Public Nuisance

Random commentary and senseless acts of blogging.

The first Republican president once said, "While the people retain their virtue and their vigilance, no administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." If Mr. Lincoln could see what's happened in these last three-and-a-half years, he might hedge a little on that statement.
-Ronald Reagan

Left Bloggers
Blog critics

Gryffindor House
Roger Ailes
AintNoBadDude
Americablog
Amygdala
Angry Bear
Atrios
Billmon
Biscuit Report
Body and Soul
Corrente
Daily Kos
Demosthenes
Digby
Kevin Drum
Electrolite
Firedoglake
Glenn Greenwald
Group Think Central
Hamster
Inappropriate Response
Mark Kleiman
Lean Left
Nathan Newman
Nitpicker
Off the Kuff
Pandagon
Politus
Prometheus Speaks
Rittenhouse Review
Max Sawicky
Scoobie Davis
Seeing the Forest
Sideshow
Skippy
Sully Watch
Talking Dog
Talking Points
TPM Cafe
Tapped
Through the Looking Glass
Washington Monthly
WTF Is It Now?
Matt Yglesias

Slytherin House
Gideon
Indepundit/Lt Smash
OTB
Damian Penny
Natalie Solent
Andrew Sullivan
Tacitus
Eve Tushnet

Ravenclaw House
Balkinization
Michael Berube
Juan Cole
Cronaca
Crooked Timber
Decembrist
Brad Delong
Deltoid
Donkey Rising
Dan Drezner
Filibuster
Ideofact
OxBlog
Sandstorm
Amy Sullivan
Volokh Conspiracy
War and Piece
Winds of Change

House Elves
Tom Burka
Al Franken
Happy Fun Pundit
Mad Kane
Neal Pollack
Poor Man
Silflay Hraka
SK Bubba

Beth Jacob
Asparagirl
Gedankenpundit
Kesher Talk
Meryl Yourish

Prisoners of Azkaban
Antidotal
Ted Barlow
Beyond Corporate
William Burton
Cooped Up
Counterspin
Cogent Provacateur
Letter From Gotham
Likely Story
Limbaughtomy
Mind Over What Matters
Not Geniuses
Brian O'Connell
Rants in Our Pants
Ann Salisbury
Thomas Spencer
To the Barricades

Muggles
A & L Daily
Campaign Desk
Cursor
Daily Howler
Op Clambake
Media Matters
Spinsanity

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Party Animals:
Clark Community
From The Roots(DSCC)
Kicking Ass (DNC)
Stakeholder (DCCC)


Not a Fish
Ribbity Blog
Tal G


Baghdad Burning
Salam Pax

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>

Thursday, February 24, 2005
 
The Supreme Court has ruled against a California policy that segregates newly admitted prisoners, generally but not entirely on racial lines, in order to reduce prison violence.

I actually have some first hand knowledge of the California prison system - and no, it isn't from the obvious source, my dubious character notwithstanding. In my younger days, I worked for the state fighting forest fires. A sizable portion of the manpower at the larger fires was provided by the state's Department of Corrections.

The inmates worked the firelines in integrated crews, but it was striking that, when they went in for meals, they invariably sat at tables not by crew but strictly segregated by race. I don't think I ever saw a CDC table that was multiracial. Gangs were presumably not a major factor; these inmates came exclusively from minimum security facilities, and were usually close to release for relatively minor crimes. Prisoners with a record for causing problems inside weren't allowed on the crews, which were presumably a sought-after job in the prisons: spending time in the forest would look pretty attractive to anybody who lives cooped in a tiny cell, and the inmate and civilian crews ate the same food: basic but plentiful and quite good, with a major emphasis on steak. There may have been another attraction even more potent: although it was strictly forbidden, there were always rumors that some of the women on the civilian crews slipped away to fraternize with the prisoners.

So what do I think of the state's seperation policy? On the whole, I don't feel overly upset by it. The intention of reducing violence is valid. And it doesn't appear to be an instance of a laudable purpose being made up for a policy that actually exists for other reasons; the state also separates Northern California and Southern California hispanics - a rule that has no racial basis but does make sense in terms of gang allegiances. My personal experience that inmates segregate themselves by choice is a further indication that this rule, however unsavory, probably does more good than harm in the real world.


Site 
Meter