Santa Cruz Main Jail Inmates Go On Hunger Strike To Protest Poor Living Conditions and Jail Treatment

SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA (December 12, 2023) – At least five men have been on a hunger strike at the Santa Cruz Main Jail in order to protest poor living conditions.

The hunger strike began on November 8. Inmates at the Santa Cruz Main Jail have said that their rights are being violated and that they must endure mistreatment at the hands of prison guards.

Activists have said that the hunger strike has highlighted the need for community involvement in incarceration issues. This is particularly true with respect to the time that prisoners are released and forced to re-integrate into society.

The hunger strike at the Santa Cruz Main Jail comes at the same time that jails across Los Angeles and California have come under increased scrutiny. These jails have been plagued by stories of abuse and neglect.

A shocking number of inmates have died from preventable causes such as drug overdoses, homicides and suicides.


Liability For Santa Cruz County Inmate Mistreatment

Abuse in jails and prisons across the United States remains alarmingly common. This is particularly true with respect to sexual abuse. According to ABC News, “A former federal correctional officer was sentenced Friday to more than five years in prison for sexually abusing two inmates at a women’s prison in California where the warden and other employees were charged with similar conduct.” There are many other examples of inmate mistreatment.

  • Physical abuse
  • Solitary confinement
  • Inadequate medical care
  • Inadequate mental healthcare
  • Discrimination

If a jail fails to provide an inmate with adequate medical care, this could potentially lead to an in-custody death. Every jail has a legal obligation to provide inmates with reasonably adequate medical care for their health conditions. This includes care for the acute health needs that they may have. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. There are many ways that a jail may have failed to properly care for an inmate.

  • An inmate may not have gotten the medications that they needed.
  • An inmate may not be transported to a hospital in a timely manner.
  • An inmate may not be allowed to exercise.
  • An inmate may not have gotten regular welfare checks.

Depending on the facts of any case, a jail could also be held responsible for the excessive force of one of their employees. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, law or ordinance, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of their rights secured by the constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. Any person that is subjected to mistreatment or abused at a California prison may have legal recourse.


Getting Legal Help After Santa Cruz County Inmate Mistreatment

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our best wishes to all of the inmates at the Santa Cruz Main Jail. The living conditions and treatment of inmates at this jail remains deeply concerning. There needs to be greater oversight of what is going on at this jail.

Have you or someone that you care about been mistreated at the Santa Cruz Main Jail? You may have legal recourse. Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that jails are held accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


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