Los Angeles County supervisors yesterday approved a lawsuit settlement that includes a court-appointed panel monitor the use of force by sheriff’s deputies in Los Angeles County jails. The settlement also stipulates, in part, that inmates can only be struck in the head when they pose a serious danger.
It also calls for the Sheriff’s Department to revise its written use-of-force policy, provide additional training for jail deputies and institute a system of checks and balances for investigating incidents.
In reforming the nation’s largest county jail system, new Sheriff Jim McDonnell will likely be dealing with court oversight on another front as well. Citing a dramatic increase in jail suicides, the U.S. Department of Justice is moving forward with a consent decree governing the treatment of mentally ill inmates.