In a less than genius move, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has hatched a plan to "decarcerate" jails by citing and then releasing criminals with a bail of $50,000 or less. Yes, you regrettably read that right.
This plan to release violent criminals has been added as an agenda item for today's meeting titled "Los Angeles County to Take Actionable Next Steps to Depopulate and Decarcerate the Los Angeles County Jails." The measure was introduced by Democrat supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Hilda Solis, who most likely live in low-crime neighborhoods and would be unlikely to have to live with the consequences of having more criminals on the streets.
The measure would "Declare the State of mental health services and overcrowding in the Los Angeles County jails a humanitarian crisis, requiring the County to move with all deliberate speed on meaningful solutions; and prioritize decreasing the number of individuals entering the Los Angeles County Jails."
Should the proposal be passed, local sheriff deputies would be forced to review bail thresholds and then cite and release "individuals with aggregate bail amounts set at $50,000 or below." Meanwhile, the LA Superior Court would be ordered to "implement the Emergency Bail Schedule that was in place at the height of the Covid pandemic," in an attempt to identify cases with an increased opportunity for pre-trial release.
Vice President of the LA Association of Deputy District Attorneys, Eric Siddall, called the idea "dangerous. Thankfully someone sees it that way.
"The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' (BOS) motion to gut parts of the criminal justice system without input from stakeholders is dangerous and reckless," Siddall said. "The authors sought no advice from those who know and understand public safety issues. They seek to lower the jail population without addressing the root causes of crime or protecting the public," Siddall added.
According to Siddall, under the proposal, police would be required to cite and release suspects accused of such crimes as carrying firearms, possession of child porn, robbery, residential burglary, domestic violence, or assault with a firearm.
Last week, activists called for the closure of the Men's Central Jail in downtown LA and protested near the LA BOS on Thursday morning.
The activists demanded that the BOS commit to closing the jail by March 2025. The activists protested and called for the closure after it was reported that 3 LA inmates died within one week with one of the prisoners dying in the Men's Central Jail.
"This catch-and-release program comes without any plan or infrastructure to protect the community from violent criminals apprehended by law enforcement. Further, it creates no lockdown facilities for the mentally ill. This program benefits no one, except for career criminals. We need to make sure the most dangerous offenders don't get out, that first-time offenders don't come back, and that those with serious mental illnesses get appropriate care and help. This does none of that," Siddall concluded.
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