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Inspectors Say Jailers Were Too Busy Watching “Explicit Video” To Notice Inmate Hanging A Noose 

During a recent inspection at Men’s Central Jail, oversight inspectors discovered severe issues, including neglectful behavior from deputies. Inspectors Eric Miller and Haley Broder found a noose in a cell, ignored by jailers who were instead watching a sexually explicit video. Despite repeated requests, deputies only intervened after persistent prompting by the inspectors. Broder observed continuous neglect, with inmates reporting hunger, severe injuries, and fires, amidst pervasive trash and foul smells.

“Issues with safety checks and not notifying anyone that they saw a noose during a safety check have to be clear violations of the consent decree in the DOJ case,” said American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California senior staff attorney Melissa Camacho. “That case is focused on reducing the numbers of deaths by suicide, so to walk by a noose is beyond the pale.”

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has responded, stating an investigation is underway and misconduct will be addressed. The jail, subject to multiple court-enforced agreements due to poor conditions, continues to face significant problems. Inspectors reported broken facilities, infestations, mold, and insufficient supplies for inmates. Some areas had no cold water, and cells were humid and unsanitary. Inmates lacked basic amenities and suffered from poor living conditions, including damaged mattresses and inadequate food.

“Having mattresses with chunks missing violates an order that has been in place since the 1970s,” Camacho said. “It’s assumed when the Sheriff’s Department is ordered to give everybody a mattress it will be a complete mattress and not a partial mattress.”

The department claimed to have resolved some issues, such as the cold water problem but denied reports of sick inmates and worm infestations. They maintained a contract with an exterminator and stated that staff shortages do not excuse neglectful behavior. The ongoing issues reflect a broader problem within the facility, highlighting the need for improved oversight and accountability.

Link: LA Times


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