May 17, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LA County Votes To Increase Services For LGBTQ Jail Populations

On Tuesday, Oct. 19 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to expand mental health treatment and other supportive services for LGBTQ people, both inside and out of county jails. 

The movement’s lead author, supervisor Sheila Kühl, said this will also address concerns that a large number of women, including pregnant or elderly women, have been unnecessarily imprisoned.

“The county needs to pay close attention to the sexual orientation and gender identity of the people in custody, because without knowing who they are, they cannot effectively meet their needs. “Because,” Kühl added. The motion calls for the implementation of a series of recommendations detailed in a report issued by the county’s Gender Response Advisory Board.

There are about 1,300 inmates held daily at Century Regional Detention Facility, the county’s women’s jail in Lynwood.

A 2020 RAND Corporation analysis estimated that roughly one-third of women in county jail have mental health issues and that nearly three-quarters of those women could be safely treated outside a jail setting.

However, releasing them would require significantly ramping up the number of available inpatient and outpatient beds in the community.

Reliable data on the LGBTQ+ population in Los Angeles County jails is not currently available, but a national survey indicates that roughly one-third of women behind bars across the country identify as lesbian or bisexual. The board motion also calls for additional data gathering.

Women are the fastest growing population in U.S. prisons and jails, and an estimated 86% of women in jail nationwide have been victims of sexual violence, according to the Vera Institute of Justice.

Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who co-authored the motion, recalled voting more than 20 years ago on a state public safety bill aimed at “stopping belly chaining and shackling pregnant women who are in active labor as they are being transported from prison or jail to deliver. Just barbaric ideology, barbaric practice.”

Mitchell also pointed out the racial inequities evident in the disproportionate number of Black women jailed for crimes largely rooted in issues of substance abuse and poverty.

“Black women comprise only 9% of all the women in L.A. County, yet they make up 33% of jail bookings among women,” Mitchell said. “The racial and gender inequities in our jail system are real and must be addressed.”

The Kuehl/Mitchell motion also referenced a goal to shut down Men’s Central Jail without a replacement as central to that vision, although that particular objective is opposed by both Sheriff Alex Villanueva — who runs the jails — and Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

Both Barger and the sheriff agree that the dangerously decrepit jail must be closed, but believe a replacement is needed to house and treat inmates who cannot be safely released, particularly given the current lack of community infrastructure. 

in NEWS
Related Posts

Alcohol a Factor in Griffith Park fatal Hit and Run of Senior Gay Cyclist

May 13, 2022

May 13, 2022

77-year-old Andrew Jelmert killed in April 23 hit and run training for AIDS/Lifecycle By Susan Payne The Los Angeles Police...

Kaiser Permanente Hospitals Receive LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader Designation

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals recognized by Humans Rights Campaign  By Susan Payne This year, Kaiser Permanente’s 15 hospitals in southern...

‘Match the Stars’ During MisMatch Game Performance Benefitting the LGBT Center

May 12, 2022

May 12, 2022

By Susan Payne An unstoppable comedy phenomenon is set to reach a $200,000 goal in money raised for the Los...

Confidential Settlement Made With Many LGBTQ Students at USC Over Alleged Doctor Misconduct

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

More than 80 former patients accuse Dr. Dennis Kel of sexual battery, harassment and inappropriate remarks By Susan Payne In...

Audio Meets Reality in ‘Being Trans’ Podcast Series Showcasing the Lives of Four Transgender Individuals of the LA Area

May 5, 2022

May 5, 2022

Through narrative-style storytelling, BEING Studios gives listeners an intimate, first-person access into the worlds of people they may not otherwise...

Orange County Man Faces Federal Charge on Suspicion of Making Anti-LGBT Threats Against Merriam-Webster

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Jeremy Hanson of Rossmore charged in connection to October threats  By Susan Payne  An Orange County man faces a federal...

Palm Springs Approves Universal Income Pilot Program for Transgender, Nonbinary Residents

April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

Payments to start in 2023 By Susan Payne A guaranteed income pilot program that would provide transgender and nonbinary residents...

Nobel Laureate and Education Activist Malala Yousafzai to Speak in Beverly Hills

April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

May 15, 2022 at Saban Theatre Malala Yousafzai, the youngest-ever Nobel recipient and activist for education and equality is coming...

Compton Man Arrested for Allegedly Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men He Met on Grindr

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne Authorities have announced the arrest of a Compton man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20...

Mars Wright, ProjectQ Mural in Hollywood Illuminates “Trans Joy”

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

By Susan Payne A two-building mural in East Hollywood commissioned by nonprofit ProjectQ represents Trans joy designed and painted by...

L.A. County Business to Florida, Texas Banned Amid LGBTQ Policies

April 24, 2022

April 24, 2022

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors has voted to ban all county travel to Florida and Texas due to policies...

Superior Court Rules Diverse Company Board Laws Unconstitutional

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

On the first of April, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled the law which requires California-based or headquartered...

Models of Pride Festival Returns in Person, Online

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Mayhem Miller glanced at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Models of Pride Festival crowd, ready to...

Anti-LGBTQ+ Attack in Pasadena Sparks Active Hate Crime Investigation

April 8, 2022

April 8, 2022

By Susan Payne The Pasadena Police Department needs public assistance in finding the individuals responsible for attacking three Ixtapa Cantina...