Of the state's five largest systems, it alone fails to automatically segregate such inmates.
Orange County jails are the only ones among the state's five largest jail systems that do not automatically provide protective custody to inmates accused of sex crimes involving children, leaving them vulnerable to attacks like the one last month in which a prisoner was beaten to death.
A second inmate, awaiting trial on charges of child molestation, was severely beaten in June and has just recently been released -- brain-damaged, according to his family -- after five months in a hospital.
The Sheriff's Department's decision to pull back protection for child molestation and child pornography possession suspects -- perhaps those most despised by other prisoners -- occurred sometime in the last three years, according to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the situation.
The two recent incidents have brought attention to the change of policy. Because of the change, inmates at Theo Lacy Jail in Orange were able to fatally beat John Chamberlain, accused of possessing child pornography, on Oct. 5. At the Central Men's Jail in Santa Ana, another group of inmates severely pummeled suspected child molester Fernando Ramirez in June.
"I'm not surprised," said San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey, whose jails segregate those accused of sex crimes involving children. "They are vulnerable, so we treat them as potential targets. "I can imagine how a different policy would create problems."
The Orange County policy calls for such inmates to be placed in protective custody if jailers learn the prisoner is in danger, according to sheriff's spokesman Ryan Burris.
Top officials in the Sheriff's Department refused to comment on whether a policy change had occurred or to provide other details about it. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.
Attacks in jails on suspected child molesters have been a problem elsewhere. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in 1998 investigated allegations that deputies encouraged inmates to beat 13 accused sex offenders while in custody.
The families of Chamberlain and Ramirez say their cases show that Orange County sheriff's officials may have missed warnings that their relatives were in danger.
Hours before Chamberlain was killed, his public defender, Case Barnett, called jail officials to warn them that his client felt his life was in danger and to urge them to place him in protective custody. He was not moved. ..Source.. by Garrett Therolf, Times Staff Writer
California rewards child molester (This is not a reward)
This article is being posted to show the venom that has been generated by the decision to award 4.3 million to someone who was beaten to the point of being -brain dead- in a jail system, whose policy appears to be to allow other inmates to pummel and murder folks who are held on sex crimes. This article and others have failed to review the facts of what occurred in 2006, including the beating death of John Chamberlain in a jail system that refused to protect them while incarcerated. Back in 2006 it was proven this jail system was at fault and some of the guards were untruthful with the grand jury when questioned. If anything, this award is not sufficient to cover what this man went through. Given he was in this country illegally does not give the U.S. the right to beat him, deport him yes, but not what he went through. Every RSO and their families should be outraged by how this man suffered.9-18-2010 California:
California is so broke it is being compared to Greece. But the Orange County Board of Supervisors gave away 4.3 million dollars to an illegal Mexican alien who is also a child molester. Why did the supervisors do it? Answer: “The lawyer made me do it!”
The first chapter in this distasteful story begins with Fernando Ramirez, a 24-year-old illegal alien, being caught molesting a 6-year-old girl in a park. He was duly convicted and sent to the Orange County Central Jail. The second chapter is predictable.
Inmates in prison for murder, bank robbery, mugging old ladies, and other assorted thuggery agree on at least one thing: They hate child molesters. So when Mr. Ramirez was finally incarcerated, his life insurance company should have been quick to cancel his policy. That the California court allowed Fernando to plead guilty to “battery against a child,” instead of putting him on trial for child molestation, did not impress his fellow inmates. They beat him to within the proverbial inch of his life.
In the third chapter a California lawyer takes over. Attorney Mark Eisenberg is not an ambulance chaser. Let’s face it, that’s a tacky vocation that is not really cost-effective. Instead, lawyer Eisenberg seems to have discovered that being a noble defender of downtrodden child molesters is just the ticket. By some means, Mr. Eisenberg was mysteriously advised about Fernando being roughly used by the other gents in the Orange County lockup. If he did have an informant somewhere in the county system, no doubt Eisenberg would have simply thanked him, and assured him that his reward could only be in heaven. Then Eisenberg swung into righteous action.
Bringing a case before the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the kindly attorney claimed that Ramirez had suffered brain damage because of the beating, that he needs help walking, and that he now has the intellect of a four-year-old child. Luckily, that age was two years less than the six-year-old child he had molested, so the supervisors must have been very saddened by his alleged condition.
In the fourth chapter, the supervisors take stock of the dire financial straits of Orange County. They then conclude that county taxpayers can still find it in their hearts to hand the child molester and his lawyer the largest settlement ever given to anyone in county custody: $3.75 million, plus $900,000 for medical expenses. With a wave of their wands, Orange County Supervisors made Fernando one of the richest non-citizens in the country!
You might ask questions about that award, but you will get no answers. The case was heard behind closed doors, and the supervisors have absolutely and wisely refused to make any comment on the matter since Joshua Jamison broke the story on The Raw Deal blog. It was later picked up by The American Thinker.
We should remember that lawyers who do not chase ambulances, like Mark Eisenberg, do their work for free. Just like we see advertized on television. What we do not see on television is that lawyers like Eisenberg work on a “contingency fee” basis. That means that if they take your case (and they will not take it unless they reckon they will win), they will take a share of the winnings — usually at least 30 percent. In this case, that means Eisenberg took home over $1 million of Orange County taxpayer money. Not bad for a quick closed-door decision by the supervisors.
The final question is: Did the Board of Supervisors also let millionaire Fernando out of the hoosegow? They must have. It is the only way he could spend his new-found wealth and be the financial stimulus Orange County needs so badly. ..Source.. By Chet Nagle