L.A. County Fails to Avert Federal Oversight of Jails


Federal officials have rejected a last-ditch effort by Los Angeles County to maintain control over its jails and will move forward with a consent decree to address longstanding problems with mental health care in the troubled facilities, reports the Los Angeles Times. In a letter to the county, the Department of Justice said that despite some progress, it remained “concerned about the sustainability and future durability of the reforms.”

The county jails have been monitored by federal officials for the last 12 years under an agreement requiring improvements in treatment of the mentally ill. On June 4, the Department of Justice announced it would seek court oversight of the jails, citing a dramatic increase in inmate suicides. A consent decree would be overseen by a federal judge and probably would cost the county millions of dollars to implement.

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