UPDATED: Antonovich Questions Prison Release Of Violent Inmate
In his position as County Mayor, Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich was encouraged today by his fellow Board members to write a letter to the Governor asking him to take appropriate action and stop the transfer of a perceived dangerous prisoner who is headed for Olive View-UCLA on Friday.
The text of the letter can be found below.
According to Antonovich's spokesman, Tony Bell, the Board approved authorizing County Counsel and the CEO to move forward with legal remedies and identifying an author for state legislation to prevent the release of potentially dangerous prisoners.
Olive View’s psychiatric unit is not staffed or designed to manage violent criminals and the clinical managers have expressed concern for patient and staff safety. Under the state’s AB 109 realignment plan, only low-level prisoners subject to parole and not deemed to be a mentally disordered offender can be assigned to County supervision.
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The inmate in question has a variety of dangerous prior offenses in his history. including violent felonies, assault on a peace officer, robbery, prisoner in possession of a weapon, arson, arrests for rape, in concert with force and violence, assault to commit rape, indecent exposure and sexual battery.
Bell said that the Supervisors' goal is to get stricter control on the type and classification of inmates released into County custody or parole/probation supervision.
Antonovich's letter to Governor Brown:
Dear Governor Brown,
This it to express my grave concerns over Public Safety Realighment's (AM 109) impact on public safety and potential liability for the county which is shared by the full Board of Supervisors.
Contrary to what you committeed to the Board of Supervisors, a violent and serious offender is being proposed for county supervision under AB 109. On October 20, the county's Mental Health Department learned about the release of a violent state prisoner with a history of mental illness to the county on November 18. The state's plan was to release this prisoner directly to the county's Olive View-UCLA Medical Center which posed significant safety concerns for both staff and the patients. The offender in question has the following criminal history:
- Arrests for rape, in concert with force and violence
- Prison in possession of a weapon
- Assault on a peace officer
- Assault to commit rape
- Sexual battery
- Indecent exposure
I urge you to immediately revisit AM 109, review the release policies utilized by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and establish a process by which the county staff can quickly and effectively resolve emerging issues, such as the one described above, without getting the bureaucratic run-around at each of the 33 prisons. The Board authorized the county staff to use all options, including the legal system as well as legislative chage, to ensure that your personal committment to the Board members, which was that the county would only supervise low-level offenders and our ability to protect public safety are not compromised.
Michael D. Antonovich
Mayor, Los Angeles County