Pelican Bay State Prison 's Racial Base Classification System
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Prison classification is an important process in the U.S. correctional system and community corrections. Every state utilizes different types of classification method to classify their inmates. Penal institutions in the U.S. have evolved tremendously in terms of sentencing procedures, decisions and classifications. Studies from Clear et al. (2013) indicate that offenders in the United States, which consists of men, women, and juveniles, were all confined together in the same prison in the early 1800’s (p. 296). Modern correctional facilities do not mix the entire population of men, women, and juvenile offenders in the same jail or prison, but rather, in separate correctional facilities with different levels of security and monitoring. In our current era, correctional facilities for men, women, and juveniles have rehabilitative programs and modern identification systems that have the capability to measure “static risk factors such as criminal history or severity of current crime” (Christensen, 2008, p. 18). This case study will examine Pelican Bay State prison’s racial base classification system, and whether its practices are considered as a violation of an inmate’s civil rights.
Tucked in California’s remote northwest coast lies a state penitentiary called Pelican Bay, which is known for its’ notorious isolation unit that houses the most violent criminal offenders in the United States. Pelican Bay operates on a coding system called racial