Report Criticizes Juvenile Detention System
Los Angeles County juvenile hall guards have violated medical and mental health guidelines, including placing suicidal inmates in arm and leg restraints for days at a time, according to a federal report released Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. Other inmates with mental illnesses also have been restrained in unpadded handcuffs and leg irons for long periods of time, the report states.
Federal investigators were appointed to monitor the juvenile detention system in the county to avoid a lawsuit about alleged mistreatment of inmates. Investigators noted that some improvements have been made to mental health services and inmate education programs.
However, investigators found that problems persist at the facilities. Investigators criticized the county Probation Department, which oversees the juvenile detention system, for not completing necessary documentation regarding the use of restraints and suicide attempts, among other issues.
Los Angeles County Deputy Counsel Gordon Trask said that the county likely will not meet the Aug. 24 deadline to comply with the terms of its agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice but that the county will work with federal authorities to avoid a lawsuit (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 5/4).