ACLU demands judge stop jail closure

LOS ANGELES 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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