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Sheriff's Department to Investigate County Jail System

Following up on an ACLU report that introduced dozens of allegations of abuse in the department-run county jail system, Sheriff Lee Baca announced he will appoint two task forces to investigate.

Sheriff Lee Baca announced last week he will appoint two task forces to address concerns about the county jail system, one to look into 78 abuse complaints that have been filed by inmates, and one to make broader suggestions for how to improve the system.

The announcement follows up on the release of an American Civil Liberties Union report that included sworn testimonials of dozens of cases of deputy abuse in the jail system - the testimony came not just from inmates, but also chaplains and other volunteers in the jail system. 

Those that testified alleged that deputies regularly beat inmates even when they pose no immediate threat of violence, and recommends that the Attorney General launch a federal investigation into the jail system.

The report can be viewed at right or on the ACLU website.

One task force will be made up of four commanders within the department and make suggestions on how to implement changes in the system implementing "education-based" incarceration and being more responsive to prisoner complaints.

The other task force will be made up of 35 investigators who will look into 78 complaints of abuse, including some cases that have been previously investigated.  The results of the investigations will be released to the county Office of Independent Review.

Baca's full message on the issue can be viewed here.

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