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Jail adds beds after complaint

first_img Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 carol.rock@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CASTAIC – With the addition of 420 beds at the Pitchess Detention Center, every inmate in the county jail system now has a bunk and a mattress. Settling a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened barracks at the Castaic jail complex that were shuttered because of budget cuts. But overcrowding problems persist, said sheriff’s Cmdr. Don Rodriguez, Pitchess supervisor. Some 70 percent of the county jail population is composed of men and women awaiting trials, sentencing or other hearings before heading to state prison. “Court cases can take a long time,” Rodriguez said. “Once they are adjudicated and sentenced to state prison, we do our best to see they are processed as quickly as possible and sent to the state prisons. But some of the problem is getting the state to take their prisoners when they are facing the same issues of overcrowding.” Three jails make up the Castaic complex, two are maximum-security and one houses minimum- and medium-security inmates. Pitchess is home to about 8,200 inmates; there are nearly 20,000 inmates in the county system. To further relieve overcrowding, the county is working to also reopen the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, closed when Sheriff Lee Baca responded to 2003 budget cuts and released 2,600 low-risk inmates who had served portions of their sentences. After county supervisors approved $78 million in the 2005 budget for the Sheriff’s Department, portions of the East Facility at Pitchess were opened in March. A dormitory in the South Facility, closed in 2001 to cut overtime costs, remains closed. “Another issue is that we have several hundred deputy and correctional vacancies,” he said. “We’ve been able to get recruitment kick-started; we’ve opened the training facility at College of the Canyons and we’re hoping to fill those positions. “There’s only so much we can do with a limited number of beds, considering the population growth and budget issues.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Three jails make up the Castaic complex, two are maximum-security and one houses minimum- and medium-security inmates. Pitchess is home to about 8,200 inmates; there are nearly 20,000 inmates in the county system. To further relieve overcrowding, the county is working to also reopen the Century Regional Detention Facility in Lynwood, closed when Sheriff Lee Baca responded to 2003 budget cuts and released 2,600 low-risk inmates who had served portions of their sentences. After county supervisors approved $78 million in the 2005 budget for the Sheriff’s Department, portions of the East Facility at Pitchess were opened in March. A dormitory in the South Facility, closed in 2001 to cut overtime costs, remains closed. “Another issue is that we have several hundred deputy and correctional vacancies,” he said. “We’ve been able to get recruitment kick-started; we’ve opened the training facility at College of the Canyons and we’re hoping to fill those positions. “There’s only so much we can do with a limited number of beds, considering the population growth and budget issues.” Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 carol.rock@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!,CASTAIC – With the addition of 420 beds at the Pitchess Detention Center, every inmate in the county jail system now has a bunk and a mattress. Settling a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reopened barracks at the Castaic jail complex that were shuttered because of budget cuts. But overcrowding problems persist, said sheriff’s Cmdr. Don Rodriguez, Pitchess supervisor. Some 70 percent of the county jail population is composed of men and women awaiting trials, sentencing or other hearings before heading to state prison. “Court cases can take a long time,” Rodriguez said. “Once they are adjudicated and sentenced to state prison, we do our best to see they are processed as quickly as possible and sent to the state prisons. But some of the problem is getting the state to take their prisoners when they are facing the same issues of overcrowding.” last_img

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