California Sheriff Increases Jail Time for Spouse Abusers

Sheriff Sherman Block has announced that he will increase by nearly three times the amount of time spouse abusers spend in jail. Despite concerns of jail overcrowding, batterers will now have to spend almost 70 percent of their sentences in jail as opposed to less than 25 percent of the sentence time like everyone else in Los Angeles jails. Amid concerns of domestic violence heightened by the O.J. Simpson trial, the Sheriff’s Department last year added alleged spousal abusers to the short list of suspects who cannot be freed on their own recognizance because of overcrowded jails. The new sentence-serving guidelines follow the April murder of a pregnant woman and her 2-year-old cousin by her husband, a convicted abuser who served only five days of his 30-day sentence. Domestic violence advocates would prefer longer sentences for batterers but view Block’s announcement as a step in the right direction.


The Los Angeles Times - May 24, 1996

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