SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego County Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) received and was briefed on some jarring information on Tuesday night, following a consulting firm's latest numbers on inmate deaths in county jails from 2010 to 2020.
"The biggest thing that jumped out to me is that we were the only county out of the 12 that had any kind of statistically significant number of excess or unexpected, unexplained type of deaths,” said Paul Parker, the executive officer for the San Diego County Citizens' Law Enforcement Review Board.
Some of those findings also giving light to a certain group of inmates mostly affected.
"The other issues that I thought was very important that a majority of the folks who were dying were unsentenced,” Parker said.
The consulting firm had also recommended a push to expand the reporting of inmates to the state to provide more information and insight to how an inmate dies in custody at a jail.
Community members hope these numbers and discussions will open up more opportunities for transparency and change.
"And I was wondering if you have broken out what types of and forms of "natural deaths," are there and are we looking at whether the deaths from natural deaths are preventable?" said Yusef Miller, a community activist who spoke during public comment of Tuesday evening's virtual town hall.
While there might be parameters that may out of the CLERB’s control, Parker explains those are some answers and data points their group's pushing for.
"That is how come I am pushing for jurisdiction over the medical and mental health providers in our county jails so that we can opine, and we then would have jurisdiction to look at whether a standard of care was deviated,” Parker said.
Despite seeing the latest numbers, a question and answer remains.
"So now we have the data, as far as the number. But we need to take another step forward. We need to take a major step. We need to have a study why this is happening,” Eileen Delaney, a member of CLERB, said.
Parker said when it comes to the study relating to why the deaths are happening, that could be voted on at the next review board meeting in May.