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Hundreds Protest LA County Jail Expansion Plan

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Hundreds of protesters rallied Tuesday against a proposal to expand the Los Angeles County jail system. They say the nearly $1.5 billion on the table could be used to help prevent crime instead.

“If we provide the proper services for people, we need to prevent people from going into cages rather than building more cages” said protester Mary Sutton.

Susan Burton was among the demonstrators outside the Board of Supervisors meeting where the proposal was being considered.

“Do not build a new prison,” said Burton. “Because what I know is if you build them you’ll fill them, and you’ll overfill them.”

LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina also voiced concerns regarding the proposal inside the meeting.

“I’ve had a problem with the building of a new jail because I don’t think we have received a comprehensive report about the management failings in LA County,” said Molina.

LA County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Steve Whitmore said he understands Molina’s concerns.

“This is a very difficult budget time for everybody,” said Whitmore. “And so to be steward of the finances, they’re asking questions; we will certainly answer them.”

The expansion plan introduced several years ago by Sheriff Lee Baca includes tearing down the Men’s Central Jail and adding three new towers, as well as building a new women’s facility at Pitchess Detention Center.

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