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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Dungeons of Downtown Los Angeles


Here are some L.A. landmarks you'll probably not want to seek out next time you're in town. Trust me, you'll get all the experience you need from this report.

Jail, as opposed to prison, is where you'll be incarcerated while waiting for trial if you can't make or are not granted bail.  Convicted prisoners who are given short sentences also do time there.  Downtown L.A. has four jail facilities.

As Baretta used to say, "don't do the crime if you can't do the time." But if for some reason you do find yourself on the wrong side of a set of handcuffs, here are your probable lodging options while you're in the City of Angels.


THE MEN'S CENTRAL JAIL, run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department might be your home if you're arrested in L.A. County but not by the LAPD.  An outdated and truly scary place, it's jailer staff is currently being investigated for abuse.  Just the possibility that you might end up in this dank, depressing, and dangerous place should be all the deterent you need to not misbehave while you're here.




TWIN TOWERS is across the street from the Men's Central Jail. I don't know that it'd be any better to be incarcerated here but it is a newer facility than it's neighbor.



Here is the entrance you'll be taken through if you're booked there.


THE LOS ANGELES METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER is the newest facility and is run by the Los Angeles Police Department. You would probably end up here if arrested by the LAPD in the central city area.


It replaces this facility (located directly behind the new jail), which...according to inmates and jailers alike...was truly a dungeon with faulty plumbing and no air conditioning.


THE METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER (not to be confused with the similarly named LAPD facility nearby) is where you'll end up if your crime is a federal offense.


Run by the U.S. Marshal's Service and the Bureau of Prisons, it is located at the Federal Complex at Alameda and Aliso Streets.

There you have it, a selection of the city's worst lodging options. Be sure to avoid them when you're visiting Los Angeles.



One last bit, you'll find this contraption at the entrance of the Federal Jail. It's called a barrel cleaner. Cops, agents, and guards are not to enter with loaded weapons. After they unload, they have to stick their gun in this and pull the trigger. If a bullet happened to still be in the chamber, it would fire and this barrel cleaner would capture it safely.

NOTE: While taking pictures for this post, I was briefly detained by a security officer at one of the facilities above. He said I wasn't allowed to take pictures. I very politely asked him why and what law I was breaking (I was on the public sidewalk). He then admitted there was actually no law but that they were instructed to "request" that people not take pictures. I told him that if I was breaking no law, I'd be on my way...I'd already taken my photos...and left.  Bloggers that take pictures frequently find themselves in this position, please take a look at the Photographers Bill of Rights so you will know what you can...and cannot do...when taking pictures. It came in very handy for me in preparing this post.

-Darryl
Copyright2011 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

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