Los Angeles County supervisors pointedly questioned Sheriff Lee Baca’s attempts to reform the county’s troubled jails, reports the Los Angeles Times. Baca has been under criticism for his oversight of the nation’s largest jail system following weeks of reports in the Times and other places outlining accusations of corruption and inmate abuse. The FBI is investigating accusations of jailer misconduct, and Baca has admitted he did a poor job of monitoring the situation.
County supervisors approved an outside oversight committee last month and ordered Baca to give them periodic updates. Sheriff’s officials have also begun implementing changes recommended almost a year ago by a county attorney. Yesterday, Baca reported progress in several areas, including installing more cameras in Men’s Central Jail, prohibiting steel-toed shoes in jails, studying whether deputies should be able to strike inmates with flashlights, and developing a team of sheriff’s supervisors to review severe deputy-use-of-force incidents within 30 days. Some supervisors seemed skeptical of the team’s ability to quickly and fairly review incidents, given what they viewed as a slow pace of change.