LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County is hoping to spend at least a hefty $100 million alone on resolving the ongoing issues in the county involving health care and mainly prisons. In particular, with regards to the prison spending aspect, the county wishes to significantly decrease the ongoing issue of overcrowding within the local prisons, and improve its facilitation and care for mentally ill or unstable inmates.
Although the election of new supervisors and sheriff’s within the county has completely gone through, the new officials have expressed a desire to go along with the budget proposals given by their predecessors. The desired budget would in theory delegate $75 million to the necessary prison reforms. In particular, almost $37 million of the allocated budget would go into the violence issues involved with the prisons in the county. This budget will include further and the proper staffing of officials and guards, as well as the successful implementation of more security cameras. According to Sachi Hamai, the current chief executive involved with the budget committee, the county has spent $22 million of that budget so far and plans to spend the rest of it by mid-summer. About $45 million of the budget will also go into the mental health issues that these inmates in the prison systems have been experiencing. In particular, the majority of this $45 million will go into facilitating some sort of measure that will help reduce the prisoner suicide rate, especially in the mental wards of these prisons.
An additional $10 million will also be allocated in order to fully provide these mentally ill inmates with a worthy diversion program in order to spurn these potential inmates from committing these crimes again. In terms of the actual budget and its estimation on the growth of staff in the county, the budget committee has stated that they estimate about 350 extra jobs for the community. The budget committee has also expressed an interest in potentially raising the minimum wage rate for the county workers and contractors for the prisons additions. The budget is also prone to increase in the coming months, especially if the county decides to allocate additional funding for the job market of the county, as they have expressed an interest in adding more than just 350 additional jobs for county employees.