1995-1996 Santa Barbara County Grand Jury

April 19, 1996
Contact: Spencer Boise, Foreman
Phone (805) 568-2292



On May 4, 1995 an inmate died at the Santa Barbara County Main Jail. According to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner’s Autopsy Report, the causes of death were “combined effects of acute drug toxicity and small vessel coronary disease due to chronic abuse of sympathomimetic drugs.”

While investigating this death the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury found that the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Operations Division has no written procedure to deal with arrestees who have medical problems or who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs prior to booking. The inmate was classified and housed in a cell that had the potential to endanger his safety.

Other findings by the Grand Jury included a failure by Santa Barbara County Health Care Services staff to comply with the Services Level Agreement. Specifically, the medical staff failed to respond in a timely manner to calls for an inmate evaluation. Further, the Grand Jury found the health of the inmate was endangered by the inability of the licensed nurse on duty to perform CPR. It was also noted that Health Care Services did not have a licensed nurse on duty at all times.

On July 1, 1995 the County of Santa Barbara entered into a new contract entitled Agreement for Services between the County of Santa Barbara and Prison Health Services, Inc.

The full report is posted at on the Grand Jury’s World Wide Web page. Copies of the report are also available at the Superior Court Jury Services office at 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, or call 568-3139.