The ACLU SoCal applauds the Justice Department’s decision to move forward with federal court oversight of the Los Angeles County jails. For far too long, the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Mental Health chose to ignore the horrific conditions that inmates with mental illness were forced to endure. For far too long, the County Board of Supervisors turned a blind eye to evidence of savage abuse by deputies and failure to provide even minimally adequate treatment to inmates with mental illness, even after presented with 2008 and 2010 ACLU reports that specifically outlined many of the same problems this agreement seeks to fix. We look forward to working with the Justice Department, the sheriff, and the Department of Health Services, which thankfully will be taking over mental health care in the jails from the Department of Mental Health. This oversight, along with the Rosas agreement reached last year to stem deputy violence against inmates, will finally bring much needed change to the nation’s largest jail system.​

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