Sheriffs Office Responds to DeSaulnier’s Request For Investigation into Allegations at West County Detention Facility

Photo by Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff

This past week, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier said he plans to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate claims that federal immigration detainees at a Contra Costa County jail have been mistreated.

This came after several newspaper reports were issued regarding complaints by female detainees in the Richmond Jail. Most recently, a SF Chronicle Newspaper column highlighted:

female detainees at their jail in Richmond were complaining that they were locked in their cells for 23 hours a day — with no bathroom access.


The Sheriffs Office issued a response saying the columns were negative towards the Office of the Sheriff and misleading. In spite of the reporter visiting WCDF and seeing things firsthand, few facts ever made it to the one-sided column.

On Tuesday, after Congressmen DeSaulnier toured the facility on Monday, the Sheriffs Office issued a response to Congressman DeSaulnier’s call for an investigation.  Here is the Sheriffs Office Response:

Investigation into Allegations at West County Detention Facility

A comprehensive investigation is already well underway into allegations made by some female ICE detainees at the West County Detention Facility (WCDF). The investigation includes extensive interviews with detainees and staff, review of hundreds of hours of video surveillance, and identification of physical evidence.

WCDF is a dormitory-style, program-based facility where all inmates are free to leave their rooms to go to educational and vocational programs, medical appointments or visits; the amount of free time all inmates receive exceeds state requirements.

On Monday, Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, California 11th District, and his staff, toured WCDF and was invited to view any area he wished to visit and speak to any detainee he liked. A number of other state and local officials have also recently visited the facility.

“Congressman DeSaulnier can now publicly call for any additional investigation he wants,” said Contra Costa County Sheriff David Livingston. “However, as the political rhetoric from some around this issue continues to boil, we remain undeterred in providing professional and diligent custody services for our county inmates and federal detainees.”

The Office of the Sheriff is responsible for the care and custody of over 1,600 inmates in three detention facilities in Contra Costa County. The allegations of the few female ICE detainees are a fraction of that number. Their complaints are and will be fully investigated.


  1. WCDF is a dormitory style facility, so how can anyone be locked in their cell for 23 hours a day? The bathrooms dont have locks or doors on them either. I think this story is BS, I cant see this happening in 2017. Criminals in jail cry and have way to many rights in general, thats why they never learn their lesson. This facility and many like are like a little country club for criminals. Its pretty simple, dont do stupid illegal @$&! and you wont have to worry about any of this “happening”.

    • Unless you’re the Kennedy’s, whose legacy is built on crime, but oh yeah wealthy criminals are A-okay in the USA!

  2. Fake news read by a fake congressman. Desaulnier needs to worry about us US citizen tax payers instead of fake newspaper articles about non citizens. This type of rhetoric is what is keeping California’s nickname “ The Welfare State “ . Our sheriff does a good job. Rehtoric from fake news and fake Desaulnier keeps him from real work. Desaulnier needs to return to working for US citizens. Fix the roads, find jobs for welfare and entitlement people, reduce taxes, etc. Using the newspaper for your next decision shows your out of touch. Get rid of the swampers people. Think about how many potholes or duplicate gas taxes while voting next time.

  3. As a blue collar citizen, I can’t see anyone who relates to me more than a man who makes my yearly salary in a day like Donald J. Trump. I’m all for tax cuts for the rich, CEO’s deserve the 400x more than the common worker, who cares if a handful of people have more wealth than the bottom 50% of this nation. In case I’m injured or fall on hard luck, I don’t deserve help, I just need to pull myself up from my bootstraps and believe in the complex economy. I love working to the tee while people who inherited their wealth get to shop and sail on their yachts all day. One day I’ll be rich, and that’s what keeps me sane in this world. Even though my prolonged stress has given me hypertension, a cardiac arrhythmia, high cholesterol, COPD and diabetes, ill be more than happy to have my retirement taken by my corporate overlords.

    • Are you that jealous you have to play games like this? You proved to everyone you are an entitlement dirt bag who is afraid to contribute back for what you take. By your comment it sounds like your parents on up we’re takers too.

  4. Wouldn’t it have been refreshing had the Congressman put out a statement similar to, “Uh, the inmates have keys to their own rooms and can go to the restroom anytime they like. Nothing to see here.”

    What a shame the truth isn’t good enough.

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