In this Article we evaluate the potential for California’s so-called civil grand juries to detect substandard prison conditions and maltreatment of inmates and make recommendations for improvement. We describe relevant reports by grand juries between 2007–2017 and evaluate the effectiveness of these in improving conditions in a representative sample of counties. We conclude that the civil grand jury is a potentially effective tool for oversight, but its effectiveness is hampered by competing duties, variable investigative methodologies, and lack of clear objectives for performance of its statutory duties.
Nkem Adeleye, Anne R. Oakes & Julian Killingley,
California's Civil Grand Juries and Prison Conditions 2007-2017,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol57/iss3/3