Crime & Justice

Transgender, gay inmates sue over jail rights in San Bernardino

Gay, bisexual and transgender inmates have filed a lawsuit against San Bernardino County over allegations they are kept in a segregated area and don't have access to rehabilitation and work programs that could shorten their incarceration.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court by attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of 15 plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs say the jail keeps gay, bisexual and transgendered inmates apart from the general population, where they have little access to drug and rehabilitation programs or to inmate work programs that can help them earn shorter sentences.

County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Cindy Bachman says the county has not received the lawsuit and doesn't comment on pending litigation.