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.
100 days of executive action: Accomplishment or posturing? President Trump's first 100 days have featured a flood of high-profile executive orders. Which ones do what he says they do, and which ones don't? How are Trump voters feeling now?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.