Everybody has significant concerns about the Las Colina's and men's central placement of mentally ill inmates in the Safety Cells. Per jail policy, Safety Cells are used for people who: (1) have suicidal ideation, (2) are intoxicated, (3) are combative or violent, (3) or are unable to function.
The Safety Cells are pretty harsh settings as they do not have furniture. They are small windowless rooms with rubberized walls to reduce self harm. Each cell contains a single food slot and a small viewing window that faces a hallway with that damn CLOCK that runs every 15 minutes (for safety checks). Cells have a ceiling light that is on all the time and a security camera. Inmates are to defecate and urinate in a grated hole in the ground.
Inmates arrive, booked, and stripped and put into safety smocks to prevent any attempts at self harm or suicide. Inmates receive no books or personal items. Policy requires observation of inmates placed in Safety Cells by staff every 15 minutes. The jail’s policy is for a mental health consultation to occur within 12 hours of placement, and a medical evaluation every 24 hours.
Although this sounds ideal, many detainees find themselves threatened with more time in solitary if they are showing signs of distress or mental decompensation. Often the clock that is there does not show the time. It will show the time via 15 min increment timers. The lights are on all the time which messes up sleep cycles.
Juvenile Dependency and