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No touching. No human contact. The hidden toll on jail inmates who spend months or years alone in a 7x9 foot cell
Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times
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    • Two L.A. sheriff's deputies convicted of beating mentally ill inmate

      Two L.A. sheriff's deputies convicted of beating mentally ill inmate

      A Los Angeles federal jury on Monday found two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies guilty of beating an inmate and falsifying reports to cover up the attack, the latest in a series of convictions connected to the county's jail abuse scandal. Bryan Brunsting, 31, and Jason Branum, 35, were each...

    • L.A. County sheriff's deputy acquitted of felony assaults, convicted of misdemeanors

      L.A. County sheriff's deputy acquitted of felony assaults, convicted of misdemeanors

      A jury Friday acquitted an L.A. County sheriff's deputy of a series of felonies in the beatings of inmates, but convicted him on three misdemeanor counts of simple assault. Prosecutors accused Jermaine Jackson of beating inmates in the Compton courthouse lockup and Twin Towers jail and said he...

    • L.A. developers accused of stealing millions in affordable-housing scheme

      L.A. developers accused of stealing millions in affordable-housing scheme

      Two executives at a Los Angeles-based real estate development company and two of their employees have been indicted on charges they defrauded government agencies of millions of dollars in funds for housing low-income families. The 67-page federal grand jury indictment says Salim Karimi and three...

    • Immigration agents allowed back in L.A. County jails, with limits

      Immigration agents allowed back in L.A. County jails, with limits

      Months after the Board of Supervisors moved to limit the practice, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell has authorized federal agents to operate inside jails to look for deportable inmates, saying that the new procedures “appropriately balance” public safety needs and the concerns of immigrant...

    • L.A. County settles jail suicide case for $1.6 million

      L.A. County settles jail suicide case for $1.6 million

      The family of a 23-year-old man who committed suicide in Men’s Central Jail will receive $1.6 million from Los Angeles County to settle a lawsuit alleging that jail officials did not properly diagnose his mental illness.Austin Losorelli, the son of an LAPD lieutenant, told jail mental health workers...

    • Ex-LAPD detective who alleged conspiracy in Biggie Smalls' murder dies

      Ex-LAPD detective who alleged conspiracy in Biggie Smalls' murder dies

      A retired Los Angeles police detective who handled the murder case of rapper Biggie Smalls died Wednesday from a suspected heart attack. Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies at the Homicide Bureau reported that Russell Poole collapsed Wednesday morning, according to a sheriff's department official....

    • L.A. sheriff officials on leave after 'troubling' allegations over inmate treatment
      L.A. sheriff officials on leave after 'troubling' allegations over inmate treatment

      Ten Los Angeles County Jail employees were relieved of duty pending further investigation following an incident involving an inmate who was allegedly “restrained” for 32 hours, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Saturday.

      McDonnell called the allegations of inmate neglect “troubling” and said he took the...

    • L.A. County appears poised to remove immigration agents from jails
      L.A. County appears poised to remove immigration agents from jails

      A change in Los Angeles County elected leadership last year paved the way for the end of a controversial collaboration between sheriff's deputies and federal immigration officials in the county jails.The replacement of termed-out Supervisor Gloria Molina with former U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda...

    • Prop. 47 brings a shift to longer time spent behind bars
      Prop. 47 brings a shift to longer time spent behind bars

      For decades, Los Angeles County jail inmates divided their sentences by five, 10 or 20 to calculate the time they would actually spend behind bars.

      Because of overcrowding, they left after completing as little as 5% of their sentences.

      Now, as Proposition 47 begins to reshape the California criminal...

    • Federal judge orders ex-NFL player Darren Sharper be moved to Louisiana
      Federal judge orders ex-NFL player Darren Sharper be moved to Louisiana

      A federal judge has ordered Los Angeles County sheriff's officials to turn over former-NFL star Darren Sharper to U.S. Marshals in Louisiana, where he’s accused of drugging women with the intent of raping them.

      The judge’s ruling Monday marks the latest development in multiple sexual assault investigations...

    • L.A. County settles suit alleging horrific conditions for disabled inmates
      L.A. County settles suit alleging horrific conditions for disabled inmates

      Six years after disabled jail inmates sued, alleging horrific conditions for those who used wheelchairs, Los Angeles County officials have agreed to a settlement.

      In the lawsuit, filed in 2008 by the ACLU and other disability rights attorneys, inmates described soiling themselves in an intake area...

    • Jane Doe No. 52: 4 years later, body on conveyor belt still a mystery
      Jane Doe No. 52: 4 years later, body on conveyor belt still a mystery

      Four years after the body of Jane Doe No. 52 was found on a conveyor belt at a recycling center in Chinatown, Los Angeles Police Det. Brian Putman stood outside a public works building late Wednesday afternoon and addressed a crowd of officers and explorers.

      Amid the sound of booming car radios...

    • Jail cracks down on inmates' pungent assaults on deputies
      Jail cracks down on inmates' pungent assaults on deputies

      The foul-smelling glob splattered into Deputy Stephen Vasquez's mouth and eyes.

      The inmate who was suspected of throwing it said the mixture was only water and apple jelly, according to an incident report. But Vasquez thought he tasted urine, and a witness told investigators that the suspect had...

    • 6 L.A. County deputies convicted of impeding FBI's jail probe
      6 L.A. County deputies convicted of impeding FBI's jail probe

      A jury Tuesday found six members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department guilty of attempting to impede a federal civil rights inquiry into the county jails, providing prosecutors with a decisive victory as they continue to investigate higher-level officials tied to the scandal.

      The case...

    • Six found guilty in L.A. County jails corruption probe
      Six found guilty in L.A. County jails corruption probe

      Six current and former members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty Tuesday of obstruction of justice and other charges for their part in an alleged scheme to stymie a federal grand jury investigation into civil rights abuses and corruption in the county’s jails.

      The...

    • Lawyers for sheriff's officials say clients were 'worker bees'

      They were mere "worker bees" operating at the direction of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's top brass, following the chain of command and complying with what they believed were lawful orders from far above their pay grade.

      That's how defense attorneys for sheriff's officials charged...

    • Prosecutors seek to discredit Tanaka on moving FBI informant
      Prosecutors seek to discredit Tanaka on moving FBI informant

      Federal prosecutors on Tuesday called into question the credibility of Los Angeles County sheriff's candidate Paul Tanaka, accusing the former undersheriff of making inconsistent statements on the witness stand about why deputies moved an FBI informant around in the jails under a string of bogus...

    • Jurors hear of deputies' attempt to coerce FBI agent
      Jurors hear of deputies' attempt to coerce FBI agent

      Two Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeants showed up at an FBI agent's home in September 2011 and told her that they were in the process of obtaining a warrant for her arrest. That evening, the agent's concerned supervisor called the sergeants, asking what the charges would be, when...

    • Jail deputy told FBI agent of 'unwritten rule' on fights with inmates
      Jail deputy told FBI agent of 'unwritten rule' on fights with inmates

      On top of the many protocols and regulations he learned in training, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy William David Courson was taught one "unwritten rule": If an inmate fights with a deputy, that inmate ends up at the hospital.

      He learned the rule at a jail operations training session led by...

    • Ex-deputy details culture of abuse in L.A. County jail
      Ex-deputy details culture of abuse in L.A. County jail

      The deputy described beating inmates unprovoked, slapping them, shooting them with a Taser gun and aggressively searching them to pick a fight — something he learned "on the job." He would huddle with other jail guards to get their stories straight and write up reports with bogus scenarios justifying...

    • Chris Brown released early from Los Angeles County jail
      Chris Brown released early from Los Angeles County jail

      Singer Chris Brown was released from jail early Monday morning, several months before completing his one-year sentence, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials confirmed.

      In early May, Brown, 25, was sentenced to a year in jail by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge for violating...

    • Ex-L.A. County undersheriff, current captain are subjects of inquiry
      Ex-L.A. County undersheriff, current captain are subjects of inquiry

      The former undersheriff and a current captain of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department are subjects in an ongoing federal grand jury investigation into excessive force and corruption in the county's jails, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

      The revelations about Paul Tanaka, formerly the department's...

    • In jails trial, FBI agent explains smuggling cellphone to informant
      In jails trial, FBI agent explains smuggling cellphone to informant

      A defense attorney representing a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy charged in a jails corruption case grilled the lead FBI agent Thursday about her agency's decision to smuggle a cellphone to an inmate with a history of violence and lying.

      Deputy James Sexton stands accused of obstruction of...

    • L.A. murder suspect wrongly released from jail captured in Mexico
      L.A. murder suspect wrongly released from jail captured in Mexico

      A murder suspect mistakenly released from Los Angeles County Jail last year was apprehended in Mexico and returned to U.S. law enforcement officers, authorities said Wednesday night.

      Reputed gang member Johnny Mata, 34, was turned over to deputies at the San Ysidro port of entry in San Diego County,...

    • L.A. County needs to construct mental health programs, not just jails
      L.A. County needs to construct mental health programs, not just jails

      For decades, the county has spent untold amounts of public money to warehouse people with mental illnesses in the Los Angeles County jail. This costly and ineffective approach has resulted in sky-high recidivism rates and increased crime.

      Now, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is considering...

    • Inmate charged in 1997 killing of alleged child molester

      Nearly 17 years after a suspected child molester was killed in a holding cell at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles, a man serving a life sentence for murder was charged Thursday in that slaying.

      Jaime Vidales, 42, who has spent nearly 20 years in prison for murder and robbery, has been charged...

    • County consultant lays out options for jail overhaul
      County consultant lays out options for jail overhaul

      A consultant hired by Los Angeles County to develop a longterm plan for the county's aging jail facilities laid out options for a roughly $2-billion proposed overhaul of the jail system in a report released Wednesday.

      The county supervisors, concerned about deteriorating facilities and poor living...

    • Twin Towers jail escapee now will do his time in state prison
      Twin Towers jail escapee now will do his time in state prison

      An inmate who walked out of a downtown Los Angeles jail by impersonating another inmate and then spent three weeks on the lam pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of escape.

      Christopher Lee Brown, 37, is expected to be sentenced to eight months in prison -- on top of his original sentence of...

    • Activist battles L.A. County jailers' 'culture of violence'
      Activist battles L.A. County jailers' 'culture of violence'

      Patrisse Cullors saw what her father and brother experienced and was moved to form the Coalition to End Sheriff Violence in L.A. Jails.

    • Lenny Dykstra accuses sheriff's officials of beating him in jail
      Lenny Dykstra accuses sheriff's officials of beating him in jail

      Former baseball star Lenny Dykstra has filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, alleging they beat him and covered up the incident. 

      Since his retirement from baseball, Dykstra has served prison time for auto theft, bankruptcy fraud and exposing himself to women.

      The lawsuit...

    • Police find no evidence of gunman, hostages at Homeboy Industries
      Police find no evidence of gunman, hostages at Homeboy Industries

      Los Angeles police said Friday that overnight reports of a gunman holding hostages at Homeboy Industries in Chinatown could not been verified and that the only crime officers could confirm was vandalism to an employee's vehicle.

      LAPD Officer Nuria Vanegas said police received a call at 10:22 p.m....

    • $20,000 reward offered in case of escaped Twin Towers inmate
      $20,000 reward offered in case of escaped Twin Towers inmate

      The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is offering a $20,000 reward in connection with the search for an inmate who walked out of a county jail nearly two weeks ago.

      The board unanimously approved the reward Tuesday for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Christopher Lee...

    • Claims allege Baca, Tanaka authorized handling of FBI informant
      Claims allege Baca, Tanaka authorized handling of FBI informant

      Three sheriff's deputies charged with hindering a federal investigation file claims stating that Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka directed the handling of an inmate working as a federal informant.

    • Secretary of State candidates make their case in early L.A. forum
      Secretary of State candidates make their case in early L.A. forum

      Meeting in Los Angeles Monday night, all six announced candidates for California secretary of state offered their sometimes-contrasting views of the job each hopes to win in this year's elections.

      Co-hosted by the  ACLU of Southern California, the League of Women Voters of California and the California...

    • Body of man found alongside L.A. River in Lincoln Heights is identified
      Body of man found alongside L.A. River in Lincoln Heights is identified

      Homicide detectives are investigating the death of a 21-year-old man whose body was discovered Monday morning alongside the Los Angeles River in Lincoln Heights.

      The body, found facedown in the riverbed near the 1700 block of North Spring Street, was reported to police about 7:20 a.m., said coroner's...

    • Body discovered along L.A. River in Lincoln Heights
      Body discovered along L.A. River in Lincoln Heights

      Authorities are investigating a dead body discovered Monday in Lincoln Heights along the Los Angeles River.

      The body, reported to authorities at about 7:20 a.m., was on the riverbed near the 1700 block of North Spring Street, said Los Angeles police Officer Rosario Herrera.

      The victim's gender...

    • Men's Central Jail is an antique that should be replaced
      Men's Central Jail is an antique that should be replaced

      The 1960s facility is hopelessly decrepit and obsolete, but when will the county supervisors start making plans for a replacement?

    • Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray released from jail
      Michael Jackson doctor Conrad Murray released from jail

      Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, was released from Men's Central Jail at 12:01 a.m. Monday, authorities confirmed.

      Upon his release, Murray, who served two years behind bars for the 2011 involuntary-manslaughter conviction, eluded a waiting scrum of...

    • Doctor convicted of role in Michael Jackson's death is released
      Doctor convicted of role in Michael Jackson's death is released

      Conrad Murray, the doctor convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, was released from prison early Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Deputy Mark Pope said.

      Murray, 60, was sentenced to the maximum four-year term allowed for his role in...

    • L.A. Sheriff Baca held liable for $100,000 in inmate abuse case
      L.A. Sheriff Baca held liable for $100,000 in inmate abuse case

      A federal jury has found Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca personally liable in a case involving abuse of an inmate in the Men's Central Jail, meaning the sheriff could be required to pay $100,000 out of pocket.

      It is the first time a jury has held Baca personally at fault in a deputy use-of-force...

    • State should invest money in kids, not prisons, L.A. activists say
      State should invest money in kids, not prisons, L.A. activists say

      A day after leaders in Sacramento reached a deal on a proposed solution to prison overcrowding, advocates in Los Angeles rallied outside the jail complex downtown to call for funds to be diverted to early childhood education rather than prisons.

      The activists convened by Raising California Together...

    • D.A. alleges coverup in sheriff's deputy's alleged beating of inmate
      D.A. alleges coverup in sheriff's deputy's alleged beating of inmate

      L.A. prosecutors accused two L.A. County jail workers of trying to cover up a deputy's alleged beating of an inmate at the the Twin Towers jail.

      A former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy and a custody assistant were  arrested and charged this week with felony filing false police reports in connection...

    • It's a crime to house the mentally ill this way
      It's a crime to house the mentally ill this way

      The crowded Los Angeles County jail holds thousands who are mentally ill and accused of a crime. Most have been there before.

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