Disability Rights California news and media coverage.
"While acknowledging some of the shortcomings in the mental health unit of the Sonoma County Jail highlighted this week by a statewide disability rights agency’s report, county mental health and jail officials insisted the level of care exceeds that at other California jails or across the country.
The most serious allegations in the 25-page report released by Disability Rights California included illegally medicating some inmates and using excessive solitary confinement and isolation with others."
"A new report by the advocacy group Disability Rights California says that Sonoma County's main jail is not providing adequate care for inmates with mental health disabilities. The report, based on a 2015 inspection, found that many prisoners are isolated for more than 23 hours a day, and in some cases, are inappropriately medicated against their will. County officials say they are doing all they can to address the burgeoning population of mentally ill inmates and point to a dramatic increase in spending for mental health treatment. We discuss the report."
"Last August, Anne Hadreas toured Sonoma County's main jail in Santa Rosa to check on the treatment of inmates there.
Hadreas is an attorney for Disability Rights California, an agency that monitors conditions for mentally ill and disabled people in jails, state hospitals and other facilities. She's visited lots of those facilities, but what she saw in Sonoma County still came as a shock.
When Hadreas and several other attorneys got to what the jail calls its mental health module, they were confronted by highly delusional inmates screaming and crawling on the floor."
Oakland, CA – On March 16, 2015, Disability Rights California filed a Compliance Complaint with the California Department of Education (CDE) on behalf of ten named students with disabilities and a class of all special education students in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD).
The complaint alleges that OUSD’s policies and practices result in system-wide violations of the rights of children with disabilities under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The systemic problems identified in the complaint include:
"Disability Rights California (DRC) found evidence that Santa Barbara County Jail practices violate the rights of prisoners with disabilities, according to the agency’s report on the April 2015 inspection of the jail.
The report listed the jail’s main violations as: undue and excessive isolation and solitary confinement, inadequate mental health care, and denial of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). DRC identified these issues through a monitoring visit and interviews with prisoners and their families and attorneys.
"Last April marked the first time an outside group inspected the County Jail since 2007. The highly anticipated — and largely damning — findings made public this week criticize the amount of time inmates are placed in small, windowless “safety cells,” or “rubber rooms,” as they’re known.