Sheriff

Santa Clara County Sheriff Lays Out 13-Point Jail Reform Plan

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith is laying out a new 13-step plan to make sweeping changes to the county's troubled jail system.

Smith presented her recommendations Tuesday to a public safety committee, the Mercury News first reported.

The reforms come in the wake of last year's death of Michael Tyree, a mentally ill inmate allegedly beaten by three jail guards now facing murder charges.

"Mr. Tyree's death was a tragedy," Smith said. "Yes, it did prompt some of these changes."

The proposed changes include boosting access to medical care, new outside oversight, and the appointment of a civilian board.

Paula Canny, an attorney representing Tyree's family, calls the sheriff's plan a step in the right direction.

"Do Michael Tyree's sisters hope that Sheriff Smith will really do something meaningful to stop this? Of course they want reform," Canny said.

Smith is calling for new hires to have education beyond a high school diploma. In addition, the sheriff want to increase training on the job.

There is no timeline for when the suggestions may go into effect or details on a budget.

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