The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to weigh a plan next week to “phase out” the use of pepper spray in its juvenile detention facilities, following recent scrutiny about its excessive use.
The board will consider a motion asking the county’s Probation Department, which handles the supervision and detention of more than 7,000 juveniles involved with the county criminal justice system, to develop a plan to stop using oleoresin capsicum, commonly known as pepper spray.
The supervisors received a report this week from the county’s Office of Inspector General about inappropriate and avoidable use of the substance to subdue detainees in the county’s juvenile halls and camps.
The review came after the board became alarmed by reports of skyrocketing use of the spray, which can incapacitate people by causing irritation to their eyes and skin. Incidents in which detention officers deployed the spray increased by 150% from 2015 to 2017, for example, data released by the department shows.
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