Santa Rita Jail

Santa Rita Jail Inmates May Appeal Settlement Over Mental Health Treatment

Some inmates in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin may appeal a settlement and consent decree approved Monday mainly to address how mentally ill inmates are treated at the jail. 

Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins approved a settlement in Babu vs. Alameda County that aims to improve the "horrific" treatment of inmates with mental health diagnoses and those with psychiatric disabilities, lawyers for the inmates who filed suit have said. 

But lawyers for inmates opposed to the settlement say the reforms do not go far enough. 

Cousins heard from 39 inmates for several hours on Jan. 27, all opposed to the settlement, and he approved it. 

"It is disappointing that Judge Cousins heard 5.5 hours of testimony from inmates, and yet hardly responded in his Order to their comments," attorney Yolanda Huang said in a statement on behalf of the objecting inmates. 

She said the inmates who objected did so because the decree won't improve conditions for most of them. Numerous inmates have been in touch with Huang about an appeal, which the Ninth Circuit would hear. 

Objecting inmates and their attorneys have 30 days to file the appeal.

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