Garfield County Settles ACLU Lawsuit Over Jail

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) – The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office has settled a lawsuit accusing it of inmate abuses including inappropriate use of force.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Colorado filed the lawsuit in 2006 in federal court on behalf of four inmates. The Daily Sentinel reports the sheriff’s office agreed to pay the ACLU $69,200 for litigation costs, but otherwise the parties will bear their own attorney fees and other costs.

Sheriff’s officials said Monday the settlement required the jail to make minor changes to internal reporting forms and affirm practices it had already implemented voluntarily. Sheriff Lou Vallario has said the jail now has padded cells for use in lieu of restraint chairs, has boosted mental health care, and has changed the disciplinary process so inmates can appeal decisions.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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