L.A. Supervisors Agree to Act on Billion-Dollar Jail Renovation

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Concerned about possible federal intervention into the operation of Los Angeles County’s system of jails, the Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to take a significant step toward replacing the Men’s Central Jail and renovating other facilities to reduce crowding and increase mental-health services for prisoners.

The five-member board voted unanimously to accept a report from consultants who outlined five options. All included tearing down and replacing the Men’s Central Jail and reconfiguring other existing facilities.

The number of jail beds would be unchanged, but the design changes would decrease crowding, while increasing access to care for the mentally ill and drug and alcohol addicts. Design changes would also create safer facilities, with guards better able to monitor the inmates, said Rob Nash, an architect with Vanir Construction Management.

By Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell, LA Times

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