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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Mental Health “remain committed to protecting the constitutional rights of all inmates housed in the Los Angeles County Jail system by providing high quality mental health care,” according to a press release issued last week.
In August of 1996, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) toured the jails pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, and in 1997 identified 44 recommendations to improve the mental health services of LASD. Since that time, the dept. has ” worked collaboratively with the DOJ and its experts to implement their recommendations, have responded to their numerous written compliance reports, and made significant improvements.”
“Every suicide and attempted suicide is of great concern to us. Both agencies are and have been fully committed to prevention efforts. We are disappointed that today’s report fails to fully recognize the additional progress made over the last year and a half to improve mental health services. The report also mischaracterizes and significantly understates the incredible efforts made to improve our suicide prevention practices,” the release states.
“The Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Mental Health have worked for years to implement reforms recommended by and in concert with the DOJ. While we are concerned about the overall tenor and accuracy of last week’s report, we remain committed to work with the DOJ to address its concerns and improve services to all inmates under our care”