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05 February 2006

Calif. Jail in Lockdown After Race Riot

A little race war between black and latino prisoners erupted into a full-scale riot out in California. The prison has a temporary solution, but alas only a temporary one: "Black and Hispanic inmates at the facility remained segregated Sunday. It is illegal to segregate prisoners based on race or ethnicity, but legal advisers said it could be done in emergency situations, said Sam Jones, chief custody officer with the Los Angeles County jail system." Segregating prisoners would be dangerous, you see, because "by insisting that inmates be housed only with other inmates of the same race, it is possible that prison officials will breed further hostility among prisoners and reinforce racial and ethnic divisions." Yep, that's what Sandra Day O'Connor said in her majority opinion in Johnson v California. Whatever will our nation do without her down-to-earth, practical wisdom to guide the court?

8 Comments:

Anonymous da said...

Diversity is our strength, no?

February 06, 2006 7:05 PM  
Blogger Dennis Dale said...

Demographic breakdown in California prisons: 60% Latino, 30% Black, 10% scared to death.

February 06, 2006 9:07 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Yeah, I was wondering what the white guys were doing during all this...probably not sitting back, sipping on a beer and enjoying the show.

February 06, 2006 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about the affected jails in particular, but I've heard that in many heavily minority jails the white prisoners are more or less left alone. They basically are nonentities, allowed to use recreation facilities or other amenities only when the blacks and Hispanics aren't using them, last in line to use the telephones, and so on. All in all it's probably not a terrible existence.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

February 06, 2006 11:26 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

All in all it's probably not a terrible existence.
- As in not a total living hell?

February 07, 2006 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ziel -

It's not a completely terrible existence in the sense that the white inmates are (partially) insulated from racial violence. There's something to be said for slipping under the radar, so to speak, even if that means getting fewer privileges than the "combatant" groups.
Of course, things are different in certain prisons. For instance, in states (or individual facilities) where whites aren't such a small minority as they are in California prisons, they in fact are involved in racial violence.

Peter
Iron Rails & Iron Weights

February 07, 2006 9:18 AM  
Anonymous SciFiGeek said...

You may not be part of the race wars, but because nobody will stand up for you, you will frequently be raped. And even if you can get over the humiliation factor, that means you will definitely get HIV. You think you'll get access to the right cocktail of retroviral drugs in jail?

Probably the worst thing would be to be Jewish. You can't even join the white gang, because they're usually Nazi.

February 20, 2006 12:10 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Probably the worst thing would be to be Jewish. You can't even join the white gang
Ha - don't think that is an issue too often in the maximum security pens.

February 20, 2006 8:05 PM  

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