Jason Pohl
Jason Pohl
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There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.

There Has Been an Explosion of Homicides in California’s County Jails. Here’s Why.

Some California county jails saw their rate of inmate-on-inmate homicides triple or quadruple, and statewide the number rose 46% after 2011 prison reforms shifted responsibility from state prisons to county lockups. As sheriffs and jail staffs strain, some inmate crimes go undetected for hours. Deadly violence has surged in county jails across California since the state began sending thousands of inmates to local lockups instead of prisons, the result of a dramatic criminal justice transformation that left many sheriffs ill-equipped to handle a new and dangerous population. Since 2011,...

July 24, 2019
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California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.

California Gave Billions in Taxpayer Dollars to Improve Jails. But That’s Not How These Sheriffs Are Spending It.

California has given counties more than $8 billion to handle thousands of new inmates. But lax spending rules and limited scrutiny have allowed some sheriffs to use that money for other things, which may violate state law. Two summers ago, the board of supervisors in Contra Costa County, California, faced a packed meeting room. On the agenda was a proposal to divert $1.5 million in state taxpayer money intended to ease jail overcrowding to other priorities of the local sheriff’s office. Without the funds, Assistant Sheriff Matthew Schuler said, street patrols across the county would be...

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January 4, 2020
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