Media Release: Civilian oversight panel creates a committee to review the Inmate Welfare Fund

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Media Release

September 17, 2019

Civilian oversight panel creates a committee to review the Inmate Welfare Fund

Los Angeles – The Civilian Oversight Commission for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department hosted its monthly Commission meeting today. Several topics were covered including:

  • RAND Corporation's deputy subgroups study
  • AB 392 compliance
  • Inmate Welfare Fund

Deputy subgroups

Associate Policy Researcher Samuel Peterson, PhD, outlined the goals, research activities and project plan for RAND Corporation's study on Deputy Subgroups in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. He advised that RAND is working to develop a comprehensive understanding of subgroups, as well as the broader social and organizational climate and culture of the organization. RAND research activities are divided into the following categories:

  • Semi-structured interviews and a survey of Sheriff's Department personnel
  • Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with community members
  • Document, policy and literature review

Peterson stressed that confidentially is critical and stated that RAND will summarize findings and develop recommendations. To view the Deputy Sugroups presentation, click here. For questions about the study, please email RAND directly at

Inspector General Max Huntsman clarified that RAND is conducting a study, which is completely separate from the investigation that the Inspector General plans to conduct at the request of the Commission.


AB 392 compliance

Civilian Oversight Commission paralegal Erick Montalban provided a brief update on AB 392, which revises the standard for the use of deadly force by police officers.

L.A. County Acting Assistant Sheriff Steve Gross advised that an email was sent notifying all employees of the new law which will take effect on January 1, 2020. He also stated the Department is reviewing the current policy to ensure that it is in alignment with the new law.


Inmate Welfare Fund

Noemi Zamacona, Monitor for L.A. County Office of Inspector General, described how the Inmate Welfare Fund is generated through commissary and telephone contracts and revenue is allocated to programming and jail maintenance. She also compared the current California Penal Code Section 4025 to Senate Bill 555 and provided several recommendations. To view the Inmate Welfare Fund presentation, click here.

"Budgets drive inhumane behavior," stated Inspector General Max Huntsman. "And so we, the County, have to step up and change this and work with the Sheriff's Department to make these things, which are good expenditures, budget items; and then there should be zero dollars in the Inmate Welfare Fund."

Chair Patti Giggans created an Ad Hoc on the the Inmate Welfare Fund, and Comimssioners Casimiro Tolentino and Hernán Vera will serve on this committee.


Commission Updates

Executive Director Brian K. Williams highlighted that registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Community Policing Conference that will be held on Saturday, November 16. He also expressed his appreciation for the Sheriff's Department releasing the names of officers involved in the fatal use of force of Ryan Twyman to the Commission and for the Sheriff agreeing the information could be released to the family.

Inspector General Max Huntsman discussed the troubling hiring practices at the Sheriff's Department in detail. And, in addressing the Sheriff's Department's criminal investigation the Office of the Inspector General, Huntsman stated, "It is improper for the LASD to investigate the OIG," and described that if the Inspector General's Office needs to be investigated, it should be conducted by any agency that has jurisdiction and no conflict.

Acting Assistant Sheriff Steve Gross explained the process of investigations when asked about ongoing investigations regarding Ed Buck and the deputy-involved shootings of Ryan Twyman and Anthony Vargas. He also commented on the status of the truth and reconciliation panel and the Sheriff's preference that the District Attorney keep and determine who is on the Brady's List.



To view the live stream of the full meeting, please click here.

Media Contact:

Jennifer Osborn, Community Information Officer
Office: (213) 253-5678
Cell: (213) 952-9036


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