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Pitchess transfer plan on agenda … again


Once more, with feeling!

After two postponements, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors again is expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal that would allocate $5.6 million to contract out services for 320 mentally ill inmates, and transfer those inmates from the Twin Towers jail in downtown L.A. to the Pitchess Detention Center’s North facility in Castaic.

The plan was tabled at the Sept. 20 and Oct. 4 meetings – both times at the request of parties outside the board.

First, the Castaic Area Town Council, expressing concerns over the possibility of increased danger to area residents from the influx of new inmates, asked for an adjournment so it could meet with county officials and receive assurances.

The Council got those assurances and embraced the plan.

Then the County Department of Health Services said it needed another week to cross some t’s and dot some i’s over staffing specifics.

Those bridges crossed, the matter now is on the consent calendar for Tuesday’s 1 p.m. supervisors meeting. “Consent’’ items are considered routine, and typically passed.

The contract for treatment of the mentally ill inmates would run through November 2018, and would be awarded to Liberty Healthcare.

The transfer-and-treatment plan is part of an overall improvement push for mental-health care for county inmates.

Tim Belavich, a clinical psychologist for the health department, told The Signal in September that Pitchess North would provide a more spacious setting for the prisoners, and one more conducive to treatment.


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