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.
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.