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Marysville, CA 95901
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Press Release Story

Yuba County Jail ICE Housing Hunger Strike
(Posted 2/12/2019)

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department has a long-standing contract for housing with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Yuba County Jail provides housing for an average of 180 ICE detainees per day. Yuba County receives compensation for the rental of the bed space and, in return, the Yuba County Jail houses and provides for the detainees. The detainees receive three meals per day, access to the commissary (supplemental food and other personal items and supplies), phones, medical and dental care as well as mental-health treatment. On Sunday, 2/9/19, during the delivery of the breakfast meal, the intention of several ICE detainees to initiate a hunger strike was discovered. Forty-six ICE detainees refused their meals at that time and have refused meals up to the date of this letter (2/11/19). Staff continues to prepare and offer meals at each mealtime. Per policy, a hunger strike is not recognized until nine meals are refused, and Wednesday, 2/13/19, will mark that deadline. The detainees will be monitored, and medical staff are aware of the circumstances, as are ICE officials. Contrary to the misleading information being circulated, jail medical staff is on duty 24 hours a day in the jail and detainees have access via medical requests. Those medical requests are tracked and care is provided on site when possible and referred off-site when necessary. The Yuba County Jail employs and contracts with a dentist who provides on-site dental care as well. The Yuba County Jail undergoes inspections by BSCC (Board of State and Community Corrections), ICE, as well as other stakeholders. Recent inspections have identified the Yuba County Jail as being in compliance with National Detention Standards and in compliance with the standards of Homeland Security. The Yuba County Jail offers several programs at our facility. Those programs are available to ICE inmates as well as the local inmates and include General Education Development (GED), Narcotics Anonymous, treatment readiness program, alcohol and chemical treatment, typing, parenting, anger management, Fathers First, and sexual abuse counseling. The programs are weekly and offer inmates access to important skills for coping with their addictions, development of life skills and management of stress. In 2018, 12 ICE detainees received GEDs in our jail through the Yuba County Office of Education. I believe that the general public feels that those incarcerated are for civil purposes and are not criminals. While the ICE population changes daily, Yuba County houses detainees whose crimes prevent many of them from interacting with the public, with jail teachers and with ministers. Many of those same detainees are individuals who, if released, would threaten public safety, the safety of our communities and the general public’s quality of life. Of the 46 detainees who are striking, 22 are identified as gang members, with two of them being MS13 gang members. The table below illustrates a recent view of Yuba County ICE detainees and their crimes. YCSO ICE HOUSING 2/8/19 PRIMARY CRIME COUNT MURDER 12 STOLEN PROPERTY 1 AGGRAVATED ASSAULT 14 ARSON 1 ASSAULT 4 ATTEMPTED MURDER 3 AUTO THEFT 9 BATTERY 2 BURGLARY 11 CAR JACKING 1 CHILD ABUSE 2 CHILD MOLEST 5 DISORDERLY CONDUCT 1 DRUG OFFENSE 8 DRUG TRAFFICKING 12 DUI 12 DUI X2 2 DUI X3 1 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE 9 EMBEZZLEMENT 1 ENTICE MINOR INDECENT 1 FALSE ID 1 FALSE IMPRISONMENT 2 FRAUD 1 GANG 1 HIT & RUN 2 ILLEGAL ENTRY/NON CRIMINAL 10 KIDNAPPING 1 OBSTRUCTION 1 PAROLE VIOLATION 1 PROBATION VIOLATION 3 RAPE 2 RESISTING ARREST 1 ROBBERY 14 SEXUAL ASSAULT 3 SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF MINOR 1 THEFT 9 THREATS 1 TRAFFIC CRIMES 2 UNKNOWN 1 VANDALISM 1 WEAPONS 7 TOTAL 177 Despite the convictions, arrests or criminal pasts of the detainees, we provide everyone with the best level of care possible. The hard-working and committed staff at the Yuba County Jail provides a quality service to those in their custody and to suggest otherwise is simply demeaning and utterly misleading. For those of you that have emailed or telephoned my office, please know that the conditions in the Yuba County Jail are not as some would have you believe. Our jail has had inspections in the recent past by representatives from Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office, Attorney General (now Senator) Kamala Harris’ office, the BSCC, the Yuba County Grand Jury and the Mexican Consulate. While we are not without issues, we are taking steps to better our facility. ADA compliance issues have been addressed and timelines for implementation were identified. We continue to work hard to provide the best environment possible. We continually look to improve our facility and want to lessen recidivism and give our inmates the best-case scenario for re-entry into society, whether it be here or elsewhere. Each of the pods in which the detainees are housed has a phone in place and they have access to that phone. Additionally, ICE detainees have a phone that is strictly utilized by them. That particular phone is non-recorded and free of charge and is intended for communication with attorneys and legal partners for their cases. Due to the number of detainees and the limited phone lines in the jail, the free phone can have wait times, but the phone in the pods or dorm is liberally available. All ICE detainees are provided time out of their cells on a daily basis. With rare exception, detainees are afforded six hours out of their cells for programs daily, where they have unfettered access to phones and interaction with other detainees. Additionally, detainees are provided eight hours of exercise time on a weekly basis. A few detainees are restricted to less hours due to disciplinary reasons or their classification based on their criminal history. All ICE detainees are afforded outside exercise several times each week. Additionally, they are allowed weekly visitation. I have dedicated my career to defending our communities, the victims of crimes and those who had no voice. I have a tremendous respect for human rights, quality of life and equality and would do nothing to jeopardize my beliefs and morals, nor would I demean others or oppress them in their pursuit of liberty and happiness. We have checks and balances in our justice system and I have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California. I am adamantly supportive of the rights of others to pursue their dreams in this country that I hold so dear, and I support any and all means of legal immigration. Sincerely, Wendell Anderson Yuba County Sheriff

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