Civil Rights Clinic Featured in Sacramento Bee
UC Davis School of Law Civil Rights Clinic faculty and students were featured in a Sacramento Bee article describing their work defending the rights of prisoners in the Yuba County Jail. The article was accompanied by photographs of Professor Carter "Cappy" White and students Jeff Mendelman '15, Amanda Whitney '16, and Benjamin Lewis '15, and included quotes from White and Whitney.
The Civil Rights Clinic has been involved in representing jail detainees in an effort to enforce a consent decree that resulted from a 1976 lawsuit alleging conditions at the jail failed to meet constitutional standards. In 2013, Yuba County sought to terminate the decree, but the Clinic opposed that motion and succeeded in convincing U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to grant them time for fact-finding. A subsequent investigation by Clinic students documenting sub-standard treatment of prisoners was instrumental in convincing a Yuba County grand jury to recommend improvements at the jail, the Bee reports.
The experience was "incredibly valuable," Whitney said, "in terms of learning practical skills and finding out what the real world is like."
The grand jury report, White said, "confirms much of what we have learned about the need to improve access to medical and mental health care at the jail."