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LA County Jail Under Further Scrutiny

A report by the ACLU claims that LA County Sheriff's forcibly struck inmates' heads during fights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California released a report Wednesday accusing Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies of deliberately striking the heads of inmates during fights, causing at least 12 serious head injuries since 2009.

The report released by the ACLU was based on statements from 64 people including current inmates, former inmates and civilian eyewitnesses. Photographs and medical records also corroborate the claims that deputies specifically targeted inmates' heads during altercations.

Sheriff Lee Baca's department and LA County jails are the current subject of a federal investigation on deputy violence against inmates. A final report along with recommendations from the investigation is expected to be released Friday.

While Baca has been criticized as being out-of-touch with the problems occurring, he continues defend his jails and their use-of-force policy.

"All of the dynamics in the jail[s] are fully understood, fully addressed and force is at an all-time low," said Baca during a testimony before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors last week.  "We are the best in the nation...In fact, they're coming to us, asking more about what we're doing to improve the situation."

LA County took multiple measures to increase surveillence in its jails in response to previous investigations. The department installed hundreds of new cameras in the Men's Central Jail, Twin Towers and an inmate reception center.

The ACLU has challenged the Sheriff's Department in court and continues to demand changes in the county's jails. 

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