The ACLU Foundation of Southern California is the court ordered monitor of the conditions of confinement and medical services within all Los Angeles County jail facilities. 

“Conditions” refers to beds, change of clothing, meals, gay/trans classification, outdoor recreation, showers, telephones, overcrowding, “fish” kits, commissary, protective custody, religious services, mail, allegations of violence and retaliation and other similar issues that may arise.

Through advocacy, public education and litigation, we work to ensure that a basic standard of care is provided to individuals who are incarcerated. We also work to decrease our community’s overreliance on mass incarceration by advocating for alternatives to incarceration and discharge planning to help reduce recidivism.


Cases, Legislation, Campaigns

All relevant litigation

  • Rutherford v. Pitchess (1975): conditions of confinement
  • Robertson v. Block (1982): protection of the rights of gay prisoners
  • Johnson v. LA Sheriff’s Department (2008): ADA compliance for inmates with mobility impairments
  • Rosas v. Baca (2012): elimination of systemic excessive use of force tactics on inmates
  • Douglas v. Cooley (2012): halt unlawful practice of suppressing exculpatory evidence in criminal trials by the District Attorney and the LA Sheriff’s Department
  • Mannings v. LA Sheriff’s Department (not filed) (2012): challenge policies that unfairly prevent Muslim inmates from attending group worship


  • Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance advocacy work with LASD, LAPD and SBSO (2016)
  • Doula program (in progress)
  • Lactation program (February 2016)
  • LA Sheriff Department’s Gender Responsive Advisory Board (2015-Present)
  • Creation of a pregnant inmate module (December 2014)
  • 100 Days (2014)
  • LA Police Department’s Civilian Police Jail Advisory Board (2012-present)


File a complaint

File a complaint
On behalf of an inmate regarding quality of life, jails services, or inmate abuse.