Black people represent 43.7% of the county jail population designated with a serious mental health disability.
63% of L.A. County’s jail population would be better served by a community based alternative and without charges or convictions that would block judges or prosecutors from making that happen.
Research shows that people with mental health conditions inevitably get worse in jails. The chances of developing a mental health condition for people with no previous history of mental health issues doubles once they are incarcerated.
Research shows that jail and prison conditions exacerbate drug and alcohol addictions. Both law enforcement investigations and testimony from people who have been locked up in the jails attest to the fact that drugs and homemade alcohol are plentiful inside.
Several epidemics that had been eradicated from L.A. County, or dramatically reduced, have re-emerged in the jail system including; Hepatitis C, Valley Fever, new HIV infections, tuberculosis and staph infections. When people come home they are bringing these infections with them and they spread to Los Angeles communities.
Despite Sheriff Jim McDonnell’s claims that there have been significant improvements in suicide prevention in the jails, rates of self harm have quadrupled over the last five years in the jails.