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Federal judge orders expert panel set up to reform Los Angeles jails

[JURIST] A federal judge has ordered the Los Angeles County jail system [official website] to create an expert panel to oversee reform at Los Angeles County Men's Central Jail [official website], one of seven LA country jails that was marred by racially-motivated riots [JURIST report] by inmates earlier this year. US District Judge Dean Pregerson toured Men's Central in May, prompting his order, released Monday, that a comprehensive reform plan be created and implemented within two months. Pregerson called conditions at the jail inconsistent with "basic human values." The expert panel will include representatives from the ACLU of California [advocacy website], the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department [official website], the Los Angeles County administrative office and a criminal justice planning firm. Recognizing issues of overcrowding and lack of exercise that the ACLU has repeatedly denounced, ACLU of Southern California jails project coordinator Jody Kent noted that the conditions likely contributed to the violent riots in February.

After several riots [JURIST report] in various jail facilities left two inmates dead and many others injured in February, county officials began transferring inmates to the state corrections system [JURIST report] and placed all seven jails on lockdown. The Los Angeles County jail system also segregated inmates to keep prisoners from acting on gang rivalries [JURIST report]. AP has more. The Los Angeles Times has local coverage.

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