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Sheriff considers closing 2 county jails

February 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca is considering shutting down two county jails due to the budget crisis.Baca says the Sheriff's Department may be asked to cut $71 million. The budget currently estimated at about $2.5 billion in the coming year. He says the only way to save that money would be to close two jails, release nearly 4,000 inmates, and cut 600 staff positions at those facilities.

The jails being considered are the Men's Central Jail in downtown L.A., as well as another facility in Castaic.

County Chief Executive William Fujioka tells the Los Angeles Times that the sheriff is being irresponsible in saying these things because they've not been approved or even considered by the Board of Supervisors.

He also argues that Baca has not been told to cut $71 million from his budget.

There are 18,000 inmates in the L.A. County jail system. Around 6,700 of them are housed at the Men's Central Jail, which was built in 1963.


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