Jail Surveillance, 1st Ld
Date: 04-15-2008 3:09 PM - Word Count: 406

Jail Surveillance, 1st Ld
   Eds: ADDS further details.
   By CATHY FRANKLIN
   City News Service
   SANTA ANA (CNS) - Guards and inmates could be in imminent danger of
attack by other inmates due to recent reports highlighting inadequate
electronic surveillance at the Theo Lacy jail, authorities said today, which
prompted the Orange County Board of Supervisors to declare an emergency there.
   The action allows county authorities to install cameras and otherwise
improve surveillance at the jail  in Orange without going through the usual --
and lengthy -- contract bidding process.
   Cost for the new equipment was put at $370,000.
   On April 7, officials released transcripts of a grand jury probe into
the Oct. 5, 2006, beating death of an inmate at the hands of other prisoners.
The findings indicated that the attack took place in areas out of range of
existing surveillance at the facility.
   Investigators also found instances of sheriff's deputies in the jail
shirking their duties. One guard allegedly was watching television and text-
messaging while the beating victim -- computer technician John Chamberlain, 41,
of Mission Viejo -- was beaten and stomped to death.
   Supervisor John Moorlach said he was surprised to learn that on the day
after the grand jury report was released, two jailers were observed watching a
movie while on duty.
   He said he was comfortable declaring an emergency situation because the
grand jury presented findings that are ``beyond speculation.''
   ``This is now a matter of fact,'' Moorlach said. ``I think we have a
management tool here that certainly needs to be expedited because even after
the release of the transcripts on Monday we had two deputies or three watching
another DVD movie on Tuesday.''
   Spotty surveillance in the jail ``puts our deputies at risk and other
prisoners at risk,''  said Supervisor Bill Campbell. ``When you walk through
the jails there are cameras all over the place. The fact that some of them
aren't working ... that was unknown until the release of that document.''
   Robert Beaver, director of research and development at the Sheriff's
Department, said ``the blinds spots'' in some of the barrack locations at Theo
Lacy jail pose an imminent danger to inmates.
   Sheriff's spokesman Damon Micalizzi said surveillance within the guard
stations at Theo Lacy will be a first.
   In response to deputies watching a DVD the day after the transcripts
were released, jail supervisors now ``are extra vigilant, to say the least,''
Micalizzi said.

CNS-04-15-2008 15:09