LANCASTER – The Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to urge the Board of Supervisors to reject the proposed women’s jail at Mira Loma, dealing another major setback to LA County’s plans to build a new women’s facility in Lancaster. Earlier this month, the Board of Supervisors postponed a decision to move forward on a construction contract for the new women’s jail citing concerns about the location and inadequate planning for the facility.
The resolution noted that Mira Loma was approximately 70 miles from Central Los Angeles, burdening families who want to visit. While acknowledging the potential loss of $100 million in state grant funding, Commission members saw the sacrifice of the funds as warranted, given the County’s current commitment to diversion, education, mental health and rehabilitative programming.
“Many members of the Commission were troubled by a location that was so far from women’s families,” said Patti Giggans, chair of the Civilian Oversight Commission. “We are also concerned that there was no plan for creating gender-responsive programming.”
“Women are being incarcerated in record numbers, and their needs are different than men’s,” Giggans continued. “We need to understand the needs of women the Sheriff’s Department has in custody and develop programming that can help them build healthy and stable lives when they are released. We question if the Mira Loma proposal is the best plan or use of money.”
The Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission provides ongoing analysis and oversight of the Department’s policies, practices and procedures and they advise the Board, the Sheriff’s Department and the public.
[Information via news release from the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission.]
Previous related stories: