Disabled prisoners mistreated?

Shift to county jails problematic for special-needs inmates

Dozens of California’s disabled inmates have alleged the state has not properly ensured they would receive adequate treatment after being realigned to county jails.

The state has been shifting many of its felons, nonviolent offenders and parolees who have rescinded to county custody following the introduction of the Public Safety Realignment Act last year, according to California Watch.

Among those inmates are thousands of disabled prisoners with special medical needs, dozens of whom have filed complaints of mistreatment. County governments, already restricted by budget cutbacks, are not likely to be in a position to upgrade jails in order to better accommodate disabled inmates.

“I’m crossing my fingers that we can accommodate some of those needs here in our county,” said Undersheriff Dahl Cleek of Tulare County. “But it’s not like we have a built-in hospital inside these jails. Those could bankrupt a county pretty quick.”