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Court To Review Prison Segregation Policy


— March 1, 2004

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to review a decades-old practice in California prisons of segregating newly arrived prisoners by race.

California routinely assigns black prisoners to bunk only with other black prisoners for three months or more, a practice prison officials say helps keep prisoners safe from racial violence. A black prison inmate challenged the practice as a violation of his constitutional right to equal treatment, and argued it flouted previous Supreme Court rulings striking down segregation in other areas.

“Intentional state racial segregation has been outlawed in this country for over half a century,” lawyers for Garrison S. Johnson argued in asking the Supreme Court to hear his appeal.

The practice dates back more than 25 years, Johnson said.

Details here from the AP via LexisONE.


The Supreme Court agreed Monday to review a decades-old practice in California prisons of segregating newly arrived prisoners by race.

California routinely assigns black prisoners to bunk only with other black prisoners for three months or more, a practice prison officials say helps keep prisoners safe from racial violence. A black prison inmate challenged the practice as a violation of his constitutional right to equal treatment, and argued it flouted previous Supreme Court rulings striking down segregation in other areas.

“Intentional state racial segregation has been outlawed in this country for over half a century,” lawyers for Garrison S. Johnson argued in asking the Supreme Court to hear his appeal.

The practice dates back more than 25 years, Johnson said.

Details here from the AP via LexisONE.

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