Seven candidates for Los Angeles County Sheriff are facing off in another debate Thursday night (live streamed at 7 p.m. on KPCC.org). As usual, the topics are determined by debate sponsors. In this case, they include Justice Not Jails, a faith-based group dedicated to “working against racialized mass incarceration in California.”
The group focuses in part on changing drug laws and arrest policies. Its website says, “The people who are picked up and sent to jail for drug use are overwhelmingly people of color and African American people.”
Jail reform is a major issue in the sheriff’s campaign. A federal grand jury has indicted 20 current and former sheriffs officials on civil rights and corruption charges – most of them in connection with inmate abuse.
Each of the candidates has promised improved treatment of inmates and more rehabilitation programs to address an explosion in the number of people in jail. California has shifted tens of thousands of prisoners from state prisons to local lockups.
But the sheriff’s candidates have been relatively vague about their plans. Expect more specific questions on the topic at this debate, which is also sponsored by the Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership.
Other sponsors include The League of Women Voters, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and Dignity Now: Safety For All
- Former Sheriff’s Lieutenant Patrick Gomez
- Assistant Sheriff James Hellmold
- Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell
- Former Sheriff’s Commander Bob Olmsted
- Assistant Sheriff Todd Rogers
- Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka
- LAPD Detective Lou Vince
Check out this post to look at some of the other questions facing the candidates seeking to replace former Sheriff Lee Baca, who abruptly resigned in January amid the federal investigations and other problems.
The primary election in the non-partisan race is June 3.