LA County moves forward with jails despite protest

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Los Angeles County supervisors have moved forward with plans to build two jails with thousands of beds — but not before shouting protesters temporarily shut down the meeting.

After a short recess, supervisors on Tuesday approved an environmental impact report for a 1,600-bed women's jail in Lancaster and $106 million in funding to plan a nearly 4,000-bed replacement for the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles.

Sheriff Jim McDonnell says the central jail is obsolete and a $2 billion replacement would combine incarceration with treatment for the large number of inmates with mental problems and drug or alcohol addictions.

Activists, some wearing hazmat-style white jumpsuits, shouted against jail construction, arguing among other things that the Lancaster jail would expose inmates to the soil-based fungus that causes deadly Valley Fever.

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