Friday, February 25, 2005

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.

6 comments:

The Bookhouse Boy said...

Very good point. You don't have to know too much about prisons to know that outsider views on race don't matter. Sort of like disliking sexual segregation until we have to go to the bathroom.

DonQuixote said...

Hey Wally before we jump into a no return "what did we do!" situation maybe we should re visit history.I think it was up until 1960 that the LA jails were segregated, "White Tanks", Mexican Tank, Negro Tank. We had gangs,prison groups etc then and with segregation of the jails there was always complaints by one group or another that they were getting cheated or got worse food, favoring one group or another over another and on and on and on. Also many times some poor guy,mexican american for example who was almost completely assimilated would get thrown into the "mexican tank with all kinds of gangsters who wanted to cut his throat. All kinds of bad situations occur with segregation. Why should the jailers have to become segregationists, deciding who belongs to what race or ethnic group.Maybe the root problem of crime and prisons is way to hard to deal with for most people and the easy way is more medievalism in dealing with our societys failures.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to throw in my 2 cents, but...having worked both the streets and prisons, I can tell you that all one has to look at is not the 1960's as the prior writer says, but even as late as yesterday. Gangs will be gangs and the hate between the North and South remains the same 33 years later.I can just imagine placing a black inmate with the likes of "Blue Norris" or putting one with "killer mike" Ison. Yes, I know these two are deceased but their counter-parts are there and waiting. As usual, unless there is a "mass" blood bath, most of these rapes, mayham and murders willnot make the front page. Wil.E Coyote.

Anonymous said...

Blue is Dead, so it would not be that big a deal I guess!!

SERENO said...

HAVING BEEN THROUGH THE CDC, I CAN ONLY SAY THAT IF IT WASN'T FOR THE SEGREGATION INMATES "ENJOY" WITHIN PRISON WALLS, THE PENITENTIARY EXPERIENCE WOULD HAVE BEEN ONE OF CONSTANT VIOLENCE. THAT'S LIKE PUTTING THE FLAMINGOS IN THE LION'S CAGE AT THE ZOO...

robert said...

i agree with most of your comments regarding segregation.im a chicano from eastla and i would'nt want to share a cell with some mayate for who knows how long!