Photos Of Filthy Conditions In San Diego County Jails.The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is facing new charges of shortcomings and mismanagement in its facilities only days after a state audit found that conditions in San Diego County jails are so hazardous that legislation is needed to compel repairs.

It was late Wednesday when a group of civil rights lawyers filed a lawsuit seeking an order from a federal judge compelling Acting Sheriff Kelly Martinez to put in place new procedures aimed at decreasing the rate at which people die in custody and enhancing the treatment of those who are ill or physically disabled.

Shortly after veteran Sheriff Bill Gore announced his early retirement, a 200-page complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in San Diego against the county.

Requests made in the action include that the Sheriff’s Department provides enough staffing levels, increased training, and outside treatment when necessary and ensures that officers do not interfere with healthcare choices.

The California State Auditor’s report, which was released last week, had many of the same suggestions.

San Diego County, a local hospital district, and three healthcare contractors are also named as defendants in the action.

Because of the existing litigation, neither the County of San Diego nor the Sheriff’s Department will comment.

Correctional Healthcare Partners, Tri-City Medical Center, Liberty Healthcare Inc., Mid-America Health Inc., and Dr. Logan Haak did not immediately reply to requests for comment on the charges against them.

The counsel for the plaintiffs claim that Gore was informed of the allegations of negligence and misbehavior in the case before he left office.

“San Diego County residents are unnecessarily suffering and dying in the county’s jail facilities due to extraordinarily dangerous and deadly conditions, policies and practices that have been allowed to persist for many years,” the complaint states. There’s nothing new about the jail’s crisis.

In this case, the plaintiffs are not pursuing financial compensation. A federal court should instead order increased medical care, mental health therapy, and other services that are mandated by law for those detained by the government.Rat Was In An Examination Room In The Vista Jail.

“We hope it forces the Sheriff’s Department to take basic, common-sense, measures to keep people safe,” said Jonathan Markovitz, a staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties and one of 10 lawyers from four different law firms to file the complaint.

“We hope it drives home the need to divert people from the jail system and create community-based options for care and rehabilitation,” he said.

Additionally, the class-action case was filed by attorneys from DLA Piper; Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld; and Aaron J. Fischer, a lawyer who co-wrote a Disability Rights California study on San Diego County prisons in 2018.

A number of jails in the state have been examined and sued by Fischer. According to him, the local facilities are some of the worst he has ever encountered.

“What is striking is that San Diego County’s jails stand on their own in the level of mistreatment of people and the sheer awfulness of the conditions,” he said. This is a system which has resisted required and urgent adjustments, even while other jurisdictions have begun to take action.

As stated in the case, all seven of the plaintiffs have been diagnosed with a significant mental disease or crippling physical ailment while they were detained in San Diego County’s custody.

This type of early-onset arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, causes Darryl Dunsmore to become paralyzed from time to time. His wheelchair and customized spoon were taken away from him “because they determined that he did not need them,” according to the complaint filed against the deputies.

Dunsmore was devastated by the news. In an isolation cell without access to a bathroom, he was allegedly forced to urinate and defecate on the cell floor, according to a complaint. He was forced to eat with his hands since he had no other alternative.

“He often made a mess in the cell and was forced to sleep among his own feces and other trash,” the complaint says.

Photos Of Filthy Conditions In San Diego County Jails.Plaintiff Even after screaming of “excruciating” tooth pain, Laura Zoerner, a mentally ill and addicted patient, was put in isolation, she had to have oral surgery because of gaps in treatment.

The complaint alleges that when Zoerner returned to the jail following surgery, the medical personnel stopped administering her medicine for bipolar disorder. By hitting her head on the cell door until it was bloody, Zoerner said her appeals for her medicine to be restarted were disregarded.

A lack of clinical personnel in the county’s jails, according to Gore, makes them the county’s largest mental health facility, according to the complaint. Inmates in the two main jails have been complaining about the lack of access to medical care for over a month.

One-third of the inmates at Central Jail are now on the waiting list. More than a third of the inmates at the George Bailey Detention Facility are caught up in the backlog.

Suicide rates have increased because of delays in psychiatric care and inadequate screens before booking, according to the state audit and the class-action complaint.

Confidential treatment sessions are also out of the question. An inmate’s mental health can be worsened by cell-side therapy sessions, according to a complaint.

The shortage of mental health treatment space is not a new issue that has been raised in the complaint.

In 2018, an investigation by the advocacy group Disability Rights California found that cell-side assessments “undermine treatment, as prisoners are reluctant to disclose sensitive information about their mental health history or current situation.”

An expert in jail suicides was commissioned to perform an independent study of the sheriff’s procedures for suicide prevention in the same year. There was a lack of “sound” confidentiality, which would allow patients to confidentially discuss medical and mental healthSan Diego Central Jail | Detention Facilities | San Diego County Sheriff problems, among the conclusions listed by consultant Lindsay Hayes.

Suit alleges that unhygienic living circumstances have contributed to a lack of medical and mental health treatment, which has led to disease and infection.

Patients with urinary or fecal incontinence are refused access to baths and clean clothing because of these practices, the lawsuit claims.

With a cell for suicidal convicts, the walls were covered in excrement, and a ceiling tile was coated in black mold, according to the court complaint. Additionally, it shows a dead mouse in a medical exam room at the Vista jail and piles of trash and human waste in the Central Jail section designated for mental inmate.

An outbreak of bacterial illnesses occurred last year, according to the lawsuit. One individual was sent to the hospital for treatment of contaminated tissue. According to the lawsuit, when he returned, he was placed in a cage that was overrun with flies and ants.

He had to go back to the hospital when his wound re-infected.

“Dying Behind Bars,” a six-month investigation by the San Diego Union-Tribune, was published in 2019 and sparked both a lawsuit and a state audit.

San Diego County’s jail system has a considerably higher fatality rate than other big California counties, such as Los Angeles County, which are now being monitored by a court order. This finding has been confirmed by other independent research studies.

Due to San Diego County’s self-insured status, it has paid millions of dollars in court costs, legal settlements, and jury verdicts since 2009 due to delays in inmate treatment.

The complaint argues that jailers frequently fail to follow even the basic level of care for detainees going through drug and alcohol withdrawal, in addition to unclean surroundings and gaps in medical and mental health treatment.

San Diego County Drug Use Among Male Arrestees Hits 21-Year HighMAT, or medication-assisted therapy, has been in place for years in the Sheriff’s Department and involves administering one of three federally-authorized drugs to decrease drug cravings and symptoms of withdrawal. Fentanyl overdoses have increased as a result of the shortage of MAT, the complaint claims.

In addition, it mentions the death of Saxon Rodriguez, an opiate user who overdosed on fentanyl just four days after being arrested. He may have used fentanyl to relieve withdrawal symptoms that might have been handled with medication-assisted therapy, Rodriguez’s sister Sabrina Weddle told the Union-Tribune in October.

The easy access to fentanyl and other drugs within the jail, she added, makes relapse more probable for those who are detained without proper treatment for substance use disorders, including MAT.

It also claimed that San Diego County has done nothing to identify alternatives for jail, measures that would alleviate congestion and alleviate the pressure on medical workers.

Lawson-Remer plans to look at whether those with mental health or substance abuse concerns may be enrolled in treatment programs rather than locked up and whether low-level criminals could remain at home while awaiting trial, according to the complaint.

As Lawson-Remer admitted, even a few days in jail ‘may result in greater, not less future engagement with the criminal justice system,'” the suit states.

People who have been sentenced to home detention with GPS monitoring under the County Parole and Alternative Custody program, or CPAC, have complained that the Sheriff’s Department might lower its jail population by adopting policy modifications to these programs.Sheriff Orders Health Restrictions At County Jails After Surge In Covid Cases - Times Of San Diego

But the department requires participants to have a land-line telephone at home, the lawsuit notes, “which disqualifies people who are poor, people who only have cell phones, individuals without stable housing and many others.”

The COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in a countrywide scarcity of healthcare personnel. Staffing in hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country has been increasingly challenging due to the scarcity, but it has been particularly tough in penal facilities.

There is still no date set for the class-action case to go to trial.

The San Diego ACLU requested a judge earlier this year to issue an urgent injunction to require the sheriff to obey federal public health rules in order to limit the spread of the virus. The judge granted the request. That motion has yet to get a decision from the court.