Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles County Jail’
From our Inside California Jails Series…
Corrections officers will often share stories about inmates who are trying to smuggle drugs and other types of contraband into county lock-ups; others often speak about detainees who try to forge weapons out of common things inside their bunk.
But when it comes to those being held at the gay wing of the Men’s Central Jail, inmates joke that they’d be more interested in trying to smuggle in cute underwear and in trying to make sewing needles out of non-contraband items.
K60 inmates say they are trying to make the best of a bad situation; they put on fashion shows and have a “word of the day” cheer to help entertain themselves. Incarceration may not be easy, they say, but they’ve done their best to create a sense of community.
Most of the inmates are being held on drug related offenses, according to one detainee, and many of them have been shunned or disowned by their families due to their sexual orientation. For them, being in jail with their K60 family offers a far greater sense of emotional support than they have in the outside world.
Today, Greg Rynerson Bail Bonds continues with our eighteenth series in our California Jails: Inside the gay wing at the LA Men’s Central Jail.
Here, we will you in on:
- How inmates are getting creative
- The types of every-day items that are being repurposed
- How standard-issue clothing is being transformed into jailhouse couture
- Why non-gay inmates try to sneak their way in, and how the jailers weed them out
Is there a jail you’d like to learn more about? Let us know- we’ll get you “inside” (or, if you need, we’ll get you out!)
Members of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have confirmed they are actively trying to have LA County Sheriff Lee Baca removed from his post.
Conditions within the county’s jails are vile, they said, and the deputy-on-inmate violence has been rampant for a very long time. A spokesperson said they are outraged at Baca having known what was going on and did not take action.
He instead chose to turn a blind eye. This is no way to run a detention facility, they said.
The group filed class action against the LA County Jail was filed last year. The suit alleges Read more »
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The suit alleges the Sheriff denied bail to undocumented defendants who were arrested for minor offenses due to immigration flags.
Among the case’s listed plaintiffs is a British filmmaker who said he was held in county jail for three months despite having permission to be in the country. He reportedly said the jail repeatedly denied his attempts to post bail, saying he was ineligible for release due to a hold placed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the suit is without merit and that the department has never denied bail for defendants who have ICE holds. The ACLU said other counties, including Orange, San Diego, and San Bernardino, routinely hold defendants who have immigration flags. An attorney for the plaintiffs said denying bail to persons who have not yet been convicted of a crime is a violation of their constitutional rights.
Another defendant described his ordeal within the LA County jail system, describing the experience as abusive. He was arrested in late 2011 following a domestic incident and Read more »
The Los Angeles County Sheriff, Lee Baca, reportedly has said that he has no plans to step down from his position any time soon. Sheriff Baca has been given most of the blame for failing to stop deputies from using excessive force inside the jail.
He will, however, begin to implement many of the changes that have been suggested by the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence, a committee formed to investigate the allegations of abuse inside the LA County jails.
These changes include Read more »
The FBI has said that an inmate informant within the Twin Towers Jail has helped them expose a number of dirty and unethical jailers. Prosecutors, though, say the man’s credibility may be a matter of contention when the cases go to trial.
45 year-old Anthony Brown has a long rap sheet. He has a previous conviction for armed bank robbery. He admits to being a crack-cocaine addict. He is currently serving a sentence of 423 years to life in an Imperial County state prison. Still, a recent news article said he was an integral part of a “highly sensitive” investigation as to unethical happenings within the Los Angeles County jails.
According to the FBI, Brown provided the names of Sheriffs deputies who abused inmates. He also helped expose another jail employee who helped smuggle in a cell phone in exchange for $1,500 in cash. Brown later used the device to snap photos of deputies engaging in unnecessary and unprompted violence toward inmates.
Prosecutors have acknowledged Brown’s shaky credibility and said they are aware he has a history of Read more »
Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca said he’s aware that reforms are needed within the department. In the past 24 months the LA Sheriffs have come under fire for allegations of employee misconduct, inmate abuse and withholding evidence key evidence amidst internal investigations.
According to a recent report by Newser.com, Baca said he acknowledges he’s been “out of touch” when it comes to some of the issues within LA County jails. A spokesperson from the ACLU said if Baca doesn’t resign he needs to really focus on fixing the problems. Earlier this week, the ACLU sued the department for withholding evidence from inmates who are facing charges on alleged attacks on jail staff.
Mistreatment of the county’s inmates continues to be Read more »
Los Angeles Jails are beginning to burst at the seams. Since the California Prisoner Realignment bill was implemented more than 5,000 inmates have been transferred from state prisons to LA County facilities. At current, the county’s jail house more than 18,500 inmates.
According to a recent report by the LA Times, the Sheriff’s Department is negotiating a deal with Kern County jails which would allow LA to use their empty facilities to house up to 1,000 low-level, non-violent inmates. Similar partnerships are being considered with communities within the Central Valley, Delano and Coalinga.
Many of the county’s inmates Read more »
Glendale Police Department Chief Ron DePoma said the city faces a new threat. Crime rates are on the rise, he said, due to the increased number of parolees and felons being released early under the state’s prisoner realignment program. First implemented in Oct. 2011, the program mandates non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual offenders be transferred from state prisons to county jails to serve out their sentences. Many local felons are having their sentences cut short due to overcrowding at Los Angeles jails.
Glendale burglaries have increased, he said. Robberies and auto thefts are also on the rise. Reports of credit card fraud and identity theft have also seen an uptick since the realignment was first implemented. Data indicates some of these crimes have been committed by criminals out on parole.
A report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice claims that approximately 71% of the inmates sitting in California County jails are still awaiting trial. A large number of them are eligible for bailable inmates while others are immigration holds or are being held for warrants in other states.
This is becoming a major issue as the state’s realignment plan gets underway. Many convicted offenders will be going into the county jail populations to serve their sentences instead of state prisons. This will lead to a rise in the number of people being housed in county jails. County officials are looking at ways to bring down the number of inmates in jail to avoid overcrowding.
It is estimated that about 33.75% of Los Angeles County’s inmate population could be reduced if they could (or would) pay to bail themselves out, either by paying the full bail amount or the 10% premium that is charged by commercial bail agents. LA County Sheriff Lee Baca is focusing on the number of bailable inmates. He is looking for any alternative’s to bail, including ankle bracelet monitoring, but this is a costly solution for any county and requires cooperation from everyone.
However, statistically the commercial bail industry has proven to be the most effective form of pretrial release. The purpose of bail is not to allow every defendant to get out of jail; it is to ensure that the defendant will return to court. If the reason for bail was simply to release defendants, there would be no reason to require a bail. The point of bail is to give defendants a financial incentive to return to court once they are released.
Studies have shown that people who have a monetary liability, or whose family member has a monetary liability, that is dependent upon their return to court, show up for court as required. Bail agents also have a financial liability when they post bail for someone, so Read more »
Sheriff Lee Baca may decide to close off the older portion of the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles County. This part of the jail has been troubled by inmate killings, poor supervision and guards using excessive force.
The older section of the jail was built in 1963 and contains the older-style of long rows of jail cells that makes it more difficult to supervise inmates and jailers. The proposed plan is to move approximately 1,800 inmates to the Lynwood facility. Among them are some of the most violent offenders in the county. At this time, the Lynwood jail houses only female inmates.
Instead of the antiquated rows of cells, it is better to have inmates in the more modern circular cell configuration with a security booth in the center. This will enable deputies to better-supervise the inmates without having to walk down long rows of cells to see what they are doing.
Right now, the Men’s Central Jail houses nearly 4,500 inmates, making it one of the largest detention facilities in the world. The third floor, also called the 3000 floor, keeps the county’s most dangerous inmates, including gang leaders and killers. Between 2006 and 2010, that floor alone had 437 incidences of force than any of the other sections of the jail. Deputies assigned to the floor also reportedly displayed clique behavior and engaged in violence with other staff during a 2010 Christmas party.
The downside to this plan is Read more »