RBGG’s Ernie Galvan provided context and commentary to the Salinas Californian on May 31, 2016 for an article, “Jail to expect major changes,” that addresses changes to be made at the jail to help prevent suicides and other deaths that were the subject of a lawsuit settled last year.

According to The Californian article:

“There’s also a potential human cost associated with the time spent on the lawsuit. A major issue addressed in the lawsuit was suicide at the jail. There were six suicides at the jail between 2010 and 2015, including three in 2015 alone, according to Galvan.  At least half of those suicides over the past six years involved hanging, and one of the required changes is to reduce the tie-off points inside the cells. . . . Between 2012 and 2015, there were also nine deaths of inmates either at the jail or after transport to the hospital that weren’t ruled as suicides.

Other examples of changes required include classifications reviews for inmates placed in segregation after one week and every two weeks afterward. Also, inmates placed in segregation must have more time out of their cell.

Inmates going through alcohol and drug use withdrawal will see a qualified medical professional within one hour of being placed in a sobering cell, and those in safety and sobering cells will be checked on twice every 30 minutes with welfare checks documented in a log.  Also, inmates placed in a restraint chair must be under constant supervision, staff will receive training on how to use a suicide risk assessment tool, and a new camera system is being put in place.

Having these care standards and safety precautions in place will help ensure that ‘a pretrial detention doesn’t become a death sentence,’ Galvan said.”