Rep. DeSaulnier and staff, other officials tour facility
By Jimmy Lee, Director of Public Affairs, Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff
The investigation by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff continues regarding complaints made by several female ICE detainees held in the West County Detention Facility (WCDF) in Richmond, California.
WCDF is a dormitory-style, program-based facility where all inmates are free to leave their rooms to go to educational and vocational programs, medical appointments or visits; the amount of free time all inmates receive exceeds state requirements.
“Although complaints such as excessive ‘lock down’ time or improper use of bio-hazard bags are extremely rare within the jail system’s 1,600 inmates and detainees, the fact that some ICE detainees have made such allegations demands a full and thorough investigation, which is well underway,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “We routinely pass stringent state and federal jail inspections and are com-mitted to running safe, secure and Constitutionally compliant detention facilities.”
To date, Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Investigators have conducted over 110 interviews of both inmates and staff, reviewed hundreds of hours of building surveillance video, identified and inspected physical/documentary evidence (such as log books, booking information, bio-hazard red bag storage, etc.), and inspected the cells, bathrooms and open areas of the women’s dormitory.
On Monday, Nov. 27, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, (D, CA-11), and his staff, toured WCDF and was invited to view any area he wished to visit and speak to any detainee he liked. A number of other state and local officials have also recently visited the facility.
“Congressman DeSaulnier can now publicly call for any additional investigation he wants,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “However, as the political rhetoric from some around this issue continues to boil, we remain undeterred in providing professional and diligent custody services for our county inmates and federal detainees.”
The Office of the Sheriff has been in close communication with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and his staff as it is working to complete this investigation. A.G. staff have already met with us and conducted a tour once, on November 16, 2017, and will be conducting another review at the facility soon. The Sheriff’s Office will make its investigatory materials available to the Attorney General and have asked that he review our full investigation, and findings therein, when we complete the investigation on or about December 15, 2017.