
psychiatrist refused to provide her with her third medication, stating that it was a narcotic. Without being
on that medication, her anxiety has been terrible, she cannot function, she cannot talk to people, and she is
shaky and nervous. She did not file a grievance about this issue because it will not help. The second
medication she is on has given her many side effects that she previously did not have (when having taken
the medication outside of jail) even though the medications are supposed to be identical. When she told
the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist suggested taking her off of the medication so now she lies and says the side
effects are gone because she is scared he will take her off of it. The psychiatrist did obtain her mental
health records. If she has an emergency mental health issue the staff will come right away and this is
comforting to her. Visitation: 30 minutes for a visit is too short because her daughter lives far away so it
would be too much to come for that amount of time. She does not like having to visit behind glass. Her
daughter was not cleared for visitation because she was arrested even though the charges are dismissed.
Culture: The deputies are disrespectful by yelling at inmates without first attempting to talk to them, and
they treat the inmates like children. Deputies threaten to write infractions unnecessarily. Out of Cell Time:
Inmates are out of their cells for six or seven hours a day and deputies hardly let people on the yard.
Programs: She is not in a program because she does not want to do classes all day, and she is emotionally
attached to the people in her dorm. It would be better to be able to pick and choose classes and if there
were “cognitive thinking” or life skills classes. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are expensive.
Commissary Supplies: The commissary is expensive. Sometimes she does not receive items but she has
never been charged for items that she did not receive. IWF: This is money for indigent people but any
A-151

384.

385.

money used is charged as a negative balance on their accounts. Hygiene/Cleanliness: The toilets are
disgusting because water splashes back when flushed. The deputies do not give them disinfectant or bleach.
Inmates are allotted specific times to clean and are provided cleaning supplies only during those times. This
makes it difficult to clean because inmates could be out of the unit at that time and others could be on
lockdown such that there might not be enough inmates in the unit to clean the entire unit at a given time.
Her sandals are unhygienic and many people get athlete’s foot. Inmates must wear the same sandals in the
shower as everywhere else. The showers smell like pee. The underwear is always period stained, and there
are blood stains on the blankets. She now keeps the same clothes and washes them herself. Before, when
she received “clean socks,” she washed them and the dirt came out of them in the sink. Food: She does not
like having to eat at 4:00 am. Temperature: It is too cold.
Grievance Process: She wanted to speak with internal affairs to report an issue related to her criminal case
and an inmate in the men's jail. There are two locations for internal affairs and jail staff refused to provide
her with a phone number for both locations. A person from the location she did contact met with her and
said that she would help but nothing was done and there was no follow up. Other: Mail: She has tried to
take this issue related to her case and an inmate in the men's jail to higher authorities by writing letters to
various governmental agencies, but she is unsure if the letters are actually mailed because after she sends
them the jail mental health staff come to speak with her. Mental health essentially tell her that she is crazy
and will not research/google the issue she wants addressed.
Access to MH/Quality of MH: An inmate must wait two months to see a psychiatrist after arriving in jail.
The psychiatrists ask inmates which psychiatric medications they want without listening to the inmates or
showing that they care for the inmates’ wellbeing. They do follow up visits one to two months later. This
inmate has seen two psychiatrists who are “good,” but they do not look deeply into her issues. Use of Force:
In lower level security units there is less force from deputies. She witnessed deputies place a woman who
was 9 months pregnant into a headlock and used much more force than was necessary to subdue her. #47
was in a physical altercation with a deputy during booking. She had assaulted a deputy in prison and the
booking deputy at Elmwood saw this on her record. The officer pinned her against the wall and was
berating her about having assaulted an officer in the past, at which point this inmate pushed herself off of
the wall. The two physically fought until the inmate was on the ground with her hands behind her back, no
longer fighting and yelling that she was not resisting. After she was subdued, six male officers ran in and
beat her up. She was not provided medical treatment, the deputies were not disciplined, and she was
charged with a crime (which was later dismissed). Inmate Safety: The deputies always use their cell phones
and she knows that deputies have been fired for letting inmates use their cell phones. Grievance/Complaint
process: The prison grievance system is much better than Santa Clara County Jail. In prison, the grievance
will go up the chain of command if the inmate is unsatisfied with the result. Here, a deputy at the lowest
level decides whether the grievance goes up the chain of command. She has filed grievances only to have a
deputy tell her that it is “resolved,” when the issue is not resolved. Deputies tell her the issue has been
dealt with when she presses them as to how the issue was resolved. Deputies destroy grievances and, unlike
in prison, an inmate does not receive a receipt for a grievance unless there is a response (i.e. there is no
receipt to ensure that a deputy has not destroyed the grievance). Deputies require her to give her
grievances about a particular deputy to that deputy and will not accept them otherwise. If an issue in a
grievance is serious it will go up the chain of command. For example, she filed a grievance because a deputy
was harassing her and the sergeant reprimanded the deputy and made her apologize to this inmate. She
believes this happened only because this deputy had many complaints. She has seen inmates call internal
affairs and then internal affairs interview inmates, but the phone number to internal affairs no longer works.
She has had issues resolved when her family calls the jail to complain on her behalf. Culture: The jail has
improved after the publicity/recently and grievances do not go unanswered as frequently as before.
Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: When she files grievances, the deputies refuse to give her request forms,
do not let her go to the yard, or they generally treat her more harshly than before. Accountability of Jail
Staff: Deputies are not held accountable for their misconduct. She can think of incidents where a deputy
commits misconduct in front of another deputy and that deputy will “look the other way.” Out of Cell Time:
Lockdowns and out of cell time are dependent on the deputy. Programs: The jail should offer college
A-152

386.

classes. She worked with a lieutenant to try to obtain college classes through BYU and/or Coastline College,
but they were unable to obtain approval. There are many people who want to enroll in the programs but
are ineligible because of too many infractions or because there are other inmates whom they are not
allowed to be near. Housing: The classification unit places people in higher level security dorms for minimal
infractions. The unit says that they will review the inmate’s file but there is no way to obtain information
about the process and grievances on this issue do not work. There are notes in their file that could affect
the inmates’ classification but they are not allowed to see the notes. Access to Physical Health
Care/Quality of Physical Health Care: The length of time that an inmate must wait for a doctor depends on
the severity of the illness. It took her one week to see a doctor for her chronic migraines. If the issue is
serious a doctor will see the inmate immediately or staff will call an ambulance if it is emergency. She is
satisfied with the medical care provided to her for migraines. Phone Call Problems: The phones will
disconnect mid-call and there is nothing she can do about that. Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too
expensive. Commissary Supplies: The commissary prices are inflated by 300% (e.g. ramen and toothpaste).
The commissary only sells junk food. She has had issues with not receiving items and there is no way to
ensure that the items are there before opening the bag because it is impossible to see all items through the
plastic. She has complained about missing items. Sometimes the complaint is recorded and she receives
refunds, but that will take months. The commissary staff trade items without speaking to the inmates.
Items may be out of stock for months. Hygiene/Cleanliness: There is black mold all over the walls and the
showers which she thinks causes her to have migraines on a daily basis. The laundry is not clean because
the inmates assigned to the laundry room load too many clothes with too much soap which does not
sufficiently wash out. The inmates wash their clothes in the shower the day they receive them, and dirt
comes out. She only wears underwear if it is new only and then washes them herself after she has worn
them. She receives new underwear because she is friends with someone who works in the clothing
exchange. Inmates do not receive bleach to clean. Once a year a health inspector looks at the entire
facility. Right before that visit, staff provide inmates with bleach, new mattresses, new blankets and new
clothes. The vents are cleaned only when the health inspector is coming. The indigent hygiene kits do not
have shampoo, conditioner, deodorant or toothpaste. Food: The food tastes terribly and the timing of
meals is awful. Other: Temperature: The heating/cooling always breaks. Other: Infraction process: She
has been given infractions frivolously. For example, she agreed to watch her friend through the glass of the
door while that inmate was receiving an infraction (to be a witness). #47 was then infracted for inciting a
riot among other charges. She successfully fought two of the charges, but the Lieutenant took her
commissary after finding that one charge was true. Inmates used to be entitled to hearings on infractions
where they could call witnesses. They still have the ability to have the Lieutenant talk to witnesses but they
do not have hearings. New deputies are required to meet an infraction quota which she knows because the
deputies have told this to her. Deputies write false or frivolous infractions because of the quota.
Access to MH/Quality of MH: Deputies have mocked this inmate’s mental health condition (bipolar).
Deputies do not consider an inmate’s mental illness when interacting with her. For example, she was sent
to a holding cell (isolation) because she was crying after a nurse would not listen to her about her mental
health issues. On one occasion, she told a nurse and a deputy that she was suicidal but the response was
that she had an appointment with a psychiatrist in two weeks. She says that the psychiatrists are receptive
but also said that the first psychiatrist she saw spent five minutes with in the intake visit. The psychiatrists
do ask her about her mental health and medication history, but they do not view her prior medical records,
which she knows because she has never signed a waiver. The psychiatrists schedule follow-up
appointments without her having to request them. Grievance/Complaint process/Retaliation/Physical
Health Medical Care: She needed to see a doctor for an abscess but a deputy told this inmate, and four
others, that they missed their appointments because the deputy was upset about the noise level. #48 had
to wait another month to see the doctor while the condition worsened. On another occasion, she had
trouble breathing but was unable to see a doctor because, according to the deputy, it was a holiday. She did
not file a grievance about these incidents because she has seen an officer curse at an inmate for filing a
grievance and because the grievance process is not fair. One time a deputy antagonized and embarrassed
#48 in front of a sergeant. When she tried to complain, the sergeant told her that there is “no such thing”
A-153

387.

as a grievance. Some inmates overuse the grievance process. She thinks it is hard to know when to do
something about being mistreated versus when to not “rock the boat.” She considered calling internal
affairs when she was unfairly infracted for helping a mentally ill inmate. On that occasion, the inmate was
laying on the ground screaming and crying without any help. Inmate #48 was written up because she
assisted the inmate, even though she was able to calm the inmate down, because they were different
security levels. Housing: She knows an inmate who was moved units only because a deputy had a personal
issue with the inmate. Accountability of Jail Staff: The only type of jail staff accountability she has seen is
when a deputy is transferred to a different unit, but in general she does not know what happens after a
grievance is filed. Out of Cell Time: There are times when inmates are locked down because deputies do
not want to work but they are told it is because of a facility-wide issue. She has been outside three times in
the three months she has been here. Whether she is let outside depends entirely on the deputy working.
Programs/Housing/Custody Inputs (CI's): She likes the programs but wants college and vocational classes.
The jail should have a wider variety of programs because inmates are now serving prison terms in county
jail. Inmates should be able to take classes without having to move to a “program” dorm. She had to obtain
a court order to move into the program dorm because she was repeatedly denied entrance. She believes
that she was denied because she had too many Custody Inputs (CI's), but this has never been confirmed and
she has no idea what the notes say. Some of her behavioral problems were related to frustration from
being denied entry to the programs. Cleanliness: Everyone in her unit has migraines and deep coughs from
the unsanitary conditions of the unit including black mold (which is visible). No one will provide them with
bleach or other supplies that will actually clean the mold even though inmates have sent in request forms
and alerted the deputies. The deputies tell the inmates that “someone” is going to come clean the mold but
no one has come. The deputies become upset with the inmates over the cleanliness of the unit but they
have no way to make the units cleaner without adequate supplies. Commissary Supplies: The prices are too
high and they should not have to buy tampons; inmates do not have to buy tampons in other counties.
Hygiene: There are a lot people who do not have shampoo and conditioner because they have no money.
The clothing is not properly cleaned and they often have to wash their own clothes. Other: The deputies
did not help her when she had to detox off of alcohol and heroin when she first arrived, even though she
asked. She has seen deputies help other inmates detoxing by obtaining medication for those inmates.
Access to MH/Quality of MH: She has requested to see a psychiatrist five to ten times, stating that it is an
emergency, but has not been allowed to see one without waiting a month because she is not suicidal.
When she first arrived to the jail, she did not receive her anti-depressants for a month which caused
withdrawal symptoms including the onset of depression. The psychiatrist whom she eventually saw was
helpful but the psychiatrist would not prescribe her the dose she had been taking even though she did
inform the psychiatrist of that dose and that a lower dose had not helped her in the past. The psychiatrist
told her to put in another request to see her if she wanted to increase the medication which would take
another month. Her father died while she was in custody, and it was upsetting for her to be in custody
during Christmas, but she was unable to obtain help dealing with these issues. She did not call for a
chaplain because inmates must wait a week to see a chaplain, but she did go to church which was helpful.
Use of Force: There was an inmate whose arm was broken by a deputy when she entered the jail but #49 is
unaware of any more specifics related to that incident. Inmate Safety: The deputies will not address issues
between inmates so the issues escalate into physical fights. For example, an inmate will ask a deputy to be
moved because of an issue with another inmate but the deputies tell the inmate that they cannot ask to be
moved. The inmates then physically fight and the entire unit is punished/locked down. There was one
instance when two inmates were verbally fighting and then one inmate ran up the stairs toward the other
inmate while yelling. It was obvious that she was going to assault the other inmate, but the deputy
watching did not break up the fight. The deputy watched the fight for a bit then called for help.
Grievance/Complaint process/ Retaliation: Deputies tell inmates that they do not care if they file a
grievance. There was an instance when a deputy cursed at a woman who asked for a grievance form. The
sergeant investigated the situation but his solution was to move the inmate to a different unit which was
unfair in that it punished the inmate even though the deputy had admitted to cursing (although the deputy
stated she had cursed at another inmate). People say that the deputies throw away grievances. She has not
A-154

388.

filed a grievance because she is trying to stay under the radar until she is released. Culture: The problems
are with specific deputies, not all deputies, and generally involve deputies disrespecting inmates/degrading
them by yelling or cursing at them for no apparent reason. The disrespectful treatment of inmates
endangers the safety of all deputies because inmates will believe that all deputies are bad. Infractions:
There was an inmate who asked a deputy why she was being infracted but the deputy would not tell her
why. She was moved to a disciplinary unit before the infraction was resolved as retaliation for attempting
to assert her right to find out what the infraction said. The infractions are not investigated. The superior
officers always believe the deputies unless they actually interview witnesses. Out of Cell Time: The inmates
are let out to yard once a week or every other week, and have to request to be let out, even though there is
a sign posted that says they are supposed to go outside every day. There is only one deputy who lets them
out to the yard. Generally, the yard call comes at 7:00 am when people are sleeping and it is cold, so no one
goes. The deputies do that because they are lazy and do not want to go outside to monitor the inmates.
People have not filed a grievance about this because they do not think that they have rights and nothing will
happen. They are on lockdown too frequently and it is not related to fights or security. Programs: She
especially likes the substance abuse programs but wishes there were college courses because she already
has a GED class. Lower level units have more program options. The programs are only offered in particular
units which means that other units do not have anything to do other than sleep, eat, and fight. Access to
Physical Health Care/Quality of Physical Health Care: Nurses, and not doctors, generally treat physical
conditions and they do not know what they are doing. There was an inmate who had an infection and
requested to see a doctor but was sent to a nurse. The nurse said that the infection looked like the inmate
had bumped her arm on a bed. The infection spread and she was sent to Valley Medical where she almost
had to have her arm amputated. The doctor at the hospital contacted the nurse because of the poor
standard of care, but #49 does not know what resulted from the call/incident. #49 broke her foot but was
not allowed to have the prescribed brace, and now her foot is permanently deformed. The jail will not
provide inmates with prescriptions even if they bring them to the jail or come to the jail directly from the
hospital. It takes two to three weeks to see a doctor. It will take one month to see a dentist even if it is an
emergency. Until then, a nurse will provide an inmate with salt and Tylenol. The nurses and deputies think
that inmates are lying about their medical issues. Some people do “cry wolf” but the deputies should not
take the risk associated with not obtaining help for people simply because some people fake illnesses.
Commissary Supplies: The commissary is too expensive (e.g. six dollars for deodorant). IWF: The jail
charges inmates who are indigent for hygiene kits by imposing a negative balance on their books.
Hygiene/Cleanliness: The jail did not provide her with thermals when she arrived (which she is supposed to
receive) and she had to borrow some from others because she was cold. Deputies on duty during a shift
refused to replace a slipper of an inmate which had broken in half. That inmate lived upstairs so she walked
up the stairs in the shoe which was dangerous. The slipper was replaced when a different deputy came to
the unit. The mold is a problem. There are plumbing issues and the inmates must clean up human waste
when they do not have bleach. A deputy yelled at the inmates for not adequately cleaning human waste
when the inmates did not have the proper cleaning supplies to do a good job. The shower in one dorm was
clogged for a week and it was fixed only when a particular deputy came on duty. There are gnats in the
bathroom. The deputies would not provide her with a squeegee to clean the bathroom even though she
wanted to do so because it was slippery and therefore dangerous. The black mold can cause respiratory
problems and she thinks her acne is related to the mold or ventilation. Food: The food is not healthy and
has too many carbs. Inmates who do not have money for commissary are hungry because of the timing of
the meals, so they load up on fattening food. Four in the morning (the time breakfast is served) is too early
to eat. The sporks are so small that she ends up putting her hands in the food. Custody Inputs (CI's): She
found out deputies have placed negative notes in her file but she does not know what the notes say. This
should be changed because how can she change or reform her behavior if she does not know what she is
doing wrong?
Quality of MH: The psychiatric approach here is to medicate people and send them away, but she will say
that her insomnia is now being addressed. Infractions: When infracted, an inmate will receive a copy of the
infraction and meet with the sergeant. The sergeant can decide whether to take away commissary, move
A-155

the inmate to a disciplinary unit, or keep an inmate in a higher security unit. She thinks that certain inmates
receive preferential treatment. There is one inmate who gives deputies information about other
inmates/what is going on in the jail and this inmate is never disciplined even though she is involved in
physical fights. Grievance/Complaint Process: Her understanding of the process is that an inmate writes
what happened and gives the grievance to an officer who gives it the sergeant. The sergeant is supposed to
then speak with the inmate and officer. Sometimes the grievances go unanswered because they are not
turned in or the sergeants are too busy. Inmates filed a grievance against an officer who did things like
placing inmates on lockdown because they were too noisy or ransacking the dorms because an inmate left
her clothes to hang dry. After Tyree was killed, this deputy threatened the lives of inmates in a “joking”
manner with another nurse. That officer was sent to men’s jail after someone filed a grievance. The
sergeant believed the inmates’ allegation about the comment because there were many witnesses. Culture:
The inmates are receiving newspapers that have the stories about the jail torn out. Accountability of Jail
Staff: She has never seen a deputy disciplined. They cover for each other. Out of Cell Time: Whether, and
for how long, an inmate is locked down depends on what is happening facility wide, their noise level, how
inmates have been behaving, and who the deputy is. There are sometimes where the inmates do not
believe that the facility is on lockdown; they think they are locked down because the deputies are short
staffed. The inmates are let out to the yard if and when the deputies feel like it which is generally 20-30
minutes once a week or once every other week. If they do go outside, they are relegated to a cage.
Programs: The variety of programs and their structure and teachers are excellent. Everyone should be able
to participate in different programs versus having it only in one dorm. The inmates misbehave because they
do not have anything to do all day. The staff in the program dorms are happier. There is a waiting period
from two weeks to one month to be admitted to the program. She was banned from the program at one
point because of a verbal argument. The jail needs more counseling and trauma treatment and alternative
therapy such as art and crafts, movies, music, meditation or more exercise. Housing: She was moved to a
higher security level from a program dorm because a sergeant heard her cussing in an argument. That unit
was total chaos because the deputies and inmates did not respect each other. Other: Books: The officers
refused to let her take more than five books with her when she was moved to the higher security unit and
she has still not received them. Other: Personal Property: When deputies raided her cell they tore the
sheets off of the mattress, threw away her extra pillow, threw away her food, and ripped a photo of her
daughter. Access to Physical Health Care: An inmate waits one to two months to see a doctor, psychiatrist
or dentist. Quality of Physical Health Care: There was an inmate who fell and hit her head after slipping in
the bathroom. She was left in the holding cell for two hours in the men’s medical unit without anyone
checking in on her. She was sent back to the dorm without treatment (they checked her vitals only). She
told the nurses that her head hurt, she was seeing spots, and that her back was hurting. She was provided
with Tylenol. The next day she had three seizures and it took 15 minutes for anyone to respond to her. At
that point the deputies ordered her to stand up to go to the doctor’s office even though she was physically
incapable of standing. She did not receive real treatment until she was released shortly thereafter. Phone
Call Problems/Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are expensive. The officers will shut down the phone calls
mid-call or the calls will otherwise drop. The deputies will ignore their questions about the phone problems,
and she has no way to know how to contact the phone company to complain. Commissary Supplies: The
hygiene products are not quality. There are times when inmates do not receive what they ordered and they
cannot get refunds or the refunds take forever. The commissary only has junk food. It is too expensive (e.g.
$5 for a mini lotion). They should be allowed to buy brushes (as opposed to only combs). Food: The food
tastes bad and is unhealthy. Their regular meals are 5,400 calories and consist of too many carbs and not
enough fruits and vegetables. They eat breakfast at three in the morning, and if they do not wake up they
do not eat. If an inmate has court, she has to take her pills at two in the morning and again at four for
breakfast. Inmates become hungry at night because they are fed dinner too early. The food service is
unhygienic; she receives bologna directly on the tray. Inmates are not allowed to save their food and reheat
it on the hot water bucket later. Other: Chaplain: There is a two month wait to see a chaplain or obtain a
bible. Sometimes the requests for either are unanswered by the chaplain (the deputies do send the
requests because she receives a receipt). Other: Mattresses: She has arthritis and carpal tunnel and the
A-156

389.

mattresses are too thin (they go over a metal bunk). The inmates in a lower classification receive new
blankets, thicker and newer mattresses and hot water in the bathroom sinks. In this unit they do not
receive hot water in sinks and it is difficult to obtain a new mattress even when one has a hole or is torn.
The mattresses do not fit the bunks for the most part and is missing padding at the edges. The mattresses
have bed bugs. She did receive treatment for bed bugs which solved the problem in two weeks. Other:
Showers: They should be able to control the temperature in the showers because right now there is only
one setting. Cleanliness: The showers are filthy. The black mold is visible. They do not receive enough
cleaning supplies to clean the entire bathroom and dorm and they need bleach. The air ventilation is bad
and it smells dirty. They need toilet seat covers. The blankets have holes in them. The clothes do not arrive
clean because the inmates pack the laundry too tightly and do not use enough soap. They receive clothes
only twice a week and if an inmate arrives after they received their clothes for the week the inmate has to
wait for another week to obtain a new set of clothes. The towels are disgusting. The only way to receive
clean clothes is to have a friend in laundry. Commissary: The toothbrushes are too small. The spoons are
too small. They should not be charged for stationary and hygiene kits if they do not have money. Culture:
The majority of staff do not help inmates or care about their needs. The deputies, especially the night shift,
and are on their cell phones which has resulted in deputies not responding to inmates when they come to
the door with a request. Cleanliness: The only time the inmates receive enough and adequate cleaning
supplies is when the health inspector is coming.
Inmate Safety If an inmate says she is in fear for her safety the deputies will transfer the inmate.
Grievance/Complaint process/Retaliation: Deputies retaliate against inmates for filing grievances by giving
those inmates infractions. She can think of a few times when the grievance process worked. A deputy was
repeatedly rude to an inmate and after the inmate filed a grievance the deputy treated her better. She has
also seen people file grievances about issues with their mail and those issues were fixed. Accountability of
Jail Staff: The deputies are not held accountable. She rarely, if ever, sees a sergeant and they do not see
what is really happening in the units. Culture: The deputies yell and are rude. An inmate will ask a simple
question but the deputy responds in a rude or disrespectful manner. One time, a deputy was upset that an
inmate had requested something too many times and told the inmate that her attitude is “probably why
you’re in here.” Not all deputies are disrespectful. There are deputies that will not come to the door if an
inmate is trying to get their attention unless it is a medical emergency. If an inmate has a simple question
like to obtain a request form or a white-card, she is told to wait for the walk-through at a later time.
Programs: The programs available do not meet this inmate’s needs because she has a diploma and does not
have a drug problem. She heard about the early release program and it is appealing, but she does not have
information about the program other than that what she hears from other inmates. She has not asked for
any more information. She appreciates the chaplains. Access to Physical Health Care: This inmate was
unable to see the dentist for four weeks when she had a tooth ache. She now has to wait longer because
the tooth must be removed and the surgeon is available only once a month. Quality of Physical Health
Care: She receives Motrin for her tooth ache. Phone Call Problems: She has no idea with whom to speak
about the phone calls dropping mid-call. Phone Call Rates: She is used to the high cost of the calls because
of her experience with the system. The flat rate just to make the call is valid for only 15-minutes. It is $10
to speak with her mother for 30 minutes because she has to pay the flat rate for the call twice (in addition
to the minute-by-minute charges). It is difficult for inmates without money to speak with their families.
Commissary Supplies: In general, the prices in the commissary are comparable to stores on the outside, but
Colgate and shampoo are much more expensive. The soap is too small and does not smell good. IWF:
Inmates have negative charges on their bills because of the indigent kits. Hygiene/Cleanliness: The inmates
clean the bathroom everyday but it is never sanitized. There is blood on the toilets. Other jails have janitors
steam and sanitize the bathrooms, but not here. People pee in the shower and someone defecated in
there. Neither hazmat nor anyone else cleaned the shower; the inmates cleaned it. They receive only a
small ½ cup of comet and two spray bottles of cleaning salutation which is spread among all inmates. The
inmates dump half of the spray bottle in the mop bucket. The rest is for the bathroom, dayroom and pod.
That ½ cup of comet must be used for each toilet, stall and sink. The inmates only receive two pairs of socks
for one week. They are required to wear sandals to court including when they walk outside in the rain,
A-157

390.

which means that the socks become dirty quickly. The inmates do not receive jackets and have to walk to
court in the rain. The inmates receive thermals, but hers is too big and has been washed so many times that
the material is too thin. It smells badly even though she has washed it herself. The inmates receive only
two pairs of pants for a week even though the inmates bleed through to the pants because their maxi-pads
are too short. The deputies will not exchange the pants for those inmates. The inmates receive two bras
which is unhygienic because she sweets under her breasts. The bra does not support her breasts which has
caused her back paint. She receives only one t-shirt for the entire week; she is not allowed to wear the
cover-shirt instead of a t-shirt. The underwear is stained. Since being in custody, she has had more acne
because of the cleanliness of sheets and clothes. Food: They do not receive real meat. They eat breakfast
too early (4:00 am) which also leaves women hungry from 4:30 p.m. (last meal) until breakfast. Other:
Temperature: It is always cold in the jail. Rulebook: She received an inmate rulebook. Mail: She has
mailed letters to her family and they have not received them in over two weeks. There have been times
that her family has mailed her packages which the jail ultimately returns to the family because of jail rules.
She thinks she should be notified when the package arrives and that it is going to be returned because she
waited a month for a package that her family told her that they were sending. Jails in other counties notify
the inmates when they intend to return mail.
Use of Force: This inmate has witnessed deputies slam inmates to the floor for “disobeying officer orders.”
Something like this happens from a small situation escalating such as a deputy telling an inmate to go to her
bed but she stops for water and talks back. Inmate Safety: This inmate has a relative (in custody) who has a
court order stating that she requires emergency medical attention (for kidney stones) and must be taken to
the doctor. That inmate has not seen a doctor, some 1.5 weeks later. She has seen only a nurse who took
her vital signs and provided her with Tylenol. There was a diabetic woman who could not physically reach
the nurse’s area because she is elderly and slow. The deputy made her wait 20 minutes to obtain her insulin
even though she was visibly in need of it because she was shaky and weak. The jail removed #52’s tooth
and accidentally damaged another tooth. She is in pain and the earliest appointment she could obtain is in
two months. Nurses believe inmates are feigning their illnesses/injuries so it is difficult to see a doctor.
Grievance/Complaint process/Retaliation: She is filing grievances about her medical care issue. Certain
deputies will move an inmate to different housing or file an infraction on the inmate if that inmate files a
grievance because of the deputy’s conduct. She does not think the grievance process is fair because if she
has to give the grievance to the deputy who is the subject of the grievance. That deputy will throw it away
and if they do not, no one believes the inmate’s word anyway. She does not know how to make complaints
other than filing a grievance. Other: Rulebook She received a rule book dated 2008. She has tried to call
the phone number in the book to make complaints and the number is disconnected. There have been times
that the deputy has told her to look for a rule in the book but it is not there and the deputy says “the rule
changed.” Accountability of Jail Staff: The deputies are not held accountable because it is the inmate’s
words against the deputies. She has never seen a deputy disciplined. Out of Cell Time/Housing/Isolation:
The inmates are on lockdown frequently, and almost all of the day, because they are too loud even though
there are 80 women in the room. There is a rule that no more than two inmates may be in the bathroom at
any time even though there are six stalls. The deputies tell the inmates that they are entitled to only three
hours a week of non-lockdown time. Programs/Reentry: An inmate is ineligible for the program door if she
has a “keep away” (another inmate whom she cannot be near). She has a “keep away” from another
inmate that was put in place 14 years ago which is preventing her from going to the program dorm. The
deputies will not remove the keep away even though both inmates have told the deputies that they have no
issues with each other. There is no formal way to challenge the keep away. Physical Health Care: This
inmate came into jail pregnant and ultimately had a miscarriage due to the medical care in the jail. In short,
the nurse would not send her to the hospital or let her see a doctor even though she reported signs of a
miscarriage; the nurse told her that until she had “toilet full of blood” she would not see a doctor. She
asked the nurse 4-5 times over a two-day period and was only allowed to see one after she pretended to go
into labor. The doctor at Valley Medical told her that the miscarriage could have been prevented if she
were brought to the hospital earlier. She asked the nurse 4-5 times over a two-day period to let her see the
doctor and was never sent. She filed a grievance when she returned but was released and does not know
A-158

391.

what happened to the grievance. She had another miscarriage in this jail which was also due to inadequate
care. Phone Calls: A deputy told this inmate that she could not help her with a problem where the phone
did not recognize the inmate’s identification number. It was not until the inmate threatened to elicit
outside help that the deputy became attentive and immediately fixed the issue with one phone call.
Commissary Supplies: A lot of the food is stale. There is no way to ensure that the inmate receives her
items—which are often missing. The problem is that if the inmate opens the bag, she cannot complain of a
missing item. But, there is no way to see every item in the bag simply by looking at it on the outside. The
jail used to let the inmates open the bag in front of the delivery person but discontinued this practice
because it takes too much time. If there is an issue with the commissary, the inmates must file a regular
grievance and nothing happens. Hygiene/Cleanliness: Her shoes are too big and she has been complaining
about this for over a month to no avail. The deputies do not provide the inmates the proper cleaning
solutions. They will not provide the inmates with bleach for blood or feces on the toilets. They only have 15
minutes to clean the entire dayroom and bathroom and the deputies will not let other pods help. They only
receive two outfits a week. If they wash the clothes and hang the clothes to dry officers become upset, but
they are not allowed to have new pants if they bleed through them. The deputies tell them to turn their
underwear inside out. The deputies will not exchange the wrong sized clothing for the inmate because they
are lazy, which is frustrating because the inmates are infracted for wearing too tight clothes. Food: The jail
does not feed the inmates enough. Other: Infraction: Two inmates were written up for holes in the sheets
because the sergeant said that it was their job to tell the deputies that there were issues with the sheets.
Everyone’s sheets have holes so all of the inmates brought their sheets to the door. As a result, the
deputies raided the units and took their extra clothes, locked them down all day, and they could not
shower. Cell Phone Use: The deputies are on their cell phones all day and all night. That is why the
deputies deny people medical attention or other requests (e.g. for a toothbrush). One time a woman was
having a seizure while they were on lockdown. Someone came to the door for help and the deputies
ignored them until eventually coming in much slower than was appropriate for the situation. Legal Mail:
The deputies threw her legal mail away during a raid. There was a deputy who looked through an inmate’s
legal mail when he opened it in front of her. Mail: There is too long a delay between the mail being sent
and receiving it. Sometimes the deputies return a picture sent to the inmate if the picture does not have
the inmate’s name and booking number written on it. The jail will not let her write her husband because he
is in men’s jail (they were co-defendants but have been sentenced at this point). Infractions: The deputies
lie in the infractions and there is no way to challenge them. She has not seen a sergeant interview anyone
with respect to an infraction. The staff will offer the inmate a plea and will tell the inmate how much worse
the “sentence” will be if the inmate takes the issue to “kangaroo court” (the formal infraction process).
When she went through the process in 2012, she was not allowed to bring a witness.
Access to MH: An inmate has to wait one month to see a psychiatrist. If an inmate has a medication issue
such as a bad side effect, the nurse tells her to stop the medication but still must wait the entire time period
to see the psychiatrist. Quality of MH: #53 was suicidal and was sent to the mental health unit. The room
was filthy and she was not allowed to have any cleaning supplies because hazmat had been there. This
alerted her to the fact that the filth/stains she saw were from urine and feces and they had not been
thoroughly cleaned. The deputies are not patient with the mentally ill inmates. There was one inmate who
constantly defecated in his cell. The deputies were mean to him. #53 asked him why he continued to
defecate his cell, she listened to him, and then she kindly told him that he should not do it anymore. He
stopped. The jail’s solution is to medicate people. The psychiatrist will ask the inmate what medication
works for her, or give her whatever she says she normally takes. She is an addict so this is not healthy.
Access to Physical Care: She has excessive thirst and her dad has diabetes. She told the nurse about her
symptom/family history and the nurse said it was a thyroid issue but did not do/order any tests. Use of
Force: A deputy will twist an inmate’s arm and put her in the holding cell for hours if she talks back. Inmate
Safety/Cell Phone Use: The deputies are always on their cell phones which has caused delays (usually 5
minutes) between inmates fighting and deputies intervening. The deputies do not see all of the fights; they
happen every day. There are people with drugs unbeknownst to the deputies. They do not know about
people using/possessing drugs in the jail because they do not care to find out. It makes it hard for a
A-159

392.

recovering addict to be around the drugs. Grievance/Complaint process/ Grievance/Complaint
Retaliation: #53 was unjustifiably infracted because she tried to file a grievance against a deputy. As a
result, she was put in the holding cell for four hours to wait for a sergeant who told her the issue was
resolved. On another occasion, she filed a grievance because she had ants in her food. The resolution was
that her food would be refrigerated, but that lasted for only two weeks. Accountability of Jail Staff: Jail
staff is not held accountable. She has never seen them disciplined or spoken to about their misconduct.
There are some deputies that are mean or disrespectful but others do not do anything. She thinks the
sergeants are professional even though they do not discipline the deputies; they are respectful when talking
to inmates. Out of Cell Time: They are on lockdown too frequently. They are let outside once or twice a
week if the deputies remember. Programs: The WINGS and second chance programs are helpful. She
completed six programs but she was moved out of the program dorm because she was in a fight. She thinks
that inmates who need help should be able to take advantage of the programs even if they make mistakes.
Housing: When she was in a higher level security the deputies let out her out of her cell only every other
day, and she was able to shower only every other day, because the jail did not have staff. Access to Physical
Health Care: An inmate has to wait one to two months to see the doctor. Quality of Physical Health Care:
There is no choice between male or female doctors and some things are embarrassing to discuss. Phone
Call Problems/Phone Call Rates: The phone calls are too expensive. The phone will drop calls and the
inmate loses the money for the call. Jail staff blames this on cell phones. Inmates have tried to contact GTL
who say the issue is fixed but it is never fixed. Commissary: She does not have money for commissary so
she cannot wash her hair or use deodorant for this entire time (8.5 months) unless another inmate loans her
shampoo/conditioner/deodorant. She is serving a “prison” sentence in county jail and she knows people
who are grateful for strike convictions because prison is better than county jail. State prisoners receive
shampoo, conditioner, coffee, etc. Without money, an inmate here receives water and three meals a day,
and there is no way to earn money here. Hygiene/Cleanliness: There are two units with major ant
problems. She woke up with ants covered over her and the deputies told her “too bad” when she asked to
be moved on this basis. The deputies told the inmates that it was illegal to spray anything. The citricide
chemical that they receive attract ants. There are also gnats. She has not filed grievances about this for fear
of retaliation. The health department did an inspection and ordered the jail to replace the mattresses
because they were ripped and had bed bugs. The jail obtained new mattresses for only some units. There is
mold on the walls and the bathroom. The inmates wrote a list for the deputies of issues that needed to be
addressed regarding cleanliness, and the only resolution was that they received clean sponges and mops.
No one fixed the mold. She receives stained and dirty underwear. The socks have holes in them. She
receives only one t-shirt a week, two pairs of pants, two over shirts. Food: Inmates receive expired food.
The issue was resolved after she complained, but then she started receiving expired food one week later.
The meals are not enough food. Other: Utensils: She lost her spork and the deputy told her “too bad.” She
was forced to eat with her fingers until another inmate gave her a spork. Other: Mail: The jail will not let her
write her boyfriend because he is in the men’s jail (they are not co-defendants). Custody Inputs: If an
inmate has a problem with staff during the day, the night shift will read a note about the incident in the
computer and then treat the inmate differently. Infractions: She has never challenged an infraction because
she knows she will ultimately receive a lesser punishment because there is no way to win. The staff
evaluating the infraction will not interview witnesses; it is the inmate’s word against the deputy. She was in
a fight and the staff refused to ask witnesses what happened. Personal property: During raids the deputies
take their pictures.
Inmate Safety/Housing: People are not classified properly which has resulted in inmates fighting one
another. Deputies knowingly allow inmates with issues between them interact which results in fights.
Grievance/Complaint process/Grievance/Complaint Retaliation/Infractions: It is hard to obtain grievances
from the officers because the inmate has to request a form from the subject of the grievance and
sometimes the deputy will not provide it to the inmate. If an inmate files a grievance, there are
repercussions such as being unjustifiably infracted. An infraction causes other deputies to view the inmate
in a particular way. Punishments range from no commissary, no visits, rehousing to loss of good-time. It is
possible to go to “kangaroo court” to challenge the infraction with the Lieutenant. There was an instance
A-160

393.

where she was infracted for not moving quickly enough when called to court. The sergeant informally
resolved the issue with her by allowing her to clean the jail hours in exchange for dropping the infraction.
Somehow the infraction went to the Lieutenant who punished her by moving her out of the program dorm
even though she told him that she had completed the work per her agreement. The deputies did not explain
the situation to him. She knows people who have called internal affairs who do come to the jail and
interview people but she has never seen a resolution from this. Accountability of Jail Staff: Staff are not
disciplined or held accountable. She thinks the increased number of cameras has led to more “questioning.”
Out of Cell Time: Her unit is on lockdown for most of the day, every day, depending on the officer. The
older officers are fine but the younger ones do not let the inmates out as frequently. People complain and
nothing happens; the deputies tell them they are only allowed three hours outside of a lockdown a week
per their rule book. She has a rule book and has confirmed that it states this. Programs/Reentry: She has
become disillusioned with the system because she has been in it her entire life and it has never helped her.
She would like to have instructors who care and are qualified. She would like the programs offered at the
low security level such as job training and food prep training. She thinks a computer class would be helpful.
Only certain dorms have AA and NA; this should change. Other: Staffing Issue: The jail is understaffed
which makes everything hard for everyone, especially the doctors who have seen too many people in one
day to give each person care and attention. Access to Physical Health Care: An inmate may have to wait
several days to obtain Tylenol. If there is a medical emergency the nurses become short and upset with the
inmate. The nurses are copying the deputy’s attitudes because they do not behave that way when they first
arrive. Quality of Physical Health Care/Pregnancy: This inmate came to jail 9 months pregnant and had a
still-born child due to the inadequate care of the jail and their delayed response in sending her to the
hospital when the pregnancy became a high risk. Hygiene: There is someone with a staph infection and
the deputies put her back in the jail instead of the medical unit. She has a boil on her rear and she sits on
the toilet which exposes everyone to the illness. Phone Call Problems/Phone Call Rates: Phone calls are
expensive. Her mom has put money on the phone and then it does not show up. Commissary Supplies:
The prices are high and there is not enough variety. There are times she has not received items but feels
she has the chance to talk to the company about discrepancies. Hygiene/Cleanliness: The inmates are
allowed to clean two to three times a day depending on their behavior. The toilet seats are hard to clean
because they are not stainless steel. Deputies will not provide inmates with bleach, and the jail does not
have anyone come in to bleach or otherwise sanitize the unit. Even the deputies wear gloves when they
enter the unit which shows they know it is unsanitary. Clothes are dirty and stained. They are infracted if
the sheets have holes but all the sheets they receive have holes. Therefore, the deputies can always use this
as a way to infract someone. Food: The food is bad. Other: Mattresses: are too thin.
Access to MH/Quality of MH: This inmate is in mental health court and has a court order that she is to be
provided with specific psychiatric medication, but she has not received the medication. She has bipolar,
schizophrenia, and personality disorder. It took a little more than a week to obtain any psychiatric
medications. She has been on medication for 30 years so the dose they provided her was too low to affect
her. Instead of a bipolar and anti-psychotic medication that she had been on, the doctors put her on an
anti-anxiety medication and allergy medication (for sleep). She requested a psychiatrist again because she
did not improve and she could not sleep due to hearing voices. He could not see her so she requested
mental health who moved her to main jail. She felt degraded and more depressed in main jail because of
the conditions. The doctors at main jail prescribed a tranquilizer which was too low of a dose and unhelpful.
She continues to suffer and has been in crisis the entire time she has been in custody (a little over a month).
She lies about the fact that she continues to hear voices because she does not want to go back to main jail.
She was moved out of the program dorm because of her mental health condition. Grievance/Complaint
process/Grievance/Complaint Retaliation: She does not file grievances. She had a friend file a grievance
and that person was then infracted and moved to an observation dorm followed by a higher security level
unit. Another woman was told that she would be infracted if she filed a grievance. She was an older
diabetic woman who was waiting to be finger pricked. She went to the bathroom during the nurse call, and
when she came out the deputy told her she could not go to the call because she was late. The resolution of
the grievance/infraction was a finding that she was late for the call. #55 does not call internal affairs for fear
A-161

394.

395.

396.

of retaliation. She worries of the same for contacting a higher official. Accountability of Jail Staff: Deputies
are not held accountable for their misconduct. All the deputies back each other up. Culture: The deputies
are disrespectful, become angry, and tell inmates to look away when the deputies harass other inmates.
Isolation: When people are in the holding cell they have no water food. Access to Physical Health Care:
She is diabetic and has thyroid conditions. It took a week for her to receive her diabetes medication. She
has repeatedly requested an appointment. Quality of Physical Health Care: The jail will not provide her
with one of the diabetes medications she needs, even though they have her medical records. Because she
does not have her medication, her hands have become swollen, she is experiencing joint pain, her feet are
numb (but at night has shooting pain), and it is hard to walk. She has dentures. She dropped them and they
cracked in half. She had to wait over a month to receive crazy glue to put them back together. In the
meantime, the jail gave her a liquid diet which left her starving. They switched her a low salt low fat diet but
she cannot eat much of the food because she does not have teeth. She did file a grievance about seeing the
dentist but has not heard anything. Inmates should be allowed to see the dentist in the place of inmates
who “refuse” the day of their appointments. Commissary Supplies: She does not have money so she
cannot get food. She does not use the IWF because she does not want to owe money. Sexual Misconduct:
She was sexually assaulted by jail staff many years ago and the person was held accountable because many
inmates were involved.
Grievances--She holds back and doesn’t do grievances for fear of retaliation. She grieved an officer who
consistently spoke to the inmates disrespectfully and rudely, but she gave it to a guard on a different shift.
The guard was told about it, took it personally, and retaliated by rehousing her. Sergeant talked with inmate
and guard eventually was moved, but retaliated against inmate again. Culture--Most guards are “so great”,
but many young officers are on their phones a lot. More a problem with younger guards. Guards are pretty
respectful with their language, with a few major exceptions. Programs—she wants programs, but can only
do packet programs because no programs are offered for her classification and housing. All inmates should
have access to programs to better themselves. Visitation—they’re cut short; only get 30 min., though Main
Jail gets 1 hour. Phones—gets phone access enough. Medical care—she had a misdiagnosis and got the
wrong medicine. Delay for appointments is, at most, 2 weeks. Guards usually give them what they need for
menstrual cycle. IWF—they have a few board games and hand balls, but never heard of IWF. Mental
Health—MH has been responsive (i.e. within the hour). Excessive force—women inmates get shoulders
dislocated, bruised, stepped on, etc., while getting handcuffed. It happens when they’re trying to lock
women down, as if to say to the inmate, “if you’re not going to lock down, then this is what’s going to
happen.”
Mental Health—they need consistency with MH providers and counseling in order to establish necessary
trust to heal trauma they’ve experienced. Hygiene--they only get 2 menstrual pads per shift; it’s not enough.
Out of cell time—they only get only a little time (2 hours/day) in the smaller dorms. They need more, like is
offered in program dorms, for more mental stimulation. Without it, the mind stays focused on the past.
Limited time out of cell interferes with phones calls to attorneys and families. Even if there’s a schedule for
out of cell time, it’s often not followed. In the smaller cells, it’s sporadic. Culture--there’s variation among
guards in how respectfully they treat inmates. The problem seems to be when guards bring their personal
problems to work. Guards often ignore inmates’ requests for help or information. Classification—downclass
decisions can take a long time and the inmate doesn’t know what’s going on. Need more transparency and
updates about classification requests so inmates can set their expectations accordingly. Programs—should
be more re: family issues, domestic violence, especially with good teachers who have walked in inmates’
shoes. Grievances—“I’ve filed a grievance and I’d never do it again.” Guard took it very personally and
escalated the situation, resulting in inmate getting 7 infractions and being rehoused. She thinks officer
would either rip up grievance or not take it seriously. Instead, she would talk to a responsive officer on a
different shift if she had a problem. Rulebook—should be required reading because new inmates don’t
know the rules.
Grievances—Inmate got rehoused by guard she grieved. Put her in dirty cell as punishment; wouldn’t give
her supplies to clean it. Asked for grievance forms; c.o. wouldn’t give her one. She doesn’t use grievances
unless it’s really bad because it will come back on you. Guards protect each other. You can call Human
A-162

397.

398.

399.

Relations—if you make a really big deal, they will try to help you, but not for everything. Culture-- Guards
incite inmate on inmate tensions, don’t go by Rulebook unless inconvenient for them. Guards take out their
problems on inmates in shakedowns, yelling, having attitude, being verbally aggressive, not professional.
Inmate safety--Her mail was given to co-defendant she was testifying against, resulting in her family having
to move for fear of safety. Guards didn’t respond to her statements about need for protection. Guards are
sloppy with mail, receipts, white cards, etc., though, so that inmates can see each other’s info, which can
cause inmate-to-inmate dangers. Medical--her appointment was rescheduled 6 times because jail was
short-staffed. Quality of healthcare is bad; she isn’t getting what she needs for chronic condition. Normal
delay for appointment is 6-8 weeks. Pill call nurses don’t care about the inmates. “It’s so hard to get
appointments and be listened to.” Out of cell time—they get less time out of cell recently, and none at all
15% of time. Guards say it’s because of being short-staffed. Programs—Level 3 & 4 women have no
programs, though they recently started meditation and journalism for some of them. There’s “nothing to
give us a better mindset or prepare us for society” or help the women heal the things that have happened to
them. Even when they have class, inmates have to trade off out of cell time for classes. Newspaper—each
housing unit should have its own, but they don’t. Attorney phone calls—they don’t get time out to of cell for
legal calls. Phone calls—hard to call home when programming time doesn’t correspond to time your family
is available. Calls are too expensive, especially if not local. Rulebook—wasn’t given one, and had to ask for
it. Inmates don’t regularly get them at processing. IWF—hasn’t heard of it, even though she’s been here
over 7 years. They have a board game. Requested more balls. Hygiene—don’t get enough soap or menstrual
supplies. Facility is dirty…cockroaches, ants. Inmates put in grievances, but it doesn’t change. Repair people
don’t clean up after sewer repairs, so inmates are asked to clean up sewage, sometimes without bleach.
Underwear and bras are disgusting, stained, dirty, smelly; inmate got scabies multiple times.
Grievances—some officers act unprofessional about grievances. It takes forever to get a response, and even
then it doesn’t change. She just deals with problems directly with the guard on duty or does nothing.
Culture--some officers just don’t like certain inmates, so they’ll ignore those inmates, or make sarcastic
comments or ask weird questions. An inmate has to wait until a guard who likes them is back on duty to
change the situation. Very few guards are really concerned with inmates’ needs. The guards don’t like to do
extra work and they just pass the work over to the next shift. A lot of these women have MH issues, PTSD,
and trauma, and the guards need to deal with them more delicately. Inmate safety—an inmate threatened
her but guards didn’t want to change anything because then it would reduce program time for all women in
unit. Out of cell time— Guards say they don’t have enough staff to do full out of cell time. It’s much more
restricted than in the past and is at odd times, which makes it hard to call family and attorney. She gets
claustrophobic in her cell when she doesn’t get enough time out. “It makes you crazier than you really are.”
Attorney phone calls—she asks to come out at different times to make a legal phone call, but guards won’t
let her. MH—when she asked to see them, no one came. Later, MH took her to psych downtown, which
released her quickly. She thinks that all happened because the guard had a grudge against her. Medical—pill
call nurses don’t seem to care. They’re not responsive; just say to put in white cards. Books—jail needs to
circulate the books around.
Visitation—It would be good if people of all classification levels could have contact visits unless their
behavior requires otherwise. She has small kids, but can’t ever hold them, even though her behavior is
good. Sometimes, her relative’s name is on the list, but the guard says it isn’t, so her relative can’t visit.
Phone calls—too expensive, should be lower so she can talk to her kids more. Culture—big variation in
guards; some are good, some bring attitude to work. Shows in how they speak to inmates, saying little
unnecessary rude remarks, tossing food. The guards use a change in housing as a threat or to retaliate.
Grievance—she doesn’t do them. But, when she did in past, the response she got that was written on paper
did not match the guards’ actions. Even if the jail does take action, it takes a long time, so she just tries to
deal with it on her own. IWF—hasn’t heard of it. Doesn’t see evidence of it. Programs—they just started
meditation and English, but she can’t do them because of her classification, which causes her to be lonely. It
would help mentally, give peace of mind, if they had access to do programs.
Grievance—she was going to file one, but when guards saw it in her cell, they tore up her cell and messed
up her things. She didn’t file the grievance. “You kinda just have to bite your tongue about everything in
A-163

400.

401.

here. They single us out.” Infractions—the guards use an inmate’s release date against them, then give
infractions, which extends days in jail. To appeal the infraction just brings more heat on inmate, so most just
let infractions go. “You just have to grin and bear it.” Culture--there’s no consistency in implementation of
jail policies. Some guards are good, but others are awful—it comes through in speech, mannerisms. A lot of
the new guards coming in are great. There is a guard who calls the women “bitch” and “hoe” all the time,
though that is not typical of how most guards talk to them. Another guard purposefully embarrasses them in
front of all the others. When guards do cell sweeps, they really mess things up. Guards are always on their
phones. Guard accountability—there is never accountability. Medical—a girl in her unit was having a
miscarriage, and the nurses didn’t respond for 2 hours, even though they knew about it. When a fellow
inmate/nurse tried to help, the guards wouldn’t let her. Only when a bad incident resulted in another
inmates’ death did medical start responding. Out of cell time— they need more. There are times when the
inmates go 3 days without. Guards make excuse about why there’s lockdown. It’s easier for the guards that
way. It’s mentally really hard here. Programs—Need more physical education and group exercise classes.
They’re stuck in their cells all day. They need coloring pages and crossword puzzles without having to wait
weeks; need music. Visitation—visitors have to come really early, which wastes the visitors’ time just sitting
there waiting. Phone calls—often get cut short when the dorm gets locked down. MH—they only want to
know if you’re acute, otherwise, they don’t talk with you. Reentry—there are so many barriers to her
success when she gets out, but there’s no help for reentry planning. The Reentry Center can’t give specific
information about real resources. She gets out really soon, but she doesn’t have a plan because she can’t
get good information in jail.
Culture--Guards are rude and high-powered, treating the inmates like animals. Grievances—guards always
prevail. The jail didn’t ever address her grievance until she contacted MH, then they finally listened to her.
Inmate now just stays away from trying to fix anything because she doesn’t want to get punished or
disciplined. Internal Affairs—IA didn’t answer when inmate called, so she abandoned IA process. Culture-Night shift guards are bad; day shift is fine. Bad guards treat people differently based on race. Other guards,
if you respect them, they’ll respect you, do job in a professional way. Mental Health—the therapists here
just want to know if she wanted meds or wants to hurt herself, but they should offer more talk therapy.
Time out of cell—It’s worse now. The good thing is that there are more classes, but now they have less time
to do basic things like shower and phones calls, because class time is taken from out of cell time. They get
full program time at night only because there are no classes. Sometimes, free time is so late at night it’s too
late to call her family. Medical—she had a 103 fever for 3 days, and her heart rate was up. She asked to go
to hospital because Tylenol was ineffective. Her mother intervened from the outside and it changed, but
guard didn’t give her the message about her mother’s visit for 4-5 days. They should have nurses with more
training—nurses haven’t been skilled enough to draw blood. Hygiene—some guards don’t give them
enough menstrual pads, and the pads are very bad quality, so it’s not enough.
Grievance—She has tried giving a grievance form to a different shift, but some guards don’t turn them in
and some try to dissuade you from filing them. If you grieve bad guards, they retaliate, so she rarely does it
because she’s serving a long sentence and doesn’t want bad treatment. When she grieved an officer, the
officer got mad and moved her to an ant-infested room with a broken toilet as punishment in the middle of
the night. Officer took her into unmonitored closet at 2am. Another inmates’ mom reported it to IA, who
took inmate’s statement, and guard was moved to different unit. Classification--She got upclassed and
doesn’t know why, though she thinks it was due to IA’s investigation, as retaliation. She has asked what she
needs to do to get downclassed, and no one tells her. Inmates get CI’s (“custody inputs”) the inmate can’t
see and can’t explain their side of story, but the CI’s get used to make classification changes. MH—it took 34 months to get a MH appt. Certain doctors don’t listen to her. Visitation—Level 4s should be able to have
contact visits, too. It should be based on behavior, not classification. She can’t downclass because of her
charges, so though her behavior is good, she can’t see her kids with contact. Commissary—should have
healthier options, like dried fruits, veg, and protein. Hygiene products don’t reflect ethnic diversity…they
don’t have the right personal care products for different ethnic groups. Hygiene—she got TB in jail because
of being placed with a super unsanitary person. The doctor didn’t give her any info or explain the medicine’s
side effects or anything. Eventually, the nurse did. Guards are really stingy with menstrual pads. Culture—
A-164

402.

403.

404.

405.

guards bend the rules for favorites, ex. letting Level 4s be a trustee when the policy is that the Level 4s can’t
be a trustee. Inmates can’t get a clear answer about why there are exceptions to the rules that don’t
conform to official policy. Some guards make the inmates fear them. 80% of guards are pretty respectful,
but the other 20% will make your life hell. Housing--Officers using housing changes as punishment. She has
gotten moved by officers trying to prove a point to her, sometimes in middle of night. Time out of cell—they
now get more classes, but have to stay locked down the rest of the day. At night, they get time out, which
makes it hard to call family and attorney. They get more time on weekends. Food—now they only have tiny
spoons that don’t work and they could swallow. It’s a little thing, but it makes a big deal in daily life.
Medical—there is no eye care here, and she needs it. Rulebook—got one when she came in.
MH—biggest issue—doctor told her to put in a white card, so she did, but appointment is delayed for 6
weeks. She can’t get the medicine she needs, even though she was on those meds before. Doctor said it’s
not allowed, but alternate medicines don’t work for her. Medical— Doctors here don’t know enough. You
can only turn in one white card, and only at the 11am pill call, which means you can’t turn one in if you’re
out to court or have multiple issues, so you can’t get what you need. You can’t get a general appointment,
like for a physical. Dental—it was put off 3 weeks. If you don’t have a fever at that moment, you don’t get
seen. Dental only wants to pull teeth, but she needs her teeth to eat—would be better to fix them than pull
them her glasses need to be fixed, but jail won’t do it. Mail—Indigent inmates can’t get legal size envelopes
for free, or postage for them, so indigent inmates can’t do their legal mail. Also, there’s no way to copy legal
documents, unless going to Friends Outside, which takes 2-3 weeks. Big problem for legal case. Out of cell
time—it varies a lot, from 10 minutes to 2 hours. It’s really fickle. If they’re locked down in the evening, they
don’t get a shower. That’s a problem for hygiene, especially with the lack of hygiene supplies. They need
more time out of doors, and they get cabin fever, lack of fresh air. There aren’t a lot of places to run and be
loud. Even when outside, there’s not much place to play, the net is tangled. Commissary—food (top raman)
is too expensive, especially compared to state prison commissary. Why doesn’t the county use the same
vendor as the state? Hygiene—the indigent hygiene kits don’t have enough soap, and no
shampoo/conditioner. Blanket exchange is only once a month, and they don’t always exchange thermals;
needs to be more often. Even if you buy slip-on shoes in commissary, you can’t wear them during program
time. Rulebook—she was given one when she first got here. IWF—hasn’t heard about it here. They have a
few games.
Grievance—she got the paper response back, but it didn’t change anything. She can approach some of the
guards, but not all, to help her solve problems. Reentry—she is waiting for a release date, but can’t get good
information about when the community option she needs will be available. Mental Health—MH is pretty
responsive and the quality is fine. Medical/dental—she gets what she needs, not much delay. Out of cell
time—for the past couple of months, she has been getting more. It’s enough for her. Programs—there is a
booklet program available.
Out of cell time--there’s not enough yard time. All levels need more yard time and exercise. Across the units,
they rarely use the yard. They spend too much time on their bunks and even have to eat on their bunks.
Also, the mattresses are really bad, so because they spend so much time on their bunks, their bodies hurt a
lot. Culture—the guards are fine. They all have pretty decent attitudes. Grievance—her single voice is not
enough is not enough to do a grievance successfully, so she doesn’t do them. She doesn’t want to rock the
boat. Infractions—sergeants have been fair to her in the process. Programs—there are classes (landscaping,
computers), but if they don’t want to go to school, they have to stay inside all day. Food—inmates with long
sentences need better nutrition. Commissary—need more nutritious products and better personal
care/cosmetic items. There is no healthy food available. IWF—she’s heard of it for provision of indigent
Commissary packages, but nothing else.
Culture—some guards are good, but some are terrible. Some lock the inmates down too much. Guards
display heavy racism. The male guards who come here from downtown treat the women harshly like the
men. Staff aren’t trained to deal with inmates’ trauma and mental issues; they should be. Guards don’t have
a public service attitude, so the inmates get no help. Guards will lock them down, retaliate, use racial
comments, etc. She thinks the guards are mad about working here. Classification--She got upclassed after
she was attacked and responded in self defense. The jail acknowledged that it was self defense, but still
A-165

406.

407.

408.

upclassed her. A racist sergeant overrode the sergeant who had made the initial decision and upclassed her;
it was racially motivated. Inmate can’t get information or challenge the decision because classification just
says “resolved.” Some good guards will call classification to find out what’s going on. No transparency about
why she was moved or how to get back. Medical—“Medical is hopeless here.” When she came here, she
had open wounds from prison that were still being cared for. The nurse & doctor misdiagnosed her and cut
her open right in the unit, then sent her back to her cell without bandaging it, and then didn’t have follow
up visits. Doctor said she should be checked twice a day, but guards didn’t check her at all, and infection
worsened. She got hugely infected and had to be admitted to the hospital twice for lack of ordered followup care. Jail doctor still hasn’t seen her. Medical appointment keeps getting cancelled here, so still isn’t
getting the meds the hospital ordered. She has a chronic health condition that makes follow up necessary.
Death in family—court & facility denied hospital’s request that inmate visit her child on deathbed, to make
life support decisions. The jail shouldn’t have had that much discretion in the decision. Out of cell time—
there’s way too much to think about life difficulties in this unit where there are no programs offered. She
comes out of cell for 1 hour to make calls, shower, etc. If there are lockdowns, they don’t even get that. It’s
not enough. Grievance—staff “loses” grievances or just doesn’t care. If inmate grieves an officer, the officer
treats them badly by denying time out of cell, water requests, etc. . Visitation—jail has too much discretion
in denying emergency contact visits, which she needed after death of her child.
Hygiene—bathrooms have moldy and are nasty. Grievances—her friend did a grievance, and the officer
immediately came to her and sent her to disciplinary housing for the grievance. She’s scared to do a
grievance because of getting an infraction for doing so. Some of the grievances just get torn up. To solve
problems, they just tell the guards, but that doesn’t change anything. Culture—guards talk disrespectfully
and cuss at them. It’s most of the guards, but some are nice. The women get locked down too much by the
bad guards. Some guards don’t go by the Rulebook. They want to run the jail they want to, not the way the
rules say. Medical—appointment delayed 3 weeks, but then the care was ok. Mental Health—she has to
wait a long time for appt. Mail—she’s not getting hers properly. Out of cell time—they only get to go to the
yard 1 time/week for about 30 minutes. Guards say they’re short-staffed and lock them down, but then
there are a lot of guards just standing around. Programs—the programs in her dorm are good.
Long-term prison sentences--Big problem—the jail is not equipped for inmate serving long-term prison
terms who would have been in prison before realignment. “I would rather have gone to prison.” Now that
prison inmates are here, the jail needs to take a look a lot of things. It’s a problem for inmates who are here
serving long sentences (ex. mattresses are horrible, no writing pens, too little space to store belongings).
Guards are provoking fights by not giving enough storage space, because then inmates steal from each and
create tension and envy. Her stuff is vulnerable, and there’s no place to put things securely, while they’re in
class, interviews, etc. Out of cell time—they don’t get enough exercise, only get to walk the yard, no
running, can’t go on grass. The time varies. Hygiene—she got a fungus from the dirty clothes, they’re so
nasty she doesn’t turn them in for cleaning. Indigents aren’t given shampoo, and some come in with lice, so
it makes jail unsanitary. Should give indigents shampoo/conditioner. Little tiny toothbrush and spoons are
also a problem and degrading. Housing—there should be a separate dorm for people serving prison terms
who have different levels of respect for jail rules than the short-termers who cause more problems.
Commissary—way too expensive. They should use a different vendor that has better options and not so
expensive. Grievances—she filed one, but the officer just cited the out-of-date rulebook and wrote
“resolved,” when it wasn’t resolved at all. When she did one in the past, it didn’t solve anything either. She
is going to write the facility captain next time. Mail—it seems they don’t pick up the mail every day. Her
magazines are ripped up.
Gender issues—there shouldn’t be male guards in women’s dorms. The male guards, one in particular,
always peer through the windows. She likes all the guards, but the peering of the male guards is very
offensive. Mental Health—when she said she needed to see someone, MH came quickly. But for other
inmates, MH takes a long time coming. It makes her uneasy that she may have to wait in future, too.
Hygiene—there’s black mold in the showers. It’s atrocious. Women wind up with staff and fungal infections.
Grievances—if you have a grievance, why do you give it the officer on duty? There should be a box that is
only opened by the Captain’s office. They shouldn’t go through the c.o.’s hands. That’s why inmates don’t
A-166

409.

410.

411.

412.

413.

think grievances work. Culture—sometimes, officers do need to hold a tough line, and that’s okay;
sometimes, officers cuss, which seems unnecessary.
Grievances—she got put in a holding cell, then asked for a grievance and officer said there weren’t any.
Officer said she was giving her attitude. She later did the grievance, and got a response. Culture—A guard
said “Right or wrong, I’m always gonna be right.” That’s the attitude of a lot of guards, but not all. The
guards take things too personally. It’s wrong that inmate can’t do anything about things that are wrong
without getting in trouble. When inmates try to stand up for themselves, they get infracted. So, they hold
their tongues. She has some custody inputs (CI's), but inmates can’t know what they are. The rules change
all the time, and inmates try to look at their Rulebook, but it’s outdated. After the last text/jail scandal, the
inmates couldn’t watch the news because jail was scared of riot. Out of cell time—guards give it when they
want to. It depends on the officer. Some dorms don’t ever get yard time. Some of the guards won’t let the
inmates get water when they’re supposed to be on their bunks, though the rules say they should be able to.
Programs—programs are good. IWF—barely heard of it. They have a few games and basketballs, but not
much. Food—there is sometimes expired food (milk and fruit cups).
Medical—big deal: She went in for testing and they said they’d call if anything was wrong. They didn’t call
her, but she put in a card for an appointment to go ask about test results and it turned out she did have
something medical had not called her back about. The doctor was horrible. He wouldn’t give her any
information and wouldn’t treat it as an emergency, so this woman can’t get treatment for this chronic
disease she just found out she has. Doctor was so rude and hateful to her. She’s worried about other people
in here who never get called back with positive test results and are walking around with diseases they don’t
know about. Medical privacy--She didn’t grieve the medical staff because she doesn’t want the guards to
know about her medical issue, and she doesn’t see any options for addressing the problem while she’s in
jail. Grievances—some people are scared of retaliation and would turn them in to a different shift than the
one that’s problematic. Culture—some staff are friendly.
Lack of information—This is a big deal, that inmates are never told what is going to happen, when, or why. It
would help the inmates so much if guards would give brief reasons for things (e.g. why/not or when things
are happening.) It would help ease inmates’ minds to know what is going on and use their time better.
Classification—there’s no transparency in the system. She put in many requests and tried to be a trustee,
but could never get an answer about why she was denied. Jail needs to let them know the criteria and
reasons for denials so inmates can do what is needed to progress. Culture—the guards here now are pretty
respectful, but in the past some have been bad. Grievances—she doesn’t file grievances because she
doesn’t know what guards might do to her. Mental health—some inmates are afraid to get MH help
because they don’t want to be put in a MH dorm. Food—there’s too much starch, especially for how
inactive inmates are. Yard—it should be open more, but it’s hardly ever open.
Use of Force—she was accused of giving an officer a hard time, and 15 officers started beating her up. She
was pregnant, but miscarried right after being admitted to jail. Medical—when she was having a
miscarriage, she was bleeding so much, but nurse wouldn’t give her help and didn’t believe her that she’d
been pregnant. Culture—guards ignore her when she asks for help, even when she was having a
miscarriage. Phones—she gets enough phone time, but calls are too expensive, which makes it difficult to
keep in touch with her kids. Classification—she gets upclassed without an explanation as to why. Hygiene—
clothes and mattresses are dirty and very poor quality. Even if you wash them, they’re still dirty.
Grievances—she asked a guard to put some personal items for when she gets out of jail, but the guard
threw the items out instead. She wants to grieve the officer, but hasn’t because she doesn’t want to get in
trouble from that guard. Housing—there are a lot of drugs in one of the dorms. She sees women smoking
dope and shooting lines in the bathroom. There’s no peace there.
Grievances—when she asked for a form, the guard wouldn’t give it to her until the inmate told what it was
for. The officers try to dissuade them from filing grievances. Guards have come back after taking a grievance
and asked “why are you grieving me?” She feels like “we’re just completely hopeless” about having their
voices heard. If she has a problem with one guard, she asks another “cool” guard to help with that issue.
Culture—The newer guard, especially on night shift, treats the inmates really bad. The older guards are chill,
but the jail is training the new ones badly, to not treat inmates with basic respect. Medical—she still hasn’t
A-167

414.

415.

416.
417.

gotten her pills, even though the jail has her prescription already. Even for a serious incident, you have to
wait 2 weeks for an appointment. She has a chronic disease, and is not even getting her basic meds. The
doctor just doesn’t care. She has seen at least 3 miscarriages in the jail, and they don’t get good access or
quality of care. Out of cell—they only get to go out to the yard about once/week.
Classification—she got upclassed very suddenly and got no explanation why. “We don’t have to tell you
anything.” She couldn’t find out if she had any CI’s or what the problem was. How can she correct herself if
she doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong? Grievances—she’s filed a few, but never got pink receipt,
response, or resolution. She wants a way to report guard behavior without retaliation. Visitation—for
relatives who don’t use computers, there needs to be a better way to register. The computer is a barrier.
Legal information—jail needs to post information about phone numbers and other basics so the inmates
know who to contact about particular things (like Jail Observer Program) because guards often just say “I
don’t know.” Programs—good, but because the inmates are out so often, they need a way of getting reliable
information from people/services who come by their dorm when they’re out. Culture—inmates need to be
able to talk to program staff or mental health without a guard first asking “why?” There’s too much
favoritism. Some guards are respectful. There’s a lot of variation in how guards interpret the rules. Guards
shouldn’t be so snappy when inmates ask questions. Inmate safety—guards need to watch dorms better
because there’s a fair amount of sexual behavior that shouldn’t be happening. Guards should be observant,
not on phone all the time. Inmates need ability to talk to c.o. to report inmate misbehavior without being
labelled a snitch. Guards don’t pay attention to inmates’ subtle ways of trying to get their attention when
something is going wrong. Medical—she told nurse about a health problem, but nurse acted like he didn’t
care. She put in a white card, but never got an appointment and hasn’t gotten care yet. If she has a
headache, she still has to put in a white card, even though headache is gone before appointment arrives.
Out of cell—they’re locked down too often, too much time on bunks. Inmate Welfare Fund—she’s never
heard of it. Mattresses—they need to be better, thicker for inmates serving long sentences.
Medical errors—in September 2015, an inmate was given the wrong medication and died in her sleep. This
inmate was assigned to that woman’s bed, and the neighboring inmates told her about it. Another woman
(cancer survivor) was given wrong medication. A lot of time, medical staff doesn’t give the right medication
because many names are similar and pill call nurses don’t check inmate numbers. Inmate safety—guards will
single out a single inmate and say to others “this shakedown is happening because of her.” This creates
problems between the inmates and needs to stop. Grievances—often, a guard won’t give you a form when
you ask or makes you explain why you want one, then tries to persuade you not to file it. Culture—officers
cuss at inmates all the time. The older ones will say “I just don’t give a f***.” The newer guards are ones.
Some take their problems out on the inmates or take things personally. Sexual harassment—guards
regularly call the women inmates “bitch” and “broad.” Hygiene—the jail puts addicts in general population,
even when they’re detoxing, which is bad because other inmates have to clean up their feces/vomit without
proper supplies. The Hazmat crew doesn’t usually come clean up feces/vomit. If there is feces/vomit at their
worksite and the women refuse to work around it, they get fired from their jobs; the women had to have
someone on the outside contact OSHA to finally resolve this problem. News blackout—when there’s
unfavorable news about the jails, the inmates get locked down; no TV/newspapers until the issue has
passed. Yard—they often go for 3 days with no time outside, especially if a guard is made at them or
punishing them for one inmate’s mistake.
Medical—if she misses pill call, she can’t turn in a white card for 2 more days because they only accept
white cards at particular times. Why can’t they turn in white cards any time? In addition to delays turning in
white cards, there are long delays with getting medical appointments. When they do finally get seen, the
quality is okay.
Grievances—she doesn’t do them because they just get “lost.” So she just bottles up her complaints.
Accountability--There is a particular staff person engaging in serious misconduct and breaking the rules
without consequence. She wants it to stop because it makes her feel really uncomfortable. But, there’s no
good way to deal with the situation because, if she grieves the staff person, everyone will know about it and
she’ll be in danger because he can seemingly do whatever he wants without being held accountable. This
staff person cusses, screams at inmates, and is derogatory to them. He plays one group of inmates against
A-168

418.

419.

420.

the others so successfully that the inmates fight in the dorms. He lets inmates use his personal phone, which
the guards know about. She has seen beer cans in his trash. Plus, he violates the rules by pulling non-workapproved inmates out to do work. It’s pervasive behavior—“he goes by a different rulebook.” Mental
Health—she has accessed MH to talk through her concerns about this staff person because she knows MH
has to keep things confidential. Culture—a lot of guards treat inmates like human beings, but there are
other guards to just steer clear of.
Medical—she came in addicted. Medical wouldn’t give her a “kick pack” to help detox, even though they
give them to some people. She was so sick, but they gave her a laxative rather an anti-diarrhea medication,
which made her have blood in her feces. She couldn’t sleep for 3 weeks, nor eat for 1 week, but they
wouldn’t even prescribe Insure. She couldn’t get a medical appointment for 3 weeks, and she continues to
have 3 week delays for appointments. One doctor won’t even listen to her; told her she could only be seen
for 2 things at once, even though inmate had multiple things wrong. Mental Health—she had to wait 1
month to see a psych and get the meds she was on when she came in. Hygiene—they need better cleaning
supplies so they can clean deeply occasionally because the jail is so dirty. Clothes are so dirty. Jail doesn’t
exchange their thermals at all. They need a change of clothes. Toothbrushes are horrible, insufficient to
keep clean teeth. Inmate safety—inmates need more bin space to store personal items and commissary
goods. Inmates can’t comply with the rule to put their things away if they have nowhere to store them.
Culture—during shakedowns, guards excessively mess up inmates’ things. Guards call them “stupid.”
Exercise—they don’t get enough exercise or time in the yard. It depends on the guard; some give more time
in the yard. Grievances—she wants to go home, so she doesn’t want to rock the boat or do grievances. If an
officer “resolves” a grievance, the guard doesn’t even have to pass the grievance along, so no one outside
ever knows about it. Even if she did one, she doesn’t know if it would do anything, and guards take them
personally. Food—it is too long between dinner and breakfast. They get really hungry. They don’t get 2 hot
meals/day, like they should. Rulebook—it’s really outdated.
Medical—it’s horrible. Her roommate miscarried, but the baby was dead inside her for 3 days before she got
treatment. The doctor misdiagnosed her, thinking the baby’s heart was beating, even though it was the
mother’s heart. Generally, there’s a 1 month wait for appointments. Dental—there’s no preventative care,
and there’s a 2-3 month wait for appointment. Mental health—a lot of people don’t go see MH because
they don’t want to get locked down on a MH dorm. MH takes it to the extreme, which she doesn’t want,
and she doesn’t want it on her record. So people hold things inside of them, then burst out in fights. Food—
there’s a real lack of nutrition in the food. It’s all starch and little variety, not balanced meals. She has no
money for Commissary, so she can't supplement. Now she’s borderline high blood pressure, though she was
fine before. Grievances—she doesn’t file grievances, but just sucks it up and waits for the right guard to ask
for help. Inmates know “don’t mess with that guard.” The stronger inmates do grievances; the weaker
women can’t do it because it would rock the boat too much and make life too difficult for them. Culture—
guards can be very disrespectful. The older guards are better. New ones are worse, though some old ones
are real jerks, too. Guards humiliate inmates, which makes them close down, which is so bad because a lot
of women come to jail with a lot of emotional damage. Out of cell—they need more yard time. They only
get it on weekends. Inmate Welfare Fund—it should provide better mattresses.
Medical—This is a big deal. She had exceedingly heavy menstrual flow after recent delivery of baby. Doctor
never examined her. They just drew her blood and said it was normal, but it wasn’t at all normal. Outside of
jail, her doctor would have sent her to the hospital immediately, but she got no care from the jail staff. Her
outside doctor gave her a note for a vegetarian diet, but the jail won’t give it to her, so she hardly eats at all.
Visitation—guards won’t let her baby in to visit, saying “no babies under 1 year” but they’re just making that
rule up. Phone—her child’s dad is also in jail, and they can’t legally communicate. They need to talk, though,
in order to co-parent. Need some change to ban on inmate-inmate communications for co-parents.
Exercise—they need more yard time for exercise. Program—it’s good, though it was better when it was
more regimented. Grievances—you may get a grievance back that says “resolved” but it isn’t. She doesn’t
file them because officers tell her they not going to do anything in response; they do no good. Grievances
shouldn’t go to the guard who is grieved. Hygiene—blankets have holes in them; sheet don’t cover the
mattresses; the clothes are really dirty.
A-169

421.

422.

423.

Medical—she was detoxing from drugs when she came in. Medical didn’t do anything to help. She thought
she was about to die, but all they did was give her Advil. Mental Health—MH does not come see her right
away. She had to wait 1 month. Then they gave her meds for a different condition she doesn’t have, and no
information about the new drug, and it wasn’t right. Hygiene—the clothes are so dirty. They only get 2 bras,
and the jail doesn’t ever exchange thermals. But, inmates get infracted for having laundry soap, so they
can’t even wash their clothes without risking infraction. Jail needs to wash the blanks. When people
defecate on floor, Hazmat won’t come clean it up, so inmates have to do it, which is dangerous. Mattress—
they’re horrible. The bunks are metal, and with the “yoga mat” mattresses, it’s really hard. Church—there’s
a guard who won’t let them go to church. Exercise—they only get to go out to the yard if the weather is
good, but they need more exercise, need group exercise classes. Food—meal times are really off. You can’t
keep food, so you have to wake up and eat at 4am, not save food. Rulebook—it’s way out of date. Prison v.
jail—the rules need to be revised now that prisoners are serving time in jail, to accommodate people on
long sentences. Information—she uses request forms to find out when court dates are, etc., but she’s never
even gotten one back. Phones—sometimes they’re required to end calls prematurely. Grievances—she
doesn’t want to file one because she knows the guard will give her a hard time. Mail—people have sent her
mail she never received. Culture—guards play favorites. Some guards are disrespectful when it’s not
necessary.
Prison v. jail—now that prisoner are here, jail needs to reconsider its policies to respond to long-term
prisoners. Ex—thicker mattresses, eye glasses, more storage bins, different programs. Prisoners should be
housed separately from jail inmates. “I would rather be in prison” than jail because we don’t get the things
here that prisoners should. Medical—she’s on a long sentence, and was denied eye glasses, which she could
have gotten in prison. She needs a new eye exam, but they won’t do it. She grieved it over 60 days ago and
still has gotten no answer. They deny her medical attention, too. Mental health—She had a 3-month delay
to get a psych appointment. She couldn’t sleep after her husband’s death, but MH wouldn’t help her with it.
They gave her anti-depressants she didn’t need, that made her depressed, so she stopped them. MH never
offered anti-anxiety meds, which is what she needed. The psych told her to buy Benadryl to help her sleep,
but that’s the wrong use of that medicine. Culture—some guards are truly good people, but the majority are
not. The inmates get shakedowns out of retaliation. Exercise—they don’t get enough yard or exercise time.
They were recently in doors for 3 days with none. Legal—guards wouldn’t allow her probation officer to give
her a photocopy of her I.D. she needed for a legal matter, which made no sense. Grievances—the responses
don’t make sense. She uses them for some things, but wouldn’t grieve an officer. Reentry—when she went
to prison, she stayed out of jail after for 6 years because the programs/jobs were so good. But, she cycles
in/out of jail because the programs don’t help her succeed in reentry. She’s not being assessed for outside
programs. She needs more Reentry help.
Medical—it takes about 5 white cards to get an appointment. She has sciatica & herniated disc because of
the horrible mattresses. She still hasn’t seen a doctor, but she saw a nurse practitioner who did something
weird—she pulled down inmates pants to do a rectal exam, rather than having inmate pull down her own
clothing. Provider tried to do rectal exam again, but inmate stopped her. Her records show she has a
herniated disc, but she can’t get help. The untreated pain contributes to bad attitude; her state of mind is
better when her pain is better controlled. They keep promising her she’ll have an MRI, but they never do it.
Her situation is getting worse without proper treatment, and she’s on a long sentence. Prison v. jail—for
women on long prison terms in jail, if you don’t have someone on the outside taking care of you financially,
you’re screwed. In prison, the indigent hygiene kit is sufficient, but not here. In prison, you can work and be
paid, go to school, etc., but not in jail. “I would rather be in prison.” Culture—guards don’t know how to talk
to inmates with mental illness. Today, the guards did a shakedown then hurried the inmates to class
“because the Blue Ribbon Commission is coming” and guards wanted to avoid the appearance of chaos.
Hygiene—blankets don’t get washed. Clothes are so dirty that people get ringworm. Mail—is so sporadic,
and it gets confiscated often. Grievances—officers rip them up, throw them back in your face, or retaliate.
She won’t even touch them because the guards are so aggressive, even with the old women inmates.
Inmates are scared to grieve. And it doesn’t change anything anyway. Inmate Welfare Fund—the cleanest
dorm is supposed to get soda from the IWF, but they never do.
A-170

424.

425.

426.

Medical—This is a big issue. She had a miscarriage here. She told nurse she was spotting, but nurse just said
to do a white card. When you have something urgent, a white card is totally insufficient to address it. They
eventually took her to the hospital. Med staff thinks inmates are always just trying to game the system, but
the inmates have valid medical needs that need to be listened to. Prison v. jail—Women serving prison
sentences should be moved to a different dorm all together where they could have their rights like they do
in prison. They need programs like college by correspondence, which they can’t do at Elmwood. They need
trade certificates and college to be prepared for Reentry, or they won’t have skills to survive. T