- Angela De Joseph
SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblymember Akilah Weber, M.D., (D-San Diego) released the following statement upon Governor Newsom announcing his veto of Assembly Bill (AB) 2343 today.
“The Saving Lives in Custody Act was meant to raise the standards of care for persons in custody at county jails based on the direct recommendations of the State Auditor. I am disappointed that the bill was vetoed and so are the families and community members who advocated for immediate change in our jail systems. I am as committed as ever to getting to the root cause of the systemic problems leading to the unacceptable and growing number of persons losing their lives while they are in custody,” said Assemblymember Akilah Weber, M.D. “The State Auditor’s office has uncovered evidence that legislative change is needed to address in-custody deaths. The auditor also recommended changing the composition the Board of State and Community Corrections to include both a medical professional and a mental health professional to ensure these experts are involved in the statewide standards. I look forward to working with the Governor’s office to reintroduce this bill next year.”
In May 2021, Assemblymember Dr. Akilah Weber along with the Democratic members of the San Diego Delegation responded to the public concern and reports regarding the high number of deaths in San Diego County jails by requesting a state audit through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. In February 2022, the State Auditor’s Office released its reportwith the findings from the audit.
The California State Auditor’s office discovered 185 individuals in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department custody died from 2006 through 2020—more deaths per average daily population than any other county in the State.
The State Audit findings confirmed the already extensive public record documenting the tragic loss of lives, systemic failures, and inadequacy of oversight that local advocates have long called to our attention.