Care First Jails Last Homeboy Industries LA County Board of Supervisors LA County Jail

As LA Moves Toward Closing Men’s Central Jail, County Supes Vote to Move Toward Building a Restorative Justice Village

Taylor Walker
Written by Taylor Walker

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion from Supervisor Hilda Solis to get to work on creating a Restorative Justice Village in furtherance of the board’s efforts to shutter the decrepit Men’s Central Jail and replace it with community services and supports.

In August 2019, in response to widespread calls for decarceration and community care, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors made the historic decision to cancel a $1.7 billion contract to replace the dangerous and dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail with another jail-like facility. The board agreed to, instead, commit that money and effort to a “care first, jail last” ethic.

Ten months later, on June 23 — amid nationwide protests demanding government leaders dismantle the criminal justice system in its current form and replace it with a system focused on community health and care — Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl proposed the board take another important step toward decarceration in LA County.

That motion, unanimously approved two weeks later, directed county departments and the Alternatives to Incarceration Workgroup (ATI) to come up with a plan for closing MCJ within a year.

Additionally, last November, 57 percent of voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure J, a ballot initiative to amend Los Angeles County’s charter to permanently set aside at least 10% of existing locally-controlled revenues to be directed to community investment and alternatives to incarceration starting in fiscal year 2021-22.

The county has begun construction on a project that will offer 232 housing units for unhoused individuals. The Vignes Interim Housing Project is located on a four-acre lot in Chinatown previously intended to serve as a parking garage for the Mental Health Treatment Center that would have replaced MCJ had the county not voted to dump the plan.

“Those who are incarcerated in Los Angeles County jails have histories of homelessness, substance use disorders, and medical and mental health needs who end up in our jails instead of receiving housing, services, and treatment in their community,” the motion states. “The status quo has not worked and it is expensive—“Care First, Jails Last” allows the County to provide the basics and, most importantly, outside of jail cells.”

The Vignes Project, like the county’s LAC+USC Campus, will prioritize mental health, housing, employment, reducing recidivism, and improving the well-being of individuals served. The motion also points to Homeboy Industries’ plans to expand its campus, via a partnership with the City of LA, to offer transitional housing and daycare, and to increase capacity to offer programs and job opportunities to formerly incarcerate and previously gang-involved community members.

A Restorative Justice Village Master Plan will be able to “tie together all nearby development,” including other city and county partnerships, “and ensure that public resources are used effectively.” It will also help meet the needs of Chinatown residents, according to the motion.

Chinatown “is experiencing rapid gentrification and displacement,” Solis writes. “Both low-income residential tenants and small businesses that have been in the neighborhood for generations are facing development pressures that are forcing them out of the community they helped to build. Deeply affordable housing, access to healthy foods, cultural preservation, workforce opportunities and economic development initiatives focused on small business growth are sorely needed…”

The motion directs the county’s CEO, in partnership with the Director of Public Works and the Executive Director of the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative, to have the architecture firm working on the Vignes Project start working on a Restorative Justice Village Master Plan.

The motion calls for a report back in 180 days, with among other things, recommendations on the types of housing and supports that should be part of the Restorative Justice Village Master Plan to best fit the “care first, jail last” initiative.

“The Plan,” said Solis, “will serve as a guide for the development of County-owned and other participating properties in order to meet the needs of Chinatown residents and businesses, while advancing restorative justice initiatives through collaboration with nearby stakeholders such as Homeboy Industries and the California Endowment.”

Members of the public sent in approximately 200 comments in support of the motion, in advance of the meeting, many of which urged the board to continue “building housing on land that was once destined for more jail cells.”

21 Comments

  • Sure does seem easy for these politicians to spend tax payer monies on ridiculous programs Homeboy Industries getting funding from elected representatives. Unbelievable!!! C’mon Man. Figure out something that will work. Buying off the neighbors “meet the needs of residents and businesses.” Wonder if that includes human waste and used needles clean up. Somebody’s relatives/friends are gonna make a lot of money from tax monies here.
    You get what you vote for…..

    • Why worry about this project when the payouts to residents because of the Sheriff’s Department supersedes any other costly project.

  • Dead victims get no play here not ever. That they are mostly victims that look like CF doesn’t matter to the SJW types or the BOS as they are all nothing but hypocrites when it comes to opening their mouths and saying what truly needs to be said about crime. Cowards, all of them.

  • Maybe the BOS will generously waste 80 millions dollars in taxpayer money yet again, just as they did for the “feasibility studies and design ideas” for the replacement Men’s Central Jail Project. Nobody cares about this waste and abuse but are surely hyper focused and alert when it comes to the Sheriff’’s Department being sued. Of course most folks would never know how many lawsuits filed actually fail due to the Department’s members actually doing their job in a professional and ethical manner. Who would have thought? Selective outrage, indignation and accountability seems to be the theme of the day with some.

    “Restorative Justice Village, Reimagining, Recuperative Care Villages”, all sound so nice and fluffy. I’m sure the “committee” has spent hours using focus groups to come up with all these “happy names”. Since words beginning with “R” are the bees knees by golly, lets have a “Rest, Relaxation, Regenerative, Rejuvenation Village” for all the poor homeless, drug addicted and mentally ill folks roaming aimlessly throughout the city and state.

    At the end of the day, a sewage treatment plant is still a place for processing humane waste! Fluff, Fluff, Fluff….

  • Hard to imagine a better scheme to keep MCJ open. A lot of money thrown at ex judges, lawyers and the like via the “ alternatives to incarceration work group”, and all they come up with is some goofy fairy tale that has zero chance of ever becoming reality. Meanwhile MCJ stays open while how many millions have been spent in the name of closing it?

    No doubt the sums of money involved are quite large. A cynical person might be wondering what the board is really up to, because they can be this stupid. This thing stinks on ice. Would be nice if witness la would put down the pom poms for a little while and at least pretend to be real journalists.

  • Real journalists!? Hahahahahahaha
    Not happening.
    This is 100% activism not journalism.
    Celeste has her “journalistic” roots buried in the same university level Marxist/Anti American ideologies as BLM and Antifa.
    No journalism here.

    Just a good insight into what your $100k a year waste of a college education is actually doing to your kids.

  • A Brown, some folks will make a lot of money and it is easier for politicians to spend the taxpayers’ money than their money. That is the nature of any bureaucracy. That is why police officers get paid so well. But, its relative chump change. If that is what bothers you, you should see how the Trump family and friends made out. That is real money.

    Fifi, is the CF you refer to me or to Celeste, or both as we may be one and the same. If to me, then I agree that some victims are good looking. Yes, that is true. I, too, have been a victim.

    Conspiracy, you are worried about $80M? I think that is what the County pays out on verdicts and settlements involving the LASD in a year. Wouldn’t the lower hanging fruit be to keep the LASD from screwing up. It would be a better way to save $80M.

    Madame Kong – Is Fox better journalism? How about Breitbart? Maybe Alex Jones? Where do you get your news? Please share. I am curious what you consider “real” journalism. Yet, like a battered woman, you keep coming back for more. These posts are Celeste’s way of showing you she loves you.

    ReaLOW – See above. I guess you are pissed that you never went to college. Its never too late to pick yourself up and become a productive member of society. You can become someone who contributes to society instead of feeding at the government trough in a job that you are miserable in, were you hate your bosses and which you can’t leave because you need the money. This is America, you can dream bigger. And, Marxist? What, are you a holdover from the John Birch society? Even in Marxist nations, there are no Marxist.

    • Victims rarely look good after being victimized, did you? Nothing good looking about them after a vicious beat down or worse. Now last thing you want to do is say it was some White cop that did it. Nope, someone who looked like you or close to it. I have two collections. One of victims and their injuries, one of suspects and theirs. That is a true statement. Wonder if you’re in there?

    • Hey cf , they’re all Alex Jones. From witness la to msnbc to fox and whatever you like, it just depends on who the propaganda is pointed at . Of course you and your “ilk” are kinda famous for playing both sides of that fence. Gotta wonder how long that’s going to continue.

  • “Restorative Justice”

    Just liberal buzzword nonsense. One is left with one salient question: why do liberals always identify with and sympathize with criminals instead of innocent victims?

    Disgusting, really.

  • Fifi-
    People pray on their own, black on black and white on white. But cops, for some reason, seem to like to pick on the brothers a little more. And, you have two sets of what, pictures. Do you have Kobe’s pictures?

    Major Kong, no they are not all Alex Jones. If someone touches your rear while you are waiting at Krispy Kreme to pay, that may be sexual assault. If someone tries to rape you, that may be sexual assault. But, they are not the same thing. Alex Jones is as crazy as they come. Was he not the one selling “vitamins” that cure Covid, or some crazy nonsense like that. But, again, please share where you get your news. Don’t be embarrassed.

    Ladies, I am beginning to think I will never be able to talk sense into you. I am losing hope.

    • How many videos you think I could throw up of White kids, lots of them, rushing into 7-11’s or the like and stealing anything they could get their hands on while thrashing the store and anyone who got in their way? Now how about Black kids and I mean teens. When cops show up whose more likely to fight with the cops? It would be the Black kids right, because it would be a pretty hard thing to find, those White kid videos. Maybe a scant few, but that’s it. There are hundreds, hundreds of Black kid videos.

      Same goes for cops being attacked or simply not listened to by Blacks when arriving on calls in Black neighborhoods. More fights with cops defending themselves. Don’t tell me otherwise you know better. Just say nothing. Their own actions lead to situations that result in injuries to them and cops.

      314 cops shot last year. I know you don’t care and Celeste and crew, what have they said about it? Just shut up about how rough cops are with the poor Black man, it’s played out with people like me. Simply behave like a good person and you’ll be treated like one, act like a POS and you’ll maybe get a beat down, occupational hazard.

      My pictures, victims of violent crimes and suspects who decided to violently resist. Quite the collection. A reminder of who I work for and of the good work I do. Never was a Kobe fan and no not into those type pictures. Never mentioned my employer and won’t.

      Your attempt to be cute constantly fails, all you ever are is an ass. At least your consistent in that.

      Deal with it missy.

    • Cf, you’re really quite limited, you ramble off the same old tired sex jokes, then want to argue about prime time cable news nonsense. You’d might as well argue about religion or professional wrestling, more your speed apparently.

    • CF….your the biggest racist of them all. Why don’t you go, in keeping with your “trying to relate vernacular”, into the “hood” and try talking to the “brothers” as you say and take a knee while your at it. You should also drop a few “n-words” and raise your fist toward the sky as a sign of fo-solidarity to show you can truly relate and sympathize with the plight of the “brothas”? Who talks like this? I’ll tell you, a White condescending liberal elitist who’s only education and interaction with Black people is from taking an ethnic studies class or two, reading a book, watching television, listening to rap music and being given a proverbial guilt trip by their well to do former hippie middle class parents. I’d like to see how long you would last in the inner city talking like you do here? Black folks in the “hood” can see condescending, apologist, do-gooder fair-weather liberals like you a mile away. Just as some used the church to justify imperialism, slavery and taking of “undiscovered” lands, your dogma of cop-hating and bowing to the altar of pro-criminal rights is pretty twisted and seeks to get in good to further your own agenda. Not all Blacks speak like someone out of a bad 70’s stereotypical sitcom or rap video. Just to let you know, many Black folks have seized the day, gotten an education, become professionals, done a George Jefferson and moved on up (to use a frame of reference your simple stereotypical mind can possibly relate to).

      If you really want to make a difference, why don’t you Celeste and your other progressive liberals start trying to address the years of self hate, decay and generational effects of institutionalized racism in many communities of color. The whole premise of Gascon and people who ascribe to his way of thinking paints minorities as more likely to commit crimes, for which they have no self control and are predisposed to, cannot be expected to have self control over their actions and should be given a free pass by society for their “bad behavior”. Talk about a way to keep a group down? Paint them all a criminals that society shouldn’t hold accountable for their actions? Twisted logic from the “Overseers” who have to excuse the “child like” bad behavior of the Blacks since they don’t know any better. Liberal, conservator, progressive, Democrat, Republican, libertarian, socialist, communist. A racist can exists under every rock, in any occupation, dawn the name of any political party or movement, practice any religion and wear the color of any ethnic group. A racist by any other name is still a racist.

  • Restorative Justice calls for putting the burden of sympathy and compassion on both the victim and the offender.

    There are many positive developments for criminal justice reform but placing the burden of sympathy and compassion on the victim is truly offensive.

  • You know CF, just read in Chicago there’s been over 160 carjackings this year and two Aldermans hired private security so people could gas up at three stations and feel safe while doing it. They are doing right by their people. A retired fire fighter was killed in one carjacking and a 14 year old tried it on an off duty cop. We’ve mentored at risk youth at our PD for years, even me believe it or not but the rise in violent crime in the Black community is alarming. You won’t hear that here and I wonder why.

  • CF, I can almost guarantee I have a higher level of education than you and your beloved Celeste.
    Makes it easier to spot frauds and scam artists like the majority of SJWs…like you. Didn’t pay a single dime for all that education either.
    No, eating at the public employee trough is just a bonus.
    I will say in my short time on this earth I’m positive I’ve done more and been a better caretaker of the community and humanity than you also.
    See, when you experience all of this it makes it easy to call bull$hit on racist a$$wipes like you and fraud do gooders like these WLA people.

  • Ladies, please.

    Madame Kong, sex jokes? What are you talking about? I guess to someone with a hammer everything looks like a nail. You are one sick man.

    Sicko, relax. I am sorry I got you all riled up. I am concerned that you may go off and harass or smack a few black kids on account that you are upset. Please do not take it out on them. And, I am not anti-cop. We need police, just not that many, just not ones that are rude and abusive, just not ones that lie on the stand, and just not racist ones. And, pro-criminal? Who is pro-criminal besides the prison guard industry and prison guard unions? Not me.

    Fifi- When you say you “mentor” at risk youth, I hope you do not mean little cadets. I think that fine LAPD officer Robert Cain was also a “mentor” to a 15-year old at risk youth. [WLA edit]

    ReaLOW, you may very well may have more degrees than me. As I mentioned before, I am an idiot, which is why I like coming to this site. Anywhere else I am an idiot, but here I am a giant among intellectual midgets. All of those degrees do not seem to be helping you. Do you believe the election was stolen? Is global warming real? Is Jesus coming back to earth? Was Obama born in Kenya?

    And, what do you mean you did not pay a single dime? Did your daddy pay for it? I know you would not have accepted a free education from a public institution. That’s socialism and I know you are not a hypocrite. I hope you did not get any government grants, as that, too, is socialism. What next, will you want the government, local or federal, to support you in retirement?

    Now, ladies, we really must move on to your more current racist post.

    • Celeste has to make sure my comments are nice and pristine before she lets them go up but the trash like you just put up somehow meets her community standard?

      Who do either of you mentor? How much time do you give them? How much hate of others can you spread in that time? You don’t fool anyone here “CF” not anyone.

      Trained investigators missy.

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