Saturday, May 30, 2009

How Prison Economics Work. Pelican Bay - Lockdown.

Link of the day - I will pay you $25, if you come up with a cool domain name for me.

Pelican Bay opened in 1989, principally to house the growing population of maximum-security and high-security-risk inmates in the California prison system. It is in a remote forested area 11 miles from the California-Oregon state line and far from California's major metropolitan areas, 370 miles north of San Francisco and more than 750 miles north of Los Angeles. Originally designed to house 2,550 prisoners, as of 2006, Pelican Bay houses 3,301 prisoners, nearly all of whom are classified as "Level IV" maximum-security.

Pelican Bay's grounds and operations are physically divided. Half of the prison holds Level IV prisoners in a "general population" environment with outside exercise courts. The other half of the prison contains Pelican Bay's best-known feature: an X-shaped cluster of white buildings set apart by electrified fencing and barren ground known as the Security Housing Unit, or SHU. This is a supermax-type control-unit facility where prisoners identified as gang members, prisoners with a history of violence, crimes or serious rules violations within prison, and other prisoners considered major management threats are incarcerated. The Pelican Bay SHU was one of the first such facilities in modern American history explicitly planned and built as a control-unit facility. SHU inmates are held in isolation 22.5 hours per day in their undecorated cell and one hour alone in a small indoor exercise yard. Radios and TVs are allowed.

The outside operations of several prison gangs, such as the Mexican Mafia, Nuestra Familia, the Black Guerrilla Family, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Nazi Lowriders are directed via secret communications from within Pelican Bay's SHU.

Under and Alone: The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

Honor Few, Fear None: The Life and Times of a Mongol

Behind Prison Walls: The Real World of Working in Today's Prisons

The Mammoth Book of Gangs and Gangsters

Gangs, Prisons, Parole $ The Politics Behind Them


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