Sheriff Responds To Ventura County Grand Jury Report On Inmate Deaths

Tuesday July 04, 2023


     Updated--Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff has released what he terms a "preliminary response" to the recent Ventura County Grand Jury report regarding inmate deaths to in his words provide "a more accurate account" and "demonstrate the department's commitment to provide the highest level of service."

     Grand Jury report said the Sheriff's Office needs to do more to prevent inmate deaths in their facilities in Ventura and near Santa Paula.

     They listed a series of findings and recommendations that can be found at the bottom of this story.

     Fryhoff says his department is committed to the people incarcerated in their jails and work diligently to ensure every incarcerated person is treated with dignity and respect and are given every constitutionally protected right.

     And he adds that they are constantly reviewing their policies and practices to make sure they exceed industry standards in all areas.

     The more complete response by the sheriff is due by late August.

     The Grand Jury said between 2016 and 2022 there were 25 deaths of persons detained by the sheriff's office.

     The Grand Jury reviewed 13 of those deaths.

     That includes the Pretrial Detention Facility in Ventura and the Todd Road Jail near Santa Paula.

     The Grand Jury made these findings...

     "Current protocols and training on suicide prevention do not follow recommended best practices of joint training for medical and jail staff, involvement of family, health screening and orientation of detained persons. 

     Current incentives to surrender illicit drugs are inadequate, and search protocols could be enhanced by use of drug detection dogs.  

     The medical and behavioral health delivery in Ventura County jails has often been reactive rather than proactive. 

     The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office provides inadequate information to the public concerning results of death investigations of detained persons."

     The Grand Jury made several recommendations to, in their words..."remedy these deficiencies."

     Here is a link to the entire report:


     And here is a link to that report and others by the Grand Jury...