FROM Miriam Krinsky
Who’s Going to Protect the Mentally Ill in County Jails? Los Angeles County is widely known for the biggest mental institution in the United States. But it’s not a hospital… it’s the County jail. Inmates are held in squalid conditions, neglected by the Department of Mental Health and often abused by Sheriff’s deputies. After monitoring the facility for 12 years, the federal Department of Justice is taking remedial action.
LA Sheriff’s Oversight Committee Hits Snag LA Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina want a permanent civilian commission to oversee the troubled Sheriff’s Department. They want it established now, while the pressure is still on—after reports of systemic abuse of jailed inmates, misuse of weapons and the recent conviction of 6 deputies for obstructing the FBI.
LA Sheriff Lee Baca and Violence in County Jails Reports of frequent brutality by Sheriff's deputies against inmates in LA County jails led the Board of Supervisors to a blue-ribbon commission. Last week, the commission's investigators published their findings after interviewing some 150 people and reviewing 15,000 pages of documents. They found that, "harsh force is used as the default position, not as the last resort." They said Under Sheriff Paul Tanaka "promoted a culture that tolerated the excessive use of force." They also concluded that Sheriff Lee Baca "failed to monitor and proactively control the use of force in the jails." Baca's spokesman has denied the claims and said that Baca himself won't comment until the commission itself issues recommendations.
Sheriff Tanaka Explains 'Gray' Areas After reports of misbehavior by deputies at Los Angeles County jails, the Supervisors have created a Citizens Commission on Jail Violence. Last week former officers said high officials fostered a cultural of brutality . Sheriff Lee Baca's top aide, Undersheriff Paul Tanaka, was quoted as urging deputies to work "in the gray area." That suggested to some that they could break the law while doing their jobs, and Tanaka has responded with a memo distributed throughout the department.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.