Lawyers: Settlement reached for disabled Shasta County inmates


REDDING, Calif. - Lawyers for a group of disabled Shasta County inmates say they've reached a settlement to improve living conditions and vocational access for those who have a mobility disability.

The class action lawsuit was filed May 25, 2016. Through the settlement agreement finalized on December 4, 2017, the law firm of Keker Van Nest & Peters said that Shasta County will be required to make necessary improvements.

The law firm represented a disabled Shasta County inmate who fell and slipped in the shower. Steven Ragland with Keker Van Nest & Peters said the inmate was injured so badly that he will require knee surgery. He says that inmate wanted to make a difference for others with a mobility disability.

Ragland stated the jail failed to take care of this inmate and instead limited his activity.

"He was in rather dreadful conditions. He was essentially on 23-hour lockdown. He was treated like someone very dangerous," Ragland said.

The Shasta County Jail will contract with an American Disabilities expert to conduct a full inspection and assessment of the jail's policies and facilities and complete barrier removal and remediation. The settlement also called for the hiring of an ADA coordinator to oversee the jail's compliance with accessibility laws for two years.

Lieutenant Dale Marlar, who runs the Shasta County Jail, said the jail has already made mobility improvements. The jail was built in 1984, prior to the establishment of the ADA. Lieutenant Marlar said with a building that old and made of brick, it isn't easy to make changes but they are working hard at doing so.

It is not known how much the settlement is going to cost the county.

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