Baca To Create New Task Force To Minimize Mistaken Lockups

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — In remarks published Wednesday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said he plans to create a task force to minimize the wrongful incarceration in county jails of those whose identity has been mistaken.

The move comes in the wake of a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times which revealed the wrongful incarceration of at least 1,480 people within the past five years, with some spending days to weeks in jail before the mistake was sorted out.

The newspaper found that of those mistakenly held inside county lockups, many had the same names as suspects or had their identities stolen.

“It’s a horrible reality of what is basically the imperfect nature of the criminal justice system,” Baca told The Times in an interview.

“No one who is an innocent person should ever be tied in with the criminal justice system… There’s a difference between saying ‘I plead not guilty.’ It’s another thing to say to anybody, ‘I’m not that person,'” he added.

Because there are multiple jurisdictions involved, Baca says his task force will present its recommendations to other local police agencies with the hope that they too will adopt the reforms.

» Report: Hundreds Wrongly Imprisoned In LA County

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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