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Suit Challenges Standards at State Women’s Prison

A lawsuit filed Monday in San Bernardino Superior Court accused officials at the California Institution for Women at Frontera of failing to meet standards mandated by the state for inmates in tough lockup units.

The complaint, prepared by Rebecca Jurado, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said women separated from the main population because they are considered troublesome or for their own protection have been denied adequate exercise, the minimum three showers a week, telephone privileges and proper medical services.

The suit names Daniel McCarthy, director of the state Corrections Department, and Anne Alexander, superintendent of the prison, as defendants and charges that the inmates have been placed in cramped cells shared by other prisoners and denied the right to call witnesses in their behalf before being placed in lockup units.

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The lawsuit seeks to end the housing of more than one prisoner in a cell and to enforce other confinement standards at the prison.

State corrections officials declined comment pending a study of the suit, the fourth filed against the Frontera institution in eight months.


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