RBGG, Monterey County Public Defender Jim Egar, and the ACLU, co-counsel for prisoners in Monterey County Jail, have filed a motion for preliminary injunction asking a federal judge to take immediate action to correct jail conditions that are putting prisoners at risk and denying them their rights.

The brief in support of the motion states, “Absent such relief, every day, the men and women held at the Monterey County Jail face intolerable and illegal risks to their lives and health.  Plaintiffs seek this narrow preliminary injunction to ameliorate six of the most egregious problems at the jail.”

The Daily Journal‘s article on the story quoted RBGG’s Mike Bien, “There are a lot of other problems, but these are the ones we felt were really life threatening and very serious,” Bien said. “If we can get the court to focus on them and issue an order, it’ll start the remedial process for these sooner rather than later.”

According to RBGG’s Gay Grunfeld as quoted in an article in the Monterey County Herald: “It’s a higher level of urgency. The trial is in 2015. We’re saying, ‘Your Honor, we can’t wait this long would you please look at this now and order the defendants to fix these areas?'”

Plaintiffs’ attorneys included a proposed order in the court filing that would require the county to submit a plan to correct the issues within 30 days.

The issues addressed by the motion include:

  • Conditions that put inmates at a high risk of contracting tuberculosis;
  • Practices that put inmates at a high risk of suicide;
  • Providing adequate treatment for drug and alcohol detoxification;
  • Ensuring inmates’ prescribed medications are not stopped after they enter jail;
  • Providing better access to recreation yards, religious services and other programs for disabled inmates;
  • Providing sign language interpreters to those who need them.