CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS IN VIOLATION OF EIGHTH AMENDMENT

Posted on by George Christie

After years of lower court rulings, ignored by the Californian Department of Corrections, the highest court in the land has spoken. In a split of five to four the CDC has two years to cut prison population by 33,000 inmates. By no means will the prison doors swing open and society be flooded with menacing felons, as opponents of the ruling have stated. Their argument is, without proper rehabilitation, crime will run ramped in our streets. It’s obvious these detractors have little understanding, that prison is about housing and not rehabilitation. In all likelihood most of the nonviolent inmates will be sent to county levels, or be relocated out of state. Hopefully this will also encompass sentencing reforms.

The high court ruled the conditions violate the Eight Amendment, which protects against cruel and unusual punishment. Among some of the conditions cited where overcrowding, limited staff, population beyond capacity for medical and mental health care, unsafe and unsanitary conditions. This decision came on the heals of a riot, involving 200 inmates at the San Quentin prison chow hall, only one day before the ruling.

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