County Discusses Inmate Health, Safety
8/30/2017 4:01:05 PM
During an impassioned public discussion last week, the County Board of Supervisors directed staff to bring back various options to help improve the health and safety of inmates at County Jail in the coming months.
The Board of Supervisors directed staff at its Aug. 22 meeting to bring back options for the County to outsource correctional medical, mental health and dental services at County Jail; and, at a future time, to formally present the Stepping Up Initiative to the Board, which could help reduce the number of people with mental illnesses in jail.
The Board received a presentation from County Officials, including Sheriff Ian Parkinson and Health Agency Director Jeff Hamm, regarding the health and safety of inmates at County Jail. The Board also heard public comment on the topic from dozens of local residents and several family members of the late Andrew Holland, an inmate whose death in January at County Jail raised questions about the health and safety of inmates.
The County recently agreed to a $5 million settlement with Andrew Holland's family after his death. As part of the presentation and subsequent discussion, County Officials made it clear that recent procedural and administrative changes will ensure that a death such as Mr. Holland's will never happen again.
County staff is currently also planning to bring back options for the Board to hire an outside, independent firm to formally evaluate the health and safety of inmates at County Jail. The dates of these future public Board discussions have not yet been determined.
Watch the full public discussion.
Read the staff report.
See the policy and procedure changes made at both County Jail and in the Health Agency.
Read the recent SLO County Grand Jury Report on inmate health and safety at County Jail.