Criminal justice teacher lectures on prisons

JOSA LAMONT | NEWS EDITOR

Oliver Thompson, criminal justice teacher at Riverside City College, gave a lecture in the Digital Library Auditorium on the current problems in the prison systems.

He addressed the disproportional number of United States inmates to other countries, and the disproportional number of black inmates in prisons.

The United States has 756 inmates per 100,000 people, versus the global number of 158 inmates per 100,000 people.

In California African-Americans make up 5,525 prisoners per 100,000 people, being a conservative state on public safety.

While blacks make up 6 percent of Calif. Demographics, they make up 35 percent of the prisoners on death row, and 29 percent of total inmate population.

“Either Blacks are the most violent people, or there’s a bigger problem,” said Thompson.

Thompson also addressed the benefiting lobbies of California, such as the CCPOA and private prison companies that pose serious safety issues to Calif.

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association is the largest lobby in California and holds a controlling interest in Gov. Brown’s office.

“They control what happens in the governor’s office, period,” said Thompson. “Gov. Brown is signing off on their union contracts without so much as a quiver. They get what they want.”

It is written into the contracts of private prison companies that they have to maintain an occupancy of 90 percent, encouraging them to push laws through the governor’s office that stand for crime prevention over due process.

Private prisons also pose a threat to safety in state run prisons, as they use selective methods to take non-violent likely offenders out of state prisons, leaving the worst behind in overcrowded circumstances.

The people standing to benefit monetarily from perpetuating a crime problem have the largest lobbying power in the government.