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What Do You Know About County Jails in California? Talk to Us.

ProPublica and The Sacramento Bee are spending the year reporting on resources, safety and crowding in California county jails.

Detainees in an outdoor yard are reflected in a window at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, California, in March 2017. (Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

The Sacramento Bee and ProPublica are investigating conditions in California’s county jails. We need your help understanding what’s going on in the facilities, big and small.

An average of 137 people die in jails across the state each year. We want to know more about the people behind these numbers, and we want to hear from others about their experiences in California’s county jail system.

We’re looking for people who have spent time in county jails across California. We’re also seeking the impressions of family members and others who know someone who’s been incarcerated.

We want to learn more about crowding, inmate treatment and access to resources in jails. And we want to hear from people who can tell us what is — or is not — working in the jail system. You can read more about our project here.

We are especially looking for information and documents related to medication access issues and delays. Our team wants to know about medication availability and how jails are stocking specific medicine. And we’re curious about medical and mental health care — how easy or hard it’s been for people to get treatment and medication while behind bars.

In addition, the more stories we can hear, the stronger our reporting can be. The more evidence we can point to, the better job we can do to tell these stories. Documents, letters and emails are particularly helpful to us. If you know someone who’s also had an experience we should know about it, please send them this link.

Your submission is confidential. We won’t publish any information you share without your permission, and we won’t voluntarily share what you tell us here with the government or third parties. If you’d rather talk on Signal or WhatsApp, which are more secure, send a message to 347-244-2134. You can also email our reporting team at CaliforniaJails@propublica.org.

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