Wednesday, January 11, 2023
HomeUSA NewsSan Diego County supervisors to think about measures for decreasing jail deaths,...

San Diego County supervisors to think about measures for decreasing jail deaths, overdoses

The document tempo of deaths in San Diego County jails thus far this yr has pushed Nathan Fletcher to assist push the Sheriff’s Division towards reform.

The chairman of the county Board of Supervisors plans to ask his colleagues to approve emergency orders aimed toward decreasing the variety of in-custody drug overdoses and enhancing inmate healthcare.

Fletcher stated preliminary knowledge from the county medical expert point out that greater than 1,300 individuals countywide by accident overdosed final yr — greater than double the variety of deaths 5 years in the past.

“Tendencies within the enhance of drug overdoses within the basic inhabitants are mirrored inside the jails,” the board chairman wrote in a letter to supervisors that can be thought of Tuesday. “In 2022, there have been 15 deaths within the jails, and drug overdose has been a big driver of those deaths.”

The request, which might price the Sheriff’s Division virtually $12 million, would come days after a bunch of civil rights legal professionals pleaded with a federal choose to impose new security measures.

The listening to Thursday coincided with public pleas from family members of women and men who’ve died in sheriff’s custody to do extra to guard individuals held in San Diego County jails.

Decide Anthony J. Battaglia took the matter underneath submission and has but to rule on the request. Both means, the matter is scheduled for trial early subsequent yr.

Fletcher shouldn’t be asking the board to allocate extra cash to the Sheriff’s Division, which controls a finances of virtually $1.1 billion.

The proposal requires spending some $11.6 million on incentives, pay differentials and different advantages to new and present division workers. It additionally units apart $200,000 for an enhanced body-scanning program aimed toward decreasing the amount of medicine which are smuggled into county jails.

Fletcher stated his workers has labored with Sheriff’s Division officers to develop the proposals. As an elected official, the sheriff usually operates exterior the purview of the Board of Supervisors, though the board controls the finances.

“In the event that they want supplemental funds, we’ll give them supplemental funds,” the board chair stated. “This motion was developed in collaboration with the Sheriff’s Division. It was ‘What else do you want?’

“Our board cares deeply about improved circumstances in our jails.”

The Sheriff’s Division stated it already has carried out a number of adjustments to practices in its jails and routinely reaches out to the Board of Supervisors and others to proceed to enhance.

“The proposed adjustments to the compensation ordinance, bonus pay for hiring, and the physique scanner know-how are suggestions that originated from the Sheriff’s Division and can be funded by the division finances,” Lt. Amber Baggs stated.

“We absolutely assist and embrace enhancements and adjustments, and we recognize the assist we obtain from our board,” she added.

San Diego County has the very best jail-mortality charge amongst California’s largest 12 counties, in accordance with a number of unbiased research accomplished lately.

Earlier this yr, for instance, the California State Auditor issued a report displaying 185 women and men died whereas they had been incarcerated in San Diego County jails between 2006 and 2020.

The audit stated circumstances in San Diego jails had been so harmful that the state Legislature ought to go laws to impose reforms on the division.

Individually, the county Residents’ Legislation Enforcement Evaluate Board issued a report this yr that discovered San Diego County had the highest variety of so-called extra deaths — fatalities above what can be anticipated primarily based on the jail inhabitants.

Each of these research got here after the San Diego Union-Tribune revealed a six-month investigation in 2019 that discovered that the dying charge in native jails was far larger than different giant California counties.

The newspaper investigation additionally disclosed that jail fatalities are costing taxpayers tens of millions of {dollars} as a consequence of an escalating variety of civil lawsuits, jury awards and authorized settlements.

The 15 jail deaths this yr embody 5 deaths recorded final month.

The variety of fatalities thus far this yr is approaching the document charge of deaths reported in 2021, when the 18 individuals who died in custody final yr was the very best quantity recorded within the fashionable period.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments