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US Department of Justice Examines Orange County Jails

US Department of Justice Examines Orange County Jails

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Published by: Charles Heiskell Kope on Apr 21, 2010
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US Department of Justice examines Orange County Jails by Charley Kope After years of allegations of excessive force and inhumane

conditions, the United States Department of Justice has begun an investigation of Orange County, California Jails. According to the Los Angeles Times, "officials from the department's Civil Rights Division are seeking to determine whether incidents of violence by jail personnel amount to a pattern of violating inmates' rights, the Sheriff's Department confirmed." Among the many allegations, the Orange County Jail system is being investigated after an inmate at Theo Lacy was beaten to death by other inmates after a Deputy mistakenly told them that he was a child molester. In addition, they are also being investigated on the allegation that the Deputies use excessive force, including using tazers on restrained inmates which has resulted in a number of deaths in 2007 and 2008. The Orange County Jail system includes four jails; Theo Lacy, Musick Facility, Orange County Main Jail, and Santa Ana City Jail. There are currently about 6,000 inmates in this jail system being affected by harsh treatment and inhumane conditions. Inmate Jacob Horowitz, housed at the Musick Facility in Irvine, California, writes that "the substandard health and cleanliness in the OC Jails, such as Main and Theo Lacy, are horrible, not to mention the police brutality. We have less civil rights than the slaves did." With time and probing by the Federal Government, we are likely to see some significant change in the Orange County Jail system in the near future. Resources: Abdollah, T. (2009, August 13). U.S. probes Orange County's jail system. The Los Angeles Times, Retrieved Aug 19, 2009, from http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-oc-jails-investigation142009aug14,0,910769.story

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