L.A. County Supervisors Hope Cameras Will Make Juvenile Halls Safer After Reports of Excessive Use of Pepper Spray

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A room in Central Juvenile Hall is seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

A room in Central Juvenile Hall is seen in an undated photo. (Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

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In a damning report on the excessive use of pepper spray in Los Angeles County’s juvenile detention facilities, an internal watchdog in March made numerous recommendations to improve the department’s use-of-force policies.

One key idea: adding scores of closed-circuit video cameras to keep digital eyes on the youths held there — and on the overwhelmed officers charged with guarding them.

“Department facilities lack the necessary technology infrastructure to ensure that use-of-force incidents are captured on video,” wrote investigators with the county’s Office of Inspector General. “When videos of force incidents exist, they are difficult to access and view.”

The Board of Supervisors agreed with that assessment on Tuesday, unanimously approving a $7.4-million plan to install cameras and related technology at Central Juvenile Hall, the century-old facility in Boyle Heights that houses roughly 200 youths with pending court cases.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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