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But I did recruit the deputy

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So when the fights first broke out at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic last week, people tried to explain why. Some say that dorm-style jails are at fault. Some blame racial tensions. At one point, a clergy tour of the facility set off a new series of disturbances.

Head Sheriff Lee Baca's immediate response was to say that his department doesn't have enough staff; there aren't enough sheriff's deputies. The numbers seem to bear this out: LA County has fewer than 3,000 deputies for 21,000 daily inmates; NY has 9,300 for a third fewer (14,000). That works out to 1 LA sheriff for every 7 inmates; NY has 1 to every 1.5. Woah.

Jody Kent of the ACLU's Jails Project explained in an LA Times opinion piece that the department had money for hiring, but "The sheriff has been unable to recruit new staff for jobs that have little to offer besides long hours and grueling conditions." Some deputies agree.

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But people who hear "quelling a jail riot" and think "that's for me!" don't have to listen to them; starting salaries for LA County Deputies range from about $44,000 - $49,000 a year. The LA County Sheriff's Department is now hiring, making it insanely easy for wanna-be deputies in LA by offering the test 6 days a week in Monterey Park; 4 of those days you can just walk in. The billboard in the photo went up very recently in Silverlake (but maybe that's just a coincidence).