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Prisons Overcrowding

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 1998 | JASON KANDEL and DEBRA CANO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Orange County's jails and juvenile facilities remain overcrowded, and officials need to consider an array of solutions beyond simply building new institutions, according to a report released Tuesday. The study, prepared for the Board of Supervisors by the Alternatives to Incarceration Task Force, is the latest in a string of reports highlighting cramped conditions at county facilities.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 1998 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Under pressure to fix a laundry list of problems that continue to bedevil Los Angeles County's jail system, Sheriff Sherman Block said Thursday that his deputies will begin immediately freeing inmates who win "forthwith" release orders at the courthouse instead of busing them back to the overcrowded county lockups, where they often wait days--and sometimes weeks--to be let go.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 31, 1997 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Faced with continued jail overcrowding, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is pushing forward with efforts to place nonviolent convicts--many of them white-collar criminals--on a house arrest program. Sheriff's officials say they are prepared to send up to 4,000 convicts home with electronic monitoring bracelets, more than double the current number, to free up jail beds and ensure that more hardened convicts serve their full sentences behind bars.
NEWS
December 28, 1997 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The run-down hospital at Men's Central Jail is infested with rats and roaches. Medical records--some too messy to read--are kept by the thousands on long shelves and are often lost or misplaced. Every day, carts packed with scores of vials are trundled from one cell to another by nurses dispensing medication. Inmate transfers and paperwork snafus often introduce chaos to this fragile order: Some prisoners go days, even weeks, without the pills and elixirs they require to stay well.
NEWS
December 12, 1997 | JUANITA DARLING, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As Colombia prepares to open its prison doors to ease overcrowding, many critics are charging that those who will benefit most from an early release program will be the nation's most notorious criminals. For that reason, legislation designed to relieve Colombia's cramped prison conditions has instead raised questions about the country's commitment to punishing drug trafficking and corruption.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 28, 1997 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Under pressure to keep the worst inmates locked up longer, Los Angeles County officials plan to require dangerous convicts to spend more time in jail, while inmates who appear to pose little risk will be issued electronic monitoring bracelets and sent home. Chronic jail overcrowding means that most convicts ordered to serve county time spend less than 25% of their sentences behind bars--if at all.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 1997 | SHELBY GRAD, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Sheriff Brad Gates said Tuesday that Orange County's jail system is the most overcrowded in the nation as the Board of Supervisors approved the first major jail expansion in a decade. Orange County's four adult detention facilities are running nearly 40% above capacity, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Judicial Statistics.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1997 | GEOFF BOUCHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A new state report finds that Orange County jails are less overcrowded than in past years, but officials say the price for the improvement is the early release of thousands of criminals each year. Orange County sheriff's officials were heartened by the glowing ratings they received in the report, but they conceded Wednesday that the good news is tainted by the fact that many inmates serve only half their sentence.
NEWS
March 18, 1997 | From Associated Press
Florida freed 200 more prisoners before their sentences were up Monday, less than a week after it let 300 inmates out early in one of the largest releases of violent offenders in state history. "As much as the good guys try to win, it seems the criminal gets the upper hand," said Atty. Gen. Bob Butterworth, whose efforts to keep the inmates in prison were rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. The releases caused a renewed outcry among law enforcement officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 1997 | TINA DAUNT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Some inmates are sleeping on the tables in the mess hall, others on the pews in the three chapels at the severely overcrowded Men's Central Jail. And those are the lucky ones. There are many others who are sleeping on the concrete floors in overcrowded cellblocks, occupied by men who have not showered for days.
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