Watchdog Says L.A. Sheriff’s Department Collects Flawed Data, Reports Inaccurate Statistics

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The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department uses flawed methods to collect data about violence in county jails that result in unreliable and in some cases inaccurate statistics published internally and in public reports, according to the agency’s principal watchdog.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell (Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Inspector General Max Huntsman said his 17-page report, released Tuesday, calls into question whether the department “is in control of itself” as it continues to implement reforms a few years after an abuse scandal rocked the nation’s largest jail system.

“They themselves said that they didn’t believe their own data,” Huntsman said. “If they can’t assess themselves, and if they can’t tell us what’s going on in their own department, then we can’t assess them.”

Huntsman said his review was prompted by questions earlier this year from the Los Angeles Times about why the department was reporting inconsistent numbers of inmate-on-inmate assaults.

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