A month after expressing dismay about conditions at Los Angeles County’s main jail, a federal judge ordered creation of an expert panel to oversee reforms, reports the Los Angeles Times. U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson had toured the jail and called conditions “not consistent with basic human values.” His order requires a comprehensive plan for the facility – the largest county jail in the nation – to be completed within 60 days and to include “immediate measures for improvement.”
Recommendations will be made by representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles County administrative office, and a criminal justice planning firm. Inmates are often crammed six to a cell intended for four; they spend almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week in those conditions – and are given only a four-hour exercise break one day a week. The ACLU contends that such living conditions contributed to rioting this year that left two inmates dead and scores injured.