McKibben v. McMahon is a federal class action lawsuit against San Bernardino County over discriminatory policies at the West Valley Detention Center that deny gay, bisexual and transgender inmates equal access. The suit was filed by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) and the law firm of Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP. It charges the county’s policy is unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection to all individuals.
Currently, individuals held in the jail’s general population area have access to myriad services, including work and rehabilitative programs that allow inmates to earn time credits and reduce their sentences. Individuals who are gay, bisexual and transgender are housed in the “alternative lifestyle tank,” where they have been denied access to those same programs. As a result, individuals who are gay, bisexual and transgender have been forced to serve longer sentences than other inmates convicted of the exact same offense.