Letters to the Editor: L.A. County jails need a better plan to end overcrowding

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CASTAIC, CA JANUARY 16, 2015 -- Secure fencing during a tour at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic on Friday, January 16, 2015. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Secure fencing at Pitchess Detention Center, part of the L.A. County jail system. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: I need to respond to The Times’ editorial and share why I opposed the jail depopulation motion.

The Board of Supervisors cannot micromanage our way out of jail overcrowding. The sheriff runs the jails, police make arrests, the district attorney determines charges and the courts set bail and sentences. Any solution to the overcrowding in our jails depends on the collaboration of all these agencies.

I opposed this motion because it was written without listening to local police departments within our county. The police chiefs I talked to want to be part of this solution, but they were left out of this proposal and thought it compromised public safety.

Sheriff Robert Luna should lead this effort moving forward. We need him to bring a plan to reduce overcrowding in our jails to the Board of Supervisors soon for the sake of those incarcerated in the jails and the people who work with them.

Janice Hahn, San Pedro

The author is chair of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and represents the county’s 4th Supervisorial District.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.