Justice Division Reaches Settlement with San Luis Obispo County Jail to Guarantee Protected and Equal Entry to its Packages for Inmates with Mobility Disabilities | OPA
The Department of Justice today reached an agreement under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with San Luis Obispo County, California to ensure inmates with mobility disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in the programs of the San Luis Obispo Jail (SLO Jail ) participate, services and activities.
Based on their investigation, the United States determined that the facilities of the SLO prison were inaccessible to inmates with disabilities and denied them equal access to the prison’s programs, services and activities. SLO fully cooperated with the Ministry of Justice’s investigation and committed to removing obstacles to equal access.
“Prisons and prisons across our country need to ensure that their facilities are accessible to people with disabilities,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s civil rights division. “Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act ensures that inmates with disabilities have equal access to basic necessities, such as showers and sleeping areas, as well as all activities offered to inmates without disabilities. We commend the county for recognizing its commitments and working with the Department of Justice to bring its prison facilities into law. “
“People with reduced mobility have the right to access cells and showers that they can use safely while in detention,” said Tracy L. Wilkison, the acting US attorney for the Central District of California. “San Luis Obispo County has taken important steps to ensure that the facilities in their prison are ADA compliant.”
According to the ADA, government agencies that operate prisons or prisons must make changes to ensure inmates with mobility disabilities do not spend their term in a way that is more difficult or less safe than those without disabilities.
The department opened its investigation after receiving a complaint from a former inmate at SLO prison who has limited mobility and is using a prosthetic leg. The inmate alleged that SLO prison did not provide him with an accessible cell or shower, which resulted in his falling repeatedly and, in one case, breaking his leg. The applicant also alleged that the SLO prison denied him equal opportunities for recreation and other programs because of his disability, which resulted in his being unnecessarily isolated.
Under the agreement, the SLO Jail will make architectural changes to its facilities to ensure that they are accessible to inmates with disabilities. The prison will also train relevant staff, appoint an ADA coordinator, and conduct an ADA complaint process. In addition, the prison paid the applicant US $ 175,000 to compensate for his pain and suffering.
For more information about the ADA and today’s agreement, please visit http://www.ada.gov or call the ADA Toll Free Information Line at (800) 514-0301 or (800) 514-0383 (TTY). ADA complaints can be filed online at http://www.ada.gov/complaint/.
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