A Jail Rule Should Be a Jail Rule


In the Los Angeles County Men’s Central Jail, the cells are a cramped 7-by-9-feet. That’s not most people’s idea of comfort. It’s not supposed to be. It’s jail.

That said, jail should be an equal-opportunity place within its limits; if one inmate gets a hot dinner, that should be available to others. Los Angeles County Sheriff Sherman Block is properly beginning to address inequities in the system pointed up by the presence of the jail’s most famous resident, O. J. Simpson.

Simpson is accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole, and her friend Ronald Goldman. Attorneys for other inmates have been grumbling that the former football great has been getting special privileges. Through examination of court records and interviews, Times staff writer Ralph Frammolino found that Simpson indeed was being treated different from other “keep away” inmates--those who are considered too dangerous, or too vulnerable, to mix with the jail’s general population.


Because Simpson is a celebrity, certain precautions must be taken; it’s understandable that he should not be thrown in among the other inmates. In the past, other famous inmates have been isolated.

However, other differences--largely made possible by court orders obtained by Simpson’s attorneys--included unlimited visiting privileges by certain friends and family members and hot dinners denied to other inmates.

Now Block says Simpson’s visiting rights will be more in line with restrictions faced by other inmates and the hot dinners Simpson has been receiving will be extended to other inmates involved in long trials. It’s only fair.