lgbtThe West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino California is coming under fire for the treatment of gay, bisexual and transgender inmates.  According to the lawsuit, gay, bisexual and transgender inmates in this facility are immediately separated from the general population and, as a result, are denied services and benefits that are offered to other inmates.

Upon entering the facility all gay, bisexual and transgender inmates are moved to a section referred to as the Alternate Lifestyle Tank, where they are kept for the duration of their sentence.  The lawsuit, filed on behalf of more than a dozen inmates, alleges that the segregation keeps these inmates in their cells for nearly 23 hours per day and denies them of educational, vocational and rehabilitation programs offered by the prison.  Inmates named in the lawsuit also allege that the automatic segregation from the rest of the prison population opens them up for additional abuse and harassment.

Another major issue with the mandatory segregation is that these inmates are prevented from working in the prison.  This denies them the opportunity to earn money or earn credits for good behavior that could potentially earn them a chance for earlier release.

Keeping these inmates from participating in activities and programs that are offered to other inmates (some of whom have committed the same or even more serious crimes) is a clear case of discrimination.  Gay, bisexual and transgender inmates need to be offered the same services and opportunities that are presented to all other inmates within the same prison system.

If you feel as though an institution or facility has treated you unfairly due to your race, religion or sexual orientation you need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.  An experienced California attorney can view the details of your situation to determine if discrimination played a part in how you were treated.  If there is any evidence of wrongdoing an attorney can take the steps necessary to file a claim and fight to ensure that your rights are upheld.

Individuals are protected from civil rights violations by several state and federal laws. The federal Civil Rights Act of 1866 (42 U.S.C.  1981)  provides all individuals of different backgrounds the right to enforce contracts and equal benefits of the law.  Federal law (42 U.S.C. 1983) also prohibits law enforcement officers and police and prison officials from depriving the constitutional rights of an individual, acting under color of state law.

AXIS Legal Counsel is a Los Angeles Civil Rights law firm that represents clients in numerous types of constitutional rights and civil liberties matters, ranging from violations of civil rights, privacy, free speech, constitutional rights, and numerous others.  For information on retaining AXIS Legal Counsel to represent you, contact or call (213) 403-0130 for a confidential consultation, or visit our Civil Rights Practice Area or Individual Rights Portal for more information.