LA Elementary School Kids Still Without Libraries, Interrogating Kids, LA Times on LAPD “Ghost Cars,” and Jim McDonnell’s New Radio AdOctober 14th, 2014 by Taylor Walker
LAUSD ELEMENTARY SCHOOL LIBRARIES STAFFING ISSUES EVEN WORSE AFTER BOOSTED FUNDING
Despite increased money for staffing libraries this year, the number of trained aides running LAUSD elementary school libraries has actually decreased by 20%, leaving around 100,000 LA kids without access to a school library. The problem, LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy says, is that it is very difficult to find specially trained staff willing to work just three hours per day.
(WLA has been following this issue for a while, now. Backstory can be found here.)
KPCC’s Annie Gilbertson has the story. Here’s a clip:
During budget hearings last spring, Superintendent John Deasy promised to spend $6 million to bring back the 192 library aides who would help open shuttered elementary libraries across the district this school year.
In 2011 budget cuts, Deasy and the school board laid off half of the district’s library aides and reduced the hours of many who were left. Without trained staff, schools can’t run a library under state law.
“Students don’t learn literacy skills (in the library). They learn that through trained teachers,” Deasy told KPCC in 2011, after the cuts were announced.
But despite a commitment to rehire staff, the number of elementary library aides have decreased by about 20 percent since last fall.
District officials said its difficult to recruit workers to work just three hours a day, five days a week – the schedule of many library aides.
PROBLEMS WITH USING ADULT INTERROGATION METHODS ON KIDS
The NY Times’ Jan Hoffman has an interesting story on interrogation techniques and why they elicit false confessions from teenagers. Hoffman points to a recent study of 57 interrogations of teens across the country. None of the teens exercised their constitutional rights: they did not remain silent, they did not leave, and they did not ask for a lawyer. Around 37% fully confessed, and 33% incriminated themselves.
Other research shows that kids do not fully understand their rights, and are easily worn down by persuasive interrogators trying to scare out a confession.
Here’s a clip from Hoffman’s story:
Teenagers, studies show, are not developmentally ready to make critical decisions that have long-term impacts.
“Adolescents are more oriented to the present, so they are less likely than adults to be thinking about the future consequences of what they’re saying,” said Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University who writes about teenagers in the justice system and was not involved in this study.
Teenagers, he added, are also less likely than adults to know that the police can lie during interrogations.
“The police often promise kids things in the present. ‘If you just tell me you did it, you can go see your mom,’ ” he continued. “And because the brain’s reward systems are hypersensitive during adolescence, that immediate reward of confessing will trump the thinking of, ‘What will happen when I come back to court in a month?’ ”
Moreover, research shows that teenagers aged 15 and younger will unwittingly comply with authority figures. They are very suggestible, so that during an interrogation, they are more likely than adults to change their answers in response to interviewers.
LA TIMES: FALSE DATA REPORTING SYMPTOMS OF LARGER LAPD ISSUES?
Within the last three months, two reports have emerged revealing false data reporting within the LAPD. The first, an August LA Times report, found nearly 1,200 violent crimes misclassified as minor crimes, resulting in lower city crime rates.
Then, on Friday, an Office of Inspector General report found that department supervisors were boosting patrol numbers by deploying “ghost cars,” reporting officers as out on patrol who were actually filling out paperwork or performing other duties.
An LA Times editorial says that either the LAPD administration is unaware of what’s going on at the ground-level, or they are enforcing a culture in which department supervisors can only achieve goals by fixing the numbers. The editorial says the department needs to be held responsible for the false data reporting, but that the police commission should also examine why these errors are occurring.
Here’s a clip:
The Inspector General’s revelation is troubling for a number of reasons. For one thing, it’s dishonest. False data lead city leaders and the public to believe the streets are more heavily patrolled than they really are. That undermines our sense of how safe we are, and also influences policy decisions on, for example, whether the city should hire more civilians for administrative tasks or keep hiring officers. And if supervisors can justify lying about staffing levels in order to keep the bosses happy, what other transgressions or omissions will they allow?
Most worrisome is that this is the second report in recent months to conclude that the LAPD has been relying on bad data and inaccurate reporting. A Times investigation in August found that the department understated violent crime in the city by misclassifying nearly 1,200 violent crimes as minor offenses during a one-year period. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck chalked that up to human error, although department insiders said deliberate miscoding had become common as captains and other supervisors were — again — under intense pressure to meet crime-reduction targets set by the brass.
NEW RADIO CAMPAIGN BY “FRIENDS OF MCDONNELL”
The independent expenditure committee, Friends of McDonnell for Sheriff 2014, has launched a $250,000 radio campaign on LBPD Chief Jim McDonnell’s behalf.
In the 60 second ad, LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey calls on listeners to vote McDonnell for Los Angeles Sheriff. Here’s the transcript:
This is Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. There is no better choice for Los Angeles County Sheriff than Jim McDonnell. Jim is recognized as a leader in law enforcement leader. He has decades of experience with LAPD and as Chief of the Long Beach Police Department.
I respect and endorse Jim because he has integrity, independence, and has served on the front line of law enforcement. Proven leadership is why Jim McDonnell is endorsed by four previous DA’s.
Jim McDonnell is endorsed by all 5 County Supervisors and Mayor Eric Garcetti. Every daily newspaper in Los Angeles County has also endorsed Jim McDonnell for Sheriff. I know Jim McDonnell can get the job done as Sheriff. I have seen him in action.
Whether you vote by absentee ballot or at the polls, be sure to vote for Jim McDonnell for L.A. County Sheriff.
While Paul Tanaka is technically still in the race, he has been rather quiet in his campaigning, opting to speak at smaller events, and posting a couple of videos on his social media pages (including a video of former sheriff contender Pat Gomez endorsing him).