As deputies tried to bring calm to the Los Angeles County jail system, sheriff’s officials planned to move thousands of the most violent inmates out of the general population and into a jail called the Twin Towers, the Los Angeles Times reports. It is a major shift in the way the Sheriff’s Department houses inmates and comes after years of criticism that the county was underutilizing Twin Towers, a state-of-the-art facility that was built in the 1990s as the home for the county’s most dangerous prisoners. The jail has been used for lower-security inmates, mostly women and the mentally ill.
The sheriff has been housing the most dangerous inmates at the older Men’s Central Jail downtown, where seven inmates have been slain in the last 2 1/2 years. Sheriff Lee Baca said the move to Twin Towers would ease tensions at other facilities, including the violence-plagued jail complex in Castaic, where racially charged riots over the last few days have left one inmate dead and more than 50 injured. Officials had indications that a racial attack was brewing but were unable to prevent it. The Twin Towers, a high-rise looming over the 101 Freeway in the Los Angeles Civic Center area, is a $373-million complex with 4,100 beds.