January 4, 2012

GOVERNMENT: The Role of the Prison Guards Union in California’s Troubled Prison System. “California spends approximately $9 billion a year on its correctional system, and hosts one in seven of the nation’s prisoners. It has the largest prison population of any state. The number of correctional facilities, the amount of compensation for their unionized staffs, and the total cost of incarcerating a prisoner in the state—$44,563 a year—have exploded over the past 30 years. Over that same period, the quality of the state’s prison system declined precipitously. . . . The growth of California’s incarceration system, and the decline of its quality, tracks the accession to power of the state’s prison guards union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.”

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