California prison guards must wear body cameras after evidence of inmate abuse, judge says

California
A death row inmate is escorted back to his cell after spending time in the yard at San Quentin State Prison.(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

A death row inmate is escorted back to his cell after spending time in the yard at San Quentin State Prison. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

For the first time, California correctional officers will be required to use body cameras while interacting with inmates inside a state prison, a federal judge ordered Tuesday.

The ruling comes in a civil rights lawsuit over disabled inmates’ rights, in which a federal judge found evidence to support allegations of physical abuse of prisoners at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. The order applies to interactions with all inmates with disabilities inside the Otay Mesa facility.

Attorneys for the inmates with disabilities had asked the judge to issue an order mandating body cameras for correctional officers after documenting widespread physical abuse of the inmates.

“Body cameras have never been used in California prisons. This is a very important order to help put an end to physical abuse and broken bones of those with physical disabilities at this most dangerous of prisons,” said attorney Gay Grunfeld, whose law firm, along with the Prison Law Office, represents the plaintiffs.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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