LOS ANGELES (AP) — The largest sheriff’s department in the U.S. uses unsound methods to compile data about violence in Los Angeles County jails and provided inaccurate statistics about jailhouse assaults to news organizations and its oversight agency, according to a report released Wednesday.
The report by the Los Angeles County inspector general found that inaccurate statistics had also been listed in public reports and the sheriff’s department has a “confusing collection of databases and processes” to track jail incidents, which sometimes allow for duplicate entries or multiple events to be listed as one.
The inspector general, who serves as a watchdog for the sheriff’s department, launched a probe after learning sheriff’s officials had provided the Los Angeles Times different statistics about force incidents and assaults than they had provided for quarterly reports produced by the inspector general’s office.
The sheriff’s department told the newspaper in February that there had been 3,354 inmate-on-inmate assaults in 2016, but reported 3,716 assaults among inmates to the watchdog agency for the same time period.
The sheriff’s department later told the inspector general’s office that the data it had provided to both their office and the Times was inaccurate, according to the report. But sheriff’s officials could not say why or provide new data “that it could confidently report as accurate,” the report said.
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