The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) awarded LA County Sheriff Lee Baca "Sheriff of the Year."
What does it take to win Sheriff of the Year?
1,480 wrongful incarcerations? The LA Times reported that "hundreds of people have been wrongly imprisoned inside the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department jails in recent years, with some spending weeks behind bars before authorities realized those arrested were mistaken for wanted criminals."
Widespread prison rape? Just Detention International reported that "Two years ago, it came to light that gangs of deputies were brutalizing jail inmates, using sexual assault and excessive force to instill a climate of terror. Sheriff Baca has repeatedly sought to duck responsibility for the crisis. Yet the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence placed the blame squarely on his shoulders, citing a 'failure of leadership.'"
Pervasive abuse of jail inmates? An ACLU report quotes Thomas Parker, a former FBI agent as saying "Of all the jails I have had the occasion to visit, tour, or conduct investigations within, domestically and internationally, I have never experienced any facility exhibiting the volume and repetitive patterns of violence, misfeasance, and malfeasance impacting the Los Angeles County Jail system..."
Why did he win? Your guess is as good as mine!
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects