California to End Last Outpost of Segregation: Prisons

Many expect surge in violence with change
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2008 5:51 AM CDT
Inmates are in the exercise yard at California State Prison in Folsom. Segergated cells throughout the prison system are to be integrated beginning next month.    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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(Newser) – California will fully integrate its prison system next month, making it one of the last states to do so, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The state will end the practice of separating new arrivals to the nation's largest prison system based on race. Both guards and inmates are bracing for a spike in racial violence in cramped cells.

State officials, who will continue to keep gang members apart, expect a short-term uptick in violence but more harmony in the long run. Others aren't so sure. "There's going to be riots," predicts one white inmate. "You just can't have a one-on-one fight with another race. Your homeboy is going to jump in, their homeboy is going to jump in." One expert said the policy "should work—but it's going to take years and years."