Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee BacaFox Los Angeles reported  that Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca has a new jail plan. If approved by the County Board of Supervisors, the $1.4 billion plan would allow for the demolition and rebuilding of the downtown Men’s Central Jail and would also allow for a new, women’s jail to be constructed at Pitchess Detention Center.

The proposal comes amidst staunch allegations of inmate abuse by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) . County officials believe that prison populations could be better managed should construction plans be approved.

Baca told Fox that the Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail is antiquated and if the new facility is approved it could reduce annual operation costs by approximately $23.7 million. The current facility, which houses about 5,000 inmates, was built in 1963.

Baca further noted the new facilities would allow for the housing of an additional 4,054 “high-security” inmates and would add 393 beds to the system countywide. This increased capacity, he said could help offset additional strain being placed on the county jail system now that  that inmates are in the process of being transfered from state to local facilities.

The Board of Supervisors, however, are cautious, pointing to high construction costs during a tight-budget environment.   Proponents of the plan say construction could be funded by state grants, bond funding and grants from the county.

If approved, construction would begin in 2017. We hope this much needed new jail comes to Los Angeles.

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