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A review of state standards and inspections for local detention facilities

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following report:

A Review of State Standards and Inspections for Local Detention Facilities

In California, there are about 550 detention facilities—such as county jails—that are operated by local governments to detain people at various stages of the criminal justice process. Statute requires the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to set minimum standards for and inspect these facilities for compliance with the standards. We find it difficult to assess the program’s effectiveness primarily because state law does not specify the mission or goals BSCC should pursue as it implements the program. This leaves significant discretion to the administration and undermines the Legislature’s ability to assess whether the program is operating effectively and is consistent with its priorities. Accordingly, we recommend that the Legislature (1) establish in statute that the mission of the program is to promote legal, humane, and safe conditions; (2) create specific goals for the program; (3) add members to the board who have professional expertise in advocacy for and oversight of detention conditions; and (4) direct BSCC to develop a detailed plan for how to align the program with the mission and goals.

This report is available using the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4371?utm_source=laowww&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4371

This article was released by the Legislative Analyst’s Office.