After more than 10 years of discussion and two independent studies, the Board of Supervisors approved a new downtown jail and also created an innovative diversion program.
“Approving the jail plan is a step forward and avoids further delays in treatment services for inmates with medical, mental health and drug addiction problems,” said Mayor Antonovich.
“Public safety and diversion cannot be achieved without appropriate jail capacity especially in the wake of rising crime rates statewide including in the Sheriff’s and the LAPD’s jurisdiction resulting from AB 109 and Proposition 47,” said Mayor Antonovich. Proposition 47 was passed by the voters in November which reduced certain felonies to misdemeanors without mandating treatment services for those with mental illness or drug addiction. “In LAPD’s jurisdiction, violation crime is up by nearly 20% and property crime is up by 11%. In Sheriff’s jurisdiction, violent crime is up by over 5.5% and property crime is up by over 7%,” said Mayor Antonovich.
Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis amended the jail plan motion calling for various mitigating efforts to assist families of inmates with transportation and visitation, among other things, due to the proximity of Mira Loma to downtown Los Angeles. Mayor Antonovich amended that motion to consider county owned facilities that are in close proximity to downtown Los Angeles in the future.
“As the county considers expansion of treatment facilities in the community, Sybil Brand Institute and MacLaren Hall could serve as suitable options and ought to be considered,” said Mayor Antonovich.
Mayor Antonovich’s motion on the jail plan was approved as amended by Supervisor Kuehl on a 3-1 vote with Supervisor Knabe voting no and Supervisor Solis abstaining.
The joint motion on diversion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl were approved with Supervisor Don Knabe voting no on portions of the motion.