By Miriam Raftery
July 21, 2021 (San Diego) — Why does San Diego County have the highest rate of jail deaths of any other major California county? Local legislators hope to find out. On July 1st, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved a measure to ask California’s State Auditor to provide independently developed and verified information on inmate deaths in the custody of the San Diego Sheriff’s department.
The request for the audit was introduced by Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D-San Diego) along with other members of the San Diego delegation including Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner-Horvath, Brian Maienschein, Christopher Ward, Lorena Gonzalez, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Senator Ben Hueso.
“The approval of this audit request may provide answers to the many families who have lost loved ones while in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office,” said Assemblymember Weber. "A jail sentence should not be a de facto death sentence. We can use this opportunity to uncover the disparities of the department protocol so that we can implement better procedures for protecting the safety of incarcerated individuals.”