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Family of inmate who died while in custody at SLO County Jail joins forces with Sheriff Parkinson

Holland died after suffering an embolism while being restrained for 46 hours
Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 22, 2020

After years of legal battles and investigations, the Holland family and Sheriff Ian Parkinson came together to walk as one in order to remember Andrew Holland and to renew the call for safety at the San Luis Obispo County Jail.

The vigil took place at Juvenile Hall Wednesday evening.

Holland died in 2017 after being restrained for 46-hours at SLO County Jail.

Holland's family held the third annual vigil for their son in hopes of continuing to move towards better care for inmates suffering from mental illness.

“What I’d really like to see happen is that the jail not be the end place for severely mentally ill people that have difficulties in society. That’s not where they belong . They should not be criminalized,” said Sharon Holland.

Sharon says her family is happy to finally be joining forces with Sheriff Parkinson in order to help create the change they wish to see at jails not just in SLO County, but nationwide.

Parkinson said the new found partnership is healing for the community.

"It's healing for the family, it's healing for us," said Parkinson.

He also said there have been several steps taken to improve the conditions in which inmates with mental health illness are living.

“We’ve opened a behavior health unit funded by private money in the community that wanted to help support it. We opened a wing of the Kansas jail for severely mentally ill that’s been highly successful," added Parkinson.

Another major change has been the hours officers have to spend at crisis intervention training.

Instead of the state mandated eight-hours, San Luis Obispo County is asking officers to complete 40 hours of CIT training.

The Holland family says they will be sponsoring three of those training's this year via their foundation.