Jail LA County Board of Supervisors LA County Jail LASD Sheriff Lee Baca

Today Jails Commission Will Issue Final Report With 63 Recommendations UPDATED

Today, Friday, the Citizen’s Committee on Jail Violence—CCJV—
will meet at 10 am to release its final report and recommendations to the public,. The report is the result of nine month investigation into allegations of inappropriate use of force against inmates in L.A. County jails.

NOON UPDATE: I’m still at the commission meeting, but you can start looking at the report by going here.

For a shorter version, here’s the executive summary.

According to the statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Commission’s final report will include 63 recommendations “that relate to jail management, culture, personnel and training, oversight, discipline and accountability.”

The report also includes over 77 findings that resulted from:

*interviews with over 150 witnesses (including past and present Sheriff’s Department personnel, inmates, clergy, and others)

*review of over 35,000 pages of documentary evidence including Sheriff’s Department memoranda and data, and information obtained from experts and corrections leaders.

The big question is, of course: what difference will it make? The commission has no legal power. But it does have the power of the pulpit, so to speak.

How will the sheriff react? And what will the Board of Supervisors do if the sheriff makes the easy changes but declines to make the harder, more important ones?

These are answers that will unfold over time. But we will have some indications right away.

So stay tuned. It’s going to be a VERY interesting day.


  • If I remember correctly, a few days ago, Baghdad Bob Whitmore stated words to the effect, (and I am paraphrasing from memory, but I’m in the ballpark) “The Sheriff has no intention of removing Undersheriff Tanaka. He has full faith and confidence with him. Not 100%, not 200% but the Sheriff has 300% confidence in Undersheriff Tanaka.”

    I guess there is your answer to the question if the Sheriff will do anything with this report. It is all up to the media and the BOS (and maybe the FBI).

  • The report refers to the Department’s Core Values. Nothing will change until Department Executives are held to the same standard. Don’t hold your breath, a Marine Corps General once said “careerism to corrosive to the principle of telling the truth. Personal integrity is out weighed by the desire
    for power and authority”.

  • Of course the recommendations they make regarding force policy are horrible. It’s a perfect way to balance the books on the backs of the rank and file, make their jobs harder, while not taking a bite out of the politicians at the top. Let’s not forget, the commission is staffed by the same types as Baca/Tanaka. Career “leaders” who spent decades in positions of power.

  • Interesting how little press has so far come out of Friday’s meeting. Not much on WitnessLA, not much in the LA Times, nothing I’ve noticed elsewhere. In one sense, it’s good because we should expect people to read a 250 page report before rushing to the mics/presses. On the other hand, that isn’t what people do these days and people do tend to say/publish something sooner rather than later, so I’m intrigued that the report has been so far met with a whimper.

  • There is an article in today’s LA Times about the workplace climate within Southern California Edison. An independent audit noted the following:

    “Key issues included fundamental lack of leadership in many areas resulting in loss of trust, lack of respect, fear of retaliation, inefficent decision making processes, poor communication, lack of work/life balance, abusive management styles, lack of management accountability, perceived absence of fairness and a shortage of recognition” Sound familiar?

  • Bandwagon, very good point. Supervisor Ridley wants to create yet another PR piece that he can brag about when he is up for reelection. Problem is a civilian oversight commission is absolutely worthless when they lack the authority over a constitutional office. A better approach would be to create a sherif’s commission created by each supervisor nominating a member, the sheriff throwing in a few, and rounding it out with a few other stakeholders like organized labor, independent city chief of police, maybe a victim’s rights advocate. Screw the ACLU on this.

    Then again that would require the sheriff to cooperate and get rid of EPC, which has proved to be absolutely worthless as the day is long. The ultimate good ol’ boys club where everyone sits cowering in fear of Tall Paul, there are no minutes kept, votes made, and no once can seem to remember anything when they are placed under oath to describe what goes on in those meetings.

    Just for argument sake I’d throw in veto power for the sheriff’s office, and the voters can always throw the bum out (as they will in 2014) if he abuses the veto.

    And I’d get rid of the OIR and Merrick Bobb as well. Replace those compromised hacks with a pool of investigators from all LA County agencies, and nobody investigates their own on OIS and high profile risk management cases. Yes, we have amply proven that we cannot police ourselves. The temptation to protect our own self-interest will always get in the way of the pursuit of the truth. Nothing new here, the public already understands this.

    And yes, Baca and Tanaka have got to go for this department to stand a chance or recovering our reputation and our legacy.


    10-33, you make an important observation.

    There is the trend in journalism right now to be the first out the door with a story, which—when one is dealing with a 195 page report, that is loaded with complex points, doesn’t lend itself to thoughtful analysis. Most of the news outlets got something out quickly on Friday, but none of it was terribly informative or complete.

    With issues like this one, we at WLA have tended to wait and do more thoughtful stories, because we believe that’s what’s too often missing and needed. With this in mind, we plan to have something later this week. And another related story this week or early next.

    (In truth, I’d intended to have an initial analysis of the commission’s report out this morning, or tomorrow at the latest But my sweet wolf-dog got bitten nastily by a rattler on Saturday and the weekend turned unexpectedly scary. She’s on the mend, but all worked stopped while I dealt with the critter crisis.)

    Two more things. Ridley-Thomas should introduce his motion to appoint a civilian oversight board tomorrow at the Board of Supes meeting, which will start the conversational ball rolling. Then next Tuesday the Commission’s report will be officially presented to the Board, at which time the Supes will have to begin the process of deciding how they’re going to respond to what the Commission has recommended.

    So hang in. This is not going to disappear without a trace, I promise.

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