LOS ANGELES (CBS) — An investigation by the Los Angeles Times reveals that, in recent years, cases of mistaken identity and other errors have resulted in hundreds of people being wrongly detained in L.A. County jails.

The findings by the Times reveal that it’s not uncommon for mistaken identity errors to occur, leading to wrongful incarcerations. This has reportedly happened at least 1,480 times within the past five years, with some mix-ups taking days or weeks to clear up.

The Times reports that some of the mistakes are due to identity theft or many sharing the same names as criminals.

Other errors were the result of authorities utilizing incomplete records, according to the newspaper.

Officials with the sheriff’s department state that the number of mistaken identity cases is small as compared to with county’s volume of inmates and that it’s the department’s policy to investigate whenever an inmate claims to be innocent, the Associated Press reported.

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

Comments (3)
  1. Dustin Whiteman says:

    Downright scary stuff when you think about it dude. Whats up with that?

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