Skip to main content

I was in custody in a 'private' jail & witnessed systemic civil rights violations against the less educated; actionable?

Los Angeles, CA |

The facility I was in is owned by a very large private prison conglomerate; the staff seem to lack basic civil rights training/education.

They systemically accused inmates of breaking rules to extend their sentences; thus keeping occupancy levels high. They literally run this place like a hotel; its all about the ADR (average daily revenue).

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


By those who's rights were offended, maybe. Not by you who merely observed it.

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.

Rixon Charles Rafter III

Rixon Charles Rafter III


Certainly worth reporting what you witnessed though.


If you feel that your rights were not violated, then you have no standing to file anything. However, you may be a witness to those whose rights were violated.

The response above is not intended as legal advice since it’s impracticable to provide thorough, accurate advice based upon the query without additional details. It is highly recommended that one should seek advice from a criminal defense attorney licensed in your jurisdiction by setting up a confidential meeting. Moreover, this response does not constitute the creation of an attorney-client relationship since this message is not a confidential communication because it was posted on a public website, thereby publicly disclosing the information, which is another reason to setup a confidential meeting with an attorney.


The answer to your question is no. It is not actionable by you.

It is actionable, however, by those whose rights were violated.

However, there may some type of "whistleblower" reward that you may be entitled to in such a case if the ACLU or a civil rights attorney were able to subpoena the names of those whose rights were violated and then if that attorney brought a class action lawsuit against the facility. There may or may not be such a reward. It would be distinguishable from the class representative enhanced award, as you would not be a class representative. Talk to the ACLU or Johnie Cochran's law firm.


I agree with each of the previous comments by the other Attorneys.

Additionally, if the facility is Federal, and Private, then an inmate may only have access to State Tort law for remedies and may not be able to sue based on the Consitution for Civil Rights violations.



What about Section 1983?


No standing


These situations will be of increasing concern in coming years. The ACLU might be able to do something.

R. Jason de Groot, Esq. We do not have an attorney-client relationship. I am not your lawyer. The statements I make do not constitute legal advice. Any statements made by me are based upon the limited facts you have presented, and under the premise that you will consult with a local attorney. This is not an attempt to solicit business. This disclaimer is in addition to any disclaimers that this website has made. I am only licensed in Florida.



Yes Mr. De Groot I agree; the staff was woefully trained to discharge their duties. The staffs in public facilities (where I was transferred before my release) seemed substantially better in retrospect.

Lawsuits and disputes topics

Recommended articles about Lawsuits and disputes

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer