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Theo Lacy Jail

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2008 | H.G. Reza
Privacy walls have been knocked down and surveillance cameras installed in a section of Theo Lacy Jail, providing better visibility for guards, Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Dave Wilson said Monday. The west section of Module F is where an inmate was beaten to death in 2006 by other inmates. Authorities said the assault occurred behind a privacy wall and out of sight of jail guards inside a guard station a short distance away. A grand jury report revealed that the ranking deputy was watching television and text messaging friends while the assault, which went on for about 50 minutes, was taking place.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2009 | Robert J. Lopez
An inmate facing murder charges in the beating death of a man in an Orange County jail filed a claim Wednesday, alleging that deputies ordered him to attack the man, who had been arrested on child pornography charges. Stephen Carlstrom, who is seeking $100 million in damages, is charged along with several other inmates in the 2006 killing of John Derek Chamberlain in the Theo Lacy Jail in Orange. In his claim for damages, Carlstrom alleges that two deputies ordered him to give Chamberlain a "touch-up" -- a beating in jailhouse jargon.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 1, 1996 | THAO HUA
A 44-year-old inmate at the Theo Lacy Branch Jail died early Wednesday of unknown causes, officials said. The man, whose name was being withheld pending family notification, was found unconscious on his bed during a 5 a.m. check, Sheriff's Lt. Tom Garner said. "When they shook him to wake him up, he didn't respond," Garner said. Deputies called a nurse, who summoned paramedics when she discovered that the La Habra man was not breathing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
The U.S. Department of Justice is conducting an investigation into Orange County's troubled jail system, examining a decade's worth of allegations that deputies mistreated inmates and used excessive force to keep control. Officials from the department's Civil Rights Division are seeking to determine whether incidents of violence by jail personnel amount to a pattern of violating inmates' rights, the Sheriff's Department confirmed. The Orange County district attorney criticized deputies earlier this year for a "code of silence" that he said hampered prosecutors' ability to investigate possible criminal activities.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 1987 | JOHN NEEDHAM, Times County Bureau Chief
The Orange County Planning Commission on Monday approved an environmental report for the expansion of the Theo Lacy branch jail in Orange and recommended that county supervisors add their approval next week. In an effort to find more jail beds quickly, county staff members earlier this year proposed adding four new buildings that could hold up to 1,016 inmates, besides the 720 housed at the branch jail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 14, 1990 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Years of litigation and persistent jail overcrowding gave way to a brief moment of triumph Thursday as top county officials presided over the groundbreaking of the Theo Lacy Branch Jail expansion. "This is a landmark day," said Supervisor Don R. Roth, mugging for photographers underneath a white hard hat and wielding a gleaming silver shovel for the ceremonial dirt-turning. "Thank God that the litigation and delays are behind us."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1985 | ROB HANLEY and JOHN NEEDHAM, Times Staff Writers
Despite increased security to handle inmates transferred from the overcrowded Orange County Jail, a prisoner escaped Friday from the minimum-security Theo Lacy Branch Jail in Orange. Alberto Romero, 22, convicted of petty theft and possession of stolen property, was being sought late Friday, said Sheriff's Lt. Dick Olson.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1990 | JIM NEWTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Orange County library administrators have been forced to flee their aging headquarters, and sheriff's deputies have had to shuffle more than 200 inmates at Theo Lacy branch jail, both as a result of construction that threatens to jar loose asbestos at those facilities. "It was a personal safety decision to leave," Assistant County Librarian Carmen Martinez said Thursday. "The pile driving at the jail started shaking the building, and there was a real danger of asbestos snowing down on us."
NEWS
March 2, 1990 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Over the objections of the city of Orange, a state appellate court has reversed a lower court ruling and held that the county may proceed with plans to expand the Theo Lacy Branch Jail, possibly doubling its inmate population. The city of Orange had fought a vigorous battle since May, 1987--when the county announced its plans to enlarge the branch jail--to prevent the expansion of the facility at 501 The City Drive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 1, 1994 | MATT LAIT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The proposed Theo Lacy Branch Jail expansion has sparked serious safety concerns among several nearby property owners, including the county's Social Services Agency. Larry Leaman, director of the Social Services Agency, told county planners that the Orangewood Children's Home--located next to the jail--would need two sheriff's deputies 24 hours a day and additional surveillance cameras to offset the effects of the jail expansion and increased activity in the area.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2009 | Tami Abdollah
A fourth Orange County Sheriff's Department employee named in a grand jury investigation into the 2006 beating death of an inmate at the county's largest jail has left the department, a sheriff's official said Tuesday. Sheriff's Special Officer Phillip Le, who was on duty at the Theo Lacy Jail in Orange when inmate John Derek Chamberlain was beaten to death, was placed on administrative leave April 7, the day the grand jury transcript was released. Le's last day at the department was Dec.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2008 | Stuart Pfeifer
Orange County supervisors voted Tuesday to award a $250,000 contract to a consulting firm to make recommendations for improving conditions in the county's troubled jail system. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said she wants the firm, Crout and Sida Criminal Justice Consultants, to offer ideas for increasing the safety of staff and inmates in the state's second-largest local jail system. In April, the district attorney released a report that questioned the performance of some deputies at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange, where inmate John Derek Chamberlain was beaten to death in 2006.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2008 | H.G. Reza
Privacy walls have been knocked down and surveillance cameras installed in a section of Theo Lacy Jail, providing better visibility for guards, Orange County Sheriff's Capt. Dave Wilson said Monday. The west section of Module F is where an inmate was beaten to death in 2006 by other inmates. Authorities said the assault occurred behind a privacy wall and out of sight of jail guards inside a guard station a short distance away. A grand jury report revealed that the ranking deputy was watching television and text messaging friends while the assault, which went on for about 50 minutes, was taking place.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 7, 2008 | Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writer
Orange County sheriff's officials have found no evidence to prove that deputies used a Taser electric stun weapon on a stray cat at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange, a spokesman said Tuesday. Last month, the department disclosed that it was investigating inmate reports that deputies had shocked a cat with a Taser and that the decomposed carcass of a cat was found on the jail grounds.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 2008 | From Times Staff Writers
Concern about the conduct of deputies inside Orange County jails intensified Tuesday as the Sheriff's Department investigated reports that deputies used a Taser stun weapon on a cat at Theo Lacy Jail. A cat's corpse was found on jail grounds. The department was awaiting results of a necropsy to determine whether the cat found dead at Theo Lacy had been stunned with a Taser, sheriff's spokesman John McDonald said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 2008 | Stuart Pfeifer
Evidence of lazy and inattentive deputies at Orange County's Theo Lacy jail is stoking debate about whether the Sheriff's Department should staff its jails with career correctional officers instead of sworn deputies. Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson proposed the switch to lower-paid correctional officers in February as a cost-cutting measure, but he said Wednesday there could be additional benefits to using correctional officers. Grand jury testimony made public this week showed that deputies in the jail watched movies, played video games, sent text messages and slept while inmate "shot-callers" were allowed to enforce jail rules.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 29, 1993 | MARK LANDSBAUM
Regardless of whether Orange County Sheriff Brad Gates broke a promise, he didn't break any contracts when he authorized sending more dangerous inmates to the Theo Lacy Branch Jail, Gates' attorney maintained Friday. Deputy County Counsel David Chaffee's comments came during a break in Gates' testimony in an Orange County Superior Court lawsuit brought by the city of Orange to block expansion of the branch jail and to prevent the transfer of maximum security prisoners there.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2008 | Stuart Pfeifer
Orange County supervisors voted Tuesday to award a $250,000 contract to a consulting firm to make recommendations for improving conditions in the county's troubled jail system. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens said she wants the firm, Crout and Sida Criminal Justice Consultants, to offer ideas for increasing the safety of staff and inmates in the state's second-largest local jail system. In April, the district attorney released a report that questioned the performance of some deputies at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange, where inmate John Derek Chamberlain was beaten to death in 2006.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2008 | Christian Berthelsen, Christine Hanley and Stuart Pfeifer, Times Staff Writers
Orange County Acting Sheriff Jack Anderson suspended five employees Tuesday and called for an FBI investigation after the release of grand jury transcripts that showed Theo Lacy jail guards relying on inmates to enforce order while they watched TV, slept, played video games and engaged in cellphone text chats.
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