Monday, September 30, 2019

Surprise, surprise, surprise


California prisons expected rival gangs to play nice when allowed together in exercise yard.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California prison officials have halted an effort aimed at forcing warring prison gangs to get along with each other after the inmates wound up brawling and even rioting when placed together in prison recreation yards, officials told The Associated Press.
The effort started a year ago with officials gradually allowing prisoners from different gangs into exercise yards to try to get them to make peace. This permitted officials to reduce harsh restrictions that kept gang members locked up in cells for lengthy periods without access to rehabilitation programs that could allow them to shorten their sentences.
But the greater liberty generated the same result at several state prisons: Gang members brawled in what critics labeled “gladiator fights” that they allege prison officials deliberately set up to get the inmates to fight.
The brawls led officials to stop the practice of trying to get the gang inmates to interact with each other in the prisons, Shaun Spillane, a spokesman for the corrections department’s inspector general, told the AP in an interview.
Prison officials “are kind of at the point where they realize this isn’t working. Rather than getting the same result, they’re putting their heads together and trying to come up with a new approach,” Spillane said.

One prison official said, “I don’t know why they fight.”

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