The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office has established rules and regulations that inmates must follow while in custody. During the booking process, all inmates receive an Inmate Orientation Handbook that explains how inmates are expected to behave, as well as what happens when rules are not followed. If an inmate is suspected of violating a rule, a report is written to document the suspected violation and to identify witnesses to the incident. Inmates refer to these Rule Violation Reports as “write-ups."
Violations range from very serious, such as assault, to less serious violations, such as not following directions.
When an inmate is alleged to have violated a rule, the following things happen:
Discipline may include loss of certain privileges such as telephones, visits, commissary, etc. More serious violations may result in periods of disciplinary lockdown, loss of “good time” credits, or other sanctions, up to and including the filing of criminal charges. When possible, an attempt is made to match the discipline with the nature of the violation. For example, if an inmate commits a visit-related offense, a temporary suspension of visiting privileges may be imposed.
Occasionally, an entire housing unit may be placed on “administrative action,” or have discipline imposed, which may include a temporary restriction of telephone privileges or visits. Such restrictions seldom last for more than a few days, but they will affect your ability to visit or speak with the inmate by phone during the investigatory and/or disciplinary period.
All inmates have the right to submit a grievance in regard to almost any aspect of their confinement in the Jail system. This means that if inmates feel they are not being treated properly, or if they feel a condition exists that presents a health hazard, they can voice their complaint and receive a response from a supervisor. Issues that can be addressed through the grievance process include, but are not limited to: medical care, classification actions, program participation, telephone use, mail distribution, visitation procedures, officer conduct, food, clothing and bedding. Disciplinary action can also be grieved. The Sheriff’s grievance process ensures that problems or concerns confronting inmates will be addressed by Jail staff in an appropriate manner.
To file a grievance, inmates are provided with Inmate Grievance forms within their housing areas. Grievances are forwarded to the appropriate Lieutenant or Manager/Supervisor for investigation. Grievances must be processed within a reasonable amount of time, usually within 14 days, although most responses occur sooner. After consideration by the supervisor, the inmate receives a written response to the grievance. Based upon the findings of the investigation, the investigating staff member will make a recommendation to either sustain or not sustain the grievance, with an explanation or remedy indicated. If the response fails to resolve the issue to the inmate’s satisfaction, the inmate may submit an Appeal and the Bureau Commander will render a final decision regarding the grievance. Each grievance, including its disposition, is logged in Jail records for future reference.
To see if someone is in custody, check the Inmate Information Center, or you may call 1-888-373-7011.
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