U.S. officials seek court oversight of L.A. jails, citing suicide rise

Cindy Chang (Los Angeles Times) | June 6, 2014

Citing a dramatic increase in jail suicides and “deplorable” conditions for mentally ill inmates, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that it was seeking court oversight of how the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department treats those inmates.

The move marks a significant escalation by the federal government in its efforts to improve conditions in the nation’s largest jail system.

A report by the Justice Department found that living conditions in the jails “are deficient (dimly lit, vermin-infested, noisy, unsanitary, cramped and crowded).”

Federal officials said that those conditions contributed to 15 suicides in less than 30 months. They said some of the deaths might have been prevented with better monitoring by jailers.

Jail officials did little to address the situation even after suicides more than doubled from four in 2012 to 10 the following year, the report said.

Source article: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-jails-20140606-story.html

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

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