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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Rights violations exposed in LA prison sting

Al JazeeraThe FBI's arrest of 18 current and former Los Angeles prison staff in a sting operation earlier this month casts light on alleged "brutality" and civil rights violations in some parts of the US judicial system, analysts have said.

Cases brought against the troubled LA Sheriff's department include allegations of assaults on inmates and visitors, writing false reports to cover up assaults, conspiracy to obstruct justice and lying to federal agents.

"We uncovered examples of civil rights violations that included excessive force and unlawful arrests," according to a press release from the US Attorney of Central District California.

Beginning in 2011, statewide hunger strikes drew international attention to alleged civil rights abuses in the California state prison system. This recent scandal, some analysts say, has brought California's system of incarceration into focus once again, this time at the county level.

"Advocacy organisations and individuals in LA County have been raising the alarm against and fighting against brutality and institutionalised racism in the jails for decades. None of this is new," Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prison, Surplus, Crisis and Opposition in Globalising California, told Al Jazeera.

The two-year FBI jailhouse probe came in response to allegations of civil rights abuses and corruption by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD), which oversees a jail system with more than 18,000 inmates. continue reading...

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