Protesters demand halt to LA county jail plans

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of protesters showed up at the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, demanding they stop moving forward with plans to renovate an existing women's detention center and demolish and construct a new county jail.

"We are opposed to this jail plan for several reasons and one of the reasons is because we know our communities are not adequately being given services and programs outside of incarceration and we know it's a waste of money," said Diana Zuniga with the No More Jails Coalition.

Los Angeles Sheriff Jim McDonnell said the plan is to replace the antiquated and obsolete jail space that exists now with a more treatment-oriented facility.

"When you look at the moves across the nation to reduce the number of people that are incarcerated we need to do that a but we need to do it in a way where we do provide treatment for people - training, education - so when they go back they have a better chance of staying out of jail than they would have otherwise had," McDonnell said.

One of the main concerns protesters say they have with the $136.6 million renovation of the Mira Loma Women's Detention Center in Lancaster is Valley Fever, which they say has been found in the soil at the facility.

Once renovated, the women's center will provide over 1,600 beds.

Meanwhile, the new county jail will cost just under $2.2 billion and will house more than 3,800 inmates. Renovation and construction on both facilities is set to start in 2018.
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