LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles County has cancelled a nearly $2 billion contract to replace an aging jail after criticism that it needs better ways to deal with a growing population of the mentally ill.

County supervisors on Tuesday voted to scrap the contract to replace the Men's Central Jail in downtown Los Angeles with a mental health treatment center that critics said was simply another jail.

Authorities say the current jail is cramped, dilapidated and doesn't meet the needs of the nation's largest jail system.

Activists for years have urged the county to divert jail funding into creating community mental health treatment centers and programs.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva called Tuesday's decision irresponsible, saying it would leave dangerous inmates "without a place to stay" without providing proper treatment for those with mental issues.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.