Mai Tran, L. A. Times, Apr. 15
Prisoners at two Orange County jails have been stripped of their privileges after authorities were informed that violence between Latino and Asian gangs was imminent, officials said Wednesday.
As the lockdown imposed April 1 on 3,500 inmates of the Theo Lacy Jail in Orange and the Men’s Central Jail in Santa Ana winds down, jail privileges will slowly be restored, said Jon Fleischman, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities had said they received tips that some Latino inmates had placed a “green light” — a jailhouse term for ordering an attack — on Asian inmates in retaliation for a pair of gang attacks in Garden Grove.
One incident may have been the March 19 shooting in the parking lot of Mae’s Cafe in the 9000 block of Trask Avenue that wounded three people, authorities said. “We’re looking into it,” said Garden Grove Police Lt. Mike Hamilton, “but we have not been able to positively make a connection.”
Authorities said that unsettled gang conflicts are sometimes dragged inside county jails, heightening the potential for violence among inmates affiliated with gangs.
In the lockdown, male inmates — who are placed in modules according to risk level — are banned from recreational and educational programs.
They are served one hot meal a day in the mess hall, as required by state law, during staggered lunch times to minimize communication, Fleischman said. Two cold sack meals are delivered to their cells.
Last Friday, inmates at maximum security Theo Lacy Jail were not permitted visitors.