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LA County Jails Overcrowded

July 10, 2012

Fred Thiagarajah

Since Realignment, LA county jails have received approximately 5000 inmates from state prisons.  Los Angeles County has the largest jail system in the country with approximately 18,600 inmates.  The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stated that they will run out of bed space by December unless alternative solutions are found.  One possible solution is to house inmates in other counties.

For example, some city jails in Kern County have extra bed space and apparently, it costs only $61/day to house an inmate in Kern County jails as opposed to the $113/day it costs to house an inmate in Los Angeles County jails.  Another solution is to allow more inmates to be released on electronic monitoring.

Female inmates as well as inmates that are accused of drugs crimes and prostitution are more likely to get electronic monitoring in lieu of jail.  Los Angeles County Sheriff spokesperson Steve Whitmore confirmed the current early release policy which calls for nonviolent offenders to serve 20% of their sentence, violent offenders to serve 75% of their sentence and confirmed gang members to serve their entire sentence.

For the full Los Angeles Times article, click here.


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