SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s extraordinary rate of prison homicides is rekindling a debate over whether the state needs to further reduce its prison population to ensure inmates’ safety.
Experts say trimming the inmate population is also the best hope for protecting sex offenders.READ MORE: Gov. Gavin Newsom Says California’s COVID-19 Mask Mandate To End After June 15
The recommendations respond to an Associated Press report that the state’s long-term inmate homicide rate is twice the national average. Sex offenders make up a disproportionate share of those killed.READ MORE: Stockton Police Chief Praises Hero Neighbor Who Saved Little Boy During Deadly Shooting
California’s high inmate suicide rate is often cited as evidence of problems with crowded facilities and poor treatment of inmates, while its homicide rate previously received little attention. The state already reduced its inmate population under an ongoing federal order.MORE NEWS: Kids 12-15 In California Can Sign Up For COVID-19 Vaccination Starting Thursday Morning
Some other states operate prisons nearly as large as those in California with prison homicide rates below the national average.