The Los Angeles County jails are filled with people struggling with homelessness, poverty, mental illness and addiction. The justice system is ill-equipped to respond to these human conditions, resulting in far too many people cycling in and out of jail, with no benefit to public safety—instead of getting the support they need to lead healthy and productive lives.
Guided by the “Care First, Jail Last” vision, the Jail Closure Implementation Team’s (JCIT) mission is to safely and methodically depopulate and eventually close Men’s Central Jail by expanding the continuum of care for individuals being diverted or released from jail, while ensuring public health and safety. This work relies on close collaboration with County departments, other Board initiatives like Alternatives to Incarceration and vested community stakeholders.
Our Progress to Date
On June 22, 2021, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion to create the Jail Closure Implementation Team to distill the various recommendations from the inventory of studies and reports concerning the closure of Men’s Central Jail and to develop actions, goals and associated timelines to safely and methodically depopulate and close the jail.
In September and October of 2021, a small and nimble County team was formed to staff JCIT, comprised of County staff who have worked extensively in the areas of law, justice reform, mental health, health services, homeless services and child welfare.
Overcrowding at the Inmate Reception Center
With the sunset of the statewide emergency bail schedule imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, jail bookings have increased, leading to concerns about overcrowding and long wait times for processing at the Inmate Reception Center in downtown Los Angeles.
On June 28, 2022, the Board of Supervisors directed the JCIT and Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative to collaborate with the Sheriff’s Department, Correctional Health and other pertinent departments to develop a proposal for using AB109 funding to address the overcrowding.
On August 3, 2022, the JCIT offered a preliminary set of strategies for mitigating overcrowding, including hiring registry positions to fill clinical vacancies; making physical modifications to staging space in Twin Towers; adding clinical space for medical and mental health screenings and evaluations; and conducting legal analysis regarding targeted pre-trial releases of individuals awaiting trial on non-violent felony and misdemeanor charges.
The initial report is linked below. Progress on this front will be discussed in future JCIT quarterly reports to the Board.
JCIT Progress Reports
Gender Responsive Advisory Committee
Recommendations of the Gender Responsive Advisory Committee—which also includes two spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, questioning and transgender, gender non-conforming and/or intersex individuals as part of its target population—also inform JCIT’s work.
On October 19, 2021, the Board directed JCIT to prioritize recommendations by the GRAC to:
— Expand the community-based system of care for cisgender women and 2S-LGBQ+TGI individuals housed at Century Regional Detention Facility and the K6-G units at Twin Towers Correctional Facility;
— Contract for an updated population study of both groups; and
— Promote gender-responsive, trauma-informed services and programming in the jails.
More information on GRAC’s work can be found here: