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Old 11-23-2009, 07:06 PM
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Default Need Advice about making a complaint in county jail

I'm kinda' new to having my man incarcerated and not even sure if I'm posting this in the right place but here goes...

My man is in county jail awaiting sentancing and for the last week or so it's been really, really cold here. Last week, he was sick and the CO's had the fans on and the door to the yard open at night. So, I called and spoke to a supervisor - I tried to be as nice as possible because I don't want to be a sh*t starter and have the CO's giving him a hard time...Anyways, it's now a week later and he's asking me if I could call to complain because they haven't put the heat on and his muscles hurt from being cold all the time. He said it's so cold that the inmates lay around bundled up in their blankets all day and the CO's wear their jackets all the time...

He's not a whiner and I know what he's telling me is true because last time I called the supervisor admitted that it is always cold in that part of the jail cause it's the "old" jail...

What would be the best way to go about getting this taken care of?
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:11 PM
MamaB58 MamaB58 is offline
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I dont know, but at the county jail here its freezing and the inmates and visitors alike are shaking from cold. The thing is, its not that cold outside, they have the A/C that way!
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Old 11-23-2009, 07:15 PM
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Normallly, I would say let it go because there are consequences for complaining.

In this case, he is telling you to do it, and it's because its cold not so much that you would be complaining on a CO.

I would call and talk to the Warden since it is a county jail and not a prison. You should be able to get through to him, and if not, ask his secretary who else might be able to help you. Just don't call complaining. Tell them you are really concerned and would like to know if they can help you.

I hope it works for you, but don't be surprised if it doesn't. I say this because I know they already realize how cold it is, and they probably aren't concerned. For your man's sake, I hope I'm wrong. Good Luck.
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Old 11-23-2009, 11:31 PM
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Normallly, I would say let it go because there are consequences for complaining.

In this case, he is telling you to do it, and it's because its cold not so much that you would be complaining on a CO.

I would call and talk to the Warden since it is a county jail and not a prison. You should be able to get through to him, and if not, ask his secretary who else might be able to help you. Just don't call complaining. Tell them you are really concerned and would like to know if they can help you.

I hope it works for you, but don't be surprised if it doesn't. I say this because I know they already realize how cold it is, and they probably aren't concerned. For your man's sake, I hope I'm wrong. Good Luck.
Thanks! I was really hesitant about calling in the 1st place because I don't want to trigger anything that will make things harder for him but when he found out that I hadn't called, he was disappointed and asked me to call for real. This is his 2nd bid so ya' would think he would know but he says he doesn't care.

Anyways, I did call but nothing's gonna be done. I talked to a co-worker that's retired CO & he said they kept thier jail cold on purpose so the inmate's wouldn't have the energy to fight as much??? He said that when a person is cold their body uses up so much energy trying to stay warm that it leaves a person a little less energetic...I don't know if any of what he said is true but either way, that's jacked up!!!
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:13 AM
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Thanks! I was really hesitant about calling in the 1st place because I don't want to trigger anything that will make things harder for him but when he found out that I hadn't called, he was disappointed and asked me to call for real. This is his 2nd bid so ya' would think he would know but he says he doesn't care.

Anyways, I did call but nothing's gonna be done. I talked to a co-worker that's retired CO & he said they kept thier jail cold on purpose so the inmate's wouldn't have the energy to fight as much??? He said that when a person is cold their body uses up so much energy trying to stay warm that it leaves a person a little less energetic...I don't know if any of what he said is true but either way, that's jacked up!!!
Yep, she is right. I learned the same thing in college in my corrections classes, but they still shouldn't keep it soooooo cold.

We have the opposite problem here. It's Louisiana and there is no AC ever. My husband's prison is so hot especially in a cell during the summer. They don't give them AC. I kind of wish they would have the same logic about if they kept them cold they wouldn't fight.

Good luck. I hope you talk to someone that will help.
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Old 11-25-2009, 01:29 PM
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If we are talking about Mens Central in Downtown LA, you gotta know that they don't care. They don't. They don't care about your loved one, they don't care about you. There may be a few officers that do, but overall, it's a job and they view the men as being "warehoused" like groceries until they are shipped out to state or released.

MCJ either keeps them on lockdown, or frozen to keep them under control, like animals, so that they don't have to interact and actually do their jobs. There are no real officers there, they are more like zookeepers, who are trying to watch over the "animals" - that's their attitude with VERY FEW exceptions.

You gotta understand that even the ACLU has investigated LA County and let them get away with this stuff. So if the Civil Liberties people don't care (and they supposedly care for EVERYONE) then you know LA County feels unstoppable.

If we are talking about someplace else, as long as it is in LA County, you are still under the jurisdiction of LA County sheriffs, and the treatment is exactly the same.

It starts at the top, Sheriff Baca is a piece of ....and it trickles down. If he doesn't care, why should his officers care? That's the way they look at it. They aren't loved ones, they aren't human, they aren't people...they are INMATES and a number.

The only way to change this is to get together and vote Baca out...and get someone in there that will fire all these idiots that treat our men like crap. Someone that realizes that these are people, not animals.

Sorry for the rant, but you all hit a sore spot! LOL
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:31 PM
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If we are talking about Mens Central in Downtown LA, you gotta know that they don't care. They don't. They don't care about your loved one, they don't care about you. There may be a few officers that do, but overall, it's a job and they view the men as being "warehoused" like groceries until they are shipped out to state or released.

MCJ either keeps them on lockdown, or frozen to keep them under control, like animals, so that they don't have to interact and actually do their jobs. There are no real officers there, they are more like zookeepers, who are trying to watch over the "animals" - that's their attitude with VERY FEW exceptions.

You gotta understand that even the ACLU has investigated LA County and let them get away with this stuff. So if the Civil Liberties people don't care (and they supposedly care for EVERYONE) then you know LA County feels unstoppable.

If we are talking about someplace else, as long as it is in LA County, you are still under the jurisdiction of LA County sheriffs, and the treatment is exactly the same.

It starts at the top, Sheriff Baca is a piece of ....and it trickles down. If he doesn't care, why should his officers care? That's the way they look at it. They aren't loved ones, they aren't human, they aren't people...they are INMATES and a number.

The only way to change this is to get together and vote Baca out...and get someone in there that will fire all these idiots that treat our men like crap. Someone that realizes that these are people, not animals.

Sorry for the rant, but you all hit a sore spot! LOL
Thanks for the response. My man is in San Luis Obispo County Jail but every thing you have said seems to be the in San Luis as in LA. I agree about banding together. I also told my man to see if he could get all the cellies to write letters to the newspaper, the supervisors, Lois Capps, etc. He's all gung-ho about it but all his cellies said "no, no one is gonna listen anyways." so...
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:47 PM
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Default Contact the Health Dept and the Grand Jury

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Thanks for the response. My man is in San Luis Obispo County Jail but every thing you have said seems to be the in San Luis as in LA. I agree about banding together. I also told my man to see if he could get all the cellies to write letters to the newspaper, the supervisors, Lois Capps, etc. He's all gung-ho about it but all his cellies said "no, no one is gonna listen anyways." so...
FYI, there's an annual health inspection of every CA county jail conducted by the local county health agency. CA Health & Safety Code section 101045 provides in part that:

The county health officer shall investigate health and sanitary conditions in every county jail, every other publicly operated detention facility in the county, and all private work furlough facilities and programs established pursuant to Section 1208 of the Penal Code, at least annually.

In SLO County, that should be the:

SLO County Public Health Services
Environmental Health Services
805-781-5544

This is one of the few instances where an outside agency has statutory authority to investigate conditions in the county jails, and their annual reports are on file and available for public review.

The other agency that investigates conditions in the county jails in the Grand Jury, as authorized by Penal Code section 919, which provides in part that:

(a) The grand jury may inquire into the case of every person imprisoned in the jail of the county on a criminal charge and not indicted.
(b) The grand jury shall inquire into the condition and management of the public prisons within the county.

If the Grand Jury is in session you could also complain to them, and they will investigate the complaint. And you don't have to be a prisoner to lodge complaints with the Health Dept or the Grand Jury; instead you're just a concerned citizen of SLO County who believes that unhealthful conditions exist in the county jail that should be looked into.

In 1988, while I was being detained in the LA County jail (Hall of Justice Jail), prisoners in the next cell had no running water for over three days, and the jailers would not move them out of the cell. So I called the Institutional Inspection section of the LA County Health Dept, and spoke with the person who conducted the annual health inspections of the jails. I advised her that prisoners were being held in a cell with no running water, and she said she would get right on the issue. And not more than 15 minutes after I hung up the phone, the jailers moved those prisoners out of that cell. But of course, I was then called out to speak with a Lieutenant, who whose exact words (as I recall) were, "You didn't have to call the Health Department, we could have handled it," to which I replied, "For three days the deputies refused to move the prisoners out of a cell without running water." Anyway, suffice it to say I was labeled a "troublemaker" after that (but it was well worth it).

In some respects, lodging complaints with the Grand Jury is better than with the Health Dept, because sometimes the health officials will only get involved during their annual inspections, whereas the Grand Jury WILL investigate ALL complaints about the jails.

Here's the link to the SLO County Grand Jury website: http://www.slocourts.net/grand_jury/reports.

South Bay Scott

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Old 11-27-2009, 05:50 PM
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I owe you another Thank you, Scott! I'll check into this!!!
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:07 PM
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SGV girl's words on MCJ are very very wise and completely true. They don't care. I had to remind myself over and over. My husband was very sick for the last 2 weeks he was there. He went 30 days without complaining or having problems so I figured maybe they'd listen. Nope. He never spiked a fever. They refused to give him Tylenol or anything when he went to sick call b/c he was never higher than 99 temperature.

When he was released we wound up in the ER and he had a bad case of pneumonia. He's an athletic physical guy and he needed assistance from other guys who were released with him to make it from IRC to Union Station (not far) and they had to stop around 10 times to rest.

I could hear the rattle in his chest just sitting next to him. There's no way a doctor or nurse in MCJ couldn't immediately tell he needed assistance. Fever or not - his lips would turn faintly blue. I sincerely believe if he'd been there much longer he literally could have died.

They truly don't care.
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Old 12-03-2009, 05:41 PM
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SGV girl's words on MCJ are very very wise and completely true. They don't care.
The guards don't, but I've now met Chief Yim (the head guy over the jails) and he seems to care passionately. I don't think it's the phony 'I just don't want to get sued' caring, either. It felt genuine. As the guy in charge, I'll bet he would have made things happen if he'd known. For any future problems, his phone number is (213) 893-5017.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:29 PM
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Default Here's the thing...

They get a certain amount of money that have to spend and thy have to spend on things like heating and cooling.. but they can also be extremely sadistic and keep the heat on in the summer and the A/C on in the the winter... technically they are "complying" to the demands, so to speak. So when someone else stated, "they simply dont care" only sort of explains it... more like they really enjoy making everyone miserable.

If Chief Yim cant make them behave like humans, and you really want to make a change, you will most likely need to start a class action law suit.
that's about the only sort of noise they respond to well.

Quote:
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I'm kinda' new to having my man incarcerated and not even sure if I'm posting this in the right place but here goes...

My man is in county jail awaiting sentancing and for the last week or so it's been really, really cold here. Last week, he was sick and the CO's had the fans on and the door to the yard open at night. So, I called and spoke to a supervisor - I tried to be as nice as possible because I don't want to be a sh*t starter and have the CO's giving him a hard time...Anyways, it's now a week later and he's asking me if I could call to complain because they haven't put the heat on and his muscles hurt from being cold all the time. He said it's so cold that the inmates lay around bundled up in their blankets all day and the CO's wear their jackets all the time...

He's not a whiner and I know what he's telling me is true because last time I called the supervisor admitted that it is always cold in that part of the jail cause it's the "old" jail...

What would be the best way to go about getting this taken care of?

Last edited by sweetgirlb; 12-03-2009 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:32 PM
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thank you so much for the contact.

i feel a bit guilty that i didn't try harder to get him medical attention while he was there - but i didn't really grasp how sick he was until he was released. i knew he was weezing and coughing and not eating and feeling really bad. i spoke to a guard in the lobby after a visit once and he LITERALLY told me he didn't care after asking what he was in jail for. (and pointing out that "drug offenders lie all the time".) he said if he wanted medical care he should stay out of jail.
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