Several years ago, in a hotly contested case, Brown v. Plata, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to uphold a lower court ruling declaring California’s state prisons an unconstitutional violation, which threatened the mental and physical health of prisoners.
One of the reasons for this declaration of unconstitutionality was the state’s overcrowding situation, which in 2009, topped 171,000 prisoners. Cali’s prison population is the second highest in the nation, only exceeded by Texas.
Several years after Brown v. Plata, and the state has adopted a strategy of transfer, from state prison to the counties. Also, it has begun to stuff prisoners into other state prisons, including women’s prison.
At Valley State Prison for Women, the state’s prisoncrats are converting it into a man’s prison- and squeezing over 1,000 women and transgendered persons into the two remaining women’s prisons, violating the letter, if not the spirit, of the Brown opinion.
In Brown v. Plata, the U.S. Supremes ordered the State to reduce overcrowding. Despite this, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDOCR) has been playing bait and switch, shipping people around, sending few people home.
On Saturday, Jan. 26th, people are coming together to protest this state of affairs, by rallying at Valley State Prison for Women, demanding, an end to overcrowding, and true release for thousands of people from prison dungeons.