Mother Jones’ Photos Causes Release of Thousands of Inmates

Photo: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

California prisons are overflowing with inmates, who are packed like sardines into unsafe and unsanitary conditions at nearly double the system’s capacity. Because of the overwhelming volume of people, in one prison an inmate had been dead for several hours before officials realized it. Mother Jones published this piece and accompanying slideshow of the conditions at several prisons in the state, which helped to play a major role in a recent Supreme Court decision to release thousands of inmates.

The photographs in this sideshow provide a glimpse of those extreme conditions: the E-beds (emergency beds) stacked in gyms and dayrooms, the tiny holding cells for mentally ill inmates. All of these photos, some of which were taken by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, were entered as evidence in the California prison case. Three of them (here, here, and here), were appended to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, suggesting that they had played a role in convincing Kennedy and four other justices to endorse the plan to downsize the state’s prisoner population.

Source: Mother Jones (via Boing Boing)

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