Los Angeles Times: Editorial- California’s Torture Chambers?.
The purpose of Secure Housing Units or the SHU for short. Is to isolate Gang Members and Gang Leaders from the General Population in prisons. California has a high crime rate and a lot of Violent Offenders and lot of these people are in prison. And this causes problems for Prison Staffs as well as the General Population. Thats not in gangs and perhaps just there to do their time. So what California does, is isolate its Gang Members from the rest of their inmates. To cut back on violence in their prisons, its one thing that their prisons do well. It’s not a perfect system but one tool that they have and use to crackdown on their prison violence. Working and doing time in prison is bad enough by itself, for obvious reasons. But try to do that when your constantly under attack.
This system is not perfect and should be reformed but not ended. CDC or California Department of Corrections should have to prove. That the inmates they suspect are Gang Members, are actually that. And should charge those inmates and be put through trial. And the inmates that give up their Gang Affiliation and give information about their gangs. Should be protected to a Secure Housing Unit, in another prison even. Where they would live among other inmates who are former Gang Members. But not live in isolation, instead go about doing their time. Going to school, getting a job, rehabilitation etc but in a Secure Housing Unit. Where they can be protected.
The fact is these inmate don’t have to spend years in Solitary Confinement. They can behave themselves and give up their Gangs and get the protection. They need so they can go about doing the rest of their sentence. And hopefully moving on with the rest of their lives.