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Jail Neglect & Abuse

Once a citizen is taken into police custody, the police department and the jail assume responsibility for that person's safety. If an inmate is injured or dies because of abusive treatment or negligence, the city or county may be financially liable.

Jails present many dangers, and inmates have little recourse to complain. Civil rights attorney John Burris has won notable victories for victims of jail abuse, including awards to family members of those who died in custody. We practice in the San Francisco Bay Area and throughout Northern California. Call 510-379-7215 to discuss your possible lawsuit.

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
— Mahatma Gandhi

Our Results In Jail Injury Cases

The Law Offices of John L. Burris has handled several wrongful death claims arising from abuse and negligent care:

  • Mr. Burris settled two cases involving jail staff/medical personnel who failed to prevent the suicides of inmates.
  • In a 2005 case in Alameda County, he demonstrated that a man who killed himself in his cell should have been placed on a suicide watch.
  • In a 2003 case in Mendocino County, a woman with a history of mental illness was prematurely released from suicide watch and subsequently took her own life.
  • In 2005, we settled with San Joaquin County for $900,000 on behalf of a man who was beaten to death by corrections officers.

We are equipped to handle all civil rights lawsuits and wrongful death cases stemming from incarceration:

  • Medical neglect — Failing to diagnose and treat serious conditions, withholding necessary medication
  • Assault — Beatings by jail personnel, failure to segregate violent inmates, failure to respond to complaints of physical abuse or sexual assault
  • Cruel and unusual punishment — Withholding food or medical assistance, excessive restraints, retaliation for reporting abuse, sexual exploitation, unauthorized punishment meted out by staff
  • Mental illness — Failure to protect emotionally disturbed inmates from themselves or predatory cellmates; failure to provide psychiatric care and suicide prevention measures
  • Understaffing/failure to monitor — Failure to provide the mandated level of supervision under California law

Get The Legal Champion You Need

John Burris has handled civil rights litigation for nearly 30 years, including jail abuse lawsuits under the Eighth Amendment. If you suffered physical or emotional harm, believe that a family member is being mistreated, or lost a loved one who died in custody, contact our Oakland law office to discuss your rights and options with an experienced lawyer.

Law Offices of John L. Burris
Airport Corporate Centre | 7677 Oakport Street, Suite 1120 | Oakland, CA 94621
Phone: 510-379-7215 | Fax: 510-839-3882 | E-mail Us | Map and Directions