Monday, June 14, 2010

What prison over-crowding really looks like

I had been looking at this photo from a Californian prison for a while before realising that the beds are bunks.

The accompanying article is about the prospect of the Supreme Court intervening in a 3 federal judge ruling that the state must release 40,000 prisoners to relieve over-crowding.

"I don't get out of that bed," said Fernandez, 47, gesturing to the top of a three-tiered bunk in the malodorous heart of a human warehouse. "In a cell, you only have your cellie to deal with. But here, you got 200 different attitudes. Some guy gets a bad letter from his wife and he's going to be a problem for everyone around him."

Mule Creek was designed to house 1,700 prisoners when it opened in 1987. Today it holds 3,900, with two to a cell and 500 crammed into what used to be common areas for recreation. That is typical of all the state's prisons, which hold twice the number of inmates for which they were designed.

It looks bad, very bad. But so does this. Have a look. 302 homicides this year in the LA county mapped. Look at the victims faces.

The violent crime rate is trending down in the US. Unlike NZ.


Oswald Bastable said...

And they say Sheriff Joe's tent prisons are 'inhumane'!

Shane Pleasance said...

That looks like the first two weeks of my national service infantry call up in 1985 in 7 SAI Phalaborwa, South Africa. Our joyous 2 year stint was a little over-suscribed...