Capitol Alert

What do you know about county jails in California? Talk to us

A cell in Fresno County Jail.
A cell in Fresno County Jail. Fresno Bee file

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

Inmate and staff safety concerns come at a cost to California taxpayers.

Access to quality mental-health care and substance-abuse treatment is far from guaranteed. 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 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.

Your submission to us is confidential. We won’t publish any information you share without your permission, and won’t voluntarily share what you tell us here with the government or third parties. You can tell us your story at the form below.

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

If the form does not appear on the page, you can also find it here.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

Jason Pohl reports on criminal justice for The Sacramento Bee, in partnership with ProPublica’s 2019 Local Reporting Network. His current work is examining strains in California county jails after statewide changes involving incarceration. He has reported since 2011 on public safety, mental health and disasters for newspapers in Colorado and Arizona.