Last week riots sent 16 California prisoners to the hospital. Next week, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will send layoff notices to guards.
Now prison guards are concerned that a “perfect storm” may be brewing linked to staff reductions and a higher ratio of violent inmates within the system.
Officially, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is still investigating the cause of multiple incidents at California State Prison, Sacramento (also known as New Folsom). Riots there followed similar brawls in recent years, creating at least the appearance of a trend.
The incidents come even though prisons have begun reducing their population under a court order. The department has moved the prisoners deemed least violent to county jails, resulting in a higher concentration of violent inmates.
“It’s kind of a perfect storm here,” Ryan Sherman, spokesman for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, told KQED’s Tara Siler. “We’re losing staff, we’re getting more violent inmates on a percentage basis... We’re putting more dangerous inmates in lower-security facilities. It’s a potential there for it to be some kind of lethal combination.”