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Sheriff Proposes Octagonal Panopticon Jail Plan For Downtown

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The last plan to overhaul the Men's Central Jail in Downtown (with three towers) died in the water, and now Sheriff Lee Baca is back with a new scheme. It is, basically, a multi-panopticon: "It is envisioned to house up to 3,500 high-security and medical inmates in two towers .... The replacement facility would have 'pods' shaped like an octagon with jail cells on each side and guards positioned in the center; as well as video visitation capability," reports the Daily News. The new jail would be built on the site of the 1963/1976 jail on Bauchet Street, in the wilds north of Union Station. Baca's asking the Board of Supes tomorrow to look into the new plan and "to hire a contractor to prepare a conceptual design and environmental impact review." The hope is to get an architecture and engineering contract by fall 2014 and a new jail sometime in 2019 or 2020; Baca and County CEO Bill Fujioka propose funding most of the $932.8 million plan through long-term bonds. LA's jails, if you haven't heard, are civil liberties nightmares, full of prisoner abuse, overcrowding, and really lax oversight.
· Sheriff Lee Baca proposes almost $1 billion new jail to replace downtown facility [LADN]
· Does LA County Need a Rebuilt Men's Central Jail Downtown? [Curbed LA]