LA County Jails

Los Angeles County Jails, with an average daily population nearing 22,000, is the biggest jail system in the world and one of the most troubled in the U.S. It includes Men's Central Jail, a windowless dungeon in downtown L.A. that has been plagued by a long-entrenched culture of savage deputy on-inmate violence. The ACLU has served as a court-appointed monitor of the L.A. County Jails since 1985. During this time, the ACLU and the ACLU of Southern California have documented overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and extreme abuse of inmates at the hands of deputies.

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Facing mounting national pressure, in early 2012 L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca finally agreed to allow access to the jails for a study on the feasibility of closing Men's Central Jail. In April 2012, the ACLU and Sheriff Baca joined in endorsing a new report that recommended closing the infamous jail within two years.

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Blogs and News

Baca's Strike Force (2012 blog)

Los Angeles Sheriff Endorses Report Recommending Swift Closure of Infamous Jail (2012 blog post) »

Expert Report Provides Clear Road Map For Closure of Los Angeles' Violence-Ridden Men's Central Jail (2012 press release) »

ACLU Lawsuit Charges Los Angeles County Sheriff with Condoning Pattern of Deputy-on-Inmate Violence (2011 press release) »

L.A. Times Calls for Jails Investigation to Turn Up the Heat (2011 blog post) »

Under ACLU Fire, Baca Running for Cover (2011 blog post) »

L.A. Times Columnist to L.A. Sheriff: Right Your Ship (2011 blog post) »

ACLU Lens: Rachel Maddow Highlights ACLU Report on Abuse in Los Angeles Jails (2011 blog post) »

ACLU Report Documents Eyewitness Accounts of Brutality Against Los Angeles County Jail Inmates by Sheriff's Deputies (2011) press release) »

ACLU Lens: Abuse in the Los Angeles County Jails (2011 blog post) »

L.A. County Jail Still Plagued by Deputies Who Abuse and Retaliate Against Inmates (2010 press release) »

ACLU Calls On Los Angeles County Sheriff's Officials To Abandon Plans To Use Military Heat Ray Device Against Jail Inmates (2010 press release) »

Don't Let the Military's Deadly "Pain Ray" Machine Invade the L.A. County Jail (2010 blog post) »

ACLU Tells Court County Needs Detailed Plan Before Closing Jail (2009 press release) »

ACLU Releases Expert's Report On Nightmarish Conditions At Men's Central Jail In Los Angeles (2009 press release) »

 
Reports

Sheriff Baca's Strike Force: Deputy Violence and Head Injuries of Inmates in LA County Jails (2012 report) »

Report of the Citizen's Commission on Jail Violence (2012 Report) »

Evaluation of the Current and Future Los Angeles County Jail Population (2011 report) »

Report: Cruel and Usual Punishment — How a Savage Gang of Deputies Controls L.A. County Jails (2011 Report) »

2010 Interim Report on Conditions Inside Los Angeles County Jail (2010 report)»

Annual Report on Conditions Inside Men's Central Jail, Los Angeles, 2008-2009 (2010 report) »

Report on Mental Health Issues at Los Angeles County Jail (2008 report) »

 
Cases

Rosas, et al. v. Baca, et al.: » The ACLU and the ACLU of Southern California filed a federal class action lawsuit charging Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and his top command staff with condoning a longstanding, widespread pattern of violence by deputies against inmates in the Los Angeles County jails.

Rutherford, et al. v. Baca, et al. - Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Injunction (2009 case) »

 
Letters
 
Multimedia & Infographics

 

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