Grand Jury Releases Report on Sheriff’s Department

The Tulare County Grand Jury today released a report focusing on the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. The complaint came to the grand jury by way of an inmate who alleged physical abuse by staff in the county jail.

In its report, the grand jury states that it determined physical abuse did occur and unwarranted force was used, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department has since instituted comprehensive correctional officer training, hiring practice reforms, a review of disciplinary processes, and upgraded its technology.

The full press release from the grand jury:

The Tulare County Grand Jury today released its report in response to a Citizen’s Complaint relating to the manner in which an inmate in a county jail was transferred/transported from his cell. The complaint alleged physical abuse by jail staff.

The Tulare County Grand Jury began an investigation into this complaint by interviewing the complainant on two separate occasions. The Grand Jury reviewed numerous documents, videos and photographs. The Tulare County Sheriffs Department staff and Office of the Tulare County District Attorney staff were also interviewed.

The report contains eight (8) “facts,” seven (7) “findings,” and three (3) “recommendations.” Fact # 1 set forth in the report establishes that “The evidence substantiated that the complainant was involved in an incident occurring in the Tulare County Jail”. Fact #2 indicates “The Sheriffs Department has video cameras in place in the jails for purposes of safety and documentation.” Fact # 8 states “The Office of the District Attorney has the prosecutorial discretion to determine which cases will be prosecuted and those which will not.”

Among the report’s “findings” were: (1) “The Tulare County Sheriffs staff did not follow established use of force policies and procedures”; (2) “The Tulare County Grand Jury found inconsistencies between written reports and video footage”; (5) The Tulare County Grand Jury found misconceptions to exist on the part of the staff of the Office of the District Attorney with respect to the investigative role, jurisdiction, and responsibilities of the Grand Jury”; (6) “After review of all evidence presented, the Grand Jury determined that physical abuse occurred and unwarranted force was used”; and, (7) “The Grand Jury was not advised by the Office of the District Attorney as to the rationale for declining prosecution of this case.”

The report concludes with three specific recommendations as to steps which the Office of the Tulare County Sheriff might consider following in an effort to address the issues raised in the report.

 

The full report is available below.

6 thoughts on “Grand Jury Releases Report on Sheriff’s Department

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  1. The only this DA will prosecute a deputy sheriff, or any other law enforcement officer, is if there is absolutely no way for him to wiggle out of it.

  2. On the Valley Voice’s facebook page (article on inmate abuse) a “related link” from Fox News was added, describing the indictment of members of an Oklahoma sheriff’s office. The link is not “related” in any way. The Tulare County Grand Jury whose reports have been printed here has NO SUCH AUTHORITY. The latter jury can make only *procedural* recommendations to a local agency or department. Please obtain the necessary materials and apprise yourselves of the substantial differences between the makeup and powers of a CIVIL and a CRIMINAL grand jury. Note: California is the *only state* that has a mandated *standing* (year-round) CIVIL grand jury.

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately, we have no control over what Facebook determines as “related articles” or “related links.” These articles are recommended automatically by Facebook. These “related articles” have been a pain to many publishers on Facebook.

      Facebook looks at our article and uses algorithms to match what it believes is related, which is why you saw content, not chosen or written by anyone at the Voice, about indictments in Oklahoma.

      Facebook has a small arrow next to each “related article” it recommends. You can click that arrow to tell Facebook those articles are not relevant.

      Thank you.

    • Unfortunately, we truly don’t. Anything that shows up is pure coincidence. Check this with other publishers/websites on your Facebook feed.

  3. Someone from the grand jury should ask the inmates about “elevator rides”. If the guards are mad at you or don’t like you you get to go in a “special” ride. Also, have the grand jury check the shredder. That’s where most of the inmate complaints go, whether they are justified or not.

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