Posts Tagged ‘Sheriff Lee Baca’
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 »
The National Sheriff’s Association has named Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department leader Lee Baca as it’s national Sheriff of the Year.
Baca is reportedly being honored due to his ongoing commitment to provide educational opportunities for inmates. He is also being lauded for having relatively low crime rates within neighborhoods that are patrolled by the LASD.
Not everyone agrees with the decision. Those against the award point out that the department has been the subject of a widespread federal investigation in recent months amidst allegations of inmate abuse and the consistent use of excessive force. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is still looking into allegations of departmental wrongdoing at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. The ACLU is among the most vocal opponents of the NSA’s choice to honor Baca. Some positive steps have been made when it comes to righting wrongs, they said, but the jails and the LASD still have a lot farther to go.
Others say the county jail system, which is the largest in the world, is Read more »
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has said they have made strides in reducing incidents of violence against inmates.
An attorney that has been assigned to monitor the situation said that things are better but more still needs to be done. Sheriff Lee Baca was put on blast in late 2012 after the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence (CCJV) said that he and the department consistently turned a blind eye to inmate abuse. It was suggested that unreasonable force was the norm, not the exception, and little was being done to stop it. The accusations were so strong that the ACLU filed a lawsuit.
A major recent change is the reported hiring of an assistant sheriff to oversee custody operations. That man Terri McDonald, is scheduled to take the post in mid March. Proponents of the hire are hopeful increased accountability will help ensure that jail staff are acting appropriately. Two men who were previously assigned to run the jails have since retired.
Additional recommendations have been made and the CCJV is hopeful they will be implemented within the next 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 »
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 »
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 »
Inmates at the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail are not the only ones itching to get out. There are many jail deputies who do not enjoy their time working inside the LA County lockups. Officials for the Sheriff’s Department are hoping that proposed changes, which will speed up promotions, will get deputies more enthusiastic about their time inside the jails.
As of now, deputies have to go on street patrol in order to become supervisors. The new plan will allow deputies to move up in rank while staying on duty in county jails. Sheriff Lee Baca hopes that the two-track career system will allow for a core of experienced jailers who actually want to work in the corrections system.
LASD has resisted having two sets of deputies for years. With recent scrutiny of the LA jails Read more »
Los Angeles County has put together a seven-member commission that will investigate the county’s troubled jail systems. This will give residents and county officials a better understanding of what is going wrong and what is being done right under Sheriff Lee Baca.
The FBI has already been looking into allegations of misconduct by sheriff’s deputies within the Los Angeles County jail. There have been multiple reports of abuse and violence. There was even one instance of a rookie deputy resigning after his supervisor allegedly told him to beat an inmate who was mentally ill. Nearly 30 deputies have been disciplined for covering up abuse or beating inmates in the last two years.
The new commission has limited power. It cannot force Sheriff Baca to make changes or subpoena documents. Since Sheriff Baca is an elected official, the only way to get him out of office is through a vote by residents. It can, however, raise public awareness about the issues and put pressure on the Board of Supervisors and the sheriff to make changes.
Members of the new commission include Read more »