Building a New Identity: Race, Gangs, and Violence in California Prisons
Group: University of Miami
The thesis of this article is that while the CDC claims its policies regarding initial housing in double-occupancy cells focused on separating members of conflicting gangs, in practice it segregated inmates coming into the men’s prison system by perceived race. Research has shown that racial segregation in prisons increases inmate violence, which has the effect of increasing inmate sentences. In California, where inmate populations are disproportionately Black and Latino, this practice, questioned in the courts, is only one example of the segregation existing throughout the prison system. By carefully integrating all inmate cells and eliminating the policy allowing inmates to select their own double occupancy cell partner, California will experience less violence within the prison, thereby reducing prison sentences.
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