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Virtual town hall held to discuss state auditor's report on inmate deaths at San Diego County jails

CLERB, members of the public and state auditor attending meeting.
Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 12:18:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Members of the public joined those on the Citizen's Law Enforcement Review Board, as known as CLERB, in San Diego County and the acting state auditor in a virtual town hall on Tuesday evening.

It all centered around the findings of the disturbing report from the state auditor regarding deaths at San Diego County jails, the Sheriff's Department, and the review board.

"One death is too many. I think the community is fed up with the number of folks that are dying in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department,” Paul Parker, Executive Officer of CLERB, said.

As we previously reported, the audit shows that from 2006 to 2020 there were 185 deaths in county jails: one of the highest totals among counties in the state.

It detailed recommendations that can be made at the legislative level, with the Sheriff's Department and review board to improve the troubling situation.

Parker said in the town hall on Tuesday evening that the board is already updating policies and procedures, rules and regulations, improving its training manual among other items.

"I can say that l do believe that based upon the state audit that Acting Sheriff Martinez has been responsive to the recommendations in the audit, has put some things in place already to include entering an MOU with CLERB, with me, for me to respond to in-custody deaths,” Parker said.

Another item being brought up by the state auditor, the review board, and members of the public was a bill introduced by local Assemblymember Doctor Akilah Weber.

"I think that's imperative that bill is approved,” Parker said.

The bill would take the audit's recommendations for San Diego County and make them statewide.

"It would make immediate improvements in the Sheriff's Department processing here. Now, the Sheriff's Department has committed to making those changes without any kind of legislative change,” Parker said.

"That's the number one thing to have mental and medical health screening done consistently done at the county jail level statewide."