Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

No cuts in store for Los Angeles County jails after all

September 22, 2009 |  5:00 pm
Sheriff Lee Baca will not close a jail because of budget cuts after all. Although the sheriff had a few months ago threatened such a closure, the department has managed to find $25 million in additional savings and revenue, officials said today.

Early last summer, Baca said  he might have to close part or all of the Men’s Central Jail, or the North facility jail, because of a growing public funding crisis.

“There will be no jail closures, and no portion of a jail will be closed,” said Steve Whitmore, the department’s spokesman. “There will no reductions in services in unincorporated areas and no reductions in detectives.”

Instead, the department will use unspent funds and new revenue streams to cover the gap. Whitmore said the department would get  $10 million of additional state revenue for housing inmates awaiting transfer to prisons and use $7 million in funds left over from programs last fiscal year. It will also use $3 million in revenue from cities that contract with the department for law enforcement, $1 million in miscellaneous revenue, $2.5 million in cuts to specialty medical clinic services and $1.5 million in reductions to fixed assets.

Whitmore said the county has agreed that it doesn’t need to implement $22 million more in potential cuts.

-- Richard Winton