13 Images


Dozens of men wait in a holding cell at Los Angeles County’s Inmate Reception Center downtown. More than 150,000 county inmates have been released during the last four years after serving fractions of their sentences. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
A Sheriff’s deputy searches inmates’ belongings while the men are being booked and processed at the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
An inmate at Men’s Central Jail stands in his cell, which he shares with three others. Last week, a federal judge said such overcrowding “should not be permitted to exist in the future.” (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Women at the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles wait to be processed and receive bed assignments. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
A clerk at the county’s Inmate Reception Center reviews the files of inmates eligible for early release. Two days before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin wrote what is shown below, sheriff’s deputies had already freed career criminal Vincent Jeffery after he served less than half of the two years Brandlin sentenced him to. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Darrell Dennard’s sister holds a photo of Dennard and his daughter. Dennard was shot and killed Oct. 11, 2004, by Mario Moreno, a gang member who had gotten out of jail with four months left on his sentence. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Darrell Dennard’s brother and his sister were shocked to learn Darrell’s killer should still have been in jail the day he shot their brother. Mario Moreno had been sentenced to 365 days in jail for possession of a sawed off shotgun, but he was released after a little more than a month. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Juvenal Valencia, 21, was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, released early and then cycled in and out of jail twice more after early releases. Prosecutors have now charged him with first-degree murder in a drive-by shooting that left one man dead and five others wounded. He has pleaded not guilty. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Galindo Garcia cradles one of his brother Jose’s beloved guitars and weeps as he recounts the day his sibling was killed by a drunk driver who had been released early from a Los Angeles County jail. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Jailhouse artwork lines the cell walls as an inmate sleeps in the old section of the Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles. He share the cell with three other men. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Inmates sleep on the floor while waiting to be processed at the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
Welder and metal fabricator Bob Freed grinds down sharp edges on doors being retrofitted at the Twin Towers Jail in downtown Los Angeles. After racial riots earlier this year left two men dead, sheriff’s officials began readying the facility for high-risk inmates. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)
An inmate awaits medical assessment before being assigned a bed in County Jail. Bookings are so high that jailers now use part of the downtown Twin Towers facility to process new arrivals. The jail was built to house maximum-security inmates but has never been fully occupied. (Brian Vander Brug / LAT)