innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Critics of Jails Voice Alarms

This article is republished from the L.A. Times and written by Megan Garvey and Richard Winton:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department came under growing criticism Monday for its ineffectiveness in halting violence in the county jails that has left two inmates dead and more than 100 injured during nine days of racially charged fighting.

Sheriff Lee Baca, who said Friday that the worst of the violence was over, repeated that assertion Monday. As of late Monday, sheriff's officials had reported no new disturbances.

Baca called the death of a black inmate Sunday after a fight between black and Latino inmates an "isolated incident" and said the most recent fights over the weekend involved relatively small numbers of inmates."

These are now small, sporadic outbreaks of violence," he said.But Baca's management of the jail system came under increased criticism from several directions.County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who has been a strong supporter of the Sheriff's Department, called the recent disturbances "a breakdown in management."

He said the department should have done more to protect blacks, who have been the predominant victims of the attacks."The department knew violence was going to occur. They failed to separate inmates.

They continue to have a hostile environment," he said, adding that black inmates are suffering because of violence and intimidation directed by Mexican Mafia prison gang leaders.

For the whole story, click here.


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