February 6, 2006

Another black-brown prison race riot in LA County

The LA Daily News reports:

The Los Angeles County jail system remained in lockdown Sunday as authorities investigated a race-related riot at Pitchess Detention Center - one of the worst in at least four years that left an inmate dead and dozens injured.

Wayne Robert Tiznor, 45, of Los Angeles died from apparent blunt force trauma amid the chaos Saturday when fighting between Latino and African-American inmates spread to involve more than 2,000 in the North County Correctional Facility, one of three jails inside the sprawling 8,200-inmate complex...

Officials segregated Latino and African-American inmates in the North County facility - permitted during emergencies - while the entire county jail system was in lockdown, though deputies allowed restricted movement for some inmates by Sunday afternoon.

"Everything's quiet," Whitmore said. The measures are in effect until officials decide it's "safe to move forward."

The jail system - the nation's largest - oversees a daily population of about 21,000. About 60 percent are Hispanic, and about 30 percent are African-American, officials said.

With racial tensions viewed as a catalyst for the riot, Sheriff Lee Baca said he wants to discuss the need for inmate segregation with civil liberties groups, even as a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling forbid separation of state prison inmates strictly by race.

"The sheriff wants to ... have some real-life discussions," Whitmore said. "He wants to examine the reality of the jail world, where segregation prevents violence that could lead to death."

The Sheriff's Department has said it doesn't segregate by race but rather by gang affiliation, type of crime, propensity for violence or escape, sexual orientation and other factors. But gangs in and out of jail are often organized around race.

Kent of the American Civil Liberties Union said racial segregation of inmates might be allowed during emergencies, but it can't be the only solution to jailhouse violence.

I hate to say I-told-you-so (strike that, actually, I quite enjoy it), but I pointed out last year in VDARE that the Supreme Court's decision in Johnson v. California of outlawing temporary preventative segregation of new inmates was arrogantly naive, another example of the puerile (the clerks) assisting the senile (the Justices) to come up with a smugly stupid decision.

Your Lying Eyes points out:

Segregating prisoners would be dangerous, you see, because "by insisting that inmates be housed only with other inmates of the same race, it is possible that prison officials will breed further hostility among prisoners and reinforce racial and ethnic divisions." Yep, that's what Sandra Day O'Connor said in her majority opinion in Johnson v California. Whatever will our nation do without her down-to-earth, practical wisdom to guide the court?

This notion that shoving people together against their will is the best way to get them to like each other is one of the dominant dogmas of our society. To an elderly Supreme Court justice, this makes perfect sense:

"It's so educational for our grandchildren (great-grandchildren? I can never remember any more) when they come to visit us in Chevy Chase and Mr. Sodabottlewala next door shows them his pictures from his family estate in Bombay (or did they change the city's name? What do they call it now? Oh, yes, Bombay is now Bangalore. Sorry, my mistake.)"

But at the opposite end of the social scale, it doesn't work like that. Especially among violent inmates. To know a felon is generally not to love him. If you spend five years in a prison where the only people of another race you come in contact with are either criminals or guards, your opinion of that race will likely not improve. But you can't expect Supreme Court justices or their Ivy League clerks to figure that out.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

No comments: