Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jails get $29 million to implement jail reforms

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The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted to send $29 million to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department to clamp down on jail violence.

Last year, a blue ribbon panel determined L.A.'s jails have a culture that encourages excessive force against inmates and a management structure that doesn't adequately hold sheriff's deputies accountable. The panel came up with a long list of recommendations, some of which have been implemented, while others have languished. Sheriff Lee Baca has blamed the delays on a lack of funding.

The new cash influx will pay for surveillance cameras in the jails, an internal audit division, as well as more supervisors to oversee sheriff's deputies.

The Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs argued more of the money should go towards hiring deputy sheriffs. 

The funding's the first in what's set to be three years of installments, with an expected total of about $90 million.

The vote to fund the reforms was unanimous, but supervisors disagree how to oversee implementation of those reforms going forward.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has introduced a measure that would create a civilian oversight commission for the Sheriff's Department. However, Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has argued such a commission would lack the authority to actually do anything. The board is expected to vote on the proposal Nov. 5.

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