When a riot breaks out in a California prison, as they often do, the wardens will “lock down” the inmates, separating them from the rest of the prison population and restricting them to their cells 24 hours a day – seven days a week. That gives prison staff a chance to quell the violence, investigate the cause - and isolate the inmates involved. The law gives prison officials a lot of discretion to use lockdowns - but there are limits. A prisoner advocacy group says California routinely violates those limits with frequent and lengthy race-based lockdowns. We talk with KPCC’s state capital reporter, Julie Small, who is reporting on this story.
Julie Small, KPCC’s state capital reporter