The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday decided to create a plan to close the Men's Central Jail near downtown L.A. within a year.
Board chair Kathryn Barger stressed her support for diversion and replacement rather than closing the jail, but backed the motion to receive a report on shutting it down. The motion was introduced by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl.
The proposal drew considerable pushback before it was voted on, KABC reports.
"(These) are dangerous, dangerous offenders that will be released back into our communities. It's unacceptable," said Patricia Wenskunas, founder of Crime Survivors, an organization that represents crime victims and their families. Sheriff Alex Villaneuva has also expressed disapproval with the plan.
Solis said the move is a step forward for efforts to reshape the county's approach to community health and public safety. She added it would fast-track plans for permanent supportive housing units at "Restorative Care Villages situated on County health campuses."
"L.A. County is prioritizing our 'care first, jails last' approach to criminal justice to demonstrate our commitment to racial and economic justice," she said in a written statement. "Closing Men's Central Jail will restore dignity to our communities. People are not made whole locked up in a decrepit cell."