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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.