Connect with us


Supervisors delay decision on women’s jail for three weeks

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — The county’s plan to retrofit an immigration detention center in Lancaster as a women’s jail,seems likely to be abandoned in its current form.



LOS ANGELES — The county’s plan to retrofit an immigration detention center in Lancaster as a women’s jail, long opposed by criminal justice advocates, seems likely to be abandoned in its current form based on the lack of support from the Board of Supervisors Jan. 8.

A vote to approve a $215 million budget for Mira Loma Detention Center and award a design-build construction contract to San Fernando Valley-based Bernards Bros. Inc. was postponed at the request of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.

The matter is set to come back before the board in three weeks, but Kuehl said she would not vote to build on the site — which is roughly 70 miles north of downtown Los Angeles — and Supervisor Hilda Solis said changes would need to be made to the plan before she would support it.

Funding for the project requires four votes from the five-member Board of Supervisors.

“The location of the proposed women’s jail at Mira Loma poses significant, and in my opinion, insurmountable obstacles to our goal of creating a women’s jail that is the centerpiece of a gender-responsive corrections system,” Kuehl said Jan. 7. “Mira Loma is too far away from the home communities of the women who would be housed there, and too far away from family members who would need to visit.”

Solis said she is committed to finding strategies that encourage family reunification and lower recidivism rates, but stopped short of saying she would never support a plan to build in Lancaster.

“L.A. County should be on the forefront of diversion and rehabilitation, rather than punishment than incarceration,” Solis said.

The board approved the project in concept in 2015, though Solis abstained from the vote and both she and Kuehl called then for strategies to overcome the challenges posed by the facility’s location.

The JusticeLA Coalition declared victory as members stood outside the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in orange T-shirts with the slogan “can’t get well in a cell” emblazoned on the back.

“We can finally claim this victory after seven years,” Eunisses Hernandez of JusticeLA said, drawing cheers.

Coalition speakers urged the board to invest in community resources that could reduce the numbers of arrests and jail time by treating mental illness, providing jobs and educating young people.

Supervisor Janice Hahn, who chairs the board, said the decision to delay a vote and rethink the jail plan was made by the board as a whole.

“It was a collective will to put the brakes on, to take a step back and to pause,” Hahn said. “There is a new sheriff in town who also has some ideas. … He also would like to weigh in.”

Sheriff Alex Villanueva has talked about reducing the jail population and finding alternatives to incarceration and many advocates of reform see him as a potential ally.

“We have a sheriff who does not want to build and that is unprecedented,” Mark-Anthony Johnson of Dignity & Power Now told the board, after thanking them for “challenging the conventional wisdom that this was just a done deal.”

Villanueva is working on alternatives to discuss with the board, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Nicole Nishida told City News Service.

But it’s not clear whether the board and the sheriff are willing to go as far as criminal justice advocates would like. For activists, it isn’t simply a question of where the jail is built.

“The ask is not for a better women’s jail, it’s for meaningful and real alternatives to incarceration,” said community activist Kristina Lear. “I’m not asking for a relocation, I’m asking for a halt to it.”

Esther Lim of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California said the county didn’t do enough front-end analysis on who needs to be jailed versus who needs diversion and treatment, pointing out that one of the most detailed studies behind the jails plan was provided by a construction management firm.

It’s time to “reexamine what criminal justice looks like here in Los Angeles,” Lim told City News Service.

Before the board, Lim pointed out that Mira Loma is not the only jail slated for construction.

The proposed Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility “is a mistake that will cost us billions of dollars,” Lim said.

A $2.2 billion Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility is planned to replace the crowded, decrepit Men’s Central Jail and provide better treatment and more humane conditions for the roughly one-third of inmates who have mental health issues.

The county Department of Public Works had recommended increasing the Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility budget by roughly $30 million and awarding a contract to McCarthy Building Companies Inc. A vote on that item was also postponed for three weeks at the department’s request.

“If you’re going to take Mira Loma off the table, we need to look at the entire jail plan,” Supervisor Kathryn Barger told her colleagues.

Lancaster is in the district she represents, but Barger said she had no issue with choosing another location for a women’s jail in downtown Los Angeles or elsewhere.

As for the existing Lancaster detention center, “I’d love to flatten it and put in affordable housing tomorrow,” Barger said.

But she also warned the board that $100 million in state funding for the project was at stake.

The county has also spent roughly $8 million on planning for the Mira Loma project, according to a Department of Public Works spokesman.

While everyone on the board agreed with the need to rethink the plan, at least with regard to Mira Loma, no one offered a specific alternative.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas reminded his colleagues that one of the reasons for updating the county jail system is to comply with Department of Justice concerns about the treatment of suicidal and mentally ill inmates.

“This discussion is at least 15 years old. Four governors later, 10 members of the Board of Supervisors later … we have yet to land,” Ridley-Thomas said. “What then are we prepared to construct?”

Even Kuehl, who was willing to take the strongest stance against Mira Loma, maintained her support for the men’s jail project, saying it would improve the treatment and rehabilitation of mentally ill jail inmates.

But Lim and other advocates argued that most of those inmates are behind bars for non-violent offenses and could be diverted into community-based programs where they would have a better chance of leading productive lives.

Johnson estimated that the county could divert about 10,000 individuals annually into community programs rather than jailing them and said the vast majority of the county’s diversion programs had not yet been implemented.

To date, the county has diverted roughly 2,500 offenders through its Office of Diversion and Reentry.

This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

#NNPA BlackPress

How to Use Credit Wisely

(NewsUSA) – As the holiday season approaches, more people are out shopping, searching crowded stores and online promotions for the best discounts, and using their credit cards to pay for it all. But beware the financial dangers of credit use — how you pay for these deals could safeguard your budget or lead to debt. […]
The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.




A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help you guard against costly credit mistakes, paving the way for a financially sound festive season and beyond. Learn more about how to use credit in a way that works for you with the insights below.

Choose Your Credit Card Wisely

Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or purchasing necessities like groceries, the credit card you use can make a big difference. There are several factors to consider:

  • Interest Rates. Rates generally run from 21-33%. The standard bank card charges at the low end of the range, and retailer credit cards (those typically with the store’s name on them) charge as much as 33%.
  • Cash Back. Among the best deals are bank cards that offer cash back ranging from 1-4% of your purchase.
  • Rewards Points. Some cards have rewards programs where you earn points that you can redeem for products or services. They may seem attractive but are worthwhile only if you’re actually interested in the rewards offered.
  • Cash Discounts. While retailer credit cards have the highest rates, some offer big cash discounts at the point of purchase. That may be the only time they’re worth using.

Improving Your Credit Score

Boosting your credit score can help you qualify for the lowest available interest rates on auto loans, personal loans and mortgages. If you can, pay the full balance when your credit card bill arrives. But most importantly, never miss a payment. Paying on time not only avoids late fees, but also is a key factor in improving your credit score. The easy way to ensure timely payment is to set up automatic online payments.

A CFP® professional can help you develop other strategies to save money while improving your credit profile, including the following:

Establishing Credit

Lenders offer credit to people with a long and reliable credit history. Most young adults don’t have one. There are various ways to obtain credit, but steer clear of debit cards that claim they can help you build a credit history. When you consider the costs and requirements, they’re usually no bargain. You have better and cheaper options for establishing credit. Here are three of them:

  • Get a secured credit card.
  • If you have a student loan, make sure you’re up-to-date with payments.
  • If you pay rent, ask your landlord to report your on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

The choices we make in managing credit can have a lasting impact on our financial journey. As you navigate the complex credit landscape, remember that CFP® professionals can offer tailored guidance for your unique circumstances. Whether it’s identifying strategic debt payments, exploring balance transfer options or establishing credit responsibly, a CFP® professional can provide a roadmap for achieving your financial goals. Find a CFP® professional today.

The post How to Use Credit Wisely first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading


Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 – 28, 2023



The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of November 22 - 28, 2023

To enlarge your view of this issue, use the slider, magnifying glass icon or full page icon in the lower right corner of the browser window.

Continue Reading

#NNPA BlackPress

Acura ZDX Type S features

LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.
The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.



LA Auto Show was the venus for the Acura ZDX Type S details.

The post Acura ZDX Type S features first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

Continue Reading

Subscribe to receive news and updates from the Oakland Post

* indicates required




Home-based business with potential monthly income of $10K+ per month. A proven training system and website provided to maximize business effectiveness. Perfect job to earn side and primary income. Contact Lynne for more details: 800-334-0540