The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, November 18, 2004

California prisons: Feds edging towards the door?

No Hollywood story arc here, it seems: the crime syndicate that runs the jails (and most of the politicians) in California, aka the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, is set fair to brush off the challenge from Federal white hats and return to business as usual: bloody and highly lucrative.

The LA Times reports the decision of US District Judge Thelton Henderson [1] in the Pelican Bay case [2]: whilst the existing regime (and the CCPOA) hardly gets a clean bill of health - the judge
ordered an investigation into the state's labor contract with California's correctional officers, asking whether it gives their union too much control over prison management.
- the suspicion of a Hutton-style whitewash in the making derives from the fact that, according to the Times,
  1. the judge ruled that he
    would not pursue civil contempt charges against [former Department of Corrections Director Edward] Alameida, despite concluding that he had improperly quashed a perjury investigation of several Pelican Bay officers after a union official had called him about the case.

  2. the judge, having previously threatened to place the entire correctional system in the hands of a receiver, failed to follow through, making no mention of the threat in his order.

Now, it may be that the actual text of order gives more hope than the Times piece that the judge is intent on worthwhile action. Perhaps he has one or two shots in his locker.

More to come, evidently.

  1. Which so far I've found nowhere online.

  2. Last mentioned here on June 25; a couple of dozen earlier pieces on various aspects of California prisons.

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