In and Out of Prison
It began with the Department of Justice report that threatened to put state prison systems in the hands of the federal government. Then a New York task force revealed a severe crisis in the state's juvenile prisons, with rampant abuse and little counseling for the mentally ill.
Now the Los Angeles Times has uncovered widespread unpunished abuse at the local level--even for Los Angeles County youth offenders not currently behind bars:
Department investigations have concluded that the employees committed misconduct and should face discipline ranging from written reprimands to terminations, Remington said. Of the 170 employees, most are sworn officers and about half the cases involved allegations of abuse of juvenile probationers. Most of the employees remain on the job, and it was unclear if they ultimately would be punished.
The disclosures come after a Times story revealed that juvenile probation officers in recent years have been convicted of crimes or disciplined for inappropriate conduct involving current or former probationers, including several cases of officers molesting or beating youths in their care.
Cal Remington, interim chief of the Los Angeles County Probation Department, blames the lack of staff to review complaints with only 14 investigators for 4,400 sworn officers.