Inmates Complain of ‘Filthy’ Conditions and COVID-19 Risks at San Diego Jails

by on April 13, 2020 · 0 comments

in Health, San Diego

By Kelly Davis, Jeff McDonald / San Diego Union-Tribune / April 12, 2020

Michael McKay had been struggling with homelessness and alcoholism when he was arrested last month on a probation violation and booked into San Diego County jail.

Before the 55-year-old diabetic was laid off five years ago and slipped into a downward spiral, McKay was a dedicated father and mechanical engineer. Now an inmate at the George F. Bailey Detention Facility, the county’s largest jail, he and other detainees may be sitting ducks for the coronavirus, said his wife, Diana McKay.

“My husband is a complete wreck physically and now has been moved to George Bailey,” she said. “He is at extremely high risk for exposure to the virus there…. Of course the wisdom is he should be far away from people, yet instead he is in a crowd of strangers.”

So far five jail employees and three inmates have tested positive for the virus, the Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.

Inmates and their family members say conditions are more serious than department officials have acknowledged. Among other problems, they cite a persistent lack of virus testing and inadequate protective gear and medical care.

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