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ACLU demands judge stop jail closure

July 14, 2009 2:11:53 PM PDT
The American Civil Liberties Union is demanding a federal judge stop the closure of an L.A. county jail in Castaic.According to the L.A. Times, L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca is threatening to shut down the north facility at Pitchess Detention Center due to the county's growing budget crisis.

The ACLU is asking for a preliminary injunction requiring the Sheriff's Department to study how shutting down the 1,600-bed jail would affect conditions in the county's other jails.

The group also wants Baca to first develop a plan to cope with bad conditions at other lockups and consider closing the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles instead.

A sheriff's spokesman says Baca would like to keep the north facility open, but is being forced to close it because of $25 million in budget cuts.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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