The much derided Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles may soon have another purpose: treating the mentally ill and substance-addicted inmates of the County’s detention system. The plan calls for a thorough investigation of the proposal.

Inmate advocates applaud the idea that offers new attention to the problems facing the system’s inmates, many of whom come from backgrounds of drugs and mental illness. According to their advocates, those needs have been largely underserved. In addition to the jail treatments, advocates hope that the Supervisors will look into community-based programs as well.

The idea to turn the Men’s Central Jail into a treatment center is the newest proposal for the facility. Sheriff Lee Baca has recently proposed tearing down the facility and replacing it with a new, state of the art detainment center. The new jail would have classrooms and medical facilities to help break the cycle of drug abuse and recidivism.

Read the full story at the Southern California Public Radio.