AP: Many Sex Offenders Killed in California Prison

© AP Photo/Eric Risberg

© AP Photo/Eric Risberg

The AP has a new article about the disproportionate murder rate of incarcerated sex offenders. This is definitely worth a read, exposing the unique, often violent, challenges those accused or convicted of sex crimes face in the criminal justice system.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on April 6, 2010, a guard at Salinas Valley State Prison noticed Alan Ager’s cellmate trying to stuff something under a mattress. It was Ager, blood trickling from his mouth and a cloth noose tied around his neck.

The convicted child molester died 10 days later without regaining consciousness, his death earning his cellmate a second life sentence.

California state prisoners are killed at a rate that is double the national average — and sex offenders like Ager account for a disproportionate number of victims, according to an Associated Press analysis of corrections records.

Male sex offenders made up about 15 percent of the prison population but accounted for nearly 30 percent of homicide victims, the AP found in cataloging all 78 killings that corrections officials reported since 2007, when they started releasing slain inmates’ identities and crimes.

The deaths — 23 out of 78 — come despite the state’s creation more than a decade ago of special housing units designed to protect the most vulnerable inmates, including sex offenders, often marked men behind bars because of the nature of their crimes.

In some cases, they have been killed among the general prison population and, in others, within the special units by violence-prone cellmates. Officials acknowledge that those units, which also house inmates trying to quit gangs, have spawned their own gangs. (article continued at source)

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