SUPREME COURT SAYS NO SEGREGATION IN PRISON
There's no argument that inmates are entitled to all the civil rights a free society can accord them. But there's a big difference between civil rights among law-abiding citizens on the outside and law-breakers on the inside. Inmates and convicted felons can't vote, for instance. And they can't claim the Second Ammendment right to bear arms.
This week's ruling by the Supreme Court that California prisons can't for the most part, segregate inmates according to race is a clear indication that laws often blindly support the ideal rather than reflect the reality.
Segregation in schools, the military or any place in outside world is pure evil. Forced desegregation in prisons, on the other hand can lead to a bloodbath.
Prison is a tribal society. The Supreme Court and law enforcement isn't about to abolish the animosity between prison racial groups by forcing them to share cells and finger paints.
In the past, even the "progressive" and radical prison reformers sued the state to force the CDC to segregate prisoners in the exercise yards, meals and shower time. According to the lawyers of the Prison Law Project, the shooting of inmate W.C. Nolen some thirty years ago was laid at the feet of prison officials for allowing blacks to exercise at the same time and in the same yard as white inmates. While it's almost unheard for liberals and progressives to demand segregation, there's a sound reason for it in the prison environment.
If you recall, Nolen's death was what fueled George Jackson's rage and triggered him to kill CO John Mills. That event was a wake-up call to POs. While there have been sporadic abuses of COs purposely putting enemies in the same yard just to watch the fights, for the most part, the CDC has done the tough work of keeping feuding groups apart.
For the sake of keeping the bloodshed down, let's hope the CDC can find a way of following the spirit of this desegregation ruling without violating the letter of it.