Feds slam California prison system
California’s $5.3-billion penal system is plagued by a pervasive “code of silence” that protects rogue guards, corrupts recruits and is condoned by leaders who “neither understand nor care about the need for fair investigations,” a federal report charged Thursday.
At the very top of California’s vast Department of Corrections, officials face unrelenting pressure from the powerful prison guards union and are unwilling to discipline officers who attack inmates or engage in other misconduct, says Special Master John Hagar, a prison expert appointed by a federal judge.
Hagar’s report, still subject to review, amounts to a sweeping indictment of the department’s ability to police itself, and recommends criminal charges against former Corrections Director Edward S. Alameida and a high-ranking deputy.
The grotesque California prison system is a legacy of deposed governor Gray Davis, who took huge contributions from the prison guards union, constantly built new prisons, did his absolute best to insure no one was ever released, and ignored cries for reform.
Now the feds have weighed in, and I expect this corrupt prison system, this relic of of the unmourned passing of Gray Davis, to start collapsing.
Alameida, who resigned as director in December but remains on the department payroll and will assume an unspecified post after an extended vacation, emphatically denied wrongdoing.
“I am particularly disturbed by allegations that I interfered with an investigation or investigations,” he said in a statement.
You should be disturbed, pal. This is a federal investigation. Your web of influence doesn’t extend to DC, and federal prosecutions can be very nasty indeed – something you richly deserve.