Thursday, February 09, 2006

Jail Riots in Castaic, CA - Time for Change?

LA Times Article

The Mercury News

Gang leaders directing traffic at Pitchess Detention Center pointed latinos to attack blacks in an all out jail riot in Castaic, CA. This isn't the first time this has happened. In fact Pitchess Detention Center is known for its riots. I've been on a tour through one of the huge jail buildings there with a friend of mine who was a deputy there. Talk about a big place. My friend who I lived in the same house with for about 6 months was always coming home and talking about the latest riot or fight they had at the jail.

When I was a kid I toured Pelican Bay Prison on a field trip and there were a lot of similarities. High security, a tight grip on troublemakers, etc...

However this perspective of Pitchess Detention Center is a big change though from what Castaic's jail used to be. It was once a place for drunks to get their lives back together by hard work and learning how to farm and make toys.

Maybe we need to go back to making prisoners and jail inmates (such kind terms for convicted criminals) be productive. Just give them something to do. That has seemed to work for them in Arizona where they started a tent jail. Prisoners are allowed to work and go outside and it seems to have really worked. Running this prison cost a lot less money too.

No comments: