RICHMOND (CBS SF) – The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday that it has revoked clearances for 20 detention facility volunteers who allegedly violated rules of interacting with incarcerated individuals.
Following an investigation, sheriff’s officials said they determined that volunteers with the group Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement, or CIVIC, repeatedly violated multiple rules for an extended period of time while working at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond.
While working with individuals in immigration detention, the volunteers allegedly provided personal phone numbers and addresses to detainees, relayed messages to family and friends of detainees, received phone calls and mail from detainees, sent contraband to detainees and deposited money into the accounts of detainees, sheriff’s officials said.
The alleged violations come despite the requirement that volunteers take a class covering safety guidelines, sign an agreement and are warned of the consequences of violations, according to sheriff’s officials.
The clearances were revoked on Monday. CIVIC volunteers can appeal the action, but have yet to do so, sheriff’s officials said.
There are currently more than 20 programs available to inmates and immigration detainees at the facility, many of which are run by volunteers from community-based organizations.
Sheriff’s officials said they are currently reviewing possible violations by other organizations.
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