Supervisors launch county jails commission

Carlos Granda (KABC) | October 18, 2011

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is facing increased scrutiny for alleged inmate abuse. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has voted to create an oversight commission and take other steps. But it’s up to the sheriff to implement any actual changes.

Los Angeles County supervisors say the credibility of the sheriff’s department is at stake, and they voted to investigate what is happening in L.A. County jails. They say things need to change right away.

What is happening behind bars? The allegations are serious: Sheriff’s deputies mistreating inmates. Some inmates have died.

The American Civil Liberties Union issued a report citing incidents of excessive force.

“We have got to end the kind of crisis that we have in our jails,” said L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina.

Two weeks ago 18-year-old Jorge Rosales died at the Twin Towers Jail two days after a deputy punched him in the head.

The coroner’s office is still investigating.

A report by the Office of Independent Review found 30 jail employees were disciplined for beating inmates or covering up abuse.

The report says installing cameras in all jails would provide evidence in these cases.

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