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Santa Clara County Jail Inmates Getting Opportunity To File Grievances Anonymously

SAN JOSE (KCBS) -- The Santa Clara County Sheriff has ordered grievance boxes be installed in his jail to allow inmates to file complaints anonymously.

The grievance boxes look like metal mail boxes, but instead of mailing letters, inmates are given the opportunity to complain about guards, or prison conditions.

"We have a policy where sergeants go around twice a shift, so four times a day, where they pick up these grievances," Sheriff's Spokesman Sergeant James Jensen said.

The boxes follow several high profile incidents at the county's main jail, including the beating death of an inmate, allegedly at the hands of three guards.

There was plenty of skepticism from those who have been behind bars.

"I don't know, I think it all depends, it all depends on the prison system, it depends on the actual guards and whether they want to enforce anything," said William, who was recently jailed for car theft.

A jail consultant told the county's blue ribbon commission that the grievance system was broken, and recommended an independent overseer be appointed who would report directly to the board of supervisors.

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