Walk Los Angeles County supervisors have quietly proposed a plan to clear out the jails by releasing detained suspects.
Democrats Lindsey Horvath and Hilda Solis added a motion to Tuesday’s plenary meeting called L.A. County to take practical steps to depopulate L.A. County jails and end the disaster.
will declare the state of mental health services and the overcrowding in Los Angeles County jails a humanitarian crisis, requiring the county to move with all deliberate speed to find meaningful solutions; and prioritizing reducing the number of individuals entering Los Angeles County jails.
The sheriff’s office would then be required to “release individuals committed and/or convicted in county jails for misdemeanors and/or felonies who can be safely returned to the community” — although an earlier version of the proposal said it would apply to felons with a bond of less than $50,000 .
Despite this, critics say the proposal could allow suspects charged with domestic violence, robbery and assault with a firearm to be released — potentially including a carnival driver who crashed into the streets of Los Angeles in November and injured six people, but was only held on a $50,000 bond.
Los Angeles County Supervisors Hilda Solis, left, and Lindsey Horvath, right, have proposed a measure to clear prisons by releasing detained suspects
Under the proposal, the sheriff’s office would be required to “release individuals committed and/or convicted in county jails for misdemeanors and/or felonies who can be safely released to the community.”
Under their proposal, the Los Angeles Superior Court would be directed to “implement the emergency bail schedule that was in place at the height of the COVID pandemic.”
The Public Defender’s Office will also be required to “devise recommendations, including staffing needs and budget, that will enable each office to assist people in resolving non-appearance orders as a means of avoiding incarceration.”
An early version of the motion stated that the sheriff’s office would release “individuals with total bail amounts set at $50,000 or less,” however, that provision does not appear in a revised version of the motion.
She also requested work with Governor Gavin Newsom’s office to “expedite the release of individuals in custody on behalf of the state, including by giving the mayor delegated authority to calculate appropriations, releasing individuals directly from local custody … and establishing alternative custody arrangements that are funded and operated by the state.” For individuals detained based on a state’s decision to revoke their parole.
The lawsuit called for “a no-bail schedule for individuals charged with low-level crimes, infractions, misdemeanours, and certain criminal offenses, similar to the schedule permanently instituted at the height of the COVID pandemic.” To support transportation of the suspect to and from court.
Meanwhile, the two superintendents proposed another proposal investing more in mental health to house the released prisoners.
It states that the province should “develop 500 safe mental health care beds to care for … individuals with the most serious mental health needs and who need more resources and support.”
The proposal apparently came after protesters called for the closure of the Central Men’s Jail in downtown Los Angeles last week and handed county supervisors a list of their demands.
Activists say county jails, such as the men’s central prison, are overcrowded, even after the county approved a proposal to create a prison closure implementation team, which would set goals and timelines for safely evacuating the prison.
The proposal apparently came after activists called for the closure of the Central Men’s Jail in downtown Los Angeles last week, with a protest near the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors office Thursday morning.
They demanded the council adhere to a closure timetable that would close the prison by March 2025, holding signs reading ‘people deserve care, not cages’ in the wake of the deaths of three inmates – including one in prison.
Protesters note that in 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to create a Jail Closure Implementation Team, which will set goals and timelines for safely evacuating the jail.
Eric Siddall, vice president of the Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney’s Association, criticized the motion
But the organizers said KTLACounty officials haven’t done enough to make this happen.
“Because prisons are operating at 20 percent capacity, we will continue to see people die,” said Melissa Camacho, senior attorney with the ACLU of Southern California.
In the aftermath of the protest, KTLA reported that protesters delivered letters to the Board of Supervisors outlining their demands for the closure of the prison.
But critics claim the supervisors’ proposal puts everyday Los Angeles County residents at risk. Eric Siddall, vice president of the Los Angeles Association of Deputy Attorneys, slammed the proposal as “dangerous.”
He said the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ proposal to destroy parts of the criminal justice system without input from stakeholders is dangerous and reckless. Fox News.
He claimed that “the authors did not seek any advice from those who know and understand public safety issues”. “They seek to reduce the prison population without addressing the root causes of crime or protecting the public.”
Video shows the terrifying moment people rushed for safety after a Porsche SUV plowed into a crowd at a street carnival in Los Angeles in November, sending six people to the hospital.
The injured victims of the accident, who ranged in age from 15 to 40, were taken to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
He said the motion calls for the release of suspects charged with illegal carrying of arms, and those arrested on charges such as domestic violence, possession of child pornography, home burglary, robbery and assault with a firearm.
But Siddall said the supervisors’ proposal does not include provisions to protect the community from violent criminals.
This catch and release program comes without any plan or infrastructure to protect the community from violent criminals who are caught by law enforcement.
“This program does not benefit anyone except professional criminals,” he continued. We need to ensure that the most dangerous offenders do not get out, that first-time offenders do not return and that those with serious mental illnesses receive appropriate care and assistance. This does none of that.”
Among those who could be released is Stephen Weems, who was arrested in November after he allegedly plowed his Porsche into a street carnival in South Los Angeles, injuring six people.
Officers said at the time they tried to pull him over, but Weems refused to stop and eventually crashed through a cement rail and into the carnival.
The victims were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Weems was arrested on a hit-and-run charge, and was held on $50,000 bail.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the offices of Horvath and Solis, as well as the Los Angeles County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office for comment.
The board is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday to vote on the proposal.