The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department jail information management system went offline at Men’s Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles over the weekend, causing some in custody to be held longer than scheduled, according to a report published Monday.
The outage occurred at the jail Saturday due to a manhole fire, prompting jail staff to process inmate release materials by hand, sheriff’s Cpt. Lorena Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times. The system was not repaired until Monday.
The Men’s Central Jail holds about 4,500 inmates, though the sheriff’s department could not specify how many inmates were forced to remain in jail due to the system crash, nor for how long their incarceration was extended.
Rodriguez told The Times releases were “only delayed,” not halted outright. Several attorneys and relatives of people being held in the jail told The Times their clients or loved ones were still in custody Monday night, even if they had been ordered released Friday.
“There is absolutely no legal authority for them to hold my client, so this is an over-detention and a violation of my client’s constitutional rights,” defense attorney Alexandra Kazarian, who had a client in custody for assault who had been ordered released Friday, told The Times.
A bail agent who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity said he had at least a dozen clients who should have been released on bond Friday, but remained in custody Monday night.
Kazarian told The Times the Sheriff’s Department should expect lawsuits.
“Every single day they are over-detained, they are owed money,” she said. “I 100% expect there to be a representative of the county going through the jail saying: `Oh my God, I am so sorry you have been here. I will write you a check.”’