LOS ANGELES – A federal judge has ruled that forcing county jail inmates to sleep on the floor to relieve overcrowding is unconstitutional. U.S District Judge Dean D. Pregerson said in a ruling released Friday that jail officials violated inmates’ right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment, and were guilty of “deliberate indifference” for failing to provide them with bunks. “This is quite an extraordinary ruling,” said attorney Stephen Yagman, who represented prisoners involved in a class-action lawsuit. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Attorney Paul B. Beach, who represented the county in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a telephone message left seeking comment early Monday by The Associated Press. He declined comment to the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said the practice of having inmates sleep on the floor “is over, and has been for a while now.” The lawsuit covers inmates who were forced to sleep on the floor from December 2000 to May 2005. Yagman said Sunday that he had two other class-action cases involving inmates who were allegedly forced to sleep on floors from May 2005 to as recently as this year. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Federal judge rules it’s wrong for LA jail inmates to sleep on floor