Palo Alto – November 19, 2015 – Cooley, in conjunction with the Prison Law Office and the Law Office of Kendall Wasley, has filed a federal class action lawsuit against the County of Santa Clara alleging that solitary confinement of pretrial detainees in the Santa Clara County jails is inhumane and unconstitutional.
The suit alleges that pretrial detainees are assigned to solitary confinement for no penological, safety or other purpose. They sit idle, locked in their cells for the majority of each week (often for 47+ hours at a time) without access to daylight, fresh air or human contact. They experience serious physical and psychological harm, which often leads to depression and suicidal thoughts.
The plaintiffs are seeking to reform the County's policies and procedures with respect to solitary confinement in the Santa Clara County jails, and obtain due process protections for all individuals placed in restricted housing units.
The Cooley pro bono team advising the prisoners on this matter includes Jessica Valenzuela Santamaria, Jeff Walker and Addison Litton.
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