The Los Angeles County Probation Reform and Implementation Team (PRIT) released its proposal outlining the powers and structure for the civilian Probation Oversight Commission (POC) on Thursday.
The end goal of providing the powers and structure of the commission recommended for the commission is to increase accountability and transparency of the county’s probation department, according to PRIT officials.
Once established, the POC is expected to serve as an advisor to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, and to monitor the Department’s systemic reform progress on the Board’s behalf.
The 30-page report provides a number of recommendations on the authority and structure of the POC, including subpoena power, the authority to investigate complaints, and creating a community engagement substructure to be staffed by former probationers, according to the report.
In total, the report provides ten recommendations which PRIT officials state are intended to create an “authentic and robust oversight body.”
PRIT was originally established on May 1, 2018, by the LA County Board of Supervisors as part of an ongoing effort to reform the county’s probation department, according to the report.
The temporary body consists of nine people, five appointees from each LA County Supervisorial District, a representative from the Probation Department, a representative from the Office of County Counsel, a representative from the Chief Executive Office and a Consultant Chair who coordinates and facilitates the work of the team.
The team was charged with transforming the existing Probation Commission into the Probation Oversight Committee.
The need for such a transformation was summarized early in the report.
“The PRIT process has revealed profound challenges that a future POC and reform process must address: sharp public mistrust of the department, a failure in stewardship of public funds, and dysfunctional relationships between the unions, management and the populations they are paid to serve, to name a few,” the report reads.
The report further detailed some of the events that have mired the department in controversy.
“It suffers from a dysfunctional culture resulting in repeated litigation, including convictions and settlements for allegations of criminal behavior ranging from sexual assaults of youth by staff while in custody, 11 physical beatings, 12 and the misuse of Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray in detention facilities,” the report reads.
PRIT members utilized existing probation reform recommendations, as well as recommendations and testimony from a number of officials and members of the public in a series of more than ten public meetings, to arrive at their own final recommendations.
The report is available in its entirety, here.
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No probation. Send criminals to Saudi Arabia for relaxation. One Billion should cover safe passage to this law-abiding country.