L.A. County Supervisors Take Steps to Prevent Drug Overdoses in Jails

In an effort to mitigate inmate deaths due to drug overdoses, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger and co-authored by Supervisor Janice Hahn that calls for more proactive prevention strategies, including drug detection efforts, after seeing a rise in narcotics use.

“Our role as County leaders is to look out for the safety and well-being of all our County residents, and that includes individuals in our jails,” said Supervisor Barger. “It is unacceptable to ignore the loss of life in what should be a highly regulated and secure environment. We need to have the necessary resources and tools to keep drugs out of our jails.”

“The rise of overdoses in our jail system is alarming,” Supervisor Hahn stated. “The quick administration of NARCAN has saved lives, but we need to develop new strategies to prevent these deadly narcotics from ending up in our jails.”

The motion approved by the Board of Supervisors references a 2021 study by the Department of Justice that found drug related deaths in jails have risen by 623% nationally. County executives and the Sheriff’s Department have 60 days to present the Board with recommendations to prevent the presence of drugs in jails.