LA officials approve jail measures

By the Associated Press | October 21, 2011 | 5:30 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved two new measures aimed at tackling alleged inmate abuse by sheriff's deputies in the country's largest jail system.

The measures, approved Tuesday, will see the creation of a new commission that will provide an independent review of inmate abuse complaints.

Another recommendation seeks to bar deputies from striking inmates' heads in most circumstances, as well as ban the heavy flashlights deputies carry that can be used as batons.

Sheriff Lee Baca is not compelled to act on the measure, which would also change the way inmates are interviewed after they make an allegation of abuse.

The Board of Supervisors drew some criticism, with several residents saying shortcomings were the board's fault because supervisors had been aware of alleged problems for years.