2021-109 Audit Scope and Objectives
San Diego County Sheriff's Department
The audit by the California State Auditor will provide independently developed and verified information related to the death of inmates in the custody of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (San Diego Sheriff). The audit's scope will include, but not be limited to, the following activities:
- Review and evaluate the laws, rules, and regulations significant to the audit objectives.
- Evaluate the San Diego Sheriff's policies and procedures on personnel training, facility maintenance and safety, and the provision of health care to inmates. To the extent possible, determine whether these policies and procedures align with minimum standards established through state law and any other applicable guidance. As part of this evaluation, also determine whether any of these policies delay or otherwise impair the ability of medical personnel to provide appropriate medical care to inmates.
- To the extent possible, for a selection of inmate deaths from the last 15 years—including suicides, murders, and in-custody or in-transit deaths—determine the following:
- The circumstances, such as the cause for each death.
- Whether correctional facility staff followed applicable policies and procedures related to inmate safety.
- Whether the San Diego Sherriff reviewed the circumstances of these deaths and took corrective action to improve inmate safety.
- To the extent possible, evaluate available demographic information—including the race and age of the inmates—and identify any relevant trends for all inmate deaths from the last 15 years. Compare the in-custody death rate in San Diego County to the rates in other comparable California counties.
- Review allegations from the past 15 years that lead to wrongful death suits and determine the number of settlements, the average settlement amount, and, to the extent possible, how settlement awards compare to similar settlements from other comparable counties in California.
- To the extent possible, determine which policies specified in settlement agreements or in grand jury recommendations have been implemented and which have not. As part of this determination, also identify whether the San Diego Sheriff has suspended, revoked, or amended any such policies in a manner inconsistent with past settlement agreements or grand jury recommendations.
- Evaluate the extent to which the Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB) has provided recommendations to the San Diego Sheriff regarding inmate safety and followed up to determine whether the San Diego Sheriff has implemented those recommendations.
- Evaluate CLERB's review of inmate death cases in 2017 and assess whether CLERB had sufficient staff and resources to perform its oversight role appropriately.
- Review and assess any other issues that are significant to the audit.
California State Auditor's Office