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L.A. County Jail Gets $20,000 from State for Pruno-Sniffing Dogs; Inmate Welfare Funds Tapped to Mai

L.A. County Jail Gets $20,000 from State for Pruno-Sniffing Dogs; Inmate Welfare Funds Tapped to Maintain Program

On September 30, 2005, the Los Angeles (L.A.) County Board of Supervisors approved a Sheriffs funding request for $20,000 to purchase and train two pruno sniffing puppies and to pair them with Sheriffs deputies. The Boards action accepts initial funding from the State of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for the stated purpose of deterring the illegal production and consumption of alcohol in the jails.
Citing an unacceptable level of risk to inmates ... contributing ... to violence in the jails, the Sheriff pled his case to get state funds to use dogs to find the pruno. The dogs are trained to sit down next to a find. But there is a kicker in the plan. Sheriff Leroy Baca stated in his October 18, 2005 funding request memorandum to the Board that the Department and Inmate Welfare Commission will fund all ongoing and additional costs associated with operating this program. Thus, it appears that funds collected from profits on prisoners purchases of canteen, which are designated for books, basketballs and the like, will be permanently diverted to cover the ongoing costs of tracking down pruno. This has all the earmarks of an improper utilization of Inmate Welfare funds at the County jails.

Sources: Sheriffs October 18, 2005 letter to the Board of Supervisors; Sheriffs Budget Appropriation No. A01-SH-15685- 8831. A copy of the memo is on PLNs website.

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