I was just chatting with Jeff Robertson, the county of San Diego’s investigative specialist for homicide. Robertson is in charge of collating information about how many inmates die in custody in the San Diego county jail system each year.

In the course of our conversation, Robertson offered up one fact that I found extraordinary. He said only one inmate has been murdered in the San Diego jail system in at least the last 13 years n that’s how long he’s worked there. He said he thinks there’s only been one murder in custody for many years before he started working for the county.

To put that in perspective, I put in a quick call to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office. The public information officer there was amazed when I told him Robertson’s fact.

“Wow,” he said.

I pushed him for numbers on the deaths in custody in Los Angeles, but didn’t get very far.

“Put it this way,” he said. “We have more people in custody than anywhere else in the Western world.”

He said the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. has at least 20,000 people in custody at any given time. By contrast, he guessed San Diego sheriffs have about 1,000 people in custody. Therefore, he said I wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples if he gave me the number for Los Angeles.

Then he said something a bit weird.

“There are no problems in the facility where she’s going.”

Huh? She? Then I remembered that when I Googled “Los Angeles Jail,” This story came up. He thought I was really calling about Paris Hilton.

As if I get to do fun stuff like that.


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