Sheriff Baca Considering Massive Inmate Relocation
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is considering moving about 1,800 of the county’s most violent criminals to newer facilities, according to a report released Wednesday.
Baca is currently the subject of a federal investigation into allegations of brutality in his jails.
This proposed shift would help end the inmate killings, guard brutality, and poor supervision plaguing the Men’s Central Jail, among others.
Under this plan, criminals located in Men’s Central Jail, located in Downtown Los Angeles, would be moved to a more recent facility in Lynwood that currently holds female inmates.
Men’s Central Jail was built in 1963, and is designed with long rows of cramped cells, which kept some of the most violent inmates within close quarters of each other, with more difficult supervision.
The newer circular configuration makes controlling and supervising inmates significantly easier.
However, by closing this section of Men’s County Jail, the Sheriff’s department would be faced with more inmates than they have room to hold.
This is no new problem for the Sheriff’s Department who regularly releases inmates early because of a lack of funding, and is expected to receive an influx of thousands of new inmates in a plan that sends state prison offenders to county jails.
According to Commander Jim Hellmold, they would release more low-risk inmates with electronic monitoring.
Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said Baca is expected to discuss his current plan with members of the county Board of Supervisors before releasing it to the public, hopefully within a few weeks.