LA County Aims to Reduce Jail Violence
Los Angeles County's lead attorney stated Tuesday that the Board of Supervisors has the legal right to create either an office of Inspector General or an independent commission group to oversee county jails.
The office would monitor county jails, analyze the cases involving use-of-force, control discipline and carry-on their own investigations.
The board decided on these new measures after the Citizens' Commission reported that Sheriff Lee Baca didn't pay attention to the growing violence in county jails.
The Sheriff's Department's senior managers agreed that aggressive measures should be taken against inmates and "the deputy versus inmate culture," which has led to violence.
The use of force in county jails and lawsuits by civil liberties unions and inmates were included in a federal investigation which prompted for a change to be made to policies.
The board can't force Baca to change how he runs the county Jail system, but county counsel John Krattli feels that the board still has a legal obligation to observe how Baca controls the jails.
The county's attorney office is aware that rules will have to be formed in regard to how deputies' records and inmates' medical records would be managed by any new authority.