Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > General Discussions > Other Talk
Reload this Page >

Supreme Court Debates Use Of Segregation In Prisons

Other Talk "Otterville" plus Religion/Politics

Supreme Court Debates Use Of Segregation In Prisons

Old 11-02-04, 07:21 PM
  #1  
Guest
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Glendale, next to L.A.
Posts: 18,486
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Supreme Court Debates Use Of Segregation In Prisons

http://www.nbc4.tv/news/3883933/deta...111022004&ts=H

POSTED: 12:59 pm PST November 2, 2004
UPDATED: 1:47 pm PST November 2, 2004

LOS ANGELES -- The Supreme Court took up a racial segregation case Tuesday that asks if black California inmates are being unconstitutionally bunked together for months at a time, in the name of keeping prisons safe.

The Bush administration has sided with a black convicted killer who claims he has been humiliated by forced prison segregation.

Fifty years after the Supreme Court declared racial segregation unconstitutional in public schools, said acting Solicitor General Paul Clement, the court must make clear that governments cannot separate people based on skin color in other places without the strongest of reasons.

Clement reminded the court of America's "uniquely pernicious history" of racial discrimination in prisons, evoking images of chain gangs and prison farms in the Deep South.

The case poses an interesting conflict for the high court. Since the landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling, the court has repeatedly held that racial segregation is unacceptable, including a 1968 decision barring blanket segregation in prisons.

But justices have also given prison officials a generally free hand in managing their facilities, to control violence and protect inmates and those who guard them.

"California is ground zero for race-based prison and street gangs," Frances Grunder, the state's senior assistant attorney general, told the court as she defended temporary segregation of inmates.

At issue is an unwritten California policy, dating back more than 25 years, requiring officials to assign newly arrived black prisoners to bunk only with other black prisoners for two months or more. Inmates are separated again by race when they transfer to a new facility.

Grunder said similar inmate segregation is also used in Texas and Oklahoma. California has more than 165,000 inmates and violence can erupt if white and black gang members are mixed, she said.

If the Supreme Court clears California's policy, other states will feel free to copy it. Eight states side with California in the case: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Utah.

The inmate who challenged the practice is Garrison Johnson, who has been in prison since 1987 for murder, robbery and assault. He contends the policy violates his constitutional right to equal treatment.

Johnson's attorney, Bert Deixler of Los Angeles, told justices the Supreme Court has helped "march this country away from the road of segregation, and there should be no turning back."

Johnson, who is not a gang member, has been forced into segregation with each transfer -- five so far and a sixth coming soon, the attorney said.

The high court's only black member, Clarence Thomas, was silent during the argument, in keeping with his usual practice. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is expected to vote although he missed the argument because he is receiving radiation and chemotherapy for thyroid cancer.

The other justices had a lively debate about the Crips, Bloods and the Aryan Brotherhood.

Justice Antonin Scalia said prison officials are smart not to put white and black tattooed gang members in the same cell until officials have had time to assess how dangerous they are.

Prisoners lose many rights, Scalia said. "That's one of the consequences of committing a crime and being sent to prison."

But Justice Steven Breyer, echoing concerns raised by opponents of prison segregation, said, "With racial discrimination, it's a terrible symbol ... divisive to the whole society."

The court's last major race case was last year when justices upheld limited affirmative action in college admissions.


This is a very interesting problem that the courts / prisons have right now. You wouldn't want to put a black gang member with a latino gang member together, that's a riot waiting to happen. Same with a white supremacist and a minority.

But I've seen Oz (and other shows / films) and seen how the races usually stay together for safety measures, so this is not a simple problem that can be solved right away.

My feeling is, what's best for the prison population as a whole, should be what is done. So unfortunately, since there is so much racial hatred in the prisons, then the best thing to do is to keep the races together. This of course doesn't solve the big problem of racial hatred, but it probably keeps the violence down.

Chris
Old 11-02-04, 07:26 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
aintnosin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 2,897
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What a few prison riots? We have to politically correct and not hurt anyone's feelings...
Old 11-02-04, 08:33 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The Last House on the Left
Posts: 12,332
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by mrpayroll

My feeling is, what's best for the prison population as a whole, should be what is done. So unfortunately, since there is so much racial hatred in the prisons, then the best thing to do is to keep the races together. This of course doesn't solve the big problem of racial hatred, but it probably keeps the violence down.

Chris
Agreed. If it works and saves some lives, why not? Usually prison gangs, not unlike other gangs, stick together with their own "kind." Like in nature.. the lions stick with the lions, the elephants with the elephants.
It's not racism, it's just how the natural order of things works. You want to stick with who you think is strongest, and we're usually of the opinion that whatever race/creed/etcetera we belong to would be just that. In that way, we're all egomaniacs.

So, grouping them together in the first place doesn't seem so bad.

Last edited by WhoGirl; 11-02-04 at 08:35 PM.
Old 11-02-04, 09:56 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
DVD Polizei's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 52,618
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Why don't we group them all on one island and say, "Yer on yer own dudes!"

The US Gov't could buy the island for much cheaper than what it costs to run prisons nationwide.
Old 11-03-04, 11:58 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
aintnosin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 2,897
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally posted by DVD Polizei
Why don't we group them all on one island and say, "Yer on yer own dudes!"
Manhattan isn't available yet.

Old 11-03-04, 12:32 PM
  #6  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 543
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Becasue the suit-and-tie educated brother who gets sent up for embezzlement or some other white collar federal resort offense, doesnt want to wind up bunking in a cell with the murdering, thieving, raping gangbanger bruthas in the federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

but i agree, we should find just one island in teh middle of the Pacific (Deep south Pacific so that its cold as hell and not nice and warm and tropical) surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean

Last edited by JupiterPrime; 11-03-04 at 12:34 PM.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.