Report: Mental health care at LA jails lacking

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal report on mental health care in Los Angeles County jails says the environment is "deplorable" and enough isn't being done to prevent inmate suicides.

The Justice Department assessment released Friday says 15 inmates have killed themselves in less than 2 ½ years — and their deaths are partially due to noisy, crowded and unsanitary conditions.

The report says the Sheriff's Department — which oversees the nation's largest jail system — has made some reforms it promised in a 2002 deal with the Justice Department.

But the Justice Department says some practices continue to violate the rights of the mentally ill and it will seek a court-enforced agreement to address those problems.

The Sheriff's Department says the report fails to fully recognize its efforts to improve mental health services.

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