Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Feds End Investigation Into OC Jails After Beating Death Of Inmate

5dfbf88dc92b3500089d5348-eight.jpg
An Orange County Sheriff's deputy keeps a watch at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/AP)
Our reporting is free for everyone, but it’s not free to make.
LAist only exists with reader support. If you're in a position to give, your donation powers our reporters and keeps us independent.

Itxy Quintanilla, Brianna Flores and Jessica Ogilvie contributed to this report

An 11-year federal investigation into the Orange County jail system, sparked by the beating death of an inmate, has ended.

In 2006, 41-year-old John Chamberlain was fatally attacked by five fellow inmates as a Sheriff's deputy allegedly sat 68 feet away, watching a reality show.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the incident.

Support for LAist comes from

The Department of Justice recently sent a letter informing the OC Sheriff's Department that the investigation was over and "doesn't have any findings or... ongoing concern," said Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's department.

"The letter just informed us that they are closing the Department of Justice investigation of conditions of confinement at the Orange County Jail, and that they were appreciative of the county's cooperation with the investigation," Braun said.

In the time that the investigation has been underway, Orange County has made upgrades to its jail system.

"Some of those reforms... include a new classification system that allows for greater access to recreation and inmate programs. We've upgraded existing housing units to better serve those with mental health issues and substance use disorders," Braun said.

They have also eliminated nighttime releases to protect sentenced inmates, particularly women, from being victimized; ramped up security to prevent drugs from entering jails; and created a housing module for veterans.