Hundreds of Cameras Installed in Santa Clara County Jail

The nooks and crannies of the embattled Santa Clara County Jail are now under surveillance by nearly 300 cameras.

The camera installation comes after heavy scrutiny stemming from a number of alleged beatings and inmate attacks.

"It really is to protect everyone," Sheriff Laurie Smith said. "It's to protect our deputies from false allegations. It's to protect inmates from the potential of being victims."

The new security system brings along a debate, said Amy Le, the new president of the Correctional Officers Union.

"I really want to sit down with the sheriff administration to update the policy and procedures to ensure that we don't violate the staff and inmates' privacy rights," she said.

Questions have also surfaced as to who can view the videos and when.

"The sheriff will be responsible for establishing a protocol, but the legitimacy of that protocol and how it gets implemented could end up in the hands of the court," said legal analyst Steven Clark.

Smith originally installed a dozen or so cameras in the jail in March and more cameras will be installed in the medical facility on Saturday.

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