Letters to the Editor: 27 years to investigate humanitarian crisis at L.A. jails -- the feds can do better

People are seen inside the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
People are seen inside the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on March 24, 2020, in Los Angeles.
(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The opening sentence of your Feb. 13 article, “Senators fault Department of Justice for ‘appalling’ conditions in Los Angeles jails,” tells everything we need to know about this issue. It says, “The federal government started investigating Los Angeles jails in 1996.”

And here we are, 27 years later, still with a humanitarian crisis in our county jails.

I don’t have much sympathy for those who manage to land themselves in jail, but they do deserve to be treated properly and humanely, whether they are hardened criminals or have a mental illness.

Four prominent senators ask the Department of Justice for an explanation, and they are blown off for four months and counting. But the department is investigating, right? Are there no work products that could be provided after 27 years?


Someone once said that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

Mike Liewald, Los Alamitos


To the editor: While human beings should never be locked up in cages, the abhorrent conditions in our L.A. County jails compound the inhumanity that inmates (many of them with mental illness) are made to endure.

Except for family, people on the outside generally never see or hear what happens on the inside. The system makes it all too easy for us to avoid experiencing the shame and horror of it all.

We as a society owe a debt of gratitude to those public servants willing to witness and speak truth to power, and to the journalists committed to covering these stories.

Karen Hilfman, Los Angeles