Families demand better care for Fresno County Jail inmates

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Demonstrators are demanding better care for inmates inside the Fresno County Jail and now, they're turning to the court system to get help fast.

On Friday, Attorney Kevin Little helped the families of 42 vulnerable inmates file individual petitions for habeas corpus.

Nicole Garcia is one of the parents who filed a petition as she says her son is an inmate.

He has asthma and needs medication, but she says he's not getting the health care he needs.

"Treat our loved ones like human beings," she says. "Everyone in custody, whether in prison or jail, they have the right to be kept safe. If those people cannot keep them safe, they have to let them go."

Little also says there's simply not enough safe to social distance and putting all COVID-19 patients on one floor isn't good enough.

There are currently more than 600 people in the jail who've tested positive and at least 30 deputies out with the virus.

RELATED: 507 inmates at Fresno County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's office says while he understands the concern of family members, they're doing what they can to reduce the numbers.

"Unfortunately it's not a snap of a finger. We have to continue to test...once people clear we move them around."

Botti says they have a medical team on-site and are cleaning as much as they can.

"We are legally bound to hold people in custody until their hearing is adjudicated. The only way someone can get out now is if their sentence time's out, if they post bond or if they meet that zero bail and are able to be let out."

Botti says they're waiting on the results of several hundred more inmates, and will shift some of them around once those results return.
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