innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cycle of Jail Violence

This article was orignally published in the LA Times, written by Megan Garvey and Sharon Bernstein, Times Staff Writers

The racially charged melees that have rocked Los Angeles County jails over the last two weeks are the latest flare-ups in a long-troubled system where problems are well-known but fixes rare.
The outbreaks, which left two inmates dead and more than 100 injured, have been remarkably similar to violence that hit county jails in 2000, 1996, 1985 and 1971: Clashes between black and Latino inmates and too few cells for the most dangerous inmates, forcing officials to place them in lower-security dormitories.
In the aftermath of each disturbance, the Board of Supervisors called on the sheriff to fix the problem and the sheriff called on the Board of Supervisors to give him more money.
Along the way, sheriff's officials and outside experts have made numerous proposals to lessen racial tensions and remove the highest security-risk inmates from group settings.Most of the efforts have fallen by the wayside, victims of budget cuts and overcrowding — revisited only when the latest round of fights threatens the safety of guards and leave inmates dead or injured.
For the whole story click here.


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